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John McDonald, Vice President Of Marketing, British Airways

Apr 1, 2012
2012 / April 2012

Tell Our Readers About The Re-launch Of The Executive Club.

British Airways re-launched the Executive Club on a global scale. Overall, the new program makes achieving and maintaining status more accessible. We’ve introduced a tier level to match oneworld’s Ruby level and changed the name of the mileage currency to Avios. The change brings the program more in line with Iberia’s Plus program; their mileage currency is also known as Avios now. Customers are the heart of our business, and the re-launch was designed with them in mind.

Executive Club now has four tiers — blue, bronze, silver and gold. Among the perks are registered seat and meal preferences, priority check-in, free seat selection, access to lounges and more. Bronze, our new tier, offers business-class check-in and free advance seat selection as well as access to our tier bonus program. For instance, once members reach the bronze tier, they earn a 125 percent Avios bonus. Each tier has its own bonus program. Maintaining status is now also easier. In the past, once members attained status, their tier points were returned to zero; with the re-launch, members keep their points upon achieving status, making elite status easier to attain. This change was a direct result of customer feedback.

It is also easier to earn points, as we increased the tier points offered on longhaul flights. We now have non-air redemption, allowing members to redeem points for hotels around the world and rental cars with Avis. Our new reward flight search tool makes it easier for members to find reward flights. The Reward Flight Saver offers members great value rewards flights to short-haul destinations across Europe.

What Other Updates Or Changes Can Premium Travelers Expect From British Airways

Over the next five years, British Airways plans to invest approximately £5 billion in upgrades and improvements. All the investments and changes will be manifested in better products for our passengers. We also plan to introduce new foods, ingredients and wines across all our cabins. Changes are in the works for World Traveller Plus passengers; the premiumeconomy cabin now serves food from our Club World business-class cabin.

Tell Us About Your Career.

I’m new to British Airways; I joined the team in July 2011. This is my first job in the airline industry, although I’ve worked with a number of airline clients for many years. I came from Ogilvy, where I was the lead on a number of accounts, including British Airways. It’s interesting to work for the company and with the company on the agency side. I’ve worked in both London and New York City throughout the years; I was at Ogilvy in New York prior to my position with BA. I began my career in politics as a speechwriter.


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