Qatar Airways, Emirates and Cathay Pacific are among the latest group of airlines to provide a second year of tier status extensions to their frequent flyers.
Almost every airline gave a 12-month status extension to their top-tier members in 2020, due to the COVID-19 pandemic and associated travel restrictions which made it very difficult for most people to retain their status. But, as it’s now very clear that travel restrictions will last longer than one year, many airlines are now granting a second year of status extensions.
Air New Zealand was one of the first airlines to guarantee a second year of complimentary status renewal for its Airpoints members in September 2020. A few months later, both Qantas and Virgin Australia announced that they would also give most of their members the opportunity to easily extend their status for another year by taking at least one new flight.
In addition, the status of most Qantas Frequent Flyer members who live outside of Australia or New Zealand will be extended automatically, without any requirement to book a flight. Virgin Velocity members can also request a second status extension if they weren’t able to benefit from the first one announced in March 2020.
With COVID-19 travel restrictions likely to continue in many parts of the world throughout much of this year, it’s inevitable that more airlines will follow in giving a second year of tier status extensions – as Qatar Airways, Emirates and Cathay Pacific have all announced over the past week.
Here’s what you need to know about the latest Qatar Airways, Emirates and Cathay Pacific status extensions…
Qatar Airways Privilege Club tier status extension
Qatar Airways is extending the tier status of all Privilege Club Silver, Gold and Platinum members until 31 December 2021, including members who have not otherwise earned enough Qpoints.
“Our Privilege Club members are very important to us and we want to continue to be there for them,” Qatar Airways Chief Commercial Officer Mr. Thierry Antinori said.
“We understand that some of our members may need more time to plan and book their upcoming travel. That is why we are announcing today our latest tier extension as one of the many steps that Privilege Club has taken over the last year to honour the loyalty of our valued members as we navigate these difficult times together.”
This is good news for Australians who took advantage of last year’s Qatar Airways status match for Velocity Frequent Flyer members. Most of these members’ status was due to expire in mid-2021, so this extension is welcome. Although, depending on when Australia’s international borders reopen, it still may not give Australia-based Privilege Club members enough time to renew their status beyond this year.
The Qatar Airways status extension is being discussed on the Australian Frequent Flyer forum: Qatar Airways status match to Virgin Australia
Emirates Skywards tier status extension
Emirates is extending the tier status of Skywards members by a full 12 months. All members with status due to expire at any time during 2021 will receive a 12-month extension until 2022. This is in addition to the 12-month status extensions announced last year.
The validity of Emirates Skywards miles due to expire in or after April 2021 will also be extended until 30 June 2021.
The other of the “big 3” Middle Eastern airlines, Etihad, has not yet announced what (if anything) further it will do for its Etihad Guest members.
Cathay Pacific Marco Polo Club automatic status renewal
Cathay Pacific’s Marco Polo Club will also automatically renew the club tier status of all Marco Polo Club members for a further 12 months, bringing the total extensions to two years.
“All Green, Silver, Gold and Diamond memberships expiring in 2021 will be renewed, regardless of whether the tier requirements have been met. We will continue to monitor the situation and will announce any changes for 2022 at the appropriate time,” the Cathay Pacific website advises.
Mid-tier benefits that were due to expire in 2021 will also be renewed for an additional 12 months.