I received the latest update by e-mail on the british midand Diamond Club program today.
You can no longer earn or spend miles with Europcar or bmi hotels, and you can no longer earn miles with Purple Parking. Spending miles on Gifts and Treats goes away June 17. No big deal, partnerships and offers change. But it’s one small step in the continuing dismantling of the once great british midland Diamond Club program.
I generally assume programs that offer truly superior value won’t last, or at least the superior offerings won’t, but I’ll enjoy them while they do.
What I don’t like — more than anything else coming from a loyalty program — is changes without notice. Members earn their perks, privileges, and benefits. There’s an offer, they do what’s necessary to meet the conditions of the offer, and there’s little more that could be disingenuous than failing to live up to that offer.
This morning’s email, though, declared bmi Diamond Club upgrade vouchers to be dead effective immediately. It’s one thing to say bmi upgrade vouchers cannot be used on British Airways. There was never a promise that they could be, even when plenty of former bmi flying is moving over to BA. But to say that bmi upgrade vouchers can’t be used on bmi, and with no notice at all…
Meanwhile, British Airways is offering current bmi elite members status matches in the BA program. Certainly BA Gold is tougher to obtain than bmi Gold, so it’s not an ungenerous offer. Now former bmi Silvers, as newly minted BA Silvers, even have lounge access on partner airlines.
But British Airways has announced they will not honor bmi lifetime elite status.
I suppose that British Airways really did think they were just buying slots at Heathrow when they acquired british midland, they weren’t especially concerned with acquiring other assets.
Lifetime bmi Gold members are likely captive to BA at this point already, or those that aren’t might not be considered valuable enough customers to alter the structure of the British Airways frequent flyer program.
Still, it’s a brutal reminder that “lifetime” status really refers at most to the lifetime of a given frequent flyer program.
And that realistically it means “until we change our minds.”
At least bmi lifetime Golds presumably retain their status with bmi at least as long as that shrinking airline is still around.
United million milers no longer get systemwide upgrades upon reaching the level, nor annual annual confirmed regional upgrades. Even though United specifically promised in October that: