10 benefits that Qantas should offer to 'Platinum One' frequent flyers

By David Flynn, May 21 2011
10 benefits that Qantas should offer to 'Platinum One' frequent flyers

UPDATE | Qantas has now launched its Platinum One frequent flyer level, and we've got all the details...

PREVIOUS | Thousands of Australia's most frequent flyers will quality for Qantas' new elite 'Platinum One' level, even with its lofty requirement of 3600 'status credits' – equivalent to five first-class return flights between Australia and London.

But so far the only benefit of belonging to this top tier for business travellers is access to what Qantas loosely calls "a dedicated contact team".

Qantas is no doubt crunching numbers, finessing deals and signing contracts for a raft of other trimmings yet to be announced. In the meantime – and maybe even in the hope that we can inspire them - here's a list of 10 benefits we'd like to see Qantas offer to its Platinum One frequent flyers. 

1. Complimentary Platinum Frequent Flyer status for your partner

Platinums who rack up enough travel in a year can give a Gold Frequent Flyer card to a family member or friend. Time to up the ante and let the partner of a Platinum One automatically receive a Platinum card.

2. Guaranteed upgrades

On many international airlines, when you use your points for an upgrade it's treated as if you're paid with the folding stuff – your upgraded seat is locked in.

Not so with Qantas, which treats your upgrade as a 'request' based on availability and will advise if you've gotten the bump-up only on the morning of your flight.

Time for a change. The Red Roo says that Platinum One is all about recognising and rewardingloyalty, so let's start with guaranteeing any points-based upgrade as soon as the booking is made.

3. Automatic upgrades

If Qantas isn't too keen on giving away seats which it still has time to sell, how about automatic upgrades based on availability at check-in or even boarding?

If you're booked in premium economy and there's a spare bench in business class, that seat becomes yours. Travel in business class and you've got first dibs on an empty first class seat.

4. Frequent flyer points 'overdraft'

We pinched this idea from Lufthansa's Miles & More programme, but of course Qantas will also  have studied what its partners and competitors are doing.

We hope they've taken note of Lufthansa's "mileage overdraft" facility, which applies the bank overdraft principle to points. You can count an unearned 100,000 miles when making a Lufthansa award booking, because the airline knows from your status level that you'll soon enough be flying again to make up those miles.

5. Extra availability of award seats

While we're on the topic, how about letting Platinum One members book an 'Anytime Award' seat using the same number of points as the cheaper but limited 'Classic Award' seats?

6. Free valet parking

We're not talking about all-year-round access to Qantas' valet parking service, as nice as that would be. Just a few freebies per year would be welcome. We'd call them 'vouchers', Qantas would call them 'personal invitations to the Qantas valet experience', but free VIP parking by any name still smells as sweet.

7. Limousine transfers to and from the airport

It doesn't have to be every airport and it doesn't even have to be every flight. But for Qantas' major destinations, and maybe using vouchers for between 2-4 flights per year, this would be a world-class perk.

Of course, members who attain twice the number of status credits in a year needed to attain Platinum can already get three free valet parking or chauffeured transfer vouchers, so the platinum one perks would have to outdo that.

8. The return of Anytime Access

Platinums used to be able to use a Qantas lounge – even Sydney's luxurious International First lounge – without travelling on a Qantas or Oneworld partner flight. Anytime Access was removed earlier this year, causing much angst among the Platinums. How about bringing it back for the Platinum One set?

After all, while it might mean they will use the lounge while not flying Qantas, it still means they're spending enough with Qantas to qualify for a massive 3,600 status credits. 

9. Increased guest capacity

Platinum frequent flyers are currently allowed to sign two guests into a Qantas business lounge and one into Qantas First. Why not double that for the Platinum One elite?

10. Priority boarding on domestic flights

This should already be on the menu for plain old Platinum members, and maybe even for Golds (after Platinums are called, of course). It can't be that big a deal to introduce.

David

David Flynn is the Editor-in-Chief of Executive Traveller and a bit of a travel tragic with a weakness for good coffee, shopping and lychee martinis.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

10 Jan 2011

Total posts 29

9. Increased guest capacityPlatinum frequent flyers are currently allowed to sign two guests into a Qantas business lounge and one into Qantas First. Why not double that for the Platinum One elite?--I would prefer for guest limits to be standardised between domestic and international.Remember, Platinum frequent flyers can only guest *one* person in to the International business lounge as well.It's frustrating that on 3/4 out of my yearly international trips I sit in the First lounge alone yet on that remaining trip when I travel with others I either have to split up the group because I have one too many, or forego the lounge.I split up the group last time. We were all travelling International business. I took my mum into the First lounge (I was taking her on her first overseas trip, and first time in business class) and sent the rest down to the Business lounge for entry based on travel class :)

10 Mar 2011

Total posts 531

It will be interesting to see what the benefits "Platinum One" members get. Just on your list though:

1. Automatic Upgrades - Sure.. why not... However I suspect the majority of Platinum One qualifiers are probably flying right up the front anyway... 

2. Points Overdraft - If they fly enough to get to 3600, do you really think they would go into overdraft?

3. Extra availability of Awards seats - Come on... If those who can qualify actually fly enough to get to 3600 credits, I think they can afford to use the Any seat award system without a discount!! 

I just hope Qantas don't go overboard with the extra rewards at the expense of the lower tiers. 

am
am

15 Apr 2011

Total posts 586

I'm hoping for more service based perks than things like extra points or award availability... 

1. Limo transfers to the airport from a 20 or 30km radius - should be every airport, every flight... But realistically at least all Australian capitals, and the key business desinations (SIN, LHR, LAX, JFK, NRT, HKG etc)

2. Automatic upgrades to First where available (or business on Domestic)

3. Additional guest passes into the First lounge

4. Priority/Pre booking for the Spa in the First Lounge (even if not travelling in paid First)

5. Bonus 'gifts' like the stuff you can get instead of partner gold... Things like a card at Christmas or on your birthday, maybe with a bottle of wine. Personal travel updates that don't just tell me about my next flight, but provide a summary for the next fortnight/month...

Can't think of much else -- they are going to try and keep the cost of this down, so I doubt that we'll see anything too major...

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer - Chairmans Lounge

01 Sep 2011

Total posts 376

At the moment the best that can be done with qantas as a lifetime member is gold, that should be increased to platinum.

 

Platinum 1 members should be able to get all the status credits, cabin bonuses etc with ALL the airlines in OneWorld. Right now unless its with QF BA or AA you don't get all the frequent flyer bonuses, just some of them.

20 Sep 2011

Total posts 28

Points 2 and 3 about upgrades and confirmation would be the dealmakers for me.

I think QANTAS's worst ever frequent flyer decision was turning upgrades into a kind of have you/haven't you got it lottery.  If I was planning a nice trip back to UK or any other 'long haul' with my wife or family I would NEVER 'risk' applying for an upgrade with my points just on the offchance that we might get it or that we'd only be told when we turned up at the airport.

Upgrades booked and paid for with your hard earned points must be confirmed at the time of booking them.  After all, as a Platinum or new uber platinum flyer, you should be far more important to QANTAS that the person who might just buy the BC seat.

20 Sep 2011

Total posts 28

Will probably manage P1 by review date next jan but looking at 'benefits' on web page and they are all a bit underwhelming.  Now THESE are what I call BENEFITS and worth flying QF for!!!!!

Why don't QANTAS put you in charge of their FF programme??????


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