|by Jason Steele|
Last week, I let you know about an offer from BMI to give you free “Diamond” status. While you may never fly BMI, or perhaps you might not have even heard of them (AKA British Midlands International airlines), their membership in the Star Alliance meant that having status with them would equate to status with other Star Alliance members such as United, Continental, and US Airways.
I just received the following email:
We’re pleased to see that you recently joined our Diamond Club frequent flyer programme. However, I’m writing to you because unfortunately the link you used to join was an exclusive by invitation only offer and as noted in our terms and conditions was non transferable.
Regrettably, we will not be honouring the Silver status, and over the next few days your account will be downgraded to Blue status. Our decision is final, and we won’t be entering into any further correspondence on this. On a positive note though, our frequent flyer programme is one of the most generous programmes around, and you only need to earn 16,000 membership status miles to earn a Silver membership. When you fly with us, or any of the Star Alliance airlines, you’ll reach Silver status in no time at all. You’ll also have access to all our offers and promotions, as well as being the first to hear about our great sale fares. We hope you’ll still enjoy the benefits of your Diamond Club membership.
Diamond Club Manager
What A Load Of Rubbish
If BMI screwed up this offer, they should still honor it for those who signed up. People make mistakes all the time when booking travel, and the industry largely says “Tough Crap”. At the same time, travel companies, especially airlines, constantly make errors of their own. When they do, they should own up to their mistakes and honor them for the customers who signed up in good faith. Delta, for all its faults, did this a few years ago when they offered a promotion that they later claimed was a mistake.
It is not like they offered some intercontinental airfare for $15 instead of $1,500, they merely offered a virtual good, status. They could easily honor their promotion if they had an ounce of integrity. In fact, newly appointed members with status might actually consider flying BMI, resulting in a worthwhile promotion.
I am embarrassed that I recommended that people trust BMI and their website. This could have been a win for everyone involved, instead it exposes BMI and Keely Downing as bumbling, inept, and dishonest.
I apologize to you, my readers, on their behalf.