It's the end of an era for UK frequent-flyers: British Airways has announced that effective November 30, it will shutter the venerable Diamond Club loyalty programme. At that point, members will no longer be able to earn Avios points on their MBNA Diamond Club credit cards - and if they don't proactively transfer their points to the British Airways' Executive Club, they'll lose them.
Long regarded as one of the most lucrative frequent-flyer programmes in the UK, Diamond Club will be missed by its longtime members, who could earn up to two destination miles for every GBP1 spent on the Diamond Club credit card and also earned 10% off British Airways flights. Over at LoyaltyLobby, commentator John Ollila sounds the eulogy:
"BMI's Diamond Club was the richest frequent flier programme that I have ever come across, although it was quite a PITA trying to book awards with their call centre in India. You needed to be persistent and know the award availability before you called in."
The loyalty message boards in the UK are rife with recriminations on the end of Diamond Club. Given the grumbles, it appears that British Airways punted on a number of exit-strategy best practices: they gave members too short notice of the programme's end; they failed to practice targeted generosity by giving longtime members extra time to burn their points; and they're making members do the work to transfer points instead of doing it for them. A disappointing transition for British Airways - here's hoping Diamond Club members will continue to find value with the airline.