British Airways Executive Club frequent flyers have their airmiles grounded
Lengthy 'improvements' turn into a TITSUP* for Club members - though you can still book a flight
Updated UK airline, British Airways, is improving its Executive Club frequent flyer programme by, er, removing access.
The company told loyal customers: "From the afternoon of 13 November 2021 until the morning of 17 November 2021 (GMT), you'll be unable to log in to your Executive Club account or spend your Avios online or by contacting us" – but as of today, things continued to be down. And just in time for the easing of travel restrictions, too.
Exactly what British Airways was and is still doing during this time is unclear. Attempts to login are greeted with a terse "We're improving the Executive Club", although having flown on the airline, we hesitate to think what those improvements might be.
After all, it recently dispensed with complimentary inflight catering on short-haul flights in favour of having its cheerful cabin crew charge passengers for Marks & Spencer sandwiches. Still, it's an improvement on having an aircraft squirt plane-juice into one's lap, as experienced by this hack on one of the company's elderly Boeing 777s.
British Airways and IT competence are words that rarely seem to appear in the same sentence, as evidenced by incidents such the great 2018 data blurt, in which the airline's systems were compromised for over two weeks.
Register reader David, a member of the Executive Club or, as he put it, "just another member that's noticed how rubbish their IT is," pointed out the problem.
Other users took to the forums to remark on the woes. One remarked: "Anyone who works in IT will be killing themselves laughing at a scheduled outage of nearly 4 days! For any modern business it's just unthinkable being offline for that long.
"Speaks volumes as to the God-awful mess their backend systems and processes must be in."
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Harsh. But, if one has ever found oneself at the sharp, pointy end of British Airways' systems, fair. Even non-customer facing systems tend to totter occasionally – in 2018 flights were grounded after loading systems fell over.
The Register contacted British Airways to check what has befallen its Executive Club, but the company has yet to respond.
In the meantime, we can console ourselves that, along with a return to travel, there is also a return to the good, old fashioned, BA cockup. ®
* Total Inability To Spend User Points
Updated at 10.41 UTC on 19 November 2021 to add:
British Airways sent us a statement: "Planned improvements to Executive Club took a little longer than expected, members can now access their Executive Club account through the BA app and ba.com."
It gave no detail on why it took longer.