Qantas is rolling out a generous status extension which will see many frequent flyers retain their Silver, Gold, Platinum or Platinum One tier through 2021 – and in some cases to the end of 2022 – with just a single flight.
In addition, many frequent flyer will be allowed to roll over status credits earned in the membership year ending in 2021 to give them a head start on their 2022 status.
The move comes as the airline faces not only a downturn in travel but a dramatic downsizing of its network, especially with regard to the overseas flights where many high flyers earn their Gold, Platinum and Platinum One status.
"To help Qantas Frequent Flyers maintain their status, all Australian and New Zealand based members need to do is simply book and pay for an eligible flight between now and the end of their membership year for travel until the end of 2021, and we will extend their status for a further 12 months," the airline says.
Eligibility for the single flight status extension
The almost-gratis status applies to all Qantas Frequent Flyers whose status end date falls between 31 March 2021 and 31 December 2021.
This includes members who have received complimentary Gold status, or complimentary Platinum from a Platinum One member, as well as those on a 'status hold'.
To mint your following year of status, the airline requires you to make
- one Qantas operated flight with a QF flight number, or
- any Qantas Points earning Jetstar international booking with a JQ flight number including Jetstar flights within New Zealand (JQ), Jetstar Japan (GK) and Jetstar Asia (3K) flights.
(Note that domestic Jetstar flights within Australia don't count.)
However, this will need to be a new booking: a trip that's already sitting on your calendar doesn't count.
That fresh flight must be booked between 23 November 2020 and before your current status end date of between 31 March and 31 December 2021, for travel before 31 December 2021.
Unlike many Qantas status promotions, there's no need to register: just book that flight.
As for Qantas Frequent Flyers whose membership year closes in January or February 2022, Qantas notes that "to support your ability to retain your status in 2022, you will still be gifted 50% of your annual Status Credits needed to keep your status as part of the Status Credit Boost as previously announced."
These flyers, however, won't qualify for the year-long status extension courtesy of a single flight.
Status credit rollover
If that's your next year of status sorted, what about the year after that?
After all, while the possibility of relatively short hops to New Zealand and some Asian countries remains on the cards for the first half of next year, Qantas doesn't expect to see significant international travel resume until the second half of 2021, and perhaps well in to 2022.
This will likely include Qantas' flagship routes to the USA and the UK, although Covid-19 will likely have a knock-on effect which will reduce attendance at international conferences and trade expos.
With this in mind, Qantas says it "will rollover accrued status credits for eligible members up to a maximum amount, from their eligible membership year to help kick-start their new membership year."
At least 40% of the status credits required to retain your tier will be rolled over if your membership year ends between 31 March 2021 and 31 December 2021 – or, to put it another way, if your following membership year starts between 1 April 2021 and 1 January 2022
The maximum number of status credits that will be rolled over are:
- Silver: 100
- Gold: 250
- Platinum: 500
- Platinum One: 1,800
Those status credits will be rolled over from the membership year that's ending.
For example, frequent flyers with a status end date of 31 March 2021 may be eligible for the one-year extension by taking one eligible flight as above, which pushes their status to 31 March 2022.
But come March 2022, that traveller will need to have enough status credits in their account to retain their status for another year (until March 2023), and that's where the status credit rollover comes into play.
Up to those limits above, status credits earned in that 'first' membership year (ending in 2021) would be rolled over into the 'second' membership year (ending in 2022), and would contribute towards retaining status in a 'third' year (ending in 2023).
Activating the status credit rollover also requires booking an eligible Qantas or Jetstar flight by the end of 2021, along the same lines as the status extension arrangement detailed above.
If you're already planning on making one of those flights to extend your status in 2021, this will also serve to activate the status rollover.
For all the details, follow this link to the Qantas Frequent Flyer website.
Living outside Australia and New Zealand?
Qantas Frequent Flyers who live anywhere apart from Australia and New Zealand will qualify for an automatic 12-month extension of their status without even needing to set foot on a plane.
The airline says this will apply to members whose 2021 status reset date is between 31 March 2021 and 31 December 2021; they'll also receive a status credit rollover to help jump-start their 2022 membership.
Additional reporting by Chris Chamberlin