Expecting a new addition to the family? While you're taking a break from working and flying, Qantas allows you to put your frequent flyer tier on ice for up to 18 months through its Status Hold program.
This 'parental pause' covers Silver, Gold, Platinum and Platinum One frequent flyers even when they're not earning the necessary number of status credits usually required to retain that tier. Here's how it works.
- What is Qantas Status Hold?
- How does Qantas Status Hold work?
- Who is eligible for Qantas Status Hold?
- How do I apply for Qantas Status Hold?
- What happens if I upgrade my status during Status Hold?
- Is my Status Hold affected by Qantas' coronavirus status extension?
- How does Qantas Status Hold compare to Velocity's Parental Pause?
- Qantas' Status Hold program for parents: FAQs
What is Qantas Status Hold?
Qantas Status Hold is a parental pause benefit that allows frequent flyers to keep their current status for a further 18 months when they are raising, fostering or adopting a child.
During the period of Status Hold, you will still be able to earn and use Qantas Points, as well as enjoy status benefits such as lounge access if you do happen to be flying.
How does Qantas Status Hold work?
Qantas will extend your current status (and anniversary date) for 18 months from the first day of the following month after your application was approved. Your status credit balance will carry over to this 18-month extension period.
For example, if you successfully apply for Status Hold in mid-June 2023, your current tier will be frozen from July 2023 to the end of December 2024.
Your new membership anniversary date will be 31 December for each year thereafter.
To maintain your status beyond that period, you will need to have met the existing requirements within that 18 month period, both in status credits and eligible flight sectors.
For instance, Qantas Frequent Flyer Silver members would have to notch up 250 Status Credits and take at least four points-earning flights with Qantas or Jetstar to retain the Silver status.
Who is eligible for Qantas Status Hold?
Silver, Gold, Platinum and Platinum One members of the Qantas Frequent Flyer scheme who are expecting a baby in the next three months, or had a baby in the last six months, are considered eligible for Status Hold.
It also applies to those fostering or adopting a child within the same time periods, though different age limits apply. Foster carers can apply for a Status Hold up until the child reaches 16 years of age and adoptive parents up until the child reaches the age of three years.
Crucially though, for Australian and New Zealand residents, Status Hold is only available to those who also take at least six consecutive months of leave from paid employment to raise, foster or adopt a child.
Qantas 'understands that local maternity and paternity leave provisions can differ for Members residing outside of Australia and New Zealand.' Overseas-based members are invited to contact the Frequent Flyer Service Centre to discuss eligibility.
Members who have complimentary Gold or Platinum status gifted from someone else are not eligible for Status Hold.
It’s also worth noting that for the same child, a maximum of two parents can be on a Status Hold simultaneously, with each parent being restricted to two Status Holds within a five-year timeframe.
This means that parents looking at having three or more kids in a row will either have to wait for the five-year period to end or take the Status Hold in separate turns.
How do I apply for Qantas Status Hold?
The easiest way to apply for Qantas Status Hold is online through your frequent flyer account. Log in with your details and fill out the accompanying form.
You'll need to provide two pieces of documentation: a letter from your employer confirming parental leave from paid employment will be at least 6 months or more, and proof of your child being born, fostered or adopted (whether that’s the child’s birth certificate, a letter from the doctor, an adoption registration form or the Foster Carer Placement Plan).
If you need to contact the Frequent Flyer Service Centre to discuss Status Hold requirements from overseas, call them on +61 2 9433 2329 or submit a web form.
What happens if I upgrade my status during Status Hold?
If you move up a tier or receive complimentary Gold or Platinum status from someone else during this time, your Status Hold benefits will cease, and you will revert back to the standard 12-months membership cycle.
Your previously-approved Status Hold will still count as one of the two allowable applications in a five-year period.
Is my Status Hold affected by Qantas' coronavirus status extension?
Yes, members who are due to come off Status Hold between 31 January 2023 to 30 June 2023 will be eligible for Qantas' 12-months status extensions in light of the coronavirus pandemic.
How does Qantas Status Hold compare to Velocity's Parental Pause?
The parental pause policies of the Velocity program and the Qantas Frequent Flyer program have a few main differences:
- Qantas' Status Hold goes for 18 months, while Velocity's Parental Pause goes for 6 months initially. However, your Velocity status will be maintained for a further 12 months after Parental Pause ends, which makes it equal to Qantas.
- Qantas sweeps over your existing status credits during Status Hold, whereas Velocity status credits will continue to expire as usual during Parental Pause.
- Qantas allows two successful applications every five years. Velocity allows one successful application every two years.
- Excluding fosters and adoptions, Qantas allows Status Hold to be applied for three months before or six months after a child is born. Velocity allows you to apply for Parental Pause up until the child turns two years old, including adoptions.
Read more: Qantas vs Virgin Australia parental leave
Qantas' Status Hold program for parents: FAQs
Can I cancel my Qantas Status Hold?
No, once approved, it is not possible to change or cancel your Status Hold.
My Qantas Frequent Flyer Status is already on hold. Can I apply for another Status Hold before the current one finishes?
No, an eligible member can only apply for Status Hold when they are not currently on one.
I’m a Qantas Lifetime Gold member, do I need to apply for Qantas’ Status Hold to retain my lifetime status?
No, Qantas Lifetime Gold and Silver members going on parental leave do not need to apply for Qantas' Status Hold, as they will retain their status for life regardless of the Status Credits earned.