After roughly two decades since British Airways pulled their Executive Club membership from Australia and New Zealand, frequent flyers with an address in either of these two countries can sign up again.
BAEC pulled the plug on memberships and new member enrollments in the early 2000s and directed AUS/NZ customers (even their own flyers) to sign up with Qantas Frequent Flyer instead.
I never understood this move why British Airways purposely turned people away and sent them to the competition even though they fly BA metal and even during the time I lived in the region I had to use a foreign address to obtain BA Gold for the first time.
Back then they gave everyone a three week warning that mileage accounts would be closed and they stopped taking new applicants. Instead a message was displayed to sign up with Qantas Frequent Flyer.
Despite the two airlines having a tight relationship that never made sense to me. With most oneWorld programs you need 2-4 flight segments on the respective carrier to even have the ability to get bumped up to an elite tier. Like with BA you need 4 segments for Gold or otherwise you won’t get the tier level even if you the necessary tier points from flying partner airlines.
Most people I know in Australia and New Zealand ended up moving their accounts overseas to remain active.
Now you can officially move back:
It’s sort of baffling why this change comes about now, during a global pandemic and while both AUS and NZ have become hermit kingdoms. Qantas walked away from the partnership with BA 8 years ago and instead decided to knit a close alliance with Emirates that we covered multiple times.
I’d have expected that during that time BAEC would reopen to the South Pacific but nope, nothing happened all these years until now.
Signing up for BAEC has some advantages. Most notably the amount of tier points required to obtain elite status is smaller than competing programs. Of course you have to actually fly BA to make it work. This includes BA codeshare flights like Melbourne-Sydney and then hop on a BA flight to Singapore from there. The route isn’t currently operating for obvious reasons.
Australian and New Zealand residents can now officially sign up for the British Airways Executive Club again without needing to resort to tactics such as using a friends overseas address. This was disabled since the early 2000s – almost two decades.
Remember that signing up for BAEC and attempting to obtain an elite tier with that FFP requires you to fly/post several segments under a BA flight number. I have successfully avoided BA for years now since I discovered some great flights that can be booked under a BA codeshare such as Tokyo-Frankfurt on JAL and Frankfurt-Dallas on American. Qantas used to have some good codeshares too.