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LTP - the $1,500,000 reality

juddles

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Hi everyone,

I am not trying to cross over with other threads here - but the arrival of Qantas Life Time Platinum is a huge new thing so there is much to discuss.

What I wanted to do here was to offer just a quick bit of mathematics which puts cold-hard reality at everyone's fingertips. Specifically just what it would take to attain that amazing level. So to do this, just so we have some basic numbers to ponder, I have worked out the cost in time and possible dollars that it will require. I will explain how I worked things out so that rocks can be thrown at me, if just so I can truly come to fathom this new Beast :)

I understand that to attain LTP you need to amass 75,000 SC. I haven't seen detail on which SC's count or do not count, but I think that will change little the following:

What I have done is to look at a few simple travel patterns, to see what they do. I have 5 of these scenarios. I know that no one does exactly the same flights each year, but this exercise does not need to get tricky. To calculate SC I have used the current QF calculator. For costs of tickets, I have used the current specials available on QF. For my selection these are: (all return flights)

SYD - LHR in First = $16,000
SYD - LAX in Business = $6,500
SYD - MEL in Business = $1800
SYD - MEL in Discount Y = $400

I think in a general sense they are representative.

(1) Person does 4 round trips SYD to LHR each year. In First. (great lifestyle) To get LTP would take them 22 years and cost them $1,430,000

(2) Person does a trip every month SYD - LAX in Business (a tiring business lifestyle) To get to LTP takes 16 years and $1,280,000

(3) Person does return weekly trips SYD - MEL in Business (a working lifestyle not uncommon) To get to LTP will take 18 years and cost (someone else?) $1,690,000

(4) Person does the same weekly returns SYD - MEL but in discount Y (a working lifestyle if self-funded) Their LTP will only take 72 years and they will have flown return no fewer than 3,750 times. At the bargain price of $1,500,000

(5) This is perhaps a realistic thing for many who would consider themselves frequent flyers and loyal to Qantas. They do a return domestic SYD-MEL each month in Business, and also 2 trips each year to the USA also in Business. Living this understandable lifestyle, it would take them 44 years, and a spend of $1,510,000 to get their LTP.

Running these numbers was an exercise I initially did just for fun. But it is spooky how all these travel patterns have resulted in a total spend of about $1,500,000

And who on Earth in these scenarios would still be flying after that that needed to actually utilize a level that just gives them vanilla WP??
 

moa999

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I suspect the vast majority who qualify will be those who fly multiple years of 5-10k SCs - ie. The highest of the P1s.

And generally done on the company's dime so the $s don't really come into it.
But few people's careers are such that those patterns are repeated.

It would certainly be possible for cheaper (and historically there have been fares for $2-3/SC), but id be surprised if anyone who qualifies hasn't spent $500k
 

defurax

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I think without DSC the average cost/SC when flying QF is $10-20/SC. In my case, in the past 4 years I got 12,015 SCs flying OW airlines at an average cost of $7.79/SC. So without taking into account inflation this would be 75K SC for $584,250. At this rate I should be LTP in 18 years, but who knows if OW and QF will still exist then! So I'd be LTP at least 10 years before retirement age, which I guess is QF main goal, to have people enjoy LTP at the end of their career, not in their 30s...
 

levelnine

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It is a strange beast that is only going to appeal to very niche group of people.

If you are spending $1.5million of your own money on international flights, you wouldn't be flying Qantas. There are better F/J products out there.

If you are spending $1.5million of your own money on domestic flights, you are probably getting close to, and better off with, a fractional share in a private jet.

Thus, it really is only appealing to someone doing a massive amount of mixed domestic/international travel on their company's dime.

In which case it is basically a second, inferior tier of CL. CL is for the CEO who controls the company's travel budget. LTP is for the VP of International Operations who gets sent all round the world to meet the company's clients.

It's not really targeted to the frequent flyer paying out of their own pocket.
 
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juddles

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I think without DSC the average cost/SC when flying QF is $10-20/SC. In my case, in the past 4 years I got 12,015 SCs flying OW airlines at an average cost of $7.79/SC. So without taking into account inflation this would be 75K SC for $584,250. At this rate I should be LTP in 18 years, but who knows if OW and QF will still exist then! So I'd be LTP at least 10 years before retirement age, which I guess is QF main goal, to have people enjoy LTP at the end of their career, not in their 30s...
defurax, I agree that us avid AFF types can squeeze better value, but I highly suspect that "most" of the huge spenders with QF have never even heard of such concepts as "$ per SC". I would strongly suggest that $20 per SC is a more true average for many (and this is even a tad "light") - I base this on the fares I used in my calcs - straightforward, common travel, and at discount prices.

I know for myself that the HUGE leap (in cost terms) from my LTG to LTP would be nonsensical as a goal. We AFF's can get so much better value. To get any benefit from LTP would mean that you were flying too little to attain WP. If you can't even attain WP in a year, the "benefits" of LTP would be miniscule. :)
 

defurax

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defurax, I agree that us avid AFF types can squeeze better value, but I highly suspect that "most" of the huge spenders with QF have never even heard of such concepts as "$ per SC". I would strongly suggest that $20 per SC is a more true average for many (and this is even a tad "light") - I base this on the fares I used in my calcs - straightforward, common travel, and at discount prices.

I know for myself that the HUGE leap (in cost terms) from my LTG to LTP would be nonsensical as a goal. We AFF's can get so much better value. To get any benefit from LTP would mean that you were flying too little to attain WP. If you can't even attain WP in a year, the "benefits" of LTP would be miniscule. :)
I agree. I mostly fly Flex Y and use my points for upgrades, so in my case QF is the obvious choice considering how easy iti is to collect points. If my flights were mostly J/F I'm sure I would be flying QF less...
I think the whole point of LTP is to reach that milestone "passively".
 

juddles

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....... So I'd be LTP at least 10 years before retirement age, which I guess is QF main goal, to have people enjoy LTP at the end of their career, not in their 30s...
.......It's not really targeted to the frequent flyer paying out of their own pocket.
The only goal QF has, IMHO, is to offer something beyond LTG to entice further loyalty. Their target can only be one group - those that will make irrational decisions based on a desire of something that costs QF sweet-f-all.
 

pauly7

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It is a strange beast that is only going to appeal to very niche group of people.

If you are spending $1.5million of your own money on international flights, you wouldn't be flying Qantas. There are better F/J products out there.

If you are spending $1.5million of your own money on domestic flights, you are probably better off with a fractional share in a private jet.

Thus, it really is only appealing to someone doing a massive amount of mixed domestic/international travel on their company's dime.

In which case it is basically a second, inferior tier of CL. CL is for the CEO who controls the company's travel budget. LTP is for the VP of International Operations who gets sent all round the world to meet the company's clients.

It's not really targeted to the frequent flyer paying out of their own pocket.
Exactly. I have consultant friends who shuttle between MEL / SYD / BNE in J about 40 weeks of the year. Bang P1.

Then layer on top of that 10 or so international F and J flights and bang you are instantly hitting near 10k SC’s.

These people absolutely exist. Are they common? Nope. Are they paying for their travel. Absolutely not. Do they control the spend to QF? Not really, company policy does and the people who control the company spend are Chairman’s Lounge. The people doing the flying are the P1’s

Net, I understand why QF have made it so high. Because the flyers aren’t making the calls or spending their own money. Someone else is doing that and is being looked after in a ‘different way’ at the QF corporate box on Saturday nights.

LTP has not been created for the little old AFF folk doing status runs I’m afraid. So people can be angry at the high hurdle, but at the end of the day it just hasn’t been designed for you.

(Or me by the way, personally I feel ill at the thought of that much flying)
 

juddles

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Exactly. I have consultant friends who shuttle between MEL / SYD / BNE in J about 40 weeks of the year. Bang P1.

Then layer on top of that 10 or so international F and J flights and bang you are instantly hitting near 10k SC’s.

These people absolutely exist. Are they common? Nope. Are they paying for their travel. Absolutely not. Do they control the spend to QF? Not really, company policy does and the people who control the company spend are Chairman’s Lounge. The people doing the flying are the P1’s
.........

(Or me by the way, personally I feel ill at the thought of that much flying)
I agree that this is pretty much only a thing for P1's. The maths says it - to attain LTP if you "just" do WP flying still means 75,000 / 1200 = over 60 years.

And I think that anyone who is on P1 for a decade, at insane levels like 8 - 10k SC per year, is probably someone who will not exactly extract much benefit from vanilla WP in the future.

As a P1 I am used to the level of service that the QF P1 provides, which is good. The day (very soon) I drop to WP will be difficult - I just do not value WP any more - noone does - look at all the expressed feelings like "WP is the new SG" etc.

I just cannot imagine a real-life scenario where someone who has done 75K SC in QF will get any value when at a future time they are not flying F. Entry to the F lounges in MEL and SYD?
 

samh004

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I will admit to looking at what a BNE-SYD-LHR return in F and J would yield and thus how many times it would take to get there. From my starting position of almost LTG it's about ~65 returns, as those flights would yield 930SC each run. And, just like you found, the price is about $1.3m.

Unfortunately, I didn't win the Powerball tonight ($40 million next week), and there's always OzLotto ($80 million next week).
 

opusman

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So with enough DSC offers you could get there for only $750000! Bargain!
 

juddles

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AAARRRGGGHHHH!!!

Am still getting used to this new reality.

In a real sense this LTP is ridiculous, but at the same time "we" have begged for same.

It is just such a trivial, ill-thought, meaningless gig. I am sure that anyone that would qualify would not give two hoots for it. Yet again I feel that those in QF who come up with such stuff are either disconnected or (most likely) realise that the scheme is ridiculous but know that it may entice some. As a P1 and devout QF pax I would have hoped for something more meaningful. And not even something that actually cost QF. I would appreciate a personal gift/acknowledgement from high QF staff far more than a bottle of champas each Christmas as a P1. The fact that they would reward me with LTP after 75k SC rather than get the CEO to ring me on my birthday shows me which costs them less :)
 

p--and--t

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My observation of the reaction to LTP is that (as usual for most human reactions) it is from a personal perspective. i.e. where I am, what flying do I do, what I want out of the program, aren't I special too.

As most of my flying was with AN (Diamond Level) and I significantly scaled down after a few very intense years of 5 or more sectors per week every week, even QF LTG is something that I will never achieve.

From other posts and sites, there are allegedly many hundreds of QFF members that will automatically qualify for LTP from tomorrow. A number of these are allegedly below 40. There is even allegedly a 12yo that is P1

There are a very select group of people for whom this was designed and will seem totally logical for them and Qantas is placing its bets on it being appreciated by them.

Any company granting Lifetime benefits as a part of a program is taking a very high risk of it coming back and biting them in the backside. Most managers I know would declare a Lifetime benefit with any expenditure implications as something never to be granted, far too risky.

Sure grant benefits to a loyal customer for a year or two that is manageable in a budget setting, but a Lifetime! when so many business circumstances can change in the blink of a eye - economy, governments, legislation, competition, technology.

Just imagine the guy who put all his money into a new cart making business when cars where invented or bought a $500,000 taxi licence just before Uber came along. Look at United with their Lifetime Pass (regrets all round).

I strongly suspect QF have often questioned over a boardroom table which idiot granted LTG and why the hell they set the bar so damn low.

Just imagine LTG members, some at early thirties - and I understand there are - QF are saddled with the transfer pricing of lounge access from other airlines and companies for a lifetime and the flyer is not even necessarily on QF metal, nor bought the ticket from QF and I don't know, but suspect, no revenue for QF to support the outgoings.

Even though large numbers of this websites members think they deserve it, LTP is not for many of us. Indeed LTP is not for MOST of us.

It has been created for the very select few that can and obviously do easily achieve that level, maybe at eventual burnout or health problem, but they certainly earned it, most probably on the firms dollar but also a drain on their lifestyle and family.

The bar has been set high, too high for most, but not so high for many hundreds and into the future may become thousands and set at a level QF management feel the business can sustain for decades.

That's my take on LTP - the reality
 
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Fergo747

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I do wonder whether QF have set the goal at such a lofty height due to the number of people 'easily' obtaining LTG well before their lifetime / careers come to an end. I do not suspect that QF thought when introducing LTG that people would then be holding and making use of that for potentially 50 years
 

Kiwi_Flyer

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Agree with most of the comments above. Unless the yet to be announced extra benefits of LTP are spectacular then it will not be aspirational because it is so out of reach for almost everyone and is of limited use to those who get there (who are likely to be older and probably attain at least WP if not P1 most years anyway). Clearly QFF sees it as a cost, not a revenue opportunity, and assume they already have the loyalty of anyone who flies enough to get 75k SCs.

Personally I think they've missed a trick in trying to minimise costs of the benefit. It could have generated more value to their customers at a still high threshold but one not as ridiculous - say 40k, which is still very hard to get but could improve revenues and loyalty.
 

kpc

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Upon further reflection, as a LT Gold, I'm now sort of glad that Qf made the threshhold so ridiculously high....if they had made it say 40K, I may have wasted money and time trying to achieve it....so I'm not shackled to Qf anymore and can continue flying other better, cheaper premium products! Thanks Qf for the own goal....so great at marketing and spin but totally don't get it!
 

opusman

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Yet again I feel that those in QF who come up with such stuff are either disconnected or (most likely) realise that the scheme is ridiculous but know that it may entice some.
I doubt they expect it to entice anyone. It simply lets them say "we listened to you, our loyal members" while hardly having to actually give it to anyone at all. Revenue neutral, but "good" PR. Particularly when it gets reported verbatim in the media without any commentary on how unobtainable this level actually is for most.
 

amaroo

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As a P1 I am used to the level of service that the QF P1 provides, which is good. The day (very soon) I drop to WP will be difficult - I just do not value WP any more - noone does - look at all the expressed feelings like "WP is the new SG" etc.
WP is the sweet spot for QFF and OW.
 

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