Qatar Airways has unlocked a rare status match for top-tier frequent flyers of just six airlines: Emirates, Etihad Airways, Singapore Airlines, South African Airways, Turkish Airlines and Virgin Australia.
It's an interesting roster, name-checking Qatar's largest competitors – UAE neighbours Emirates and Etihad, along Turkish Airlines and Singapore Airlines.
It's certainly no accident that all Emirates, Etihad and Singapore Airlines are flying skeleton schedules and face airport bans on transit passengers, while Turkish Airlines has shut down all international passenger flights and expects only a limited restart in June.
The last two airlines on that list, Virgin Australia and South African Airways, face their own troubles: Virgin remains in administration and has pinned its hopes on a multi-billion dollar take-over bid, while South African Airways is expected to be replaced by a new state-owned airline.
If you hold status with any of those six airlines, Qatar Airways is now offering to match this with the equivalent status in its own Privilege Club program – but you'll need to move fast, as this deal expires at 11.59pm on Wednesday May 20 (Doha time).
Your newly-minted Qatar Airways Privilege Club Silver, Gold or Platinum status will be valid for 12 months, meaning that could could enjoy all the privileges and perks through to May 2021.
To sweeten the deal, you'll need to collect only half as many 'Qpoints' as usual to keep that status through to as far as May 2022.
One of the key benefits of holding status in Qatar Airways Privilege Club is that, as Qatar Airways is a member of the Oneworld alliance, your shiny Privilege Club card boasts benefits with other Oneworld airlines such as American Airlines, British Airways, Cathay Pacific, Finnair, Japan Airlines and of course Qantas.
The latter will be particularly appealing for worried Virgin Australia frequent flyers, as they'll enjoy the same level of perks as their Qantas Silver, Gold and Platinum counterparts – including access to domestic and international Qantas lounges.
What Qatar Airways status can I get?
The Qatar Airways Privilege Club has three core tiers – Silver, Gold and Platinum (in the gemstone parlance of Oneworld, these equate to Ruby, Sapphire and Emerald).
Your status in the frequent flyer program of one of the six eligible airlines will be matched to the corresponding Privilege Club tier.
Here's how the Qatar Airways Privilege Club Silver, Gold and Platinum tiers should line up against their equivalents for Virgin Australia Velocity, Emirates Skywards, Etihad Guest, Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer, Turkish Airlines Miles&Smiles and South African Airways Voyager.
|QRPC Silver||QRPC Gold||QPRC Platinum|
|Virgin Australia||Velocity Silver||Velocity Gold||Velocity Platinum|
|Emirates||Skywards Silver||Skywards Gold||Skywards Platinum|
|Etihad Airways||Guest Silver||Guest Gold||Guest Platinum|
|Singapore Airlines||KrisFlyer Elite Silver||KrisFlyer Elite Gold||PPS Club|
|Turkish Airlines||Miles&Smiles Classic Plus||Miles&Smiles Elite||Miles&Smiles Elite Plus|
|South African Airways||Voyager Silver||Voyager Gold||Voyager Platinum|
Note that the fine print on this promotion says the decision "remains at the discretion of Privilege Club management; Privilege Club reserves the right to decide on the corresponding tier."
How to apply for a Qatar Airways status match
You'll need to already be a member of the Qatar Airways Privilege Club – signing up is fast, free and done at qmiles.com.
Also, take a photo or a scan of your frequent flyer membership card
Qatar Airways requests that your status match application also include the last two months of statements for your current airline – but given that the last two months have probably seen you doing no flying, we suggest you go back to a few months from late last year or early this year when you were travelling quite a bit.
Add those to your application, with a covering note explaining how your recent travel plans have been scuppered by COVID-19.
Bundle everything up and email it to [email protected], with the subject line “Privilege Club Status Match", and also include your Qatar Airways Privilege Club membership number in that email.
Remember: this has to be done before 11.59pm on 20 May 2020, Doha time (as a quick Asia-Pacific reference that's 7am on May 21 in Sydney and 5am in Singapore).
Your membership status match request will be reviewed, and approval sent within 10 business days.
How to keep your Qatar Airways status to 2022
Qatar Airways Privilege Club status is determined by how many Qpoints you earn during your membership year – and that bar has been substantially lowered for successful status matchers.
During your complimentary gratis status period you'll need yo earn the following number of Qpoints to keep your Privilege Club tier status for another 12 months:
- Qatar Airways Privilege Club Silver: 75 Qpoints (usually 150)
- Qatar Airways Privilege Club Gold: 150 Qpoints (usually 300)
- Qatar Airways Privilege Club Platinum: 300 Qpoints (usually 600)
In general, the more you spend on your ticket, the more Qpoints you’ll earn. This applies to both the class of travel you book and the distance you fly.
But with Qpoints able to be earned on the flights of Oneworld member airlines, this makes it easier to work your way up the ladder.
That said, in order to retain your Qatar Airways Privilege Club status you'll also need to have clocked up at least 20% of your Qpoints and "flown four sectors" on "flights either marketed or operated by Qatar Airways", the airline says.