Air New Zealand hopes to lure across Qantas and Virgin Australia frequent flyers with an instant status match – no flying required.
The Kiwi carrier's offer comes ahead of the April 19 restart of trans-Tasman flying, and follows Qantas' own 'fast-track' status deal.
And like that Qantas promotion, Air New Zealand is putting its own Airpoints Gold status up for grabs as what it calls Touch of Gold.
With practical perks such as lounge access, complimentary seat selection, additional carry-on and checked luggage allowances plus priority check-in, boarding and baggage, Gold is generally considered the sweet spot in most airline loyalty programs.
"We can’t wait to fly customers across the Tasman, so we’re encouraging Gold status or higher customers of qualifying airlines to try Air New Zealand with our Touch of Gold offer," says Air New Zealand General Manager Loyalty Kate O’Brien.
"We know there is pent up demand for trans-Tasman travel. and it’s the perfect time for customers to get a taste of our world-class customer experience and reap the benefits of our Airpoints programme."
AirNZ's Gold status match is nominally open to the following high flyers in both Australia and New Zealand
- Qantas Frequent Flyer Gold, Platinum and Platinum One
- Velocity Frequent Flyer Gold and Platinum
However, the airline's Touch of Gold terms and conditions page expands upon that, saying only that applicants "must hold current Gold or higher status (or equivalent) with another airline. Star Alliance airline or Cathay Pacific members are ineligible for the promotion."
A spokesperson for Air New Zealand confirmed to Executive Traveller that its Gold status match will indeed be offered to the middle- and top-tier frequent flyers of any airline, bar its Star Alliance siblings and Hong Kong partner Cathay Pacific.
Applications must be made by May 7, 2021 – and once your application is approved, Airpoints Gold status will be yours for four months.
If you earn 100 Status Points on Air New Zealand travel within that time, your Gold status will stay fresh for the following eight months, giving you a full year of Gold benefits.
This will also include two free 'recognition upgrades', such as from economy to premium economy, or premium economy to business.
It's also worth noting that Airpoints Gold is recognised as Star Alliance Gold, which could come in very handy for the likes of Singapore Airlines once travel resumes between Australia and Singapore.
Status Points, like Airpoints Dollars (the Kiwi carrier's points currency), are calculated based on how much you pay for your ticket – as a quick guideline, here are the earning rates for a one-way flight between Sydney and Auckland:
- Economy Smart Saver, 7-46 Status Points
- Economy Flexi, 33-104 Status Points
- Premium Economy, 33-77 Status Points
- Business, 60-107 Status Points
As you can see, it's quite do-able to pocket 100 Status Points and a year at the Airpoints Gold tier with a return flight on a flexible economy or premium economy fare, and it's guaranteed if you're in business class.
For more details and to apply, visit airnewzealand.com.au/touchofgold-benefits