web Musings of The Global Traveller

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

More changes at bmi and Diamond Club

bmi has announced some changes to UK and Ireland product and to their frequent flyer program Diamond Club (a favourite among many on Flyer Talk for the ease of getting elite status and the generous redemption rates).

From 27 January 2010, business class on UK domestic and Ireland flights will be replaced with Flexible Economy. The main changes here are that business class mileage will not be earned unless crediting to Diamond Club (and then only while they have special earning rate), seating is no longer 3-2, higher rate of APD tax will no longer apply (because there will no longer be a separate business cabin), and heavily discounted business class fares are gone.

Passengers who have business class tickets should not only get the extra APD refunded (as advised in the bmi notice), but also 30% refund of the fare as compensation for the downgrade under EU regulation 261/2004.

Also on UK domestic and Ireland flights the free meal for passengers with bmi elite status is gone. This was a prime differentiation with Aer Lingus on the Dublin to London route for example, and so the removal is rather unpopular.

The other change announced was that Blue Plus status will be removed. As this status provided few benefits other than the free meal which is now removed, this makes sense. The Wandering Aramean thinks the closure of Diamond Club will not be long in coming.

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