I just received a rather beautiful and paradoxically sad yet uplifting email from British Airways. But it is heavy on fluff and light on details.
Here’s the letter:
Dear Mr. Klint,
For only the second time in our 100-year history, (the first being during the Second World War), the majority of our British Airways aircraft have now touched down in London, leaving just a small fleet flying to bring people home to their loved ones and to deliver critical supplies to countries and people in need.
As borders continue to close and the world comes to a temporary standstill, we wanted to extend our heartfelt thanks to you for your incredible support of British Airways and our crews, and to send our warmest thoughts to you and to those who may be suffering at the hands of this unexpected crisis.
As difficult as it has been for our teams and our customers, we stand together. Our business stands on strong foundations. At its heart are many thousands of colleagues who care passionately about the airline, Britain and the nations and customers we serve.
An incredible new global community has emerged from the situation we find ourselves in and that is something for us all to feel proud of. Hundreds of thousands of people have volunteered their services to help organisations around the world, so too have many of our own people, and for that we are proud and grateful. While many of our aircraft remain on the ground, we will take inspiration from the heroes who are working on the front line and we will continue to serve Britain as best we can.
Sadly, we know that now is not the time to travel. We don’t know when it will be, but we do know that when our aircraft are cleared for take-off once again, it will be epic. Families will be reunited, the wheels of industry will start turning again and when they do, we’ll be ready, to fly and to serve.
Until then, from our family to yours, thank you and we wish you well.
Chairman and CEO, British Airways
Really, it’s a nice note. But while airlines have around the world have offered status extensions through 2021, British Airways has been strangely silent.
In late March, British Airways did reduce tier point thresholds and extended gold upgrade and companion vouchers. But since then, silence until now. And while the note is paradoxically depressing and uplifting, it doesn’t answer the question most have been waiting for: will BA also extend status?
Now I tend to agree with the analysis One Mile at a Time put forward on why American Airlines is also dragging its feet…there’s no need to rush it and I expect it will happen. Ideally, British Airways is coming up with a scheme that not only extends status but incentivizes travelers to continue to fly BA in 2020 once travel resumes.
Still, I’m sure I’m not the only one who saw that email and immediately clicked on it, assuming BA would finally announce status extensions.
It seems we will have to wait a bit longer for that…