Climbing the Airline Status Ladder

status-climbMany travelers are lured by the benefits of Gold and Platinum airline status. Complimentary lounge access, more upgrades, no queues and extra points make the status chase tempting. But is elite status really worthwhile? Or are there other ways to enjoy the same perks – even as an infrequent flyer – without the extra time, effort and cost involved in climbing the status ladder?

One new member has managed to accumulate a sizeable point balance. This member would like to use these points for upgrades or premium cabin travel. But their upgrade requests have been largely unsuccessful, and this member is hesitant to forgo those all-important status credits. Status credits contribute towards elite status qualification, but are not earned on frequent flyer redemption bookings.

Many members suggest that using points to book Business and First class flights outright is actually a better strategy than blindly chasing status. Firstly, Business passengers can enjoy all the perks of status, even if they don’t fly often. Secondly, booking premium cabins outright removes the “lottery” aspect of upgrading with points.

Focusing on points, and not status, also removes flyers from what is sometimes known as the “golden handcuffs” of elite status. Flyers that are blindly loyal to one airline often overlook other airlines, even if they offer cheaper, better-timed flights or a better product.

Infrequent flyers seeking the benefits of status can also gain benefits such as lounge access and priority check-in by purchasing an annual lounge pass, such as Qantas Club or Virgin Australia Lounge membership.

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Matt Graham
The editor of Australian Frequent Flyer, Matt's passion for travel has taken him to over 60 countries… with the help of frequent flyer points, of course!
Matt's favourite destinations (so far) are Germany, Brazil, New Zealand & Kazakhstan. His interests include economics, aviation & foreign languages, and he has a soft spot for good food and red wine.

You can contact Matt at [email protected]