QANTAS: Frequent flyer status boost
Qantas has kept in mind the loyalty of its most lucrative customers throughout this COVID-19 pandemic, and the phoenix-like rebirth of Virgin Australia.
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Previously . . .
It has already given loyal customers a 12-month extension to their current tier status level whether it be Silver, Gold, Platinum or Platinum One. This was granted on 30 March 2020.
Availability of Classic Flight Rewards on domestic and trans-Tasman routes has also been increased for the rest of 2020.
But wait, there’s more
Today, Qantas has announced a number of additional COVID-19 related status benefits for frequent flyers:
Boost status credits
Because no one is flying at the moment, and if they are, it’s not on the more status lucrative long haul flights. To compensate for that, Qantas is effectively lowering the status credits required for each status tier. They are achieving this by granting all status tier holders, silver and greater, 50% of the required status credits to maintain their current tier status. So, you will automatically be granted status credits according to your current tier as set out below.
These benefits apply to all who have tier status that would expire between March 2021and February 2022, given the 12-month extension already granted. They even apply to members on Lifetime Status, Status Hold, those who have received complimentary Gold, or complimentary Platinum membership from a Platinum One member.
These boost credits, are just like if you had earned them, as they also contribute towards reaching the various levels of Lifetime tier status. However, these ‘boost’ status credits will not contribute towards other bonuses like Loyalty Bonus, Platinum Bonus Reward and Platinum One Bonus Reward.
If you choose to take your Loyalty Bonus as status credits (50 per 500 status credits earned) they will now also count towards reaching/retaining Platinum One, but only until 31 December 2021.
Your status boost will be awarded based on when your extended status is due to expire. See the chart below:
Status credit support (but only for some)
If you are like me, you will already have received your 12 month status tier extension. Mine, for instance, extends until July 2021. Qantas is recognising that the pandemic flying restrictions have affected members differently according to when their status expires. Because of that, they are offering these support points to all frequent flyers with Silver status and above.
This credit support will be provided from July to September 2020. The table below indicates how many status credits you will receive as support – according to your status.
If your status end date is between March and August 2021 (that’s me!), then you are eligible for this Status credit support.
If you reach a higher status after 14 July 2020 and your new status end date is after August 2021, you won’t be eligible for the support until September 2020.
Take me as an example
My extended status will expire in July 2021, so I will get 5 months of 50 status credits (did I tell you, I’m platinum?), so 250 status credits, on top of my 600 status credit boost, making a total of 850 status credits. That means I will only need to earn another 350 status credits in the next 12 months to retain Platinum. That is going to be really hard to do without international travel. To achieve that, I would need to complete more than 17 Sydney-Adelaide trips or 9 return Sydney-Adelaide trips in business!
Other ways to earn additional status
You can earn up to 125 status credits through Qantas Hotels if you book a qualifying Qantas Luxury offer. You will also get a rebate of 5,000 points if you book a 3-night minimum Points Plus Pay hotel booking. And the points required have also decreased by 20%, as long as they’re not classic hotel rewards.
More ways to burn points
Qantas is also promising to organise more ‘Points Planes’, that is flights where you can only get a ticket by redeeming points. Details are yet to be announced, but should emerge in the coming months.
Better ways to plan points trips
Qantas is developing something they are calling ‘Dream Planner’ to be launched on 28 July 2020. This new digital tool uses real-time data and notifications to tell members about reward seat availability, including special offers to preferred destinations. This could be interesting to see, and a bold improvement to redeeming points for flights.
Change and cancellation fees waived on points bookings
If you are using points to book Classic Flight Rewards bookings on Qantas Group flights, then you won’t be charged change or cancellation fees through until 31 October 2020. If you combine these flights with non-classic flight reward fares, then you won’t be eligible for the change or cancel fee waiver.
The aviation industry has a difficult road ahead when it comes to sustainability. It’s going to require a relative revolution in technology, with ‘electric planes’ or hydrogen planes, or some form of jet engine that doesn’t require a carbon based fuel. And that is going to require the development of an alternative to jet engines probably.
It’s a big ask. It will take time to develop.
This move to home grown and manufactured SAF is a first step – maybe even a baby step in a very long road of innovation. In the long run, US$200 million won’t even touch the sides.
These are all welcome moves by Qantas, even if just as good PR.
If flying domestically, and more particularly internationally is going to be as slow in recovery as Qantas are predicting, then even these generous status credit and points concessions are not going to be enough for many frequent flyer members to retain or improve their tier status.
You can read more on the details of Qantas COVID-19 related changes to Status Credits here.
What do you think? Will they work for you to retain or increase status?
What did you say?