Qantas has begun offering its frequent flyers the option to “purchase” Platinum status using their frequent flyer points. Multiple AFF members have been contacted by Qantas over the phone with the targeted offer. The asking price? 100,000 Qantas points.
In each case, the contacted member had already held Platinum status for several years but had not earned enough status credits in the past 12 months to re-qualify in the following year. For 100,000 points, these members would see their Platinum status extended for one year.
Our members’ views on this practice are deeply divided. Some members believe it’s a good deal, giving Platinum members the opportunity to purchase another year’s worth of status after a slow year of flying.
But many members fear that this spells the end of complimentary status requalification, or “comping” as it’s sometimes called. Previously Qantas has, at its discretion, granted a complimentary status extension to Gold and Platinum members if their average status credit earn for the previous three years is above the requalification threshold. Some members believe that Qantas may now be trying to monetise such status extensions, offering them to members for 100,000 points when they would have previously offered them for free.
One of the contacted members actually enquired as to whether they could receive a complimentary status extension – instead of paying the 100,000 points – based on their “three-year status credit average”. Qantas agreed to the request, and they successfully retained Platinum for another year at no cost.
Some members believe that any offer to sell status – be it for money or frequent flyer points – devalues status for everyone else. One member fears that this could be the first step towards selling status outright. One South American airline used to do exactly this, selling Star Alliance Gold status for around $2,800 per year.
If you currently hold Gold or Platinum Qantas status and are not on track to requalify, there is a chance that you will receive a similar offer. But this offer is targeted and it is not a published benefit, so you cannot rely on it. Flying remains the best way to ensure you keep your status.
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