This one's hot off the press! Qantas is making a play for frequent flyer loyalty (perhaps to help shore up faith and a drop-off in bookings in the post-A380 period) by offering double status credits on international flights.
The deal broke in emails sent to members of the Qantas Frequent Flyer scheme this afternoon. We're not yet sure if the deal is open to every member, as we know many who've not received the email – although with several million members on the books, maybe Qantas is staggering the mail-out to avoid server overload!
Unlike frequent flyer points, which are redeemable on free flights or other goodies, status credits are used to determine your membership level in the Qantas Frequent Flyer program.
For example, it takes 300 status credits in one year to qualify for Silver (and 250 per year to retain); 700 status credits to reach Gold (and 600 to remain); and 1,400 status credits to hit the lofty heights of Platinum (with 1,200 each year to stay there).
Being able to gain twice as many status credits per flight is therefore a welcome boost.
Qantas has three criteria to qualify for the double status credit promotion:
• Members who receive the email have to register online for the promotion before December 21, 2010
• You then have to book and pay for any Qantas international flight with a QF flight number between December 1 and December 21, 2010
• And your travel dates must be between January 1 and March 31, 2011
For a flight from Sydney to San Francisco, for example, a discount economy ticket earns 45 status credits; economy and premium economy count for 90 status credits; and business class earns you 180 status credits. Under the double status deal that flight will get you anywhere from 90 to 360 status credits – and that's one way.
By the time you add the return leg you could be up anywhere from 180 to 720 points – which could easily be enough to catapult you to the next level of Qantas Frequent Flyer membership or lock in your existing membership for all of 2011.
If you're making the long haul from Sydney to London a discount economy booking earns 60 status credits; economy and premium economy are worth 120 status credits; while business class hauls adds 240 status credits to your account. For a return trip that means anywhere from 240 to 960 status credits in your pocket.
Qantas also offers 5,000 Frequent Flyer points for every 450 status credits you notch up, so this double status deal could also hand you a few thousand more points into the bargain.
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.