Don’t worry British Midland, the irony isn’t lost on me!
British Midland just updated their membership benefits page to add the following:
Please note, we are implementing a “status freeze”, which means that until further notice no Diamond Club members will be downgraded from their tier level as at 14 June 2012.
Cool, so basically everyone’s British Midland status stays intact until the program dies, which is probably pretty soon. Admittedly this isn’t especially useful since Diamond Club is more or less a dead program given that they don’t presently belong to any “alliance.”
At the same time British Midland made the following announcement:
British Airways does not currently offer a lifetime status or set of lifetime benefits for their Gold customers and as such, Diamond Club Lifetime Gold members will be tier matched at Executive Club Gold for a minimum of one year.
So those that did earn lifetime status by maintaining top tier status with British Midland for 10 consecutive years get… nothing.
Even though I’m young, this is exactly the reason I stopped caring about lifetime status a long time ago. If a company liquidates then sure, they don’t have to “honor” lifetime status, because there’s nothing to honor. But I’m rather sick of companies that are merging or being taken over for the purpose of “maximizing shareholder value” not honoring benefits they promised their customers in exchange for a lot of loyalty. Sadly I suspect it’s a trend we’ll continue to see as more and more consolidation happens in the industry.