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British Airways' "Elite" Club To Become Less "Elite"

BA opens Executive Club elite membership to discounted economy class flyers

Aug 25, 2009

British Airways has reportedly decided to offer elite membership of its Executive Club even to those buying discounted economy tickets.

The airline, according to The Telegraph, has chosen to go ahead with this move to prevent it from losing Gold and Silver cardholders. Until now, only first, business or expensive flexible economy tickets counted towards Silver membership which gives access to premium check-in and lounge facilities at the airport. The airline will give passengers on cheap fares access to luxury airport lounges and other benefits through its loyalty scheme.

BA to sell ads

British Airways is also working on plans to sell advertising space on its website and boarding passes.

The airline will begin issuing boarding passes with ads in October, stressing that it will only allow companies that have a ‚Äústrong heritage and parity‚ÄĚ to BA‚Äôs own brand values to book space.

The ability to advertise on boarding passes will be available from October 1. BA issues 12 million online boarding passes it issues each year. Companies will be able to target their ads at BA economy and business class travellers by metrics including destination and gender.

BA said that the ads would run on the online boarding passes that customers print out. If all goes as planned, it has been indicated that the ads would promote businesses along the route that the passenger is taking. For example, if you’re flying to London on British Airways, the boarding pass you print may display an ad for the Four Seasons Hotel or Harrington’s restaurant in London.

Luxury auto maker Jaguar was the first company to advertise on BA’s website -- the first advertisement since the site’s launch in the mid-1990s. More than 500,000 people a day visit, according to the airline.

Last month, it announced that it would stop serving meals other than breakfast in economy class during flights of less than two and a half hours. Passengers will instead be offered snacks, although the complimentary bar service will remain.

BA opens Executive Club elite membership to discounted economy class flyers
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