British Airways has acquired British Midland, and now they’ve made available the website to match bmi Diamond Club elite status to equivalent status in the British Airways Executive Club program.

I’m a bmi Gold elite member, and am working through my best strategy here.

The primary value for me in BA’s Gold status will be that I’ll receive access to American’s Flagship lounges even on domestic US itineraries, I don’t otherwise have much use for BA Gold as an American Executive Platinum. I do not intend to requalify as a British Airways elite.

  • I’m looking for a non-U.S. Star Alliance program to reach Star Gold status with, preferably one that bonuses premium cabin fares and has a reasonable award chart. I do like that Asiana status can last up to 4 years and that their shorter-haul rewards are reasonable (80,000 points for business class East Coast to nearer Europe roundtrip in their distance-based chart, with two stopovers permitted each direction, though they add fuel surcharges). I also like that Turkish has been status matching, and that requalification is quite generous. I had hoped for a Star Alliance-wide status match offers for displaced bmi elites, but none has so far been forthcoming. The ring of Miles & More Senator sounded pretty good…

  • I had to decide when to status match over to British Airways. Once I’m made a BA Gold that status will last for 12 months. I may want to push the validity far out into the future. But there’s no indication how long the status match offer will be available. My bmi status currently runs through end of November, but will BA allow me to wait that long to request the match?

Folks who are British Airways flyers already, note that when you process a status match from bmi your membership year resets and your current elite status credits reset to zero.

Meanwhile, I really probably should burn my 70,000 bmi miles before they become Avios…

  1. Dov said,

    Did you consider Air Canada’s Elite program

  2. Gary said,

    @Dov there’s a minimum flight requirement on Air Canada metal which I could do but not sure I want to.

  3. Allen said,

    Does BA give a soft landing to silver if you don’t requalfy?

  4. Sam said,

    How about the Aegean program to earn and maintain as *G

  5. Andrew said,

    To be honest, most of the other *A FFP redemption tables/taxes/fees rates are garbage, and so any “savings” you get by the premium cabin bonus and the “free” Star Gold are given back (and then some) by the extra miles cost and the fuel $urcharge$.

    I mean, UC club membership is $400/year. That’s the fuel surcharge for one trip booked on Asiana or Miles & Less. You could also try to get *G on OA for ~20,000 miles, but their award chart is also garbage, so that’d be like throwing 20,000 miles away each year.

    I know people here now hate *flying* United, but MP is by far, in my opinion, the best program, for earning and redeeming miles on *A.

  6. LarryInNYC said,

    If you care to do a post about Turkish it has a number of interesting features:

    - It has been running a lot of cheap fares from New York.

    - They offer a free hotel if you overnight in Istanbul, certainly among the top 5 destination cities in the world.

    - Possibility of mile-boosting by flying to Europe via Istanbul.

    - They are an alternate way to get to Israel, not the easiest of destinations to reach, especially on award tickets.

    - They seemed to do pretty well at the Freddies.

    It sounds from your comments as if their mileage program has some attractive aspects for Americans as well.

  7. Raffles said,

    Note that BA membership years run to the 8 th of the month, so better do it May 9 than May 1 as you get an extra month. Key is to consider your BMI year end ( which is NOT the expiry date on your card, it is 6 to 8 weeks earlier), your current BA status and year end and your future BA flight plans, given that your tier points reset to zero.

  8. Apu said,

    Gary, can you now transfer Avios to BMI miles and use the BMI chart for some award tickets? Is that available?

  9. Gary said,

    @Apu not yet — that’s coming in July, but only after bmi redemption on star alliance is gone. We may be able to use the better bmi award chart for our BA points redeeming on BA metal soon though…

  10. Apu said,

    Thanks!

    I am cool with being able to – “We may be able to use the better bmi award chart for our BA points redeeming on BA metal soon though…” – isn’t that what we really want… my 400K Avios (soon to be) will feel a new life, am sure!

  11. Apu said,

    Actually, can we not use that BMI chart on other partner airlines? Will that also be possible?

  12. Apu said,

    In my above comment I meant –
    Actually, can we not use that BMI chart on other partner (OneWorld) airlines? Will that also be possible?

  13. A. S. said,

    @Gary: If all you want is *G status (for benefits), then I suggest you just buy US Gold, which comes with *G. If you credit enough flights to US first, the cost can be as low as ~$900/$1,000. However, if you’re actually looking for the best earning/redemption opportunities to eventually book rewards, then that’s a different story and you’ll be hard-pressed to find anyone nearly as good as BD, as you yourself already stated.

    For those who just want *Alliance lounges, consider buying a US Club membership (or UA, I suppose). You may even get the $200 airline credit from AMEX for it (YMMV). The only caveat is that you won’t get into LH Senator lounges (just Business).

    Has anyone looked into MS (for earning/redeeming)? I know nothing about their program — is it any good?

  14. Gary said,

    @Apu – unlikely, bmi won’t likely be a member of oneworld at least in july, but we have to wait and see!

  15. David said,

    One of the other questions is what will happen (and when) to the other non-*A partners of BMI for redemption purposes.

  16. Apu said,

    Gary, sorry but I am confused. This may be too-early-a-question but can you list which airlines would we be able to book awards on using the BMI chart with Avios points?

  17. British Airways status matching British Midland elite members - One Mile at a Time said,

    [...] says that matched status is valid for 12 months from the time it’s requested. I’m quite [...]

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