Change in Open Door Lounge policy for Golds

Discussion in 'British Airways | Executive Club' started by jason8612, May 20, 2011.  |  Print Topic

  1. jason8612
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    jason8612 Gold Member

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    In the late 1990s, we introduced a benefit for our Gold Executive Club members that allowed our Gold customers (without any guests) to use the British Airways lounge when travelling on another airline, as long as this airline operated from the same terminal as British Airways. We called this benefit Anytime Access.

    Today, through our extensive airline partnerships and the considerable growth of oneworld®, our Gold customers (with a guest) are now able to access the British Airways lounge in any of the following ways:

    • When travelling on any British Airways operated flight
    • When travelling on any British Airways codeshare flight operated by another airline
    • When travelling on any oneworld airline operating from the same terminal as British Airways

    Given the above, and also based on feedback we have received from Executive Club members, we have therefore taken the decision to withdraw Anytime Access from June 17 2011.

    We know how important our lounges are to our Gold Executive Club members, and we want to ensure that they continue to be a place to work or relax away from the busy airport environment for customers who are flying with us and our oneworld partners.
     
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  2. gleff
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    gleff Co-founder

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    A real sad development. Back when I was BA Gold eons ago (2007) it was a wonderful respite in MXP to use the BA lounge instead of the bloody AZ lounge despite flying AZ. They even let msgleff in with me... :)
     
  3. TuxTraveller
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    TuxTraveller Silver Member

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    Absolutely a very sad development... makes me re-evaluate my BA Gold card... might be time to look at AA EXP.. the open door policy together with MFU were the two things keeping me with BAEC as oppose to going for AA where I would get lower taxes in most cases.. Was indeed great for a lot of my Europe trips..I used this benefit very frequently :(
     
  4. TRAVELSIG
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    TRAVELSIG Gold Member

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    Too bad. I thought this was bound to happen once LH removed "anytime access" for Senator- it gave BA a good European comparison to watch. It is a bit silly really- because anyone who has flown enough to have a gold card is obviously loyal/commercially important to the airline- so the few times they pop into the lounge and grab a free coffee is not going to have a dramatic P&L effect on the airline- whereas the feeling of "BA values my business" certainly is not quite as strong.

    I find most of the time people not flying with "their" airline is either because of poor scheduling or no destination availability at all. For example- there are some places where even Ryanair makes sense because it will save several hours transit time as opposed to flying through a hub carrier. It doesn't mean the customer wants to not use BA- it is just there is not another option.

    Just a thought- I would like to know what customers gave the feedback they wanted this benefit taken away- and what question they were asked in order to give this answer.
     
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  5. GUWonder
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    GUWonder Silver Member

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    I am disappointed to see this go. [Some will "Open Doors" themselves by doing the refundable/changeable ticket approach to get into whichever lounges they find suitable at the moment, but that certainly won't help BA with any cost savings. When I'll be doing my own version of "Open Doors" to make up for BA's cutting off this benefit, might as well do it to get first class lounge and/or Concorde Room access.]

    I used this BA Gold benefit a lot at BA lounges in Europe (Italy being the place I used it most followed by AMS and CPH until the BA lounge closed at CPH) but rarely anywhere else. Perhaps I would use it more at LHR T3 and/or LGW, but I really have never needed to do so and for those times this year where I may have liked to do so, it would be to meet someone flying in business class on BA who may want me to meet them in the lounge.

    This change by BA won't stop those intent upon getting into the lounges but it will inconvenience BA Golds, some who may end up surprised by lounge staff that a benefit they used a year or two ago has been killed off by BA. Not a great way to deal with customers.
     
  6. Simon
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    Simon Milepoint Guide

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    Wow I knew this was going to happen after QF axed their open doors policy, it was only a matter of time before BA followed and they have. Looks like I got out at a good time. Sad to see that benefit go.
     
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  7. Globaliser
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    Globaliser Silver Member

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    That used to be true; but obviously it is not necessarily true any longer.
     
  8. jason8612
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    jason8612 Gold Member

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    yup.
    I am rethinking my gold status. I go quite an extra mile to stick with BA over other options but with gold being basically the same as silver, I will probably drop down.
     
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  9. TRAVELSIG
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    TRAVELSIG Gold Member

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    How so?
     
  10. Wurm
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    Wurm Silver Member

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    This is strictly a guess, but could overcrowding in smaller lounges (especially outlying locations/stations) have been the aggravating issue? For example, the last two times I was in Galleries at YYZ, the place (both the F side and the J side) was quite full - filled with civilized, well-behaved people, of course ;) but filled nonetheless.
     
  11. TRAVELSIG
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    TRAVELSIG Gold Member

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    Entirely possible- however what seems to make YYZ so busy for example are the passengers with CX and BA- so Open Doors won't be a big impact. I can see LGW probably being a problem- however given the decision of BA 2 years ago to half the size of the lounge (close one floor of two) I am not sure if this is the case.
     
  12. Globaliser
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    Globaliser Silver Member

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    You can now qualify for BA Gold without ever setting foot on a BA (or IAG) aircraft; that probably wasn't the case when Open Doors was first introduced.
    BA will know very precisely where the overcrowding problems have been, and the correlation between that and the use of Open Doors.

    It doesn't mean that this measure isn't using an over-sized sledgehammer to crack a nut; I wonder whether a more targeted approach might not have been better.
     
  13. adl73x
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    adl73x Gold Member

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    From BA insider feedback on TOBB the issue was squarely GCH pax at LGW North terminal flying EasyJet.

    Absolutely no feedback, however, on why they chose to solve it with a system wide over-reaction, nor where the trumped-up feedback from existing Gold Card Holders mentioned in the email might have come from, nor any admission that there is now almost difference in benefit between BA Silver and BA Gold.

    Yes, BA may be following QF by several months, but you think they could have learned from the upswing in Australian domestic business DJ got after QF's 'enhancements'.:rolleyes:
     
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  14. TRAVELSIG
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    TRAVELSIG Gold Member

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    And the problem is squarely because:
    BA abandoned routes which were picked up by EasyJet
    BA halved the size of their LGW lounge
     
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  15. Globaliser
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    Globaliser Silver Member

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    Are you suggesting that BA should have done neither of these things?
     
  16. adl73x
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    adl73x Gold Member

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    How is that? BA are not known for status matching and require 4 BA marketed sectors (ie flights with a BA designation) to qualify for any status or renewal - just as QF do for QFF status.
     
  17. EZEIZA
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    EZEIZA Silver Member

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    As long as it has a BA flight number it will count.

    This decision is obviously aimed at the BA Gold EZY flyers predominantly those who fly from LGW. A sensible business decision if you ask me. To be honest, some of the excuses put forward by those objecting to it come over as wanting to have one's cake and eat it too.
     
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  18. adl73x
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    adl73x Gold Member

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    BA enhanced away 'cake' years ago. The objections are from those:
    - Who have to fly places BA no longer serve
    - Who were incredulous at the disingenuous email
    - Who feel it is the last straw leaving no value left in BAEC Gold beyond the benefits afforded BAEC Silver
    and
    - Who nevertheless have validly earned BAEC status through significant contribution to BA's bottom line.
     
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  19. Globaliser
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    Globaliser Silver Member

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    Exactly. You don't have to fly a BA (or IAG) aircraft to get these. If you fly four of them on a franchisee (eg 4 x ZAR 500 JNB-DUR sectors) and you pick up the rest of your BA TPs on other oneworld airlines, you're worth very little commercially to BAW.
    I'm not sure BA was ever obliged (legally, commercially or morally) to continue flying to every destination on its network.


    Many of the LGW routes that are now operated by EZY were never BAW routes anyway, but were GBL routes that went with that airline to EZY.

    So I fail to understand why BA's withdrawal from a destination that never really fitted BAW anyway gives a passenger any moral right to continue using the BA lounge when flying to that destination, such as to justify a complaint about the withdrawal of Open Doors.

    There are better arguments for Open Doors than that.
     
  20. TRAVELSIG
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    TRAVELSIG Gold Member

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    I don't know what BA should do/should not do as I am without insider knowledge. What my comment was regarding is that if a company:
    1) Downsizes significantly its facility (50% capacity reduction)
    2) Permits their competitor access to their facility with competitor wanting to grow
    3) Phases down certain services/markets leaving them open to competitor

    Result will be that a number of customers will move to competitor or by choice or by requirement.
     
  21. EZEIZA
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    EZEIZA Silver Member

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    Seems to me most of the complaining is coming from "low rent" Golds who have to fly EZY/Flybe due to company policy and who earn their Gold cards through avenues as cheaply as possible. The real Golds.....the +1500 tier points a year on BA metal boys are the ones who, although unhappy about this decision, seem to be the least vocal about it.
     
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  22. Primula
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    Primula Silver Member

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    I don't think there was any BA insider feedback from anyone who was actually concerned with making the decision. A few BA staff happy to post their best guesses, but without any actual knowledge of what drove the decision, I'd be wary of calling that 'insider feedback' - more like ground staff FM.
     
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  23. EZEIZA
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    EZEIZA Silver Member

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    Feedback from the coal face is always worth listening to rather than relying on blind speculation. ;)
     
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  24. adl73x
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    adl73x Gold Member

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    Hmm, am I being vocal, or simply summarising the arguments others have made?: In any case, I satisfy your definition of "real gold", although I would have thought BAEC's definition should have sufficed.
     
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  25. Globaliser
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    All true.

    And so when the LGW situation is shorn of emotive language, it can clearly be seen that it was not BA being hoist by its own petard.
    Well, whoever it is who thinks that Open Doors is the last thing of value left in BA Gold, they clearly aren't the sort of customer that BA needs to keep.

    Customers who are of real value to BA are more likely to be mildly irritated, at worst, at no longer being able to use Open Doors a few times a year.
     
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