Qantas is once again offering frequent flyers from Virgin Australia, Singapore Airlines, Air New Zealand and over a dozen other airlines a rare status match into its own loyalty program.
And this time, the promotion is available to residents of New Zealand as well as Australia.
It's essentially the Qantas Status Fast Track deal which the airline rolled out in December 2020, giving you the chance to lock down a full year of Qantas Frequent Flyer Gold status by earning a mere 100 status credits instead of the usual tally of 700 status credits.
On top of that, you'll get immediate Gold-grade perks of lounge access and extra checked baggage.
However, Qantas Gold is all that's on offer. Even if you hold a higher tier in a competing airline's reward scheme – such as Platinum or Diamond, or even Singapore Airlines' elite Solitaire PPS Club – there's no fast track to Qantas' shiny Platinum perch.
None the less, Qantas Gold status boasts practical benefits such as airport lounge access, a higher checked luggage allowance and priority treatment for you and your bags.
(And it's uncommon to see Qantas running any wide-open status match promotion, as the airline usually runs 'under the radar' with its selective and typically invitation-only Qantas Tier Accelerator.)
It's not only local competitors Virgin Australia and Air New Zealand in Qantas' crosshairs: the status match roster is ripe with 16 airlines across Asia and around the world, among them heavy-hitters such as Singapore Airlines, ANA, Delta Air Lines, Etihad Airways, United Airlines and Air Canada.
Ready to make your move on the Qantas Status Fast Track promotion? Read on.
- How long does the Qantas Status Fast Track offer run for?
- Who is eligible for the Qantas Status Fast Track?
- Which airlines will Qantas status match against?
- What status does the Qantas Status Fast Track offer?
- What are the key benefits of Qantas Gold status?
- Qantas Status Fast Track: instant Gold-grade perks
- Earning a full year of Qantas Gold status
- How to apply for the Qantas Status Fast Track
How long does the Qantas Status Fast Track offer run for?
Applications for this latest Qantas status match are open from today, Tuesday April 6, through to Friday April 30, 2021.
If your application gets the nod, you'll have until 31 July 2021 to earn those 100 status credits.
Who is eligible for the Qantas Status Fast Track?
To begin with, you'll of course need to be a member of the Qantas Frequent Flyer scheme. If you've not yet signed up, it's fast and – with the right promotional code – it's free.
Yes, there's a nominal $99.50 joining fee, but you can sidestep that through to January 31 2021 via www.qantas.com/freejoin.
You'll also need to make sure your Qantas Frequent Flyer profile lists an Australian or New Zealand postal address, as this Qantas Status Fast Track promotion is not available to QFF member whose address is outside of those countries.
Which airlines will Qantas status match against?
The Qantas Status Fast Track offer covers the following airlines and frequent flyer tiers.
- Air Canada: Aeroplan 50K, 75K and Super Elite
- Air China: Phoenix Miles Gold, Platinum
- Air India: Flying Returns Golden Edge Club, Maharajah Club
- Air New Zealand: Airpoints Gold, Elite
- ANA: Mileage Club Platinum, Diamond
- Asiana Airlines: Asiana Club Diamond, Diamond Plus, Platinum
- Delta Air Lines: Skymiles Gold Medallion, Platinum Medallion, Diamond Medallion
- Eva Air: Infinity MileageLands Gold Card, Diamond Card
- Etihad Airways: Etihad Guest Gold, Platinum
- Korean Air: Skypass Morning Calm Premium Club Card, Million Miler Club Card
- Shenzhen Airlines: PhoenixMiles Gold, Platinum
- Singapore Airlines: KrisFlyer Elite Gold, PPS Club, Solitaire PPS Club
- South African Airways: SAA Voyager Gold, Platinum
- Thai Airways: Royal Orchid Plus, Gold, Platinum
- United Airlines: MileagePlus Premier Gold, Premier Platinum, Premier 1K
- Virgin Australia: Velocity Gold, Platinum
It should go without saying that the Qantas Status Fast Track doesn't extend to other Oneworld airlines, or Qantas partners such as Emirates and China Airlines.
What status does the Qantas Status Fast Track offer?
As previously noted, regardless of whatever lofty status you may hold with an airline on the above list, Qantas is putting only Gold status in its own program on the table.
Of course, with that Qantas Gold card in hand you can work your way up to Qantas Platinum by earning the requisite 1,400 status credits in your membership year (and also notching up at least four flights with Qantas or Jetstar).
And as Qantas is a member of the Oneworld alliance, your Qantas Gold status is recognised on all Oneworld member airlines and packs similar perks such as access to business class lounges, priority check-in, boarding and baggage, and preferred seating.
This will come in very handy once international travel returns: for example, your Qantas Gold card opens the doors at most of Cathay Pacific's excellent lounges in Hong Kong and around the world.
In the Oneworld ladder, Qantas Gold is equivalent to Oneworld Sapphire. Here are some of the matching Oneworld member tiers:
- American Airlines AAdvantage Platinum, Platinum Pro
- British Airways Executive Club Silver
- Cathay Pacific Marco Polo Club Gold
- Finnair Plus Gold
- Japan Airlines Global Club, Global Club Crystal, Global Club Sapphire, Mileage Bank Sapphire
- Malaysia Airlines Enrich Gold
- Qatar Airways Privilege Club Gold
What are the key benefits of Qantas Gold status?
Here's a quick rundown of the ways that Qantas Frequent Flyer Gold status makes your travels a little smoother:
- Access to domestic Qantas Club lounges
- Access to international Qantas Business lounges and Premium lounges
- Priority check-in
- Priority baggage
- Extra checked baggage allowance
- Access to premium security lanes
- Priority boarding
- Preferred seating
- Preferential access to selected Qantas Classic Flight Reward seats
- On Departure Upgrade requests for domestic flights in Australia
- International Flight Classic Upgrade Reward Request Priority
- 75% more Qantas Points on eligible flights
- Matching Oneworld Sapphire status benefits on Oneworld partner airlines
Qantas Status Fast Track: instant Gold-grade perks
As soon as your application for the Qantas Status Fast Track is approved, all the way through to July 31, you'll receive "complimentary access to the airline’s network of Qantas Club lounges and extra checked baggage."
This means you don't get temporary Gold status – just those two specific perks, on top of your normal Qantas status (Bronze or Silver).
A Qantas Frequent Flyer spokesperson explained to Executive Traveller that people embarking on the Qantas Status Fast Track challenge "get the access to the lounge and the extra checked baggage only for the three months while they earn the 100 status credits."
"If they don’t succeed, lounge access and extra checked baggage will end. If they do succeed, they will receive Qantas Gold Status officially with the full suite of benefits as per existing Qantas frequent flyers with that tier."
Earning a full year of Qantas Gold status
As soon as your Qantas Status Fast Track challenge is approved, it's up to you to pocket those 100 Qantas status credits before the July 31 deadline.
These can be earned with Qantas or Jetstar on domestic or international flights, or any Qantas partner airlines (including Emirates and Oneworld members), along with status credits earned on the ground.
The airline also notes that those "have already been activated on the previous Qantas Status Fast Track (between 26 November 2020 and 31 March 2021) have until 30 June 2021 to earn the required Status Credits and are not eligible to apply for this Status Fast Track."
Here are a few sample Qantas routes that'll get you over the hundred status credit hurdle:
- Sydney-Melbourne or Sydney-Brisbane: five return flights in discount economy; three return flights in flexible economy, or one return flight in business class plus another in discount economy
- Melbourne-Brisbane: four return flights in discount economy; two return flights in flexible economy, or one return flight in business class.
- Melbourne-Cairns: one return flight in business class
- Sydney, Melbourne or Brisbane to Auckland or Christchurch: one return flight in business class, or two return flights in standard economy
- East-west (Sydney, Melbourne or Brisbane to Perth, once the WA border fully reopens): three return flights in discount economy, or one return flight in business class
Qantas says that Gold membership will be activated within two business days of completing the 'challenge' flights and racking up those 100 status credits.
The Qantas App will reflect that Gold status right away, and members will also be sent a welcome pack with a proper Gold card; Qantas offers a full 12 months at any status you achieve in your current membership year.
How to apply for the Qantas Status Fast Track
Log into your Qantas Frequent Flyer account at Qantas.com and complete the online Expression of Interest form before 11:59pm (AEST) April 30, 2021.
You can expect to hear back from Qantas via email within 10 business days, at which point you'll need to provide a colour photo of your current frequent flyer program membership card (with a future expiry date) or a screenshot of your online account.
Both of those must show the qualifying airline's name, your name (which must match that of your Qantas Frequent Flyer account) and your eligible status.
Note that unlike the December 2020 status match, this time around Qantas has not said you also have to provide an activity statement for the last 18 months to demonstrate that you've earned that status with the qualifying airline.
All you need to do is hold the appropriate status with an eligible airline: which means your status could come via family pooling of status credits, as a gift from another frequent flyer or conceivably though another status match program.
Finally, registering your interest in the Qantas Status Fast Track doesn't guarantee you'll be invited to take part.
The airline warns that it "reserves the right to decline the Expression of Interest and or cancel the Qantas Frequent Flyer membership and status if the documents provided are found not to be genuine and/or do not meet our requirements."
For more information on the Qantas Status Fast Track offer, click through to qantas.com/statusfasttrack.