Qantas is considering introducing new lifetime benefits to reward customers that are loyal over a long period of time. Ideas being floated include banked years of Platinum or Platinum One status, and even a status credit “superannuation” fund.
The new benefits would be designed to reward frequent flyers that remain loyal to Qantas over many years, and provide an additional incentive to keep flying Qantas after reaching lifetime Gold status.
Qantas introduced Lifetime Platinum status to reward long-term loyalty earlier this year. But, as Mark Ross-Smith explained in an episode of the ‘AFF on AIR’ podcast, Qantas set the bar so high that it could cause some frequent flyers to disengage with the program. It seems that Qantas may now realise how unattainable its lifetime Platinum status target is for most people, which is why the airline is looking to introduce additional, incremental benefits beyond lifetime Gold.
Qantas awards lifetime Silver status upon reaching 7,000 lifetime status credits, and lifetime Gold at 14,000 status credits. But you would need to earn 75,000 lifetime Qantas status credits to achieve Platinum status for life.
Without these changes, Qantas Frequent Flyer could risk losing high flyers to the British Airways Executive Club program. British Airways awards lifetime Oneworld Emerald status (equivalent to Qantas Platinum) after earning 35,000 tier points.
Qantas suggested a range of possible models in a recent survey sent to selected frequent flyers. These models include:
- Banked years of Platinum or Platinum One status which are earned after reaching 25,000 lifetime status credits, and can be activated at any time for 1 year
- A guaranteed extra year of Platinum or Platinum One status for members that held this status for at least 5 consecutive years but don’t re-qualify in a given year
- Incremental extra lifetime benefits upon reaching certain lifetime status thresholds between the amounts required for lifetime Gold and Platinum, e.g. First Class lounge access after reaching 50,000 lifetime status credits
- A “superannuation” account, whereby 10% of a member’s status credits earned each year go into this account which can be put towards a status level in future years
Another possibility could be for Qantas Frequent Flyer to take the lead of the Air France/KLM Flying Blue program, where “extra” XP points (status credits) earned in any membership year – beyond what is required to qualify for status in that year – are rolled over to the following year.
Qantas already allows members that don’t earn enough status credits to renew their status to “purchase” another year using frequent flyer points. The price is around 80,000 Qantas points to renew Gold status for a year, or 120,000 points to re-qualify for Platinum status. This is offered on an invitation-only basis.
Many Australian Frequent Flyer members think that the proposals to reward long-term loyalty to Qantas are good ideas.
Smart strategy! Considering so many people find that 75K for LTP is unattainable it makes sense to introduce incentives to cover the gap between 14K and 75K.
Wow. I like some of these options… I’m not too far off 35k myself and I could see making an effort *somewhat* worth it depending on if they did make some sort of offer or ability to have some perks based on these milestones.
Some of what is mentioned in those screenshot looks interesting. I particularly like the ‘superannuation’ idea. That would keep me more loyal beyond LTG. I also think that allowing a higher chance of upgrades or more bonus points makes sense, but to get to those levels of SC would be a challenge for most – and it is probably intended that way.
But instead of introducing complicated new benefits, some members think that Qantas should simply acknowledge the target for lifetime Platinum status is too high and reduce the threshold.
There is of course an option 5 available to them being admit you made a mistake and lower the threshold to a level which your more regular elite FF feels is attainable to maintain their loyalty. Say 50K SC
Virgin Australia does not currently offer lifetime status at all, although the airline is open to the idea.
Join the discussion on the Australian Frequent Flyer forum: QF Survey of new WP/P1 / post LTG benefits