Top-tier frequent fliers at Qantas can escape the dreaded downgrade after the airline announced they will be able to maintain their status for an additional year by booking one eligible flight.
While frequent flyer points are always welcome, the main game for serious flyers is the status levels that provide perks such as lounge access, upgrades and preferential treatment on partner airlines.
Qantas has five membership levels ranging from the lowly Bronze with which many occasional flyers are familiar to Silver, Gold, Platinum and the exulted Platinum One.
Unless a traveler has flown enough to achieve lifetime status, they must earn enough status points on flights each year to maintain their privileges or face a downgrade to the level below.
But COVID lockdowns and the suspension of international flying have made it difficult for people to take enough flights to maintain their status.
The latest Qantas offer follows a similar one made last year and extends to Australian and New Zealand members who are facing a possible 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 maintain their status for another year by booking an eligible flight before their membership year ends.
Once the offer is activated, the Qantas will also roll over eligible status credits that members earned this year into their 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 said members had remained highly engaged with the airline’s frequent flyer program and bookings had spiked when restrictions had eased.
She was confident this would happen once more when restrictions were again eased, with Qantas data showing 96 percent of customers intended to travel domestically in the next 12 months.
“Maintaining their tier is not just about 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.