“Win a year of free Qantas flights” as vaccination incentive

That COVID jab could also earn you a free flight voucher or Qantas Points and status credits.

By David Flynn, May 31 2021
“Win a year of free Qantas flights” as vaccination incentive

Qantas will offer 10 'mega prizes' of a year of free flights for Australians who are fully vaccinated against COVID-19 by the end of 2021.

Also on offer could be discounts on regular flight bookings and potentially 1,000 Qantas Points plus status credits as the airline seeks to spearhead a push for vaccination incentives by Australia's largest companies.

"We're going to offer 10 'mega-prizes', at least one for each state and territory, where you will get for a year, for a family of four, unlimited travel anywhere on the Qantas and Jetstar network," Qantas Group CEO Alan Joyce confirmed on Nine's Today show on Monday morning.

The trips would be in economy class and each of the ten winners would also receive one million Accor ALL points to use for booking accommodation.

Joyce said the program would launch in July, "will include anybody that has already been vaccinated (and) will apply to anybody that's vaccinated through to the end of 2021."

"To really help with that vaccine we are putting this discount for people who have taken the vaccine (and) we're looking at giving 1,000 points 
flight vouches and status credits," Joyce added.

"I'm encouraging a Team Australia moment for every other corporate to help with this vaccine rollout and to reward people that have had the vaccine."

Joyce also suggested that widespread vaccination in the USA and the UK could see Qantas restart flights to those key markets sooner rather than later, and certainly ahead of the Government's proposed mid-2022 timeframe.

"A few months ago I thought maybe Singapore, Taiwan (and) Japan would be the first cabs off the list."

"But with the great progress that's been made in the US and the UK you may actually see those markets opening up before the rest, because the vaccine rollout's been so successful in both countries."

For its part, the Government is planning to let fully-vaccinated Australians travel overseas as part of a pilot program which could launch in August.

The scheme could allow them to fly to selected countries, including low-risk destinations, and return without facing quarantine provided they show a negative COVID result on arrival.

Also read: Government to trial overseas travel for vaccinated Australians

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The US and UK flights would feature the Qantas Boeing 787-9s as the airline's de facto flagship until the first Airbus A380 superjumbos are brought out of hibernation, potentially from the end of 2023.

"With early retirement and people taking leave without pay, we actually have scale to crew six of the aircraft," Joyce told Executive Traveller earlier this month.

"If they do come back in when we expect them, at the end of 2023, we'll activate the first six aircraft very rapidly because we’ll have the pilots to do it."

The requirements for Australians flying into countries as they reopen their own borders could range from undergoing COVID-19 tests both before departure and on arrival, to mandating that only passengers who've been fully vaccinated can travel.

Joyce has previously declared that vaccination will be compulsory for all Australians stepping onto an international Qantas flight when those flights resume, although exceptions would be made for some 'bubble' destinations similar to the current arrangement with New Zealand.

"Once a safe and effective vaccine becomes readily available, it will be a requirement for travel on our international services," he stated in December 2020.

"For international visitors coming out, and people leaving the country, we think that's a necessity."

Also read: "Win a year of free Qantas flights" as vaccination incentive

 

For its part, the Government is planning to let fully-vaccinated Australians travel overseas as part of a pilot program which could launch in August.

The scheme could allow them to fly to selected countries, including low-risk destinations, and return without facing quarantine provided they show a negative COVID result on arrival.

Also read: Government to trial overseas travel for vaccinated Australians


Also read: Qantas CEO tips early restart for flights to USA, London

PREVIOUS [May 28, 2021] | Qantas is considering giving free flight vouchers or frequent flyer points to people who’ve had Covid-19 shots, joining a growing list of businesses offering vaccination incentives to kick-start global travel.

While details haven’t been finalised, fully-inoculated Qantas frequent fliers might also be offered free loyalty status credits, the airline confirmed.

“As a large company that relies on travel to put our people and planes back to work, we’re obviously motivated to help with the national vaccine effort,” Qantas Chief Customer Officer Stephanie Tully said.

“We’re still thinking through how this would work, but the incentive could be Qantas points, Qantas or Jetstar flight vouchers, or status credits for frequent flyers.”

Those incentives would be retrospective and available to anyone who has already been vaccinated. The program would run until the end of 2021, when Australia’s vaccination program is expected to be mostly complete.

That vaccine rollout is “the key to keeping our domestic borders open and safely restarting international travel,” Tully added.

Qantas CEO Alan Joyce has previously declared that vaccination will be compulsory for all Australians stepping onto an international Qantas flight when those flights resume, although exceptions may be made for some 'bubble' destinations similar to the current arrangement with New Zealand.

“Once a safe and effective vaccine becomes readily available, it will be a requirement for travel on our international services,” Joyce flagged in December 2020.

“For international visitors coming out and people leaving the country we think that's a necessity.”

After grounding almost all overseas flights in March 2020, Qantas has now flagged late December 2021 for the broad reboot of its international network, although this could be pushed back into mid 2022 in line Federal Government decisions on the country's border closures.

As reluctance in many countries to get vaccinations threatens a recovery from the pandemic, companies with the most to gain from a global reopening are pitching in. United Airlines is offering vaccinated frequent fliers the chance to win free flights for a year.

Hong Kong’s airport authority said Wednesday it would give away 60,000 flight tickets in a lucky draw to residents and airport staff who’ve been vaccinated before the end of September. Uber. and Lyft are offering free rides to anyone on their way to get vaccinated in the U.S.

Australia’s success in suppressing the virus hasn’t been matched by its vaccination program.

Only about 3.7 million people in the nation of 26 million have received their first shot, and Melbourne was ordered into lockdown for the fourth time Thursday to combat a growing cluster of cases.

Additional material by Bloomberg.

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.