Qantas: the hidden perks of platinum for award redemptions
Earlier this year, before the devaluation of some Qantas frequent flyer redemptions, I booked business class airfares to Denpasar, Bali for May 2020. May/June is when I and the husband start getting itchy feet, or just need a flop and drop so we can catch up on the bedside tower-of-books that remain unread.
I could find direct fares out of Sydney on a Qantas A330 with proper Business Class flatbeds, but not out of Denpasar for the return leg to Sydney.
Return via Melbourne
I ended up redeeming for a return flight to Melbourne, with a connection on to Sydney. That was not the worst, however. The worst aspect was that the return flight was on a B737, which only have recliner seats, and this would be an overnight flight.
Oh well, I thought, it’s not that long and it’s the return leg, back to our own beds. This is total crap. Even the direct flight on a B737 in recliner seats is sleepless torture, not to mention having to negotiate a transfer in Melbourne.
Ask and you shall receive
Yesterday, I had a half-hour free and thought: Maybe it’s worth giving the premium service desk a call and asking if we can change to a direct flight to Sydney. The worst that could happen is that they say ‘no’.
So, I hit the phone.
I thought I should show some flexibility – so I was prepared to take a flight a day earlier, the same day, or a day later.
I spoke to an – as usual – helpful consultant, who said she would ‘put in a request’. The request was approved immediately. All I needed was to ‘pay’ the standard change fee of 5,000 Qantas FF points per person which I was happy to do. Except, I was a few points short since I had already redeemed everything before the points devaluation.
Fortunately, my husband still has a healthy points balance, so it just took a few moments to transfer the points from his FF account to mine to complete the transaction. I then called the premium service desk again, and the consultant processed the change and points charges while I was on the line. It took 10 to 15 minutes, but, hey – we are now on a direct return flight, woohoo!
What I was not expecting, is the saving on airport associated charges which amounted to close on AU$150 per person. So I changed to a better flight, paid a small points fine and got cash back!
I don’t know why I didn’t think of this earlier.
‘Preferred seating and preferential access to selected Qantas Classic Flight Reward seatsQantas Benefits of Platinum
On selected flights, preferential access for Platinum members may be above the access available to Gold, Silver and Bronze members9.’
Now, this, I always thought applied to what I saw as bookable online. Now, I think it applies to an attitude around premium status, and there is a difference in what are explicit benefits of status, and what are informal benefits.
Thanks, Qantas! Boy, I will miss these perks if I lose my Platinum status. All the more reason to try and retain it. Sucked in! Which I suppose is the whole point of loyalty.