Preparation for changes to BA’s On Business scheme start today

Some weeks ago – just after the major changes to Avios – BA announced that they were going to make changes to their programme for Small and Medium Businesses, On Business. Long popular with frequent flyers who had their own business due to generous access to seats, the scheme is being savaged by BA. You can read my coverage of the changes from the link in the first sentence.

Taking New York as an example – currently that journey needs 18,900 On Business points in Club. To earn this you would have to take 9 roundtrips in Club. Bearing in mind you can do this for around £1,000 from Dublin, your £9,000 spend earns almost nothing in the new scheme. Assuming that businesses do not make their employees fly to Ireland to get to JFK, the standard BA price of £2,711 roundtrip to New York from London would earn 24,400 points in the new scheme earning about a round-trip in the new scheme. BA’s web site says that the new scheme is slightly more expensive in premium cabins and slightly cheaper in World Traveller. This seems to be the case.

On Business is closing to US members at the same time with their points being converted to American Airlines scheme, Business Extraa.

BA has been emailing members of On Business with crucial dates in the period until the switchover is finished by 27 May 2015.

13 May – You can no longer change any account details

25 May @ 23:59– The current programme closes so if you want a premium award book it before this time

25 – 27 May – No award tickets can be booked online or with the service centre

Now, the email says that tickets booked after 25 May will earn using their new Tier structure where the higher the annual spend, the greater multiplier is applied to your earnings.

It would be advisable to check all bookings made already to ensure you have entered your On Business number otherwise you will earn at the new, lower, levels. BA says:

Before the 25 May – You will still be able to claim missing points for your flights and earn On Business Points under the old programme rules.

On or after the 25 May – You will still be able to claim missing points for your flights and earn On Business Points under the new programme rules.

BA will double the number of On Business points in your account before 28 May although you will need to use the higher redemption levels needed for premium cabins.

By the way, still no information on what is happening at AA’s scheme Business Extraa. This is significant, and slightly odd as they have not said how AA is going to handle award redemptions on BA. Bearing in mind that AA still has paper certificates for awards.