Lifetime Membership

Discussion in 'General Airline Loyalty Program Discussion' started by aasz1978, Jan 12, 2005.

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  1. aasz1978

    aasz1978 Member

    Jan 12, 2005
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    Hi all,

    I am new around here so keep it easy...

    I had a bad experience with QF lately. To cut the story short, I was held 90 mins at Melb Airport (Mel-Sing flight) by Qantas and Immigration queues, couldn't claim GST back because the lady said I was running late with my flight. On the way back, QF cancelled my flight, joined me to another QF flight 7 hrs later, made me pay taxi fare (refused to give taxi voucher) in Brisbane to go inter-terminal, and arrived in melb 8 hrs late. Apology was the best they could give.

    Since then, I've been checking on any other airlines with the intention to BUY their Lifetime Membership. To my knowledge, only Qantas Club offers that at $4,200.

    Checked Singapore Airlines, you can have life time membership but have to fly 200x with them on Business Class but no paid joining option.
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    So basically, I am wondering whether any of you do know any paid life time membership with other airlines that I could consider...
     
  2. NM

    NM
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    Perhaps you should also consider if a lifetime membership commitment is the right thing for you. Looking at your post, I am a little bermused about the real problem issues with Qantas, but these things are not unique to Qantas and can (and do) happen with any airline. You may well find youself just as disappointed with your newly chosen airline soon after paying a lifetime membership.

    Perhaps you can let us know some more detail about the nature of your bad experience. How was it that Qantas caused a 90 min delay for you in getting through to the departures area?

    And drawing some conclusions from the information presented in your post, I assume you were originally booked on QF10 SIN-MEL, which is scheduled for a 6:20am arrival at this time of the year (something like 4:45am prior to daylight savings). So an 8 hour delay in getting into MEL would have you arriving after 2pm on a connection flight from BNE. I also assume you were rebooked onto QF52 from SIN-BNE, which should arrive into BNE around 6:25am. But you said you were moved onto another flight 7 hours later which implies either QF52 was running very late or you were moved onto a non-Qantas flight.

    At that time of the day there is a free train between the terminals (just show boarding pass), and you should have had plenty of time for the inter-terminal connection to make a BNE-MEL flight that arrived into MEL after 2pm. So I can understand why Qantas would not pay for a taxi between the terminals when there is a free train availabe. Is there a specific reason why you needed to use a taxi and not the train between the terminals?

    Back to the original question ... I am not aware of other airlines operating between Australia and Asia that offer a paid lifetime membership. Many, as you have noted, provide lifetime membership by way of earned FF membership status (even Qantas have this). And the tax benefits of purchasing a lifetime membership are marginal due to only being able to claim 10% of the cost each year for 10 years.
     
  3. aasz1978

    aasz1978 Member

    Jan 12, 2005
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    Good point

    The reason why I am interested with QF Club is because I can avoid the queues (I was held up 1.5hrs with QF and Customs, making me unable to claim GST). QF Club is actually salary sacrifice-able so the real cost is $2,600. Not bad for an extra 10kg, lounge, priority booking and priority queuing as well as baggage taggings with some priority given.

    You can say I was fed up since I never had delays or losses before (then again, I only flew QF this time after 2 years with SIA).

    There was no delay from Melb to Singapore apart from those long queues so there is no story. The real problem was when I came back.

    QF42 scheduled to depart at 2050 on 2nd January 2005. Was told at the airport there was unscheduled delays. Spoke to an Australian crew saying plane was stuffed in Darwin and they're trying to arrange one from a diverted route.

    Was never told how long the delays could take but wasn't allowed to gate until 2230. No news given. Gate was changed from QF42 to QF52 effectively meaning my flight was cancelled.

    At the gate, Boarding pass was taken. Was told to wait until my name being called. Wasn't called until 0130 3rd January 2005. At no stage was I told what was going on officially and what they had to do.

    Around 2330 I think, a flight arrived but we had to wait anyway till 0100. So pity those people who were crammed in there for one hour...

    Then on board was told that this is a QF52 flight from Singapore rerouted to Jakarta (Boeing 737-400) going to Brisbane. Administration prevented the flight to takeoff till around 0200. Total 5hrs 10mins delay. Apology was given.

    Arrived in Brisbane around 9 or 10am local time I think. Long queues in Customs because of the combined QF52 and QF42. Then another long queues to the domestic kiosk (the one in International arrival hall). Missed my scheduled flight and ended up an a CityFlyer plane and arrived in Melbourne I think around 2:30pm local time.

    I think that added up to 7 hrs delays in total. In the process, I talked to a few gentlemen who claimed to be on business trips and said that they would never fly with QF again.

    Now about the train, yes they had train but by the time I got the boarding pass, I was given only 20 mins to get there. Went to the train station and because it was Monday (3rd Jan is NY day in Lieu), it didn't arrive in time so I decided to race it with a taxi and by the way, the QF lady did advise me to take the cabs.

    The cabbie wasn't happy with having to work for $10 because he told me I should've asked for a taxi voucher. I said I did but QF said don't waste anymore time and run.

    It's not only the delays, the overall employees were not helpful. Compare with Cathay and SIA which would do everything to make you feel comfy or less inconvenience, these people just didn't say anything. I suppose it's better to shut up rather than say anything and risk being yelled back.

    That's the entire QF42 man!!!
     
  4. alien

    alien Member

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    now this is interesting. Which company is doing that for you? I might ask the company that my employer uses. Hmmm very interesting.
     
  5. aasz1978

    aasz1978 Member

    Jan 12, 2005
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    FBT Act Section 52Y (Exemption from FBT)

    When I say $2,600 it works out like this.

    $4,200 less $381.81 (GST claimable) = $3,818 payable from your PRE-TAX salary. So instead of paying 30% (average) tax on $3,818 which is $1,145, you pay your QF Club not from your after tax (take home, which is already taxed) figure.

    So $381.81 + $1,145 = $1526.81 is your savings.

    $4,200 - $1,526 = $2,673 which is the real cost of QF Club. I should've said it's around $2,600.

    It's not through any company. If your employer permits, you should be able to do it through them.
     
  6. alien

    alien Member

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    When I mentioned which company i was refering to which salary sacrifice company your employer uses? Mine uses McMillan Shakespeare http://www.msa-online.com.au/

    So I'm assuming your employer doesnt go through third party company to do this?
     
  7. alien

    alien Member

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    oh by the way.......Welcome to the forum :)
     
  8. NM

    NM
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    Hmm, aasz1978, sounds like a right royal stuff up at the SIN end. I believe that a lack of information provided during a flight delay is unacceptable. It is very easy for the airline to make regular update announcements.

    Perhaps as a QF club member, the SIN QP would be a better place to wait out the delay and have them look after the boarding pass and information process. I have usually found them to be very helpful when it comes to handling such delays. Well worth the membership in my opinion.

    So was the combined QF42/52 operated by a 737? QF52 is usually a 747-300 or 747-400 and is soon to become an A330-300. Or did the QF52 flight (oped by 747) go via Jakata?

    I can understand that aircraft become unavailable due to tech faults, and I would rather such an aircraft remain on the ground that take to the skies. And such circumstances can result in delays and re-routing - that happens with airline travel. BUT, I do believe it is well within my expectations to have a regular update and honest appraisal of the situation. Even if they make an announcement every 20 mins saying "no further information is available at this time, please be patient while we are doing all we can to accommodate your needs". Simple, but makes people feel better.

    Salary Sacrifice for QP membersip is a good option is available through your employer. Mine does offer some salary sacrifice options (car, laptop computer, super etc), but not sure about QP. The 10-year tax write off for a lifetime membership may make them hesitant, but I expect a 1 or 2 year membership would be approved. I did ask for a salary sacrifice for the difference between economy and business class fare once and it was rejected - so I will be claiming that on my income tax return this year.

    I get QP membership as part of my QF Platinum FF status. That give me at least two years, even if I don't requal Plat as I will only drop to Gold and still have QP access. And I still have 18 months of a 2-year paid membersip on hold from when I qualified under the FF program. So I am right for another 3.5 years min, and I should have lifetime Gold FF status way before then. So purchasing a LT membersip is not much use for me. But I can tell you the SIN Qantas Club is a far better place to wait out a delay than then gate area! The showers and the open bar and food make the membersip price trivial when you are stuck in the gate area for many hours.
     
  9. arun

    arun Member

    Sep 5, 2002
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    My company allows sal sac for QF membership. They do not care if it is a lifetime m'ship and I do not think it is an issue anyway. For example, though on a laptop, you can not claim everything in one year through your tax return (you have to depreciate it), if you salary sacrifice, you can sal sac the full amount in the same year. I think QF m'ship will work the same way.

    Another advantage to sal sac, in addition to GST and pre-tax deduction is that you can sal sac over a period upto June 30th. For ex, if you buy the m'ship in July 2005, you sal sac over 12 months up to June 30th. It gives a good cashflow advantage as well.

    Arun
     
  10. aasz1978

    aasz1978 Member

    Jan 12, 2005
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    I think we are getting off topic here but well... never mind. I certainly hope Singapore Airlines will offer paid lifetime membership if someone tells them it's gonna be lucrative for their business.

    Sal sac over 12 mths is I think up to the company involved. There is no third party company involved here unless your company engages another company to handle your Sal Sac arrangements.
     
  11. KLUBS

    KLUBS Newbie

    Dec 4, 2004
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    Perth AUS
    QANTAS Club life membership experiance

    in 1999 I joined QANTAS club as a life member with promises of preferental treatment. My wife joined for life under the partner side. In the past 3 years I have seen no benefit overall for the membership when it provides silver upwards better offerings than a lifer. We certainly have not experianced the "preferential" treatment from QF or it's staff and with the dramatic change in points to fly and lack of seats, there is even less incentive to stay loyal or recommend to fly with QF. Thier point of differance as a quality airline has been eroded to the point that there is no advantage to fly with QF.
     
  12. aasz1978

    aasz1978 Member

    Jan 12, 2005
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    There is always a risk with having a life membership that the vendor (QF) will over erode those benefits. I do realize this.

    However, compared with having 30kgs (or one extra luggage if you're travelling to US), no check-in queue, lounge club and baggage prioritizing (ie: less chance of baggage loss) VERSUS having to fight over extra allowance because I am not a student, waiting 1.5 hrs at Melb Airport for both check in and customs, obviously I'd prefer having QF club.

    I also think these priviledges will always be permanent. I just can't see them downgrading to the point of similar priviledge with non-QF club holders.

    But you do have a point. QF is a real son of the b**** and I don't question that for a moment. You just have to get around with it.

    I always travel on discounted economy anyway so access to great discount is always available provided I buy at the right place. I can

    If SIA has this sort of thing I would've joined them pronto. Problem is, they don't.

    It works out about $50 a week for one year for a lifetime membership (Sal sac). I don't think that's too much.
     
  13. Mal

    Mal Enthusiast

    Dec 25, 2004
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    Re: QANTAS Club life membership experiance

    I've had Qantas Club membership for around a year.

    I paid the full lifetime rate ($4200 I think).

    I've found quite a few "perks" and benefits from it. Things like:

    * Super quick Heathrow Checkin/security screening when flying BA
    * Qantas Club access (otherwise only available to me when flying business or if I flew enough for Gold)
    * BA Club access.
    * Fast check-in
    * Additional baggage
    * Baggage that actually shows up quicker than everyone else's baggage most of the time (I think that's a Silver and above perk though)
    * Great seating according to my choices (Not sure if this is because Im a FF or because of the QC)
    * A wait of at most 30 seconds to speak to someone at Qantas when I call (Not sure again if that's the norm, or something extra).


    Is it worth $4200? Not entirely sure. But I've found the benefits to be worth quite a bit to me in saved time, freebies and comfort (eg using the Qantas Club instead of sitting out by the gate and enjoying browsing through papers, netting and drinking beer).

    I also had a flight upgrade from Econ to Business that I believe was solely due to my QC membership rather than FF status (Bronze at the time).

    My biggest concern is that I'll probably make Gold in a couple of years ... then it's a worthless membership until I stop flying enough for gold.

    Yes, Most of the perks available through Qantas Club are available for Gold and above FF's - however, one big difference... QC members are not paying the minimum $3000-5000 worth of travel per year for the same benefits (about the cheapest status credit you'll get is $5 per SC - with them going up to about $12 or $13 per status credit on bad flights)
     
  14. NM

    NM
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    A few assumptions you may want to re-evaluate ...

    Priority baggage tags does not reduce the risk of lost bags. It just means that of the bag did make it into your flight, it will hopefully come out on the belt first. This really depends on where you are flying from and to. Some ports honour the priority tags, other do not.

    There is no longer a priority lane for QC members at departing or arriving immigration processing. The only people who get to use the customs express lane are airline crew and domestic passengers with the appropriate boarding pass. Even Platinum status FF members need to queue with everyone else for immigration processing now. This changed sometime last year.
     
  15. aasz1978

    aasz1978 Member

    Jan 12, 2005
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    Oh really?

    I am sure somewhere in QF homepage still says you can have prority immigration processing.....
     
  16. NM

    NM
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    Yes, really!
    Not since June 2004. Have a look at this thread in another FF forum for some discussion and a quote from the June 2004 FF newsletter.

    You will not find a current reference to this "benefit" on the QF FF web pages any longer.
     
  17. aasz1978

    aasz1978 Member

    Jan 12, 2005
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  18. NM

    NM
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    Well it is now offered at a selection of zero airports. Used to be in BNE, SYD and MEL, but as per my previous post, it was stopped back in June. As a Platinum member, I can assure you that it has not been available in BNE since then and the signs at the immigration checkpoint have been altered to reflect the current state.

    And was it ever a benefit of a paid Qantas Club membership?
     
  19. aasz1978

    aasz1978 Member

    Jan 12, 2005
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    Isn't it misleading then, to disclose such benefit yet at zero airport. :)

    And no, it's not part of life membership. I'll be thrilled if it is.

    Another thing I am wondering.... if you're a club member / QF FF Gold or Platinum, would you be allowed to board first before others?
     
  20. NM

    NM
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    On international flights, you normally hear the boarding announcement mention that First, Buisness, OneWorld Emerald and Sapphire members can board at any time. I have not heard QP members included in that list.

    At some ports they have separate lines for First, Busisness and OneWorld Emerald/Sapphire members to board.

    Often also hear the annoucement on domestic flights, but not always.
     
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