With its international flights suspended, domestic flights cut and relatively few people flying regardless – and without any idea of when the coronavirus pandemic will be behind us – Qantas is extending the expiry date for Qantas Club membership, lounge invitations and more.
Qantas Club membership extended
All those grounded flights and grounded frequent flyers, plus the closure of all Qantas lounges both within Australia and overseas, have diminished the value of Qantas Club membership, for which travellers pay $540 per year along with an up-front $399 joining fee.
No surprise, then, that Qantas will be extending the validity of Qantas Club memberships by six months.
"Due to lounge closures, we’ll be applying an automatic six-month extension to paid Qantas Club memberships with an active membership on 23 March 2020," the airline says.
This will see Qantas Club memberships remain active until at least late September 2020.
Qantas lounge passes extended
Qantas credit cards and Silver-grade frequent flyers receive single-use lounge passes which provide entry as domestic Qantas Clubs and international Qantas business lounges.
(There's one notable exception: the Qantas business class lounge at LAX, which is shared between Qantas, British Airways and Cathay Pacific and serves more as a Oneworld lounge than a Qantas-owned lounge.)
The use-by date on those complimentary lounge passes is being extended by six months.
Qantas extends flight credits to 2021
Existing Qantas bookings can be swapped for ‘flight credit’ at the same value as your fare, which can be used to make a future booking.
Flight credits will now be valid through to December 31 2021, which should be plenty of time for the coronavirus to be in the rear-view mirror and for people to be flying once again.
If you’re due to fly with Qantas before July 31, you can convert this to a flight voucher by April 30. There’s no additional charge or rebooking fee down the track – the only caveat (besides using the credit by the end of 2021) is that the new fare you book has to be of an equal or higher value than the flight credit.
Flight credits which have already been issued after January 31 2020 will automatically be extended to December 31 2021.
What if you’d rather get back the money you paid for your ticket? If your flight has been cancelled by Qantas, you’re entitled to that refund – in which case, don’t rush into converting your booking into a voucher.
If the flight’s not yet been formally cancelled, sit tight and wait for that to happen, and then contact Qantas to make arrangements for your refund.
Qantas extends frequent flyer status
As previously reported, all Silver, Gold, Platinum and Platinum One card-holders will see their status automatically extended for 12 months, preserving their perks through to as late as 2022 even if they don't set foot on an airplane.
The gratis status offer also encompasses members who have received a complimentary Gold membership, or complimentary Platinum membership from a Platinum One member.
Qantas Business Rewards membership extended
In the same way, Qantas is also extended the current tier of Qantas Business Rewards members for 12 months.
Businesses will still see their points earned from flying reset on their QBR membership anniversary, but the membership level – graded as 1, 2 or 3 – will be automatically extended.