British Airways is still scrambling to recover from a devastating IT mishap that occurred during the 2017 Memorial Day weekend. The glitch, reported to be a "power outage" had repercussions across the globe, and it forced the carrier to cancel all services on a Saturday, with further cancellations and delays on Sunday as well. In an attempt to make amends and heal its bruised reputation, British Airways is reportedly extending Elite Status for Executive Club members.
James Hillier, manager of British Airways' Executive Club, recently reached out to members via email. In addition to apologizing for the holiday weekend's unfortunate events, Hillier announced that the carrier is extending the current tier status of Executive Club members for two years.
The blanket consolation will last, regardless of the number of Tier Points members collect during the extension. Tier Points are a sort of currency club members can earn or buy and exchange for a higher position in the program's ladder, thus unlocking more luxurious benefits the higher they go.
British Airways' offer is certainly generous, but it's unlikely to be the only concession the carrier is forced to make. EU regulations have specific protections and compensatory guarantees for passengers who suffer significant delays or cancellations. In other words, the airline will likely end up paying out refunds to a substantial number of customers affected by the service outage.
Furthermore, the incident has surely cost British Airways more of its already diminishing goodwill. The carrier has met with criticism for cutting back amenities from its Club World service and outsourcing some IT responsibilities to India. Still, the airline's free extension of Elite Status is a good indication the company recognizes these issues and is working to remedy its damaged relationship with loyal customers.