Qantas is gifting up to 1,800 status credits to frequent flyers, making it easier for members to renew their status with the airline next year. In addition to the Status Credit Boost, Qantas is providing monthly Status Credit Support to frequent flyers with membership years ending between March and August.
Existing Qantas Silver, Gold, Platinum and Platinum One members will each receive 50% of the annual status credits they would have needed to renew their existing status next year. This includes members with lifetime status. Qantas says that the one-off status credits bonus is to compensate for reduced flying activity.
Although domestic travel is slowly resuming in some states, many state borders remain closed for now and Melbourne is currently in lockdown. Meanwhile, Qantas has just cancelled most of its international flights until the end of March 2021 – a full year after it last operated scheduled international passenger flights.
Status Credit Boost amounts
Current Qantas Frequent Flyer members will receive the following amounts of status credits for their Status Credit Boost:
- Silver: 125 status credits
- Gold: 300 status credits
- Platinum: 600 status credits
- Platinum One: 1,800 status credits
Qantas Frequent Flyer members with a membership year ending between March and June 2021 have already received their bonus overnight. It will appear on your activity statement like this:
Other members will automatically receive their Status Credit Boost in the first month of their next membership year:
If you’re a current Silver, Gold, Platinum or Platinum One frequent flyer and your membership year ends between July and February, your status will probably be automatically extended for 12 months when your current membership year ends. The Status Credit Boost will make it easier to renew your status again in the following year.
The Qantas Status Credit Boost amounts will count towards lifetime status, but not towards the Loyalty Bonus. To renew your Qantas status next year, you would still need to fly at least 4 Qantas or Jetstar marketed flights (~).
Monthly Qantas Status Credit Support
In addition to the Status Boost, Qantas will provide monthly Status Credit Support supplements to current frequent flyers with membership years ending between March and August, as follows:
Members will receive the following amounts of status credits for each eligible month:
- Silver – 5 status credits
- Gold – 15 status credits
- Platinum – 50 status credits
- Platinum One – 150 status credits
This initiative is officially called “Status Credit Support”, but could alternatively be dubbed “StatusKeeper”. Monthly status credit payments will be made from July until September 2020, with some payments backdated to April 2020 where applicable. The first payment will be made by 22 July 2020.
This is how Qantas has justified giving different amounts of assistance to members with different membership years:
Qantas understands that some members were impacted more than others due to Coronavirus. This includes members who started their membership year in March 2020 and for the first few months of their membership year, Qantas and partner airlines did not operate scheduled services so their ability to earn Status Credits was limited. Whereas, members who start their membership year later in 2020 or in 2021 will have greater opportunity and more time to earn as airlines including Qantas increase flights.
This additional support will give Qantas frequent flyers who have faced travel restrictions throughout the start of their current membership years a head-start towards renewing status next year.
Changes to Loyalty Bonus & Platinum One renewal
Normally, Platinum One members must earn 3,600 status credits per year with at least 2,700 of those earned on Qantas or Jetstar marketed flights. After the Status Credit Boost is applied, existing Platinum One members will now “only” need 1,800 status credits – with at least 900 of those from Qantas or Jetstar flights – to renew next year.
Qantas is also making temporary changes to the Loyalty Bonus to make it easier for Platinum One members to earn the required status credits next year. Until 31 December 2021, status credits earned via a Loyalty Bonus will count towards Platinum One status. (Normally, they only count towards other status tiers.)
Full details and FAQs about all of these new status support initiatives are available on the Qantas website.
Qantas Frequent Flyer members earn a loyalty bonus each time they earn 500 status credits from Qantas or Jetstar flights during a membership year, up to 4 times per year. When earning a Loyalty Bonus, members can choose between 8,000 points or 50 status credits.
Other new Qantas Frequent Flyer initiatives
Qantas also announced today that it will increase Classic Flight Reward availability to popular destinations in Australia and New Zealand by up to 50% for the rest of 2020, and put on more Points Planes, making it easier for frequent flyers to redeem points. Although, as Australian Frequent Flyer wrote yesterday, award availability is currently very good anyway.
Qantas is also launching a “Dream Planner” later this month, which “uses real time data and notifications to keep members informed on reward seat availability and special offers to their preferred destinations”. And there are various new hotel offers, including the ability to earn Qantas status credits for luxury hotel bookings until 31 August.
Why is Qantas doing this?
In light of the ongoing travel restrictions, international border closure, flight cancellations and economic downturn, it has become clear that many existing frequent flyers would not be able to renew their status next year without additional support. This is not a normal year for the travel industry!
Qantas (quite rightly) does not want to lose a large proportion of its frequent flyers. This would be a bad thing for Qantas because it creates an opportunity for previously loyal customers to fly with other airlines once travel resumes. Many of the airline’s current frequent flyers are loyal to Qantas because they enjoy the benefits of their status, such as lounge access. Take this status away, and the invisible “golden handcuffs” that prevent frequent flyers from defecting are much weaker.
It’s also quite likely that we’ll see more status matches over the coming year, further undermining Qantas’ position if it doesn’t do enough to retain its current frequent flyers.
With this in mind, Qantas realistically didn’t have much choice. Besides, status doesn’t cost an airline anything if nobody is flying!
Qantas Frequent Flyer has generally looked after its members well during the coronavirus crisis, and frequent flyers have welcomed the latest Status Credit Boost announcement.
But some frequent flyers have slipped through the cracks. Shamefully, Qantas did nothing for frequent flyers that were just 10 or 20 status credits short of upgrading to a higher status tier at the end of April. These members had to cancel trips that would have upgraded them to Gold status due to COVID-19 travel restrictions that would have made it illegal for them to fly at the time. Even after we specifically alerted Qantas to the plight of these members, they refused to budge. That was a missed opportunity; instead of creating goodwill, it created a feeling of resentment among members that had directed thousands of dollars worth of spend to Qantas over the previous year.
Join the discussion on the Australian Frequent Flyer forum: Qantas Status Credits Boost