Qantas looks to add new Gold, Platinum frequent flyer perks

A frequent flyer survey reveals how Qantas is considering a range of status-based benefits beyond Lifetime Gold.

By David Flynn , November 25 2019
Qantas looks to add new Gold, Platinum frequent flyer perks

Qantas is considering beefing up the benefits offered to long-term frequent flyers in 2020 with a range of measures including a year of complimentary status for Platinum and Platinum One members who drop below the annual threshold, and establishing a 'status credits superannuation fund' to obtain additional years at Gold or Platinum tiers.

The moves have been floated in a survey sent to a select group of top-tier Qantas Frequent Flyers, whose number included several Executive Traveller readers.

Several options were presented, and respondents asked to how relevant each was to their own situation also offer 'initial thoughts' on each proposal.

The scope of proposals in the survey appears geared to not only reward travellers with demonstrable long-term loyalty to Qantas but to also address the gap between Lifetime Gold (14,000 status credits) and the recently-introduced but stratospherically-positioned Lifetime Platinum (75,000 status credits).

Executive Traveller reader Gold4Life – we have agreed not to publish his real name – was among those surveyed, and suggested that Qantas has several "benefit gaps" to address.

"It's not just about the immense chasm between obtaining Lifetime Gold and Lifetime Platinum," he says. "It's also about the fact that once you reach Lifetime Gold and maybe Platinum or Platinum One each year there's less incentive and less reward to keep going beyond what you need to do in order to get that annual status."

"Having some 'milestones' along the way where extra status credits gain you something instead of going to waste or being flushed away with the annual QFF membership reset every year makes plenty of sense."

Here is a rundown of what Qantas is putting forward.

Banked years of status

'Banked years' of Platinum or Platinum One status could be used to retain that status if a member fails to quality through their own flying.

The first complimentary year would be obtained after reaching 25,000 lifetime status credits, with every 10,000 lifetime status credits adding one more year to the tally, up to a ceiling of 65,000 lifetime status credits (equivalent to five years of gratis status).

An alternative approach to delivering the same benefit was to award those additional years based not on lifetime status credits on how many years a member had held Platinum or Platinum One status, with the goal set at five consecutive years at that tier. Members could choose when to activate that year held up their sleeve.

For many years Qantas offered a discretionary extension of Gold or Platinum status, but in late 2017 shifted to a 'paid retention' model under which frequent flyers who fell short of the annual status credits target for renewing that shiny card could use frequent flyer points to close the gap.

Executive Traveller readers reported benchmarks of around 80,000 Qantas Points for another year of Gold status, with the asking price for one more year of Platinum perks ranging from 100,000-120,000 Qantas Points.

Read more: Qantas now lets you retain Gold, Platinum status with points

New lifetime benefits

The Qantas survey also called out what it called 'interval bonus benefits' where selected Platinum-grade benefits would be made available "at specific status credits intervals."

Examples cited included priority upgrades at 30,000 lifetime status credits and an automatic 100%  frequent flyer points bonus applied from 50,000 lifetime status credits.

These would be available on a lifetime basis rather than limited to a flyer's membership year.

Status credits 'superannuation'

A little more left of field is the proposal to earmark 10% of a member's annual status credits haul for deposit into a superannuation-style 'earn now, redeem later' scheme.

The cumulative status credits could eventually be cashed out "to purchase either Gold or Platinum status" for those times when a frequent flyer becomes a less frequent flyer and falls short of the number of status credits needed to retain that prized status.

"Members can choose when to draw down on their superannuation account for activation of their Gold or Platinum status,"  the survey suggested. 

There would be no limit on how many status credits could be amassed in the super scheme.

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.

05 Mar 2015

Total posts 78

This is a smart move to keep LTGs in the fold. I could think of a lot more benefits which QF could offer but the general concept, of addressing this nether region between LTG and LTP as well as rewarding overall loyalty such as being a consistent Platinum, is a very good start.

Qantas

20 Oct 2012

Total posts 4

A Qantas FF superannuation scheme is perhaps the most Australian thing I've ever heard.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

05 Oct 2016

Total posts 59

Yep and this is the idea i love the sound of most! Like this year i have retained plat and the rest aren't doing much other than working towards LT goals. So decided to get my status up with QR instead. To bank for a quieter year sounds great!

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

29 Nov 2013

Total posts 472

I like most of the ideas they're considering. I'm sitting just below the 1,400 to regain Platinum with 4m to go in my year - but will likely have a heavy final two months - so I'll likely be well over but likely below Platinum 1...

If the banking scenario allowed me to bank a percentage of what I earned over Gold but below Platinum then I'm interested. I'm LTG as well so I'm also in the wilderness in relation to loyalty.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

02 Sep 2018

Total posts 119

What I'm worried about is how these additional features will complicate the program.

gsx
gsx

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

14 Aug 2015

Total posts 25

Interesting ideas, but I remember (not too many lifetimes ago) when platinum's (and golds when that was the top level) received 100% points bonus based on the fare class paid, not the current base economy point base fare. Like lots of earning rates that have been eroded over the years. They really do need to start rewarding loyalty more than they do.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

15 May 2019

Total posts 17

I wonder whether the benefits like the superannuation fund are being discussed as a way of bridging the gap between Lifetime Gold and Lifetime Platinum or as a way to remove Lifetime Gold from the line up? Surely there would be an all out revolt if they removed that tier or shifted the goalposts.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

21 Jan 2014

Total posts 235

I think they are looking at ways to address drift when a level is reached but no chance of getting to the next one, whether that be lifetime or annual so people start to wonder to other airlines, I am doing that this year in my own small way, I am always a few hundred SC short of P each year and really can't ever see myself travelling enough to get there so this year I have started flying VA a bit, I will still get to QF Gold easy anyway but if they have some means of utilising the SC above the that level or putting them towards something I would consider it.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

18 Feb 2015

Total posts 99

You already get some of these... when I changed jobs and stopped flying as much they gave me platinum again the next year for free anyway... and then when I didn't even make enough for gold the following year they gave me that for nothing... after that I reverted to lifetime silver and I still had unused Qantas Club membership so that kicked in almost 10 years later! Bonus!

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

25 Nov 2016

Total posts 76

The workforce is getting older. Many working/worked in businesses that in years gone by required staff/managers to fly to meetings. This is changing due to technology and employees not wanting to be away from their family as much now. How does Qantas maintain its business customers and keep its retired customers who will grow in numbers in the coming years? Qantas needs to reach out to the older and loyal members to make it worth their while to continue to fly with them and not go to a new FF program to get better benefits. Certainly a broad strategy by Qantas is needed. I hope they come up with one as overall. I have been well treated by Qantas over the years but like in any market we go for the best deal.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

26 Nov 2012

Total posts 38

I like these ideas. I qualified for Platinum 2 months into my membership year but know I wouldn't get to P1. Instead I flew Oman Air several sectors and managed to get to their top level. I'd have spent that money happily on OW if I had a reason to and QF would probably have dragged $5k revenue more out of that pool. Now I'm top level Oman Ir I'm planning two WY flights next year which normally I'd do on QF/OW

It is good to hear QF finally realised that there are many members have issues with return loyalty. Have been P for almost 20 years and LTG for at least 10 years. Now that I have retired, there is no way to maintain P and probably only 40% to LTP. It would nice to be rewarded with an extra year of benefits or other reminders that loyalty is a two way street.

23 Feb 2015

Total posts 261

Glad this is being looked at. I've dropped from P to G and will land on LTS at the end of this year. I won't have any real incentive other than utilisation of banked points to fly OW once my gold year has run out and then none at all.

If, as LTS, I started each year at 300 status credits rather than 0 I would be more likely to chase gold through leisure travel.

23 Feb 2015

Total posts 261

PS the points price to retain P was beyond ridiculous.

03 Jan 2012

Total posts 88

I'm LTG for a few years and was Plat for about 10 on the trot. There's no realistic way to get Lifetime Plat so that's no incentive to keep QF as No1 choice. I just go after cheapest fair nowadays with any airline. My suggestion would be to give LTG access to Business Class Lounges (rather than Qantas Club) and First Class Lounges (where available) once they've reached a Status Credit milestone each year. Maybe 300 credits. That would tempt me to recipricate my loyalty to QF.

MHG
MHG

21 Apr 2017

Total posts 12

I have been P continuous since 2002 and LTG for 10 . I agree with all of the above and LTP is placed so as to be unacheivable to a normal traveller. This year my anniversary was end Oct, and due to my wife's serious illness and also the fact that I had 3 operations, I fell well short of SC required to retain P. Contacted Q, explained the situation and was told how sad too bad. The offer was to pay 120,000SC to retain P or revert to G. As I know I will be doing a lot of travell this coming year I paid up. So much for loyalty by Q. As mentioned earlier it's a two way street, but Q has only one way streets.

The idea of banking SC is a brilliant ides as this would have alleviated my problem. I hope Q listen.

04 Dec 2013

Total posts 132

I'd lower the qualification level required for platinum, once you reach lifetime gold (given that - in effect - you're already starting with the 600 points you need for gold). Perhaps not that low, but certainly no more that you'd need to retain platinum if you already had it (ie 1200, not 1400).

23 Feb 2015

Total posts 261

Lifetime members should effectively start with the retain credits each year. LTS should start with 300 and LTG should start with 600.

This would mean LTS would need 400 to obtain gold (300 to retain) and 1100 to obtain platinum (1100 to retain) while LTG would need 800 to obtain platinum (600 to retain).

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

15 Feb 2018

Total posts 3

I amassed 64200 SC in my approximate 22yrs flying, 17 odd years at Platinum or Platinum 1 level.I guess will be good news for myself but not sure how it would work.Now retired so flying days finished

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

01 Mar 2013

Total posts 152

It's an initiative and a step forward. All Airlines need to compete, at least QF is giving it a go. LTP for 75K is still, bonkers. Cheers

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

24 Jan 2018

Total posts 1

I think Qantas is simply too stingy to get much customer loyalty from its frequent flyers. I'm only Lifetime Silver (though that still takes quite a bit of flying with Qantas) and they offer a couple of free longe passes annually. Last Saturday afternoon I tried to use the lounge in Melbourne and was turned away as you need to book 24 hours in advance. Thanks for nothing. A benefit you can't use when you want it. Simply makes me want to use other airlines, like Singapore, who treat you better.

QF

02 Sep 2013

Total posts 6

Interesting idea. I've been Platinum for 36 years and have Lifetime Gold (35,000 lifetime credits) with no hope of making Lifetime Platinum (too old). Last year I did a bit over 3,000 status credits and at the end of the year decided to only aim to renew Platinum and use other airlines this year. Just made Platinum with Virgin and now working on Star Alliance. If the benefits are good enough I might be convinced to give Qantas more business.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer - Chairmans Lounge

01 Sep 2011

Total posts 370

One of the points i've put forward in the past is that if you use points for a ticket, then that ticket helps maintaining status. It is similar to what I have experienced with Hilton. So, if for argument sake a paid ticket gets you 100 status credits, then if use 50,000 points for the same route and class, you should get 100 status credits. After all in essence you are still "paying" for the ticket.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

22 May 2019

Total posts 1

Very disappointed Qantas has stopped issuing double status credit offers as used to be the case. Whilst I use to regularly receive such offers, this has all but disappeared. Last one I received was a 50% bonus and flight needed to be in coming months as opposed to next 12 months. As a result, I now find myself booking economy and upgrading with points instead of buying bus class tickets. To boost SCs. As well, I am also flying with Virgin more often as they have lower hurdles and still send out double status credit offers regularly. Disappointed as I loved the double SC promotions to chase Platinum!

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer - Chairmans Lounge

01 Sep 2011

Total posts 370

I'm about 15000 points from lifetime platinum, if i maintain my current travel schedule it will take me another 5 years to get to that level, so some of these roll over credits are a good idea. Year after year I am losing at least 1,000 status credits which I don't consider fair.

08 Jul 2015

Total posts 10

There is a definite need to provide something above LTG and the unattainable LT P1 as has been stated.

Once LTG and P obtained with no hope of attaining LTP1 plus no Double Status Points promo lately, I booked myself and wife to Europe with a great J fare with CX/AY. Without DSP cannot retain P so with Gold Status and Bus Class on other OW carriers there is no real incentive for QF bias although I much prefer Qantas for lots of reasons.

Qantas - Platinum Qantas Frequent Flyer

09 Jul 2012

Total posts 6

Yes there was no double status points!

27 Nov 2019

Total posts 1

The majority of my flights are now personal. I am only a Q Bronze member but currently close to a Silver. Due to the many tempting options other competing airlines offer, it is difficult to remain loyal to such a difficult to obtain airline reward system. I feel looking after those at the bottom end and keeping them loyal is worth looking into. We all start somewhere but whether we continue to be loyal depends on what value we are being given. Are we valuable to the airlines or just another seatwarmer? If you look at the supermarket incentives, ie a plastic/rubber toy, very cheap but it works, people stay loyal to the one store brand. Is it because they really want the toy or is it because they feel they are rewarded and therefore matter to the company. These companies realise that giving something achievable is better than promising the end of the rainbow type incentive.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

27 Mar 2018

Total posts 10

I was slightly excited when I read about Lifetime Platinum and when I saw the qualifying requirement, realised that having just turned 50, the chances of me obtaining it based on my current travel pattern I would be over 100 years of age before even came close. I am Lifetime Gold and am grateful for the fact that at least there is lounge access for life; not much else really. I was going to hit up Qantas for a refund of my Qantas Club membership fee, pro rata of course. Not sure it is worth it but then again, why should they keep the $400 ... (it would cost me that in time to sit on hold...)

Qantas - Platinum (Lifetime Gold)

25 Apr 2013

Total posts 55

I agree Ando3121, it has been your money all that time. I had a similar credit value when i reached LTG about 2 years ago and applied for and was paid a refund in $

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

27 Mar 2018

Total posts 10

Thanks for letting me know. I will make a call.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

05 Jul 2019

Total posts 2

I like that there are discussions and interest in reviewing the current perks. I can't help but think the long term loyalty rewards need the most “upgrade”. The fact that you are LTG should be recognised over and above any single year status. LTG I feel is higher than P but not recognised so. On average you have been loyal at Gold for 20+ years or at Platinum for 10 years to get to LTG. Surely that has meant more to Qantas long term so it should be rewarded so with bonuses, business lounge access, flight upgrades, etc.

CLK
CLK

02 Sep 2018

Total posts 1

Totally agree with you and felt the same..LTG is not recognised or differentiated from a just attained G. So like many my loyalty after LTG is to fly with whoever to look after myself first, not necessary for the benefits of LTG..

Qantas - Platinum (Lifetime Gold)

25 Apr 2013

Total posts 55

I read this article with interest to see if QF was going to get my loyalty back. I earned LTG which equates to warming many a seat for hours on QF, it wasn't handed to me on a platter. I have zero SC with Qantas this year with my anniversary 3 months away. I find no incentive to remain loyal to QF for paid tickets although i do miss the perks of P but not enough to aim for it each year. I now look for the best market option for seats in J or, use QF points which i earn on my personal credit card or points on the business credit cards accruing in Reward Points giving me diversity of airline choice.

Qantas - Platinum Qantas Frequent Flyer

09 Jul 2012

Total posts 6

As lifetime Gold no point in loyalty as with lifetime platinum being so out of reach I think Qantas really need to look after their real loyal customers better or make lifetime platinum more realistic anyway Virgin are starting to look attractive now.

21 Mar 2012

Total posts 6

I've dropped out of the FF rat race after dropping from many years at G.

Sure you may need to travel for work but I think in decades to come as we experience worsening effects of climate change, the idea we once rewarded frequent flying (and associated emissions) will be a very poor look indeed.

Qantas

01 Jun 2016

Total posts 19

I m aiming for LTG. I m currently short by 3k. I should hit it in less than 2 years if my current travel patterns persist after that I am looking at Star Alliance. I have hit 2500 status credit this year without any upgrade offer at all. I was platinum with Virgin for 2 years and liked the 4 passes (if I remember correctly) to upgrade flexi economy to business on domestic or short international leg.

AJW
AJW

16 Nov 2011

Total posts 527

I reckon one good solution to encourage LTG fliers to stay loyal is once you get to LTG, reduce the qualifying credits required to get to platinum and platinum 1.

I am concerned that many beneficiaries of the lifetime benefits will have been taxpayer funded.

04 Dec 2013

Total posts 132

You mean funded by their employer, just like the overwhelming majority of top tier frequent flyers?

28 Nov 2019

Total posts 1

Crosscourt on 27 Nov visited a problem which I have often thought about - that is, when a pax upgrades using points, why then does Qantas not apply the resultant upper class for the calculation of FF points and Status credits? Using points (or cash or a combination of both), in my opinion, means that you are in fact ‘paying' for the upgrade, therefore you should be treated to that class's FF and Status credits? Should this be included in the revamp of the FF program?

19 Aug 2017

Total posts 7

I have been LTG for probably 10 years, and platinum in a row for probably 15 of the last 20 years. Once I get to Platinum, i switch to using Singapore on my LHR-SGP-LHR 3 weekly flights, so I get status with star alliance.

there is no real incentive for me to use qantas after I retain platinum, as I don't fly enough to get to P1, and a lot of the time I use partners like Cathay, which don't assist towards P1

perhaps if they changed things above the 1200 retain level, like extra goodies points, upgrade certificates, I would continue to fly with them.

look forward to seeing the Sing 1st Lounge this trip

Rxm
Rxm

Jetstar Airways - Qantas Frequent Flyer

14 Jan 2017

Total posts 15

How about just reducing the number of sc to reach lifetime platinum. Double that for LTG would seem reasonable. Or perhaps offering LTG upgraded lounge access 2 time per year.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

04 Dec 2012

Total posts 6

I've just been in protracted and unsatisfying discussions with QF about my P status lapsing as I was a little short on the anniversary (while overseas on a QF ticket).

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

27 Mar 2018

Total posts 10

That's inconsistent - when that happened to me I was told to call QFF and they rolled it over for one year.

15 Nov 2019

Total posts 2

Spouse and I am 80% towards LTG statues; and recently got an email to say we're in the 'top 30% of P's'. We have 4 trips a year to Japan for business and 1 to Europe each year to holiday, plus other domestic trips for my conferences etc. paid out of my own pocket. Trip to Europe a few months ago co-sharing Qantas & Finnair; miles and statues credits on the way over and nothing on the way back except the Singapore to Brisbane leg. (although I had boarding passes to prove I was on the flights). Last time I will book through an agent promising points and status credits when I usually do my own bookings. Just a little disappointed with the stinginess.


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