Qantas Platinum One status is the highest rung on the Qantas Frequent Flyer ladder – bested only by the invitation-only Chairman’s Lounge tier – and for travellers who mainly fly domestically, getting there can be a particularly hard slog.
On popular routes like Sydney-Melbourne, you’d only reach this lofty level after taking 360 one-way Red e-Deal economy flights in a single membership year: that’s nearly a flight every single day for an entire year, when travelling on the most affordable fares.
While there are faster paths to Platinum One, including by booking flexible fares, business class travel, taking longer overseas flights or maximising Qantas double status credits deals, for members who mainly fly domestically in economy, here are some of the benefits beyond those afforded to regular Platinum members.
1. Complimentary ‘extra legroom’ seating
One of the biggest differences between holding Qantas Platinum and Platinum One status for domestic road warriors is that Platinum One members enjoy complimentary access to extra legroom seating on all flights, where available, from the time a booking is made.
This includes the prized row 4 on Boeing 737 and two-class Boeing 717 flights at the front of economy, the emergency exit rows on the same aircraft, and similar bulkhead and exit row seats on domestic A330 services, too.
Other passengers travelling with a Platinum One member enjoy this perk as well when booked on the same reservation, and seats can be selected via the Qantas website.
Just make sure the Platinum One member’s frequent flyer number has been attached to the booking before selecting seats, so that all available seating options are unlocked and that the usual ‘extra legroom’ seat selection fees are waived.
2. Expanded lounge access with up to five guests
While Qantas Platinum and Platinum One members both receive access to domestic Qantas Clubs and Business Lounges with up to two guests in tow, Platinum One members have the power to nominate one other person for complimentary Qantas Platinum membership, too.
That could be a partner, friend, or somebody they travel with regularly – and when flying together, this provides lounge access for the Platinum One member plus up to five other people.
It works like this: the Platinum One member can bring in two guests as usual, then there’s the traveller with the gifted Qantas Platinum status who can access lounges on their own accord, and beyond that, two additional guests as allowed in with the Platinum cardholder.
All up, by nature of your Platinum One status, choosing your ‘Platinum pick’ wisely could get you into the lounge with up to five other people – handy when travelling with a large family or a group of colleagues – and that’s not even counting children that can come in, too!
Platinum One members in need of a quiet working or meeting space can also visit the Qantas MCA Lounge in the Sydney CBD with one guest in tow: but take note, this isn’t on-par with a traditional airport lounge, so you won’t find salt and pepper squid here!
3. Free flight changes on the day of departure
When travelling on domestic Flex fares, Platinum One members can ask at the airport to be moved to an earlier flight on the same route at no extra cost.
Any fare difference owing between the flight booked and the flight taken will also be waived as a guaranteed benefit, so although Flex fares do permit same-day changes for all travellers, this ensures no extra costs are incurred for doing so, if the new flight being taken is more expensive.
Complimentary flight changes on other fare types such as Red e-Deals aren’t guaranteed, but it never hurts to ask what’s possible, or if Qantas is “flow forwarding” – that is, proactively moving passengers to earlier flights – which can also benefit Platinum and Gold members.
4. Flight upgrades using points take the highest priority
On all Australian domestic flights, passengers using their Qantas Points for a business class upgrade may be able to lock-in their new seat from the time a booking is made: but where an upgrade isn’t available, it can be ‘waitlisted’ instead.
This means the upgrade request is placed on file for future consideration, and may be granted closer to departure day: similar to how Qantas handles all international flight upgrades.
When upgrades are waitlisted, requests from Platinum One members take priority over Platinum, Gold, Silver and Bronze frequent flyers – so if an upgrade does become available on the flight, Platinum One members have the highest chances of securing it.
Additionally, upgrade requests made by Platinum One cardholders for eligible family members travelling independently or on separate bookings will also be processed with ‘Platinum One priority’, rather than the status of the person travelling, to boost the chances of these upgrades clearing, too.
5. Improved telephone assistance with fee waivers
Flight reservations made over the phone with Qantas normally attract an assistance fee of up to $70 per booking in addition to the regular fare, fees and charges you’d pay for booking the same ticket online: but for Qantas Platinum One members, those telephone assistance fees are always waived.
The same is true when calling Qantas to make flight bookings using Qantas Points. While these fees are generally waived for all members making partner airline bookings that aren’t available online, for Platinum One members, this fee is waived on all itineraries.
While it can be faster to make a simple booking online, this fee waiver is particularly handy when planning more complex trips such as ‘Oneworld Rewards’, which can be used to take round-the-world flights on points.
Qantas also keeps a Platinum One Special Service Team at the ready to assist with special requests or when things go wrong, particularly when flights are cancelled, delayed or diverted: you’ll receive the SST’s contact details with your Platinum One membership kit.