Reaching and maintaining High Status - What do you do?

I flew a lot during my working life - enough to sustain 20+ years at WP and several at P1, and get LT Gold. Where possible I did structure my travel to maximise SC accumulation. Having access to the P1 team was very handy.

I like a nice experience when I travel, so access to F or equivalent lounges is part of my desire for status. But +1 and I have decided we'll only fly J or F for the rest of our travelling lives, and that obviates the need to chase status. Any future status will be by accident rather than design.

That said, we've still got a lot of QF miles to burn, so we're going for WP through a AONEx later this year. With any luck that may give us some better redemption opportunities next year.
This is pretty much my story too @MelbFlyer. I‘m currently a QF WP nd have just clicked over another year from 1 April 24 to 31 Mar 25. When I was working, I did a lot of long domestic flights, all starting in Canberra, so usually with a connecting leg to SYD, MEL or BNE (so SC from 2 flights, each way). After experiencing the first few trips I always arranged that if the client would not pay for Business class, I would get them to pay flex economy and pay the difference myself. This lead to 15+ years of WP and three magic years as P1. I supplemented these work trips a bit by flights to visit family in QLD, and the occasional overseas leisure trip, some in Y when I had to take the 2 kids and MR Seat 0A 🤭 to closer destinations like NZ, Fiji and one trip to USA. I attained LTG in 2014. Once the kids move on, we decided to only travel PE or J - so much cheaper and more fun than 2x private school fees or HECS!

I’ve been all but retired retired for the past 4 years (since Covid affected my industry) and now travel on my own dime for leisure and to visit overseas family. I retain WP with one DSC J skiing trip each year, usually Japan (about 560 SC) but sometimes USA, and one J visit to Seat Son who lives in the UAE. These trips u fortunately never earn DSC because they are not operated by QF (EK/QF code share) but as it is in fact cheaper or same price to fly to Europe with long stop overs in Dubai each way, I usually still earn 480-500 SC for that. And you can boost th SC by taking QF to SIN or BKK nd then on to DXB on QF to get DSc for that leg, if you can be bothered. The rest of the SC to reach the 1200 required are made up by getting business award sets to the family in QLD and getting SC by being a member of points club.

i also have a couple of million QF points, but so far not much luck being able to use these for International premium reward seats.

i’d like to encourage you - your turn may well come. I’m 63 now and when I was 40ish, I once said to Mr Seat 0A that I would feel wealthy when I could choose to pay for business class flights out of my own pocket. Well, it didn’t happen over night, but it did happen (reference will be understood by other AFFers of my vintage). We enjoyed our family trips, even though they were in Y. And the kids have the travel bug. And after a nasty health scare in 2023, I realise I might only have to self fund for 10-15 more years.
 
Sponsored Post

Struggling to use your Frequent Flyer Points?

Frequent Flyer Concierge takes the hard work out of finding award availability and redeeming your frequent flyer or credit card points for flights.

Using their expert knowledge and specialised tools, the Frequent Flyer Concierge team at Frequent Flyer Concierge will help you book a great trip that maximises the value for your points.

If you travel in J (or F), you get all the same key benefits through the ticket. In this case, chasing status would be of no real use to you.
There’s another thread on that specific topic and it’s actually not entirely correct these days. Lots of airlines are unbundling their J fares and not including lounge access, seat selection etc. So status helps for both.

Even on regular fares some airlines still charge for seat selection in J for non status PAX eg BA. Closer to home, QF seat selection is tiered based on status until T-80. Of course OWE get better perks travelling in J than fare / reward PAX eg First Lounge access where available.

I’m already QF LTG (not a bad goal for an Oz based FF) but have also been WP every year for about 15 years. My work travel contributed a little (but usually non-QF/OW airlines but I did have VA WP for years).

If you can afford it, 2x longhaul J trips a year are the bulk of what’s required to retain QF WP and relatively easy to retain SG from there.

Hot tip - there are good fares at the moment if you book ex-Asia.

QF Points Club has been a game changer for those of us with points to burn but still want SCs - Win Win.

Even though I’m all but retired, I’ll be gracing the QF F lounge for a while yet - health permitting!
 
There are a couple of old threads on this particular topic but are closed. Some interesting reading.

What do you frequent flyers do for work?


There was also a thread specifically for P1's: Platinum One people - what’s your job/business?

Here is what I wrote there at the end of 2022:

"Given there are only a few responses here on actual jobs, I'll provide some information. Again to keep it somewhat vague, I'm a management consultant that is still reasonably early in my career. The vast majority of my travel is employer / client funded and is highly dependent on the project. My 'real' flying didn't commence until 2017 (prior to that was some limited domestic travel that I struggled to get to silver as was also very junior).

2017 saw me on a project in NZ where I was weekly over to AKL for about 6 months (in Y) and that year I got to mid 1,000 SCs and WP for the first time. The 2018 / 2019 years I managed to get a project that had some international travel and got high 2's / low 3's for SCs. 2020 then had me on a new project that saw much more int'l travel to Europe / US / Asia (all J) which got me to P1 for the first time. During COVID obviously maintained P1 through statuskeeper. I actually didn't expect that my travel would resume as quickly as it did when borders opened again, however managed to requalify for P1 within 6 months of this year through a number of trips to the UK, US and India. I doubt the level of travel to maintain P1 will continue for me, nor do I want it to as the benefits of P1 are not really worth it (I will try and maintain at least WP but luckily have LTG to fall back on in any case).

Note: the years I refer to above are my membership years (i.e. 2020 = YE 31 March 2020 so most of that flying was really 2019)."


I have since re-qualified for P1 through to March 2025, however took a new AU based role at the end of last year with virtually no travel. I will miss it in some ways, however with a young family I wasn't enjoying the travel nearly as much as I used to. I will at least have WP through to (at minimum) March 26 and LTG from there on in. Being in my early 30's means I still have a lot of career left and suspect I will be back on the road at some point in the future.
 
The Frequent Flyer Concierge team takes the hard work out of finding reward seat availability. Using their expert knowledge and specialised tools, they'll help you book a great trip that maximises the value for your points.

AFF Supporters can remove this and all advertisements

I was able to use a frequent flyer program that awarded Tier Miles no matter which fares I bought.

Etihad Guest awards Tier Miles based on distance traveled - even on the lowest Economy Fare at the actual traveled distance.

I was able to use this when I started commuting between France and Australia in 2017, leveraging European ports and prioritizing Melbourne as an entry port for Australia, then connecting on VA services to BNE - to get a larger Tier Miles amount than via SYD when the EY BNE service was terminated.

Made a fair few returns in 2017-2018 that made me Gold with Etihad - I try to always prioritize them and Virgin when I travel to return to Europe or on holidays.

Etihad also credits Tier Miles & Segments for GF & SV sectors which is beneficial with East Asia competitive fares.

I then benefited from the VA Status Match & QR Status Match to Platinum.

I was not able to maintain VA with Status Credits during COVID - however, QR will see me drop to Gold in March as I credited some IB and CX fares that would not be credited to Qantas.

With the new Etihad Guest changes announced for June, I doubt I'll be able to maintain my Gold status as easily I fear, but those travels are all self-funded, so the value/time extracted has been dropping a bit lately with somewhat expensive Etihad fares from Australia from MEL/SYD which are not as easy for myself to justify when QR and CX are getting a bit more aggressive ex-BNE.
 
I was able to use a frequent flyer program that awarded Tier Miles no matter which fares I bought.

Etihad Guest awards Tier Miles based on distance traveled - even on the lowest Economy Fare at the actual traveled distance.

I was able to use this when I started commuting between France and Australia in 2017, leveraging European ports and prioritizing Melbourne as an entry port for Australia, then connecting on VA services to BNE - to get a larger Tier Miles amount than via SYD when the EY BNE service was terminated.

Made a fair few returns in 2017-2018 that made me Gold with Etihad - I try to always prioritize them and Virgin when I travel to return to Europe or on holidays.

Etihad also credits Tier Miles & Segments for GF & SV sectors which is beneficial with East Asia competitive fares.

I then benefited from the VA Status Match & QR Status Match to Platinum.

I was not able to maintain VA with Status Credits during COVID - however, QR will see me drop to Gold in March as I credited some IB and CX fares that would not be credited to Qantas.

With the new Etihad Guest changes announced for June, I doubt I'll be able to maintain my Gold status as easily I fear, but those travels are all self-funded, so the value/time extracted has been dropping a bit lately with somewhat expensive Etihad fares from Australia from MEL/SYD which are not as easy for myself to justify when QR and CX are getting a bit more aggressive ex-BNE.
Wouldn’t you be better off crediting EY to VA now? That would certainly go along way to VA Gold if not VA WP (and EY First lounge access in AUH).

That’s how I retained VA WP for many years post the initial QF status match years ago. Flying EY J once per year between Oz and Europe plus the requisite VA sectors was usually enough to keep ticking over VA WP status. Plus you’ve got the option to use credit QR and SQ, as well as WY.
 
All my travel is self-funded. I’ve never done a status run. I don’t enjoy being on a plane so I try to keep flying times to a minimum and don’t do creative routings. I do 2-3 short international trips a year on QF/QR mostly, one or two of which are partly for a conference. Enough for platinum most years. This year though with two big international trips booked and first time using DSC to full advantage I should just make P1.
 
I used the search function and wasn't able to find any related threads - but I'm curious on high tiered members ie. Gold / Platinum / P1 members - if you don't travel for work, what do you do and why do you travel so often to get such high status / retain it?

As a self-funded, entirely leisure traveller these days, I didn't do it to retain status, but QF Plat status came readily in an annual DONE4 in Business - that is, a Business (D), Oneworld (ONE), four continent (4), RTW fare. Fantastic value - 16 sectors for less than say, QF to Nth America rtn and earns 1,200+ Qantas SCs.

To maximise SCs over where I wanted to go anyway, for Oz-USA I'd fly into JFK then make my way west again; from LAX I'd fly into DOH and again make my way west across Europe, etc. That is, incorporate some very long sectors although you could get to where you want to go with shorter ones. Example for a trip I did in 2018: This has some additional sectors in addition to DONE4, but shows the principle; flying west to east between continents.

1708810891184.png

Then, for my Australian domestic travel, I mostly use VA and get to Plat there too.
 
Last edited:
For people not travelling for work, surely earning status has less to do with the frequency of travel but rather one's level of disposable income. A single trip to Europe in paid business class booked during DSC is enough to maintain Qantas platinum every year.
 
Last edited:
As someone who does travel for work (6000 SCs last year but probably only around 4000 SC this year) and around 130 hotel nights please spend your money and time elsewhere. I’m early thirties and have spent a lot of time away and made life choices for that. It’s 100% not for everyone and status really isn’t something worth dabbling in from an ROI perspective
 
Self-funded traveller here, but I have the anti-trifecta (I do have spouse, mortgage and kids lol). I managed to get silver couple years ago and somehow maintained it, not that it gives much. but this year I found myself with 570 SC thanks to DSC promo last year for family holiday to Thailand. So I was staring down the barrel of maybe gold for first ever time, but needing 130SC by end April. If only a DSC promo would pop I could maybe get enough to push me over. And it did :). My Qantas club expires in March, so I had to ask myself, should I spend $600 for another year or $800 for flights to get the SC (best deal I could find to get the required SC). I'm thinking about using my FF points for RTW J in about 12 months, and the gold would give me better access to awards, so I opted for my first ever status run, even though it's just a flight there and back for no reason. So, flights are booked and come end of March will be gold, unless I get downgraded 😬.

But I think I got gold fever for a day or two. I was umming and aaahing about using the DSC promo to nab gold for 2025. Just one trip would have scored my 620SC at a cost of about $2000. But after 2 days of deliberation with myself, I couldn't justify the cost. I had no reason for the trip and $2000 buys 4 years of Qantas club, which is usually fine for my needs. I just don't fly enough to warrant chasing the status.
 
Back
Top