bmi

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The water cannon salute greeted the BMI (British Midland International) flight BD928 that was arriving from Baku to London Heathrow to mark the ending of this airline that lasted for close to 75 years. The airline started as Air Schools Limited in 1938. You can read more about the airlines history here.

bmi-last-flight

The last few years have been very turbulent times for BMI. Lufthansa owned the airline for few years and sunk hundreds of millions euros into it and finally gave up earlier this year. The airline was sold to the International Airlines Group (IAG), the parent of British Airways and Iberia.

The IAG bought the airline mainly for the slots at the London Heathrow airport.

Conclusion

It was a sad day for all of us that had had vested interest in BMI over the years. I have been the member of BMI’s Diamond Club for years and credited all my business/first class Star Alliance carriers flights to this program.

Redeeming the miles wasn’t always easy as you had to deal with BMI’s outsourced call center in somewhere India. Dealing with the BMI’s call center probably has shortened my life expectancy by couple of years.

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Now, it has finally come – an email from BMI’s Diamond Club about the closure of the program. If your BMI Diamond Club account is not based in the UK or South West Pacific (Australia/New Zealand), your account will close on December 31st, 2012. You can find more information about this on BA’s website.

bmi-diamond-club-closure

The log in to the Diamond Club account will move to www.diamondclub.org or non UK/South West Pacific members.

All members, however, will not be able to earn or burn Diamond Club miles from September 27th onwards except UK members with BMI branded credit cards.

If you are currently holding an award reservation made using BMI Diamond Club miles and you cancel it after December 31st, you will NOT receive any miles back as non-UK/South West Pacific Member. You will, however, receive back taxes/fees that you paid.

Conclusion

If you have BMI Diamond Club account and some miles in it, you should just go ahead and link it to British Airways Executive Club account and do the miles transfer. There is really no point keeping miles on BMI Diamond Club account after all earning and burning options have been closed.

But British Airways could have just easily opened an Executive Club account and transferred all the remaining Diamond Club points there for members that haven’t done it by themselves. By not doing so, British Airways is able to clear their books from liability that these existing miles represent.

 Here’s the full information from British Airways:

With the closure of www.flybmi.com on 28 October 2012, there are some important changes to the Diamond Club.

UK members

From 28 October 2012, UK Diamond Club members will no longer be able to earn destinations miles, other than through a bmi Credit Card account from MBNA.

You can continue to log into your account through our new website, www.diamondclub.org, which will be available from 27 October 2012.

In order to redeem destinations miles you can transfer them 1:1 to Avios with the Executive Club.
After you have transferred your miles you can spend your Avios on flights, upgrades, hotels and car hire.

See ‘Transferring your destinations miles’ below.

South West Pacific members

We are currently reviewing the options for our Diamond Club members who live in the South West Pacific.

From 28 October 2012 you will no longer be able to earn or redeem destinations miles and your account and destinations miles balance will be frozen until further notice.

You will be able to log into your account to check your balance and update your details through our new website, www.diamondclub.org, which will be available from 27 October.

Members outside the UK and South West Pacific

For members outside of the UK and South West Pacific, the Diamond Club will close on
31 December 2012.

From 28 October 2012, you will no longer be able to earn or redeem destinations miles.

In order to redeem destinations miles you can transfer them 1:1 to Avios with the Executive Club. After you have transferred your miles you can spend your Avios on flights, upgrades, hotels and car hire. See ‘Transferring your destinations miles’ below.

You will be able to log into your account to check your balance and update your details through our new website, www.diamondclub.org, which will be available from 27 October.

Frequently Asked Questions

Take a look at our Frequently Asked Questions for more information about the changes and what they mean for you.

Read our FAQs

Transferring your destinations miles

You can transfer as many destinations miles to Executive Club Avios points as you like at the rate of 1:1.

Simply log in to your Executive Club account and go to the ‘Manage My Account’ page. Here you’ll find a link to the transfer destinations miles tool under the ‘Your Options’ section.

Before you start a transfer please ensure that your contact details, including your name, email address and date of birth are up to date in both your Diamond Club and Executive Club accounts.

Transfers can be made between individual accounts, but unfortunately transfers into Household Account balances are not possible.

After 31 December 2012 this transfer facility will not be available for members outside UK.

Transfer your destinations miles now

Tier matching for Diamond Club Silver and Gold members

If you are a Diamond Club Gold or Silver member, you can apply for matching tier status within the Executive Club.

Please note that the ability to apply for matching tier status within the Executive Club ends on
31 December 2012 for all members.

Not currently a member of the Executive Club?
In order to tier match from your current Diamond Club status to a new Executive Club account, you will need to join the Executive Club via our dedicated enrolment page.

Join the Executive Club

If you are a Diamond Club Gold or Silver member:
Once you have enrolled in the Executive Club as a Blue member please complete the online tier match form.

If you are a Diamond Club Blue member:
There is no need to complete the tier match form.

Complete the online tier match form

Already a member of the Executive Club?

If your Diamond Club status entitles you to a higher status than you currently have with the Executive Club, you will need to complete a tier matching form.

Complete the online tier match form

Frequently Asked Questions

Last updated: Friday 28 September 2012

The Future of the Diamond Club

For full information on the changes and what this means for you please see the questions and answers below.

Diamond Club and Executive Club – general questions

As a UK-based Diamond Club member, how can I check my destinations miles balance after 27 October 2012?

As a UK based Diamond Club member, you will be able to use our new Diamond Club website www.diamondclub.org which will be available from 27 October onwards

As a non-UK or South West Pacific based Diamond Club member, how can I check my destinations miles balance after 27 October 2012?

As a non-UK/SWP based Diamond Club member you will be able to log into your Diamond Club account and check your mileage balance online at www.diamondclub.org, which will be available from 27 October onwards.

As a non-UK or South West Pacific based Diamond Club member, what will happen to my account and destinations/status miles after 31 December?

As a non-UK based Diamond Club member your Diamond Club account will close on 31 December 2012. Any destinations or status miles remaining in your account on this date will automatically expire. Remember to transfer your destinations miles to Avios and request your tier match via the online tier match form.

To request the transfer you must log into your Executive Club account, select ‘update my details’ from the left hand navigation menu and then select ‘Combine my Avios’ from the list of options on your screen.

> Complete the online tier match form

As a South West Pacific member (i.e. Australia/New Zealand), what will happen to my account?

We are currently reviewing options for our customers who live in the South West Pacific. We will freeze your Diamond Club account and destinations miles balance until further notice but assure our members in the South West Pacific that your loyalty is important to us and we will do everything we can to complete this review quickly.

What if I have a query as a South West Pacific member?

We have created a new website at www.diamondclub.org which will be available from 27 October 2012. Queries can be submitted using the online ‘Contact Us’ section or by contacting the Diamond Club call centre.

As a Diamond Club member, which British Airways lounges can I access using my Diamond Club membership card before 31 December?

Gold Diamond Club members can access the Galleries First lounge, Galleries Club lounge and Arrivals lounge at London Heathrow Terminal 5. Gold Diamond Club members can also access the London Gatwick British Airways First and Club lounges as well as the London Gatwick Sofitel arrivals lounge.
Please note that Gold members may take one guest into the lounge, but guests are not permitted in the arrivals lounges.

Silver Diamond Club members can access the Galleries Club lounge at London Heathrow Terminal 5 and the British Airways Club lounge at London Gatwick. Silver members may take one guest into the lounge.

Please bring your membership card with you as you may be asked to present this in order to gain access to the lounge.

What if I currently hold lifetime Gold status at the Diamond Club?

British Airways does not offer an unlimited or lifetime tier status. Diamond Club Lifetime Gold customers will therefore be invited to join the Executive Club Gold tier for a minimum of one year.

Are you closing Diamond Club?

The Diamond Club is moving to a UK only programme on 31 December 2012. This means that the Diamond Club programme outside of the UK and South West Pacific will close on this date. As a UK based Diamond Club member you can continue to collect destinations miles with a bmi Credit Card from MBNA. We will be in touch with members in South West Pacific in due course to advise the options available to them.

Diamond Club and Executive Club – existing award bookings

Will my future award booking with a Star Alliance airline, Virgin Atlantic, Qatar, Jet Airways, Transaero, BA, bmi baby/regional be honoured?

Any existing bookings you have with any Star Alliance airlines, Virgin Atlantic, Qatar, Jet Airways, Transaero, British Airways or with bmi regional will be honoured and you can travel as planned.

Due to the fact that bmi is no longer a member of the Star Alliance, and Virgin Atlantic is no longer a partner of the Diamond Club, you will not earn any destinations or status miles on any future bookings with these airlines. You can continue to collect destinations or status miles when you fly with bmi regional until 30 September 2012.

You can continue to collect destinations miles when you fly with Qatar, Jet Airways, Transaero and British Airways until 27 October 2012. Bmi baby ceased operation on 9 September 2012.

Can I cancel or amend my future award booking with a Star Alliance airline, Virgin Atlantic, Qatar, Jet Airways, Transaero, BA or bmi regional?

Unfortunately you will be unable to amend any existing bookings you have with any Star Alliance airlines or with Virgin Atlantic. You can continue to amend any existing bookings you have with bmi Regional until 30 September, or with Qatar, Jet Airways, Transaero and British Airways until 27 October after which you will be unable to make any amendments to your booking.

You can choose to cancel any future award bookings you have with any previous or existing bmi air partners at any time.

As a non-UK based Diamond Club member with a future award booking – what is the refund policy if I want to cancel my booking after 27 October?

As a Diamond Club member based outside of the UK, if you choose to cancel an existing award booking after 27 October 2012 you will receive a full refund of any cash and destinations miles paid when the booking was made. Please note that you must transfer any destinations miles to your Executive Club account before 31 December 2012 when the Diamond Club programme closes outside of the UK and in Australia and New Zealand.

As a non-UK based DC member with a future award booking – what is the refund policy if I want to cancel my existing booking after 31 December?

As a non-UK based Diamond Club member, if you choose to cancel an existing award booking after 31 December 2012 you will receive a full refund of any cash paid when the booking was made. Unfortunately you will not receive a refund of any destinations miles paid due to the fact that your non-UK based Diamond Club account will be closed from 31 December onwards.

As a UK-based Diamond Club member with a future award booking – what is the refund policy if I would like to cancel my future award booking?

The normal refund policy will apply for any cancelled award bookings. You will receive a full refund of any miles and cash paid for the booking. Any refund of destinations miles will be made into your Diamond Club account.

Diamond Club and Executive Club – earning

As a Diamond Club member which airlines can I continue to earn destinations miles with when I fly?

You can continue to earn destinations miles when you fly with bmi, British Airways, Qatar, Jet Airways and Transaero.  Please note that if you have a booking with any of these airlines where the date of travel is after 27 October, your booking will be honoured however you will not earn destinations miles.

As a Diamond Club member which airlines can I continue to earn status miles with when I fly?

You can continue to earn status miles when you fly with bmi or bmi Regional. Please note that you will no longer earn status or destinations miles when flying with bmi Regional after 30 September.  You can continue to earn status miles when you fly with bmi until 27 October 2012.

As a Diamond Club member which airlines can I no longer earn destinations miles with when I fly?

You can no longer earn destinations miles when you fly with any Star Alliance airlines or with Virgin Atlantic. You will no longer be able to earn destinations miles when you fly with bmi Regional after 30 September 2012.

As a Diamond Club member which airlines can I no longer earn status miles with when I fly?

You can no longer earn status miles when you fly with any Star Alliance airlines. You will not earn any destinations or status miles when you fly with bmi Regional after 30 September 2012.

As a Diamond Club member, can I continue to purchase destinations miles?

Yes, you can continue to buy destinations miles online until 27 October 2012.

As a UK-based Diamond Club member, which non-airline partners can I continue to collect destinations miles with?

You can continue to earn destinations miles with bmi partner hotels, when shopping online and with your bmi Credit Card account from MBNA. Please note that after 27 October you will only be able to collect destinations miles using a bmi Credit Card account from MBNA

As a non-UK based Diamond Club member, which non-airline partners can I continue to collect destinations miles with?

You can continue to earn destinations miles with bmi partner hotels and when you shop online. You will no longer be able to earn destinations miles after 27 October 2012.

As a Diamond Club member which non-airline partners can I no longer collect destinations miles with?

You can no longer earn destinations miles with bmi hotels, Europcar or Purple Parking.

As a UK based Diamond Club member, how can I collect destinations miles after 27 October?

You will be able to continue collecting destinations miles after 27 October using a bmi Credit Card account from MBNA

As a non-UK based Diamond Club member, how can I collect destinations miles after 27 October?

The Diamond Club is moving to a UK only programme, and as a non-UK based Diamond Club member you will be unable to earn destinations miles after 27 October 2012. Any destinations miles that remain in your account after this date should be transferred to Avios with the Executive club before 31 December 2012 when the non-UK programme closes.

As a Diamond Club member with a future booking on British Airways, how can I earn Avios and tier points with the Executive Club on my booking?

After 27 October you will no longer be able to earn destinations miles with the Diamond Club, therefore if your Diamond Club number is linked to a future British Airways flight booking you should update your booking with your Executive Club number in order to earn Avios and Tier Points through your Executive Club account instead.

Diamond Club and Executive Club – redeeming

As a Diamond Club member, which airlines can I continue to redeem destinations miles with?

You can continue to redeem destinations miles for flights with bmi, British Airways, Qatar, Jet Airways and Transaero. You will not be able to redeem destinations miles after 27 October, however you will be able to transfer your destinations miles into Avios with the British Airways Executive Club.

As a Diamond Club member, which non-airline partners can I no longer redeem destinations miles with?

You can no longer redeem destinations miles for bmi hotel and Europcar discount vouchers or for treats.

As a Diamond Club member, how do I redeem destinations miles after 27 October?

If you would like to redeem destinations miles after 27 October, you will have to transfer them 1:1 to Avios with the Executive Club. You can then redeem your Avios for flights with British Airways, oneworld airlines and British Airways partner airlines, hotels and car hire.

Diamond Club and Executive Club – transfer tool and tier match

As a Diamond Club member, how do I transfer my destinations miles to Avios?

In order to transfer destinations miles to Avios you must become a member of the Executive Club. Please ensure that the details on your Diamond Club and Executive Club accounts match, including name, email address and date of birth – this will allow us to process your request. To request the transfer you must log into your Executive Club account, select ‘update my details’ from the left hand navigation menu and then select ‘Combine my Avios’ from the list of options on your screen. To complete the request, simply follow the instructions on your screen.

As a UK based Diamond Club member when does my ability to transfer destinations miles to Avios end?

You can continue to transfer destinations miles to Avios until further notice. Please note that you will only be able to collect destinations miles using an MBNA credit card from 27 October onwards. In order to redeem destinations miles collected through your bmi Credit Card account from MBNA after 27 October, you will have to transfer your destinations miles to Avios.

As a non-UK based Diamond Club member you will be unable to check your mileage balance online after 27 October. You can call the Diamond Club to check your mileage balance or you can view your destinations miles balance through your Executive Club account when you use the transfer tool.

As a non-UK based Diamond Club member, when does my ability to transfer destinations miles to Avios end?

You can transfer destinations miles to Avios until 31 December 2012. Any destinations miles remaining in your account after this date will automatically expire when the non-UK programme closes.

As a Diamond Club member, can I transfer my status miles to the Executive Club?

No, status miles are non-transferable. If you hold Gold or Silver Diamond Club tier status British Airways will match your tier within the Executive Club.

As a Gold/Silver Diamond Club member, how do I tier match within the Executive Club?

If you would like to tier match within the Executive Club, you must visit ba.com and complete the online tier match request form. Your request to tier match may take up to 21 working days to be processed. Please note that you must join the Executive Club before you request to tier match if you are not a member already.

As a Gold/Silver Diamond Club member, until when can I request to tier match within the Executive Club?

 You can request to tier match within the Executive Club until 31 December 2012.

As a Gold/Silver Diamond Club member, how long will my tier match within the Executive Club last?

 When you tier match within the Executive Club you will be given your new tier status for the remainder of your existing Executive Club membership year, and the full membership year following.

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The death of BMI’s Diamond Club has been slow. First the Lufthansa group of airlines awards were discontinued, then other Star Alliance carrier ones, Virgin Atlantic was next, and now it is time for the partnership with Qatar Airways to end as well.

Qatar Airways BMI Announcement
Qatar Airways BMI Announcement

This is not a surprise as the BMI is being integrated to British Airways slowly. The end of BMI’s Diamond is soon.

Conclusion

This is not unexpected development but it is worrisome that BMI hasn’t made any announcement about this change. You can find the release about this on Qatar’s website. I would expect the same to apply for BMI as well.

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Last week, I wrote about the ability to transfer miles from BMI Diamond Club to British Airways Avios. The tool was introduced back in July but, at the time, it had some functionality issues that I also  reported. I thought that everything going ok with my transfer. How wrong I was!

ba-bmi-expired

Apparently the miles that I transferred from BMI to BA expired the very same day that the transfer was completed. I have not had any activity on my Executive Club account for years as I have credited all my onewold alliance flights to American Airlines AAdvantage program. The BA’s system incorrectly just expires them.

ba-bmi-problem

I thought that this would be a perfect occasion to test how good BA’s Twitter team is at resolving issues. Sent the above tweet yesterday and should hopefully hear something from BA later today.

Conclusion

BA’s system incorrectly expires miles that are transferred from BMI if you haven’t had any account activity for some time. Not sure why BA has not corrected this issue.

If you have the same issue as I, you need to contact British Airways Executive Club to correct the issue.

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1 Comments

When I tried transferring some of my BMI Diamond Club miles to British Airways Avios back in July, it was an utter failure. The website wouldn’t work at all and the transfer didn’t go through. I predicted that the service would be up and running at some later date.

Now, I would have some use for Avios and decided to try this functionality again.

ba-bmi-account

It is difficult to find the correct option on BA’s website. You need to scroll down once you have logged in to your Executive Club account to find the correct “Combine My Avios” tab.

ba-bmi-combine-iberia

You will then get a screen with British Airways, Iberia, and BMI logos and some text explaining about the Avios. Both British Airways Executive Club and Iberia Plus use Avios as their miles currency.

ba-bmi-combine-2

Once you choose “Combine My Avios” you will get another screen. You need to plug in your BMI Diamond Club account number and the password.

ba-bmi-combine-4

Then you need to decide the number of miles that you would like to move. It shows the number of miles you have in your Executive Club and BMI Diamond Club accounts. In my case the Executive Club account balance is zero.

ba-bmi-transfer-50k

Once you have plugged in the number of miles you will get one more screen that shows the direction and number of miles. You need to confirm this one more time.

ba-bmi-wait

You will see the “Please wait a moment” interstitial for few seconds.

ba-bmi-successful

And if you combine was successful you will shortly see a confirmations screen.

ba-bmi-transfer-email

You will receive two emails two; one from British Airways and another one from BMI.

ba-bmi-avios-ec-status

When you go back to your Executive account the transferred miles are already there and ready for use.

Conclusion

At least the transfer tool moving BMI Diamond Club miles to British Airways Executive Club Avios is now working. Unless you have use for BA Avios there is no need to initiate the transfer before the Diamond Club is finally laid to rest. This should happen sometime later this year.

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It is not surprising that the partnership with BMI and Virgin Atlantic is coming to an end on August 31st, 2012 as most of BMI’s flights are transitioning to British Airways, a bitter rival of Virgin Atlantic. The operations of the BMI are slowly winding down.

virgin-bmi-end

Virgin Atlantic just updated their partner page to include information about the ending of the partnership. You can no longer book awards on BMI using Flying Club miles past the August 31st. All existing award and paid tickets will be honored past September 1st, however.

From September 1st onwards you can no longer collect Virgin Atlantic Flying Club miles on BMI flights.

There has been no communication from BMI about their partnership with Virgin Atlantic, but it is probably ending on August 31st, 2012 as well. It is unclear, however, if you can still book Virgin Atlantic flights using BMI Diamond Club miles beyond August 31st.

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10 Comments

British Airways and BMI announced back in May that you could transfer BMI Diamond Club miles to British Airways Avios and vice versa starting on July 3rd, 2012. BMI just sent an email explaining the process.

bmi-ba-avios-transfer

I already did the status transfer from BMI (Gold) to British Airways (Gold) last month and that process was flawless, although not instantaneous. The status transfer took only few days. I decided to check out, how I could transfer some Diamond Club miles to Avios now that the transfer too is up and running.

ba-manage-my-avios

First, I had some trouble finding the “Combine My Avios” link on my “Manage My Account” section of BA’s website.

ba-avios-combine

The screen informing about the process was very straightforward and I decided to proceed.

ba-bmi-avios-transfer

Next I was prompted to fill out my BMI Diamond Club number and associated password. And then I was hoping for the best….

ba-avios-transfer-not-found

Here the problems started. The BA’s website just returned page not found-error message.

ba-avios-combine-unsuccesful

Decided to try again. This time combining Avios not available-error message popped up.

ba-avios-combine-unsuccesful-open

I thought that for sure BA and BMI had tested this few times before releasing and was presented yet another error message. This time my combining Avios was supposedly already open.

ba-avios-non-working-explorer

Maybe the problem was Firefox? No. Internet Explorer returned the 404 page as well.

Oh well. Nothing happening around BMI and BA can surprise me at this point. I am sure that the tool will be up in a day or two, but getting this right from the get-go shouldn’t have been too big of a task.

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1 Comments

British Airways announced back in April that they would tier match BMI Diamond Club members to BA’s Executive Club. You can also start transferring BMI Diamond Club miles and BA Avios between accounts starting early July. Later in the year BMI Diamond Club will most likely cease to exist and the Diamond Club miles will turn to Avios.

I had a dilemma back in May. My Diamond Club year was soon over, and due to uncertainty with the situation surrounding the BMI, I hadn’t credited that many flights into the program. My status was downgraded to Silver sometime earlier in the year. After BA announced the tier matching, I decided to credit enough flights to BMI to make it back Gold. Having BA Gold, which is the highest Oneworld alliance status, can come handy at times due to a first class check in and lounge access regardless of the ticketed cabin.

So, after I got my BMI Diamond Gold status back, I decided to do the tier match with BA. This was very straightforward. I just filled a simple form after being logged in to my BA Executive Club account.

ba-bmi-tier-matching

It then prompted that it would take up to 21 days for Executive Club to confirm my BMI status, and another 28 days to receive my BA Gold credentials. Also, BA would email me about tier match success.

ba-bmi-tier-confirmation

I am not exactly sure when the upgrade of my Executive Club happened, but when I logged in yesterday it already indicated the Gold status. The whole process took less than five days. No emails from BA, however.

ba-gold

As you can see, I haven’t really had too much activity on my Executive Club account lately. I had to convert one Hyatt stay from last year from points to BA miles to get the expired points reinstated once the stay hits my account.

Overall, this process was very easy. I am somewhat surprised, however, that it appears that BA gave the Gold status for basically two years. Great!

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BMI Diamond Club Silver and Gold members were able to take advantage of the Star Alliance wide status benefits until the end of May.  Also, if you have a Silver or Gold status with BMI Diamond Club, British Airways is doing a status transfer to similar level on their Executive Club.

Now that there are no Star Alliance benefits extended to Diamond Club members, it is time to explore status match opportunities with the Star Alliance carriers. I have already written about SAS offer for China/Hong Kong for Eurobonus Silver or Gold status that is valid until 2014. This is not limited to just BMI, but open to all. I used my Emirates Skywards Gold status.

ac-bmi-match

There hasn’t been a Star Alliance status match offer for only BMI Diamond Club members before today. Canada’s Air Canada just started a status math program to their Aeroplan.

ac-bmi-match-chart

You have from June 15th to July 15th, 2012 to submit the required proof of your BMI Diamond Club status to Aeroplan by email to statusmatch.canada@aeroplan.com. Here are the instructions from Air Canada:

Submit your request between June 15 to July 15 2012, by email with the following information:

  • Your full name
  • Your current Diamond Club membership number
  • Your Aeroplan number. Don’t have one? Sign up now.
  • A scanned copy of your current bmi Diamond Club membership card. Please make sure the name, status and expiry date are clearly visible.
  • Your consent to the Terms and Conditions related to this offer.

The drawback is that the status is only going to be valid for the current membership year per the terms of this offer. To maintain the elite status with Air Canada you also need to have either 5 segments or 10K elite qualifying miles flown on Air Canada. The threshold for Star Alliance silver is at 25K EQM’s and for Star Alliance Gold 35K EQM.

ac-status-requirements

You can read more about Air Canada’s program on their website. I am going to put my status match in later today and will keep you updates about the process.

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2 Comments

The last day to redeem for Star Alliance awards using BMI Diamond Club miles is May 31st, 2012 that is this coming Thursday. You cannot voluntarily amend any bookings after this date. Most likely they will have some sort of facility in place for involuntarily changes when an airline drops the route or changes the flight times drastically.

bmi-star-exit

I would encourage trying to get the bookings in as early in the week or this weekend as possible. Back in April before the Lufthansa group of airlines became unavailable for award bookings, it was borderline impossible to get through in the last two days. This will probably happen again this time around as well.

I will probably spend this weekend trying to get my travel plans together for the rest of the year. There will be some trips where using BMI Diamond Club miles would be the best choice.

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British Midland is winding down its operations as BA bought it back in April. You can still redeem BMI Diamond Club miles for Star Alliance flights excluding Lufthansa Group (Lufthansa, Swiss, Austrian and Brussels Airlines) until the end of May. As a matter of fact, I need to get last few redemption bookings in rather sooner than later.

buy-bmi-miles-may-2012

BMI just emailed an offer to buy Diamond Club miles and they will throw in 20% extra. During the sale 24K BMI Diamond Club miles will set you back 255 GBP that is around $400. Note that there is no special link for this offer. It will show up automatically, when you go and buy the miles.

buy-bmi-miles-may-2012-points

Later in the summer you can freely transfer BMI Diamond Club miles to British Airways Avios. You can think of this BMI offer as if you are buying Avios, if you happen to need more after beginning of July.

There are great bargains from Europe to burn BMI miles to places like Maldives that I wrote about, and for intra-Asia/Pacific C/F. You will pay hefty fuel surcharges, but the number of miles needed is much lower compared to other programs.

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1 Comments

British Airways bought BMI back in April. The airline withdraw from the Star Alliance on that date, but the Star Alliance benefits i.e. lounge access and extra luggage allowance as well the ability to earn and redeem on Star Alliance except Lufthansa Group of airlines will continue until the end of May.

Now, you can transfer your BMI Diamond Club status Silver/Gold to British Airways Executive Club Silver/Gold status. BMI and BA haven’t publicized how long this offer will last, but I would expect it to go to the very end of BMI’s existence that is at least to the end of October.

bmi-ba-executive-club

You need to fill out the form on BA’s website and include your BMI Diamond Club as well as your BA Executive Club numbers. BA will then confirm the status of your BMI account and match it to the Silver or Gold level.

ba-bmi-form

The BMI status transfer to BA is valid for 12 months. If you apply i.e. after 8th of May the status will be valid until the end of June the following year. You lose a month if you apply between the first of month and 8th. You need to qualify for the BA status on your own during the membership year period.

BA’s Silver is comparable to AA’s Platinum status (Oneworld Sapphire). It will give you access to business class check in desks and lounge access if you are ticketed in economy. BA Gold is comparable to AA Executive Platinum (Oneworld Emerald). You will get first class check in and first class lounge access regardless of the ticketed cabin.

Star Alliance doesn’t have equivalent status to Oneworld Emerald. Star Alliance Gold i.e. BMI Diamond Club Gold is closed to Oneworld Sapphire status than Emerald.

I am still crediting some Star Alliance flights to BMI’s program and expect to make it back to Gold before the end of the month. I will do the status transfer to BA’s Executive Club later in the year. I have lifetime Platinum status with AA that gives me the Oneworld Sapphire benefits.

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Star Alliance has now also released an announcement about the BMI’s exit from the alliance. The BMI is no longer an alliance member, but the Star Alliance benefits will continue until the end of May for both BMI and other carrier fliers on each other’s metal.

Here’s the announcement that you probably should print out and carry with you just in case.

bmi-star-alliance-press-release

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3 Comments

The deal between the Lufthansa and IAG, the parent of British Airways and Iberia, closed yesterday. Today is the first day that the British Airways is in control of the BMI and the following announcement about the future of the BMI’s Diamond was just emailed:

bmi-announcement-top

bmi-announcement-bottom

Based on the previous announcements made by Lufthansa, BMI, and Asiana, I already predicted earlier that the Star Alliance status & ability to earn and burn on Star Alliance carriers (excluding Lufthansa group of airlines) would stay in place until the end of May. This was the case.

The new twist was the instant equivalent status in BA’s Executive Club for BMI Diamond Club members, and the ability to transfer Diamond Club miles and Avios points between accounts starting from July.

Also, the partnership with other airlines including Virgin Atlactic, BA’s bitter rival, will stay in place for now.

I would encourage everybody to take advantage of status match opportunity from SAS.

BMI has a very useful timeline on their website:

bmi-timeline

Overall, I think that this is an amicable solutions for winding BMI Diamond Club down. BA matches status and you can freely transfer your Diamond Club miles to Avios. Eventually BMI Diamond Club will cease to exists and merges to Executive Club.

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