Qantas Platinum Status – Got it again! Guide
Content of this Post:
NOT an offical Guide
I’ve just had my platinum status extended for another year, I thought it a good time to remind readers of the official and unofficial benefits of achieving Qantas Platinum/OneWorld Emerald Frequent Flyer status.
This is not an official guide to the benefits or otherwise of gaining Qantas Platinum Frequent Flyer status. In fact, its the opposite. It’s the undocumented benefits I have noticed about service from Qantas since I attained Platinum status.
Let’s start with a summary of the official benefits . . .
The Official Benefits
Here is a quick summary of the listed benefits of the Qantas Platinum tier of Frequent Flyer membership:
- Priority check-in
- Priority baggage on Qantas, regardless of your class of travel
- Extra checked baggage allowance
- Priority boarding
- 100% more Qantas Points
- Loyalty bonuses
- Priority International upgrades
- Additional access to some Classic Flight Reward seats
- Priority Economy seat purchase for two
- Preferred seating
- Domestic business lounge access before or after your flight
- Guest access to lounges for 2 guests
- Business and First Lounge access – including OneWorld member lounges
- Status Hold – Parental Leave benefit
- All the benefits of OneWorld Emerald Status
The Unofficial Benefits
Below is my list of unofficial benefits of being a Qantas Platinum Status Frequent Flyer Member. The list is compiled, either because of direct experience or through the experience of others:
Booking seats – the 80 hour rule – ‘T-80’
The first two rows in economy on a Qantas Boeing 737-800, (rows 4 & 5) are reserved for Premium flyers. That’s Chairman’s Club and Platinum One members to select. About 3 days out, or 80 hours to be exact, those seats become available to all passengers. This has become so well known amongst frequent flyers that someone has even produced a little T-80 online calculator. You just plug in the dates and times, and it calculates what time 80 hours is before your flight time.
I do this regularly and then set an alarm for that time in my digital calendar.
The advantage of row 4
The advantage of rows 4 and 5, is that they are at the front of the Economy Cabin. Cabin staff are aware premium passengers travel in those two rows so you may get a bit of extra service/attention. I’ve in the past received a glass of business-class wine or champagne. Premium frequent flyers in these rows are granted a ‘shadow’ seat if Platinum status or above. That is where Qantas will leave the middle seat free if passenger loadings will allow. If the plane is full, then these empty ‘shadow’ seats will disappear.
Row 4 is also desirable as it has more legroom than other economy rows. The extra pitch also makes it much easier if you are completing work on your computer. Normal economy seats barely have sufficient pitch for you to open your laptop with the screen at an acceptable angle. Forget it if the passenger in front decides to recline their seat. The downside is that Row 4 seats are less wide since the tray tables are stored in the solid armrests. You also don’t get seatback entertainment, but then this is not offered in all domestic configurations anyway.
Although in the published benefits, you are promised priority for upgrades on international flights, they do not mention domestic upgrades. My experience is that you get priority here as well.
I have requested 4 domestic upgrades recently and got three of them. Previously, I requested upgrades for two seats on SYD-PER and one on PER-ADL (Sydney to Perth, and Perth to Adelaide). All were granted, and I was even notified about 3 days out. When I severed my booking with my husband who is only Gold Status (changed travel plans) – he did not get an upgrade on the PER-SYD, whereas I did on my rebooked PER-ADL.
Due to traffic and potential complications of bad weather, I got to the airport a couple of hours early, intending to work in the lounge. On check in, I was immediately offered an earlier flight, that was in the process of boarding, but was told that only middle seats were available. I declined the offer because – I hate middle seats, and if there was a delay or cancellation to my booked flight – there was still a later flight available. On another occasion, when a flight was cancelled, I was instantly re-booked, on the next available flight, and my points upgrade to business respected.
In flight recognition
On most flights since achieving my Platinum Status, and even during the height of the pandemic, I have had the flight manager come up to me and acknowledge my status, and ask if there is anything I wanted, or they could do for me. Sometimes this has been a little ‘by-the-book’ but other times it has been warm and felt genuine. Its also made asking for that extra wine easier! This pleasentry seems to have diminished since COVID. It seems to rarely happen unless I am sitting in Business Class.
Premium Passenger phone assistance
When I need to deal with the frequent flyer call centre, and have entered my member number, I have invariably been referred to the premium Australian call centre in Hobart. They have the most competent consultants at Qantas. In a recent example it took me three calls before I got Martin in Hobart.
One call, I think went to New Zealand judging by accent, and they did link two bookings, but incorrectly told me that I could select seats for both passengers once the link was processed. I finally got on to Martin in Hobart, who told me the advice I was given was incorrect. Confirmed that the bookings had been linked, and then correctly reserved my seats. We also had a nice conversation where I was treated like an informed frequent flyer. Although he couldn’t access Row 4 for me, the Australian premium call centre seems to have a little more discretion, and a can-do attitude to passenger issues. They swiftly dealt with flight changes when I needed to separate and re-route a domestic flight so I could attend a friends mother’s funeral.
2PAXfly Take Out
Several times in my life, I have had prolonged periods of solo domestic travel several times a week on my own.
Much as I like flying, I find being regularly in the air on my own, isolating and often lonely and dispiriting.
The small touches of recognition and the priority for upgrades have taken some of the drudgeries out of this kind of constant flying. It is the unexpected small acts of kindness like a word of recognition, or offering to hang your suit bag or coat, or gesturing for you to head through to the business class toilet – when you are heading for the economy toilets at the back of the plane – that induce loyalty. They also bring back a bit of humanity to that isolating life of travel.
On the other hand, it is the incidental discourtesies such as that exhibited by the Qantas Mean Girl, that can destroy that loyalty in one act.
I hope Qantas slowly restores some of these kindnesses, as it recovers and restaffs
Have you experienced any undocumented benefit of being a Qantas Platinum Frequent Flyer?