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How Qantas & Virgin’s not-so-frequent flyers enjoy a soft landing

By David Flynn     Filed under: qantas, Qantas Frequent Flyer, status, Virgin Australia, Velocity Frequent Flyer

You’re a Platinum or Gold frequent flyer with Qantas or Virgin Australia. And while you’re enjoying the perks which come with your status, it turns out that you simply haven't done enough flying over the 12 months of your membership to keep that shiny card for the coming year.

Fear not: you won't immediately be kicked all the way to the lowest slot on the frequent flyer food chain. Welcome to the wonderful world of the ‘soft landing’.

How 'soft landings' work

In the frequent flyer schemes of both Qantas and Virgin Australia, travellers who don’t chalk up the necessary number of status credits to retain their current frequent flyer level just move down to the next rung on the ladder: so Platinums step down to Gold, and Golds shuffle down to Silver.

(Bad news for status-lacking Silvers, however: you're headed to entry-level Qantas Bronze or Velocity Red, which are both entitlement-free zones.)

This applies no matter how few status credits you actually earn during that preceding 12 months.

In the case of Qantas, which has top tier known as Platinum One, members who fail to fly often enough fall back to Platinum.

Sometimes you’ll even retain your current high status for another year, gratis, rather than be bumped down a notch.

Qantas has been known to give frequent flyers a one-year period of grace so they can stay at their current level, although it’s not something you should ever count on: if you definitely want to keep your status, you should keep flying.

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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 6/2/14 by lkennedy

I reveiced the year of Grace from QF once, and then changed jobs, which meant I did virtually no travel.  The next year I went from Gold straight to Bronze !

2 on 6/2/14 by eminere

Are we absolutely sure that soft landings are offered to all in every case?

3 on 6/2/14 by Matt

Im not sure on all cases, but I just got a soft landing with Virgin to Silver. I was a little shirty though, needing 400 credits to keep gold, but I only got to 370 (much less travel than normal last year!). Which is fine that I didn't make it, but what bugs me a bit about it was that I already have enough flights booked for this year (excluding consideration of the double status credits offer they have) to get enough status credits by June (my review was in late Jan) to keep gold (i.e. 400). So I'll soon get Gold back, but I'll be about 3 months without it :(

4 on 6/2/14 by maabbot

I was Platinum One...live Perth and travel a lot to Asia (which means you have a grand option of 1 flight per day to Singapore to choose from with QF) - I racked up 5600 status credits in the next year more than half were with other airlines (mainly Cathay) and I got shown no grace notwithstanding I earned enough status credits, just not enough with the QF designation!  Now I am Solatiare PPS with SQ who let you carry points over year to year.

5 2 weeks, 2 days ago by arlpoon

I'm a gold Qantas FF but I won't fly enough maintain it. I've got 200SCs. If I reached 250SCs to 'retain' silver for the next year, would I get two years of silver? One for the soft landing and one because I got 250SCs?

 

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