Qantas will allow Silver, Gold, Platinum and Platinum One frequent flyers to retain their prized status through to as far as 2022, even if they don't set foot on an airplane, through a one-off 'coronavirus status extension' program.
The move recognises the reality of vastly reduced flying by many of the airline's most loyal customers due to the impact of coronavirus-related travel restrictions and the airline's own drastically down-sized network, which from late March will see all international flights suspended.
While the coronavirus has clipped the wings of most business travellers, Qantas says their status "will automatically be extended for 12 months."
Qantas Frequent Flyers with a membership year anniversary date between March 2020 and February 2021 will automatically retain their current status for the subsequent 12 months.
How Qantas status extentions will work
Membership years ending between March and June 2020 will see status their extended by 27 March 2020, while membership years between July 2020 and February 2021 will have status automatically extended by 9 April 2020.
In both cases, a full 12 months will be added to the expiry date of their current status.
The gratis status offer also encompasses members who have received a complimentary Gold membership, or complimentary Platinum membership from a Platinum One member.
Qantas is also waiving the need for members to clock up four Qantas flights in order to retain their status.
Climbing the ladder
However, if you do still have some Qantas travel in your near-future, the status credits earned on that flight will go towards nudging you up to the next tier – such as from Silver to Gold, or Gold to Platinum – and you'll also be eligible for the usual loyalty bonus with every 500 status credits you earn.
In addition, Qantas says it plans to offer status credits "through a series of new offers from our program partners. This will allow you to earn Status Credits across the Qantas Frequent Flyer program in addition to flying."
Individual QFF members will be advised by email of the special status extension provisions over the coming days.
Qantas' move follows similar frequent flyer-friendly initiatives by Cathay Pacific, Qatar Airways, Finnair and Aeroflot, while other airlines are reducing the threshold for customers to retain their current status level.
For more details on Qantas' frequent flyer status extention, click through to qantas.com/status-extension.