When Radisson hotels announced the end of Goldpoints plus and its replacement with Club Carlson, I said that I really hoped they retained their “Our World, Your Lounge” benefit. One of the most interesting, innovative offers by hotel programs, their hotels in Europe, Middle East, and Africa offered elite members complimentary coffee, tea or hot chocolate for two people and use of free wireless internet any time, whether they were registered guests or not. It was a really a nice benefit that didn’t cost the hotels much at all but really created a feeling of belonging and a special relationship with the chain for its elite members. It’s one benefit that I really hoped other chains might pick up on, instead it’s been discontinued.
British Airways is ending its Open Doors Policy for Gold member lounge access on June 17. Previously, Gold members could use British Airways lounges (no guest access, member only) regardless of what airline they were flying. BA says it’s based on expanded lounge access when flying BA or oneworld airlines (i.e. they have more partners) and “based on feedback we have received from Executive Club members” (which strains credulity, how many British Airways Gold elites complained about receiving lounge access?). Back when I was BA Gold eons ago (2007) it was a wonderful respite in Milan to use the BA lounge instead of the bloody Alitalia Botticelli lounge despite flying Alitalia.
Neither benefit could possibly be especially costly for the programs to provide, and were aimed at their best customers, so it seems strange to me to pull back here. Perhaps I’m missing something that readers can help explain to me.