Top-tier Qantas frequent fliers can avoid the dreaded downgrade after the airline announced they will be able to keep their status for an additional year by booking one eligible flight.
While frequent flyer miles are always appreciated, the main game for serious travellers is the status levels, which provide benefits such as lounge access, upgrades, and preferential treatment on partner airlines.
Qantas has five membership levels, starting with Bronze, which many casual flyers are familiar with, and progressing to Silver, Gold, Platinum, and the coveted Platinum One.
Unless a traveller has flown enough to achieve lifetime status, they must earn enough status points on flights each year to keep their privileges or risk being downgraded to the level below.
However, COVID lockdowns and the suspension of international flights have made it difficult for people to fly enough to keep their status.
The latest Qantas offer follows a similar one made last year and is available to Australian and New Zealand members who are facing a tier downgrade between now and June 2022.
The retention lifeline allows Silver and above members with a membership year ending in or before June 2022 to keep their status for another year by booking an eligible flight before their membership year ends.
Once the offer is activated, Qantas will also roll over eligible status credits earned this year into the new membership year.
“We know how important tier status is to our members and many of them have built it up over many years of flying with us,’’ Qantas Loyalty chief executive Olivia Wirth said.
“The offer to retain their current status by booking just one eligible flight is a great way for them to secure the additional 12 months of the benefits that come with being Silver or Gold, Platinum or Platinum One members, which will come into its own when everyone is back flying.”
Wirth stated that members remained highly engaged with the airline’s frequent flyer programme and that bookings increased when restrictions were lifted.
She was confident that when restrictions were eased again, this would happen again, with Qantas data showing that 96 per cent of customers planned to travel domestically in the next 12 months.
“Maintaining their tier is not just about the status for our highly valued Frequent Flyers, it’s about the range of benefits they enjoy when they fly with us or partner airlines, including the most extensive network of domestic and global lounges, extra checked baggage allowances and priority airport privileges,” she said.
By Joe Cusmano