How would Qantas Lifetime Platinum change your flying habits?

How would Qantas Lifetime Platinum change your flying habits?

TALKING POINT | Lifetime Gold status in the Qantas Frequent Flyer program is a goal of many business travellers – but once you’ve locked in Gold status for the rest of your life there’s nothing higher to aim for with Qantas, because there’s no such thing as Qantas Lifetime Platinum.

As a result, when some savvy flyers reach the lofty heights of Lifetime Gold, they switch their loyalty to British Airways’ Executive Club or the Finnair Plus scheme instead, which do allow travellers to earn the equivalent of Qantas Lifetime Platinum in the form of Lifetime ‘Oneworld Emerald’ status.

Just like Qantas Platinum, the BA and Finnair Oneworld equivalents offer priority check-in, boarding and baggage delivery on Oneworld flights – including with Qantas – along with a lifetime of access to the domestic Qantas business class lounges and international Qantas first class lounges, among others.

Read: BA Lifetime Oneworld Emerald is the next-best thing to Qantas Lifetime Platinum

However, when switching to another loyalty program most travellers end up flying with Qantas less often, as flights taken with other airlines can instead deliver more ‘tier points’ – an equivalent of Qantas status credits – paving a faster path to Lifetime Emerald.

But if Qantas did introduce its own Lifetime Platinum tier, how would that influence your flying habits? Would you travel with Qantas more frequently, crediting more points and status credits to the Qantas Frequent Flyer program in your quest for Lifetime Platinum, or would such a lofty tier sit in the ‘too hard’ basket?

It's hard to judge without knowing how many status credits Qantas Lifetime Platinum would require, but we can make an estimate. Qantas Lifetime Gold requires 14,000 status credits – the equivalent of reaching Qantas Gold for the first time 20 times over.

Based on that, we could expect Lifetime Platinum to require at least 20 times what’s needed to qualify for a single year of Platinum – that's at least 28,000 status credits, which is a lot of flying. So would you be up for the challenge?

Share your thoughts with fellow AusBT readers by posting a comment below!

Chris Chamberlin

Chris Chamberlin (ChrisCh)

[email protected] / @ChamberlinChris

Australian Business Traveller journalist Chris Chamberlin lives by the motto that a journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step, a great latte, a theatre ticket and a glass of wine!
 

54 Comments

  • traveller90

    traveller90

    9 Feb, 2018 06:16 am

    Simple answer - No!
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  • Scott Wilson

    Libertyscott

    9 Feb, 2018 06:40 am

    I have BA Gold (OWE) and QF Gold status concurrently, if only because I live in the UK, but fly a lot domestically in Australia (and the earn rate on BAEC for QF domestically is so poor both for points and status credits it's hardly worth it). I earn the same status credits on BAEC internationally whether I fly BA or any other OW carrier, and the same points if I fly BA codeshare on another OW carrier (e.g. AY, CX, QR or QF), so I see BA as superior for status by a long shot. Yes my circumstances are unusual, being UK based with a lot of business down under, so travelling there 4-5 times a year, but if QF offered lifetime Platinum I'd think more about building up to that - though given the huge penalty in flying other OW carriers in terms of status credits, it wouldn't be enough to make a difference.


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  • Traveller sg

    Traveller sg

    9 Feb, 2018 08:23 am

    As i’ve accumated 29,000sc, the way i have held platinum has been hard spending. Not sure if i will spend on qantas after 2020 when my next plat year expires. ( given current qf bookings)

    However to QF i would say, yes would value lifetime platinum. I have seen my plat benefits reduce, little things really, but i get more value as a gold with virgin these days. So qf LP would be of value to me.

    And with united on a status match i could get status immediately, and get far more benefits in my travel that i get from 25 years of loyalty to qantas.

    All first world issues.

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  • James Barker

    James Barker

    9 Feb, 2018 08:32 am

    I'd expect Qantas might also say that Lifetime Platinum Status Credits might have to be earned on Qantas flights, SCs earned on partners won't count. Anyway personally speaking I've been Platinum for almost a decade, so if another ten years of that gave me Lifetime Platinum I would be up for it for sure and I'd probably be more careful in choosing Qantas flights over competitors where there was the choice, such as QF instead of CX to Hong Kong, because all those SCs would bring me closer to a lifetime of domestic business lounge and international first class lounge access, which would be especially welcome when I retire.
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  • Glen

    gpr49697

    9 Feb, 2018 08:44 am

    It wouldn't for me. I'm well past LTG and would be close to LTP if the calcs above applied. I do a fair bit of travel with QF domestically and infrequent but loyal QF/OW partners now for International.
    The "enhancements" are the killer. Losing exit row access was frustrating. especially it's a pain to pay (not the cost just the hassle each time) and the first time i did they moved me and said i hadn't paid, then the process of getting the refund really p*ssed me off! If they downgrade longe access for domestic / first I'll rebalance with Virgin
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  • mviy

    mviy

    9 Feb, 2018 09:45 am

    Another way at looking at Lifetime Gold is that it requires the equivalent of reaching Platinum for the first time 10 times over (Lifetime Silver requires the equivalent of reaching Gold for the first time 10 times over). Following that logic the equivalent of obtaining Platinum One 10 times over would make 36,000 Status Credits for Lifetime Platinum.

    Currently I plan to stop chasing status on QF (unless timing's perfect to Double Status Credits for a big international trip putting me close to Platinum anyway) after reaching LTG. Lifetime Platinum would encourage me to stay loyal to flying QF beyond LTG and would discourage me from considering switching to crediting to BA.
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  • sdtravel

    sdtravel

    9 Feb, 2018 09:57 am

    Im planning to reach LTS this year and have already started thinking if i want to go for LTG. It would be around 5-6 years at my current earning rate. All self funded so reaching for LTP while great it would take about 10-15 years.

    Depends on how hooked I get to my current status and how enhanced the perks of LTP become by then.
    The incentives have to be there obviously.
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  • grumpytravel

    grumpytravel

    9 Feb, 2018 10:38 am

    Lifetime Platinum is an excellent idea.

    My membership year runs from January to December and I've already earned 2400 status credits to maintain my Platinum One status.

    My lifetime status credits so far total 48,000.

    Once you've achieved your status each year there's no incentive to still fly Qantas other than loyalty (which I do).

    All of us retire one day (hopefully!) so lifetime Platinum from Qantas would be a nice reward for all the years frequent travellers have supported them.

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  • crosscourt

    crosscourt

    9 Feb, 2018 08:12 pm

    Totally agree. It would be great to have lifetime platinum, especially now there is Plat1. BA has lifetime gold which is equivalent to QF Plat. I have 52,100 lifetime status credit so far so having lifetime plat would be a good show of loyalty appreciation and it would incentivise me to fly QF even more.
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    grumpytravel

  • crosscourt

    crosscourt

    9 Feb, 2018 08:13 pm

    PS: Ive been lifetime gold for ten years now, at least.
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  • jimkg

    jimkg

    10 Feb, 2018 09:02 pm

    Just interested, what sort of job do you have that requires that much travel? Where have you have you been this year?
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  • crosscourt

    crosscourt

    14 Feb, 2018 05:21 pm

    are you asking me, crosscourt? if it is me you are asking, not sure why its important for you to know, but as you asked, I work on the international tennis circuit and as a result travelling internationally 7-8 months of the year. no doubt tens of others would be doing more than I do.
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  • User

    User

    9 Feb, 2018 10:48 am

    I have reached Lifetime Gold and have been evaluating a switch to BA or AY only because there is no Lifetime Platinum. I am already changing my international flying habits and are flying more on codeshare flights that involve those two airlines, so when I switch it would be less of a headache.

    If QF introduced Lifetime Platinum, I would remain with QF without the need to think about switching.
    Member who gave thanks

    melbtraveler

  • MHG

    MHG

    9 Feb, 2018 10:51 am

    I have had this discussion with Qantas over the years, and their reply is that it will create to many problems by over crowding the lounges. I have been a continuous Plat since 2002, and their should be a LP. One suggestion I put was that of 15 years P, and retired at that point. It would be a nice way for Qantas to say thankyou, and the member then have recognition when travelling. It takes 1,400 SC to attain P, then 1,200 per year to keep. As has been mentioned by the 20 year accumulation, that would be 24,200 SC, and all flyers would have more SC than that over 20 years. So lets make Life P 25,000SC. As I have said to Qantas, loyalty is a two way street, but it seems to be that, like Sydney there are a lot of one way streets, and they don't to P members. In fairness they have been good to me at times, and also caused me angst.

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  • maabbot

    maabbot

    9 Feb, 2018 11:12 am

    I am at about 40,000...but now actually prefer building status with other airlines...for me that’s SQ...giving lifetime plutinium would change that behavior
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  • kimshep

    kimshep

    9 Feb, 2018 11:59 am

    Perhaps, the real question should be that QF examine the true value proposition of 'Lifetime' memberships ..

    • There are many Golds that have never achieved LTS
    • There are many Plats that have never achieved LTG
    • There are many Plats that would never achieve LTP.
    • After 10-12 years of P1, you'd think that these would be CL invitees or candidates.

    Right now, there is little delineation between 'Lifetime x' benefits, compared to their equivalent tier. Yes, you get your x tier benefits for life (as opposed to a membership year) but there is little other practical difference or recognition.

    For such a diverse FF program with some 14m members, everyone's travel patterns will be different. In the tiered category, some people travel mainly high-frequency domestic only, others travel high-medium frequency international and some are a mix of both. All of them do travel in a range of Y, Y+, J or F cabins. Some are retirees, some are business high-fliers that only survive a few years, some are titans of industry around for the long haul.

    It seems to me that to encourage consistent loyalty, a company needs to perform a certain number of core tasks - since, as noted by other posters - loyalty is a two-way street. To me, that means exemplary products and service. Not cost-cutting and penny-pinching.

    The issue of whether an LTP level should exist is a matter truly defined on what benefits are offered - and these are not described or ruminated on. In my view, Plats and Plat1's are already well-catered for in terms of quality benefits.

    Perhaps the real benefit of LTS and LTG is that this is where you cultivate your future Plats and P1's from.

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  • mviy

    mviy

    9 Feb, 2018 12:28 pm

    Lifetime status definitely should be hard to reach. I'm currently a Platinum and I haven't got LTS yet.

    Ideally QF would want a lot of Plats/P1s to go for LTP (if there is one) but ultimately either fail to reach it or reach it in old age where there's not much flying left to do.
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  • MattyMR

    MattyMR

    9 Feb, 2018 12:27 pm

    Perhaps I'm just weird, but I find it strange that anyone would have the "goal" of LTG or LTP if it was offered. Through a quirk in my career I live in a different state to my office, as a result I spend far too much time at airports and on planes. My goal is to make sure that I don't get LTG. I'd much prefer to spend the time at home with my Family and Friends.
    Members who gave thanks

    David, humanuscomotose, Boogs

  • mviy

    mviy

    9 Feb, 2018 12:34 pm

    Some of us fly a bit at the pointy end which requires a lot less travel to reach Lifetime status and would like to continue to get some perks when we retire.
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  • David Flynn

    David

    9 Feb, 2018 12:39 pm

    I totally get where you're coming from, Matty, but some of us find that hitting the likes of Lifetime Gold is just part of the job – I pretty much hit LTG after a decade of being a technology journalist, through all the flights (mainly QF) to domestic and international press events, launches and what-not, so it's nice to know that all that travel has a side-benefit allowing some decent perks when I've travelling for leisure.
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  • humanuscomotose

    humanuscomotose

    9 Feb, 2018 12:53 pm

    You are not weird Matty. On the contrary, you are one of an increasingly rare breed who, in my opinion, have their priorities straight. I too would much rather attain "lifetime at home" status than LTG. I commend you, Sir.
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  • reeves35

    reeves35

    9 Feb, 2018 12:35 pm

    If you flew often enough to achieve Lifetime Platinum (if it existed), you'd probably be the type who's had enough of flying and would happily give it a miss for a while. As the old saying goes, "Anyone who likes business travel hasn't done enough of it."
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  • swilk49

    swilk49

    9 Feb, 2018 02:53 pm

    As a LTG and retired I would not be interested in LTP but I would be very interested in better recognition for LTG over "normal" gold. My domestic travel is now economy and my international travel is always in business. As I achieve gold each year anyway the normal gold benefits of LTG are not there for me.

    Access to the domestic business lounges even if flying economy would do it for me. I've often had lounge desk staff say to me "You LTGs have given a lot of loyalty to Qantas. If ever I am on the desk I'll let you in to the business lounge." That is the kind of incentive needed for me to keep flying Qantas after achieving LTG
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    Challenge

  • Mike

    mikes1917

    9 Feb, 2018 03:01 pm

    My Lifetime Status Credits are in the low 20 K's and although now only a QF LTG, I have switched most of my domestic travel to VA as

    I'm flying less these days and VA's plat earn requirement's are lower. If Qantas offered LTP at 28,000 SC I would definitely be interested and could make that grade by 2021 if the target was set.

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  • GBRGB

    GBRGB

    9 Feb, 2018 03:11 pm

    Lifetime Platinum, please save us, The "lifetime" part of any status must be a concern for management and shareholders, essentially many will achieve these targets at the wrong end of their heavy travelling years, couple this with the longevity of peoples active life these days and the costs of this would have to be met by future customers, lifetime status holders will be a burden in years to come and simply unsustainable. A Qantas Club full of ninety year old people with lifetime status occupying lounge space before jumping on a $99 Jetstar flight, cant see it frankly, at some stage the rules will have to tighten rather than go the other way..
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  • mviy

    mviy

    9 Feb, 2018 03:16 pm

    Jetstar Domestic leaves from a different Terminal to QF in MEL at least. So very few flying Jetstar would bother to visit the QF lounge.
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  • backload

    backload

    9 Feb, 2018 03:13 pm

    Once I reach QF Platinum each year, I start flying Star Alliance on all my international flights to maintain Gold with them. If Qantas were to introduce LTP, I would certainly fly solely with QF/One World to achieve this.
    In past posts there has been debate as to whether achieving Platinum is worth it. Having had Platinum for fourteen flying mostly on cheap cattle class tickets, the benefits have been immense. Especially international airports during holidays where you can check in at First Class and enjoy the associated benifits
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  • craigh

    craigh

    9 Feb, 2018 03:14 pm

    I made it to LTG several years ago now. After many years of Platinum and the last 5 years as Platinum One where I allocated my travel spend 95% Qantas/One World and 5% to other airlines, however in the absence of Lifetime Platinum, my travel is now 95% other airlines and 5% Qantas. If Qantas wake up one day and decide they want my money and loyalty again then I will fly with them again. As others have said here, Qantas need to learn that loyalty goes both ways.
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  • mitchimus

    mitchimus

    9 Feb, 2018 03:35 pm

    I would love to see a LTP or at least have LTG recognised in some way other that normal gold, e.g. dom bus lounge, intl. fc lounges. I've got just under 40k status credits built from years of travel for business. It would be nice to have some better recognition for all that travel with QF now that I do more personal flying...might even be able to take a bit more advantage of the 'perks'.
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  • orion77

    orion77

    9 Feb, 2018 04:29 pm

    What happens to code share passengers who would normally use the Qantas lounge at the International Terminal, such as Cathay Pacific ?
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  • mviy

    mviy

    9 Feb, 2018 04:56 pm

    Their OneWorld status (e.g. Sapphire, Emerald) and cabin they're flying in would be recognised as per OneWorld rules when flying on a OneWorld airline.
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  • cderrick

    cderrick

    9 Feb, 2018 04:37 pm

    Would remain to get LTP
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  • Nick  Sydney 348

    Nick Sydney 2

    9 Feb, 2018 04:55 pm

    Probably not. My regular trips are to LHR, NYC (via LAX or DFW), SIN and HK. All places where the QF service is fine.
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  • mviy

    mviy

    9 Feb, 2018 05:00 pm

    LTG doesn't offer a lot for international travel if flying Business anyway, so after reaching LTG unless there's a LTP to aim for I'll have every incentive to look for the cheapest Business class on an airline I'm willing to fly. Considering QF tends to charge a premium that probably won't be QF.
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  • rstephenp

    rstephenp

    9 Feb, 2018 06:21 pm

    I was Virgin Platinum. One of the reasons I moved to QF (international business and domestic economy) is because of the lifetime status. I have a long way to go but I would aim for the QF LP rather switch to Star Alliance,
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  • AlexTravAddict

    AlexTravAddict

    9 Feb, 2018 07:44 pm

    Surprised that no one has mentioned this, but my biggest reason for not chasing LTP would be that I'm not overly confident Qantas or the FF program will exist (at least in its current form) in 10-20-30 years time. I wouldn't want to be in a situation where I'm close to reaching the threshold and then the program is sold off or they change the goal posts.
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  • bsb

    bsb

    9 Feb, 2018 07:55 pm

    I’m enticed every year to attain WP because my idea of a good time is flying for the sake of it and the whole experience from start to finish. I get that’s not normal to some, but as a teenager I’d save my pocket money to go on those $14 Mystery flights that East West and Airlines of NSW offered and the6 were the happiest days of my teenage years. I guess that’s where it started.

    I love the J lounge and the Flounges get me every time. They’re enough to keep me chasing WP status every year...and I self fund (well I own my own biz, so it all comes from the same pot really). I get a buzz from the whole experience, I even like the food.

    I’d definitely go for LTP, I’d probably have only a few years to get it, but I’ll be doing it anyway. I suspect I don’t make a lot of $ for QF - I fly on J sale fares and do a lot of MH Asian flying to get status. I only fly on non OW airlines once I reach WP each year, but since those Flounges are so enticing and being treated so well by most OW airlines (QF and LA are the worst at this) it’s too enticing not to fly OW.

    Bring on LTP!
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  • Ian Jarvis

    LTG

    9 Feb, 2018 10:13 pm

    Paid for Life Time QC about 15 years ago, now reached LTG a few years ago, so do I have two LTG, this life and the next life? I wonder which one expires first?
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  • moa999

    moa999

    9 Feb, 2018 10:22 pm

    I think unfortunately you lose more by giving it out. Lots of LTGs stay loyal to get Plat each year

    Maybe something like Lifetime Gold First.
    Basically International First/ Domestic Business Lounge access when on QF but still only oneworld Gold.

    Provides an added goal to those above 14K and keeps those who qualify flying QF and still added benefits from reaching Plat
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  • mviy

    mviy

    9 Feb, 2018 10:43 pm

    I think it very much depends on the individual. Some will prefer Platinum but see Gold as good enough and without a target of LTP to aim for will consider flying alternatives more.

    Your LifeTime Gold First idea is an interesting one and would be better than nothing.
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  • Austin Taylor

    Austin

    9 Feb, 2018 10:42 pm

    LTG here for too many years to remember. Yup, Plat also for ages, LTP would be great. Especially when my business travel slows after retirement. Maybe allow me to transfer the SC’s needed to my wife, so she also gets LTG.
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  • Lawrence Kenyon

    LawrenceD

    10 Feb, 2018 12:02 am

    I have been flying Perth - Mel for many years on Red edeals. I have 9000 sc's with 5000 to go. That's 450 flights down the back so far with another 250 to go. Some of us due to work rules have to spend a long time in the sky to reach LTG. Still a loyal QF member and whilst u get the occasional bad service flight, most times the crew look after you well. LTP is a step too far for many, but could see the benefit and let's face it reward for spending close to $500k on flights to achieve. looking forward to 250 more choices of a Chicken salad, pasta of some variety or the left field Mexican enchiladas....with the usual 3 bottles of watery red! We are still blessed in Aus to have QF and Virgin. We could be in the US where the offerings are not quite as welcoming. Life Time P.... must talk to the boss about flexis!
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  • Wayne McK.

    Waynemckewen

    10 Feb, 2018 01:23 am

    I have been Qantas lifetime gold for about 10 years now and Platinum for at least 15 years as well. Every year i know the flights I will take to keep my Platinum, after that I use other airlines/alliances as it no real bonus to keep flying Qantas, if LP was available I would be flying more often on QF to achieve...but Qantas doesn't seem to concerned with continued Loyalty for Platinum flyers.
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  • David D

    onemoretrip

    10 Feb, 2018 04:23 am

    This is an interesting proposition. A lot of people can't give up an opportunity to chase after a goal.

    Just before I moved to the UK I achieved LTG and given that most of my flying switched to BA I signed-up to their FF programme. I've found that if your FF programme and operating carrier are the same you tend to receive slightly better service and upgrade opportunities, but only slightly. While BA has been decimated in recent years, one benefit of my platinum-equivalent status that I appreciate is the seat next to me is usually one of the last to be allocated on a full flight. I wonder if the same might apply to QF flyers with LTP status who don't achieve platinum status every year?
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  • Steve987

    Steve987

    10 Feb, 2018 11:17 am

    If I get LTG, which is a hope rather than an aim, I’ll be close to 50 when it happens. LTP would have no value to me, but that said I see it being a great thing for retention. Set it at 30k and the concerns about first lounge crowding are likely to be a non-issue.
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  • Michael63

    Metoo

    10 Feb, 2018 05:59 pm

    I couldn't be bothered. After getting LTG. I would probably spend the air time and money on Emirates, Sky Team or Star Alliance higher tiers.
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  • Clancy

    Clancy

    10 Feb, 2018 08:17 pm

    Just checked, probably only another 6 long years and still a long way from retirement....hmmm. Actually Qantas, if you sponsored this question and care about the responses, the lure of LTP will not change my flying 'IF' you improve J on the 380's, otherwise it will be a very long haul... ;)
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  • coventrys

    coventrys

    10 Feb, 2018 09:09 pm

    LTP would definitely encourage me to prioritise my flying with Qantas.
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  • Martin  Slobodnik

    msport2012

    11 Feb, 2018 08:42 am

    I am about to reach LTG with QF and yes I want to see QF LTP. I know if QF did offer LTP I would gear more flying with them. Already I am thinking to switch to either BA or AY and start crediting to achieve L.T.O.W.E
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  • 27560gnp

    27560gnp

    11 Feb, 2018 09:37 pm

    I have been Lifetime Gold for 10 years and Platinum 15 +. As soon as I reached Lifetime Gold, I fly Qantas just enough to stay Platinum each year, and transferred to flying to Europe with Etihad instead, because there was no lifetime available. I have been Platinum with Etihad 10 years now, so Qantas has missed getting a lot of business from me because of lack of lifetime offering. I see many Platinum guests on Etihad doing the same thing. I have spoken to Qantas management about lack of Lifetime, and reason is cost? They are losing millions of lost business to other airlines
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  • Justin Kirk

    Erinvale

    14 Feb, 2018 05:49 pm

    I would look to change to an alternative after lifetime gold. The service is poor and apart from lounge access, the benefits don’t outweigh the cost to achieve platinum. I have spent $30k with Qantas in the last 3 months and had to complain twice due to poor service. I got one response saying they take it on board and look forward to welcoming me soon. Time to look at another program that values and services customer loyalty.
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  • Rodney Dalton

    dentmd

    15 Feb, 2018 11:04 am

    Like others, it would be a recognition of our loyalty to Qantas and I don't believe in would lead to first lounges being stuffed with retirees travelling in economy if that is a major concern. I have just reached 28,000 SC's and semi-retirement but doubt there are a lot of people in this situation, only Qantas FF could supply numbers on this. I am in the very fortunate situation of being able to travel at the pointy end and do when available but Qantas are making this harder with changes like 787 flights without first eg., MEL-LHR via Perth. Looking at an upcoming trip to UK considering MEL-SIN on A380, then BA SIN-LHR as it lands at T5 and can connect to BA domestic flight without having to change from T3, or heaven forbid, perhaps use Singapore Airlines again after 20 years dedicated to One World. Time to put on the thinking cap Qantas.
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  • Gary Coleman

    Gazza1

    15 Feb, 2018 02:28 pm

    I have been a Lifetime Gold for maybe the last 10/12 years and also Platinum for the last 16 years,with a couple of Platinum Ones in there.I have now retired and don't fly that much but am wondering what my 64,000 SC points will do for me now? Last Year Ipaid 100,000 points to remain Platinum so as to make spending my points more available to get my desired flights.I guess I should have spread my Airlines around a bit although still Platinum with Emirates for another 2months.Not complaining though as will spend my points over the next couple of years to finally get to travel with my wife for once
    No member give thanks

  • OzMattyD

    OzMattyD

    15 Feb, 2018 08:55 pm

    I’ve asked the management of loyalty this specific question, and they were pretty clear that the costs outweighed the benefits to Qantas.

    I know I’d appreciate the benefit as a nice to have.

    I also know that I spend so much time on commercial aircraft, that the last thing I want to do for leisure is get on a plane.

    The other thing you need to consider is that when there are more people eligible for a better service level, the less exclusive (and less valuable) it is. A lone seagull is more likely to get the chip a than the whole flock.
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22 Feb, 2018 11:28 pm

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