Whine Wednesday: Late Arriving Elite Renewal Packages – New BAEC Card Arrives Two Months After Previous Expiry Date!

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Our Whine Wednesday this week is about new elite tier cards that often arrive extremely late, sometimes months after the old card expired.

Airlines still sometimes require to see physical cards in order to allow access to airport lounges even though the status is printed on the boarding pass already.

British Airways has a really strange schedule of sending out their renewal packages which is something I experienced for three years in a row now.

I re-qualified for my BA Gold in late November, the membership year ends on January 6th and the expiry date of the previous card was 02-2018.

British Airways didn’t even send out the new card until March as the letter shows:

The whole package then took an additional two weeks to arrive and was delivered in mid April at the earliest (i just got back from a two week trip so can’t put an exact date of delivery on it).

Not sure what’s the point of this delay because the customer should always have a current membership card to avoid issues for lounge entries and simply for practical reasons.

Conclusion

Nowadays most airlines allow access based on the status printed on the boarding pass which is simply scanned for entry purposes. Cathay Pacific still prints ‘Lounge Entry Invitations’ upon check-in which makes showing a physical card also redundant.

There are instances however where having the card is useful, for example if you’re on a ticket that doesn’t credit anything to BAEC because it’s a cheap fare bucket but you still want to use the First Class facilities while using another program to collect the miles (Malaysia Airlines is notorious for this).

I suggest to download a digital card if the program offers it and see if the partner airline accepts it if ever asked to present proof of status.

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