Yes, it has happened! As I had predicted in my last post, BMI has announced that in parallel with it’s exit from Star Alliance, it will allow for BMI Diamond Club Destination miles to be transferred to British Airways Executive Club Avios and vice versa. While the two programs have not been merged, they are now equal partners. BA is also reciprocating status between the two programs and allowing privileges like lounge access to each others Elite members. Full OneWorld membership is coming soon too, for sure.
The official date of exit from Star Alliance is also today, but BMI members will still get Star Alliance status recognized and have the ability to earn or redeem miles till May 31st. This is good as it leaves no one in limbo.
Here are some excerpts from the announcement today:
I’m writing to advise you of some important changes to the Diamond Club programme following the sale of bmi to IAG, the owner of British Airways, on 20 April 2012.
As a result, there are some key changes to your Diamond Club membership, which I would like to outline below, which also includes an invitation from British Airways.
Announcement of bmi’s exit from Star Alliance
A new partnership with British Airways
Business as usual for Diamond Club
1. bmi’s exit from Star Alliance
I’d firstly like to advise that from 20 April bmi will no longer be a member of Star Alliance.
2. A new partnership with British Airways
You will also be able to transfer your destinations miles to Executive Club Avios points at a rate of 1:1. British Airways will also be offering Executive Club customers the ability to transfer from Executive Club Avios points into destinations miles at a rate of 1:1. For example 100 destinations miles could be transferred into 100 Avios points and vice versa.
We are creating an online tool that will allow Diamond Club and Executive Club customers to undertake transfers, which will be available from 3 July 2012. We will contact you nearer that date to explain how the tool will work and how to access it.
While I am sad to see BMI leave Star Alliance – I would have rather seen them stay as a full member of the Lufthansa Group – their alliance with BA and hopefully soon with OneWorld is welcome. I would hated to see them die as an airline.