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Emirates to launch Skywards Platinum tier on April 1

By David Flynn     Filed under: emirates, Qantas Frequent Flyer, Qantas Frequent Flyer Platinum, Emirates Skywards

UPDATE | Australian Business Traveller spoke with Emirates' man in charge of Skywards, Senior Vice President Brian LaBelle, to get more details about what you can expect. Read our exclusive report covering who qualifies for a Partner Gold card, when your annual requalification starts, how the "Guaranteed Seat" and "Last Seat reward" benefits work and much more!

PREVIOUSLY | Emirates will introduce its new Skywards Platinum top status tier on April 1, with a relatively steep entry requirement of 150,000 tier miles compared to the 50,000 of Skywards Gold status.

Skywards Platinum will match up to Platinum status in the Qantas Frequent Flyer scheme, in readiness for a planned April 1 launch of the Qantas-Emirates alliance (pending approval by Australia's competition watchdog).

Core perks for Skywards Platinums will include

  • access for the cardholder and one guest to the Emirates First Class lounge in Dubai and Emirates Lounges across the network
  • complimentary Emirates Skywards Gold card for each member's partner
  • additional 20kg luggage allowance
  • 'guaranteed business class' revenue seat
  • 75% bonus Skywards Miles
  • ‘Last Seat’ Flex reward, enabling Skywards Miles to be utilised on any flight

Opening the doors to Emirates' First Class Lounge

The first item on the list is the most significant sweetener - to date, entry into Emirates' First Class Lounge in Dubai is restricted to travellers holding a first class ticket.

If Emirates is set to loosen this condition and allow members of the newly-minted Skywards tier to use this exclusive lounge even if they're holding an economy ticket, this will put Skywards on par with Qantas, which permits its Platinum frequent flyers (and one guest) to use the Red Roo's Qantas First Lounges regardless of what class you're flying on.

The move also indicates that Qantas Platinums should have access to to Emirates' First Class Lounge at Dubai.

Qantas International CEO David Hickey hinted at this in a recent interview with Australian Business Traveller, when in response to our questions regarding the airlines' different policies for frequent flyer access to first class lounges, he replied "We're aligning everything."

"We’re working through all of that and we’ll be making lots of announcements over the next couple of weeks and months as we bring it all to fruition."

Emirates president Tim Clark first revealed the airline's plans for a new Skywards level to Australian Business Traveller at the press conference announcing the Qantas-Emirates alliance, saying Emirates would "introduce a fourth (Skywards) tier", sitting above its current top Gold level, to align with Qantas Frequent Flyer Platinum.

A high degree of reciprocity between the airlines' frequent flyer schemes is a cornerstone of the partnership, and in instances where Qantas Frequent Flyer and Emirates Skywards status privileges aren't in sync, Qantas CEO Alan Joyce said "we’ve agreed to make the higher benefit our standard."

For the latest news for business travellers and frequent flyers, follow Australian Business Traveller on Twitter: we're @AusBT.

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About David Flynn

David Flynn is the editor of Australian Business Traveller and a bit of a travel tragic with a weakness for good coffee, shopping and lychee martinis.

 

Have something to say? Post a comment now!

1 on 9/2/13 by sq421

"Alinging everything" 

???

Does that mean QF Plats now get to nominate a partner to be QF Gold? Or Does that mean you need 2400SC to hit QF Plat (same as what you need right now to nomnate someone for QF Gold!) and then ofcourse you can nominate somoene to be QF Gold! 

1 on 9/2/13 by David

It means waiting until Qantas confirms any new arrangements from its own side.

2 on 9/2/13 by KG

Pretty steep requirement with 150K miles! Gold is only 50Knand most carriers have a treshold of 100K miles if they work with mileage ttier qualification. I hope that QF does not up their threshold of 1400 SC for Plat. If they would it is worth looking into joining BA Exec Club or CX Marco Polo. I doubt QF will change their requirements though, more likely to stay in line with other OW carriers. Still, it will be interesting times.

3 on 11/2/13 by airtraveladdict

wow i can only dream of clocking up 150,000 "bum on seats" miles a year from flights. unfortunately 2 business class trips a year to EU barely notches up 50,000 miles lol.

 

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