Qantas brings more flexibility to Frequent Flyers

13 Apr 2016

This week Qantas has announced the introduction of new family-friendly policies for its frequent flyer program.

The first is known as Status Hold and it lets you put a hold on your Silver, Gold or Platinum Status for up to eighteen months when you welcome a new addition to the family.  Kind of like maternity leave for travellers.

Coming into effect immediately, you can apply to have a Status Hold applied to your membership when you have a new baby and possibly are not travelling as often for a while.  Then again, if you do happen to take the odd flight or two during this time, you can still continue to earn points and status credits as usual, as well as access the airport lounge.

To qualify you need to be taking at least six consecutive months leave from paid employment to spend time with your family.  Both parents can apply.  You may be eligible if you are:

  • A parent of a baby or babies that are due to be born within the next three months or were born in the last six months
  • A foster parent who will be caring for a child within the next three months or who has started caring for a child within the last six months
  • A parent who will be adopting a child within the next three months or who has adopted a child within the last six months

You will also be asked to supply the following supporting documents:

Parent of own child:

  1. Date of confinement letter from your doctor confirming your pregnancy and due date or your child’s birth certificate, plus
  2. Documentation from your employer confirming parental leave is for a period of six consecutive months or more from paid employment.

Foster parent:

  1. Foster registration/certificate or your Foster Carer Placement Plan, plus
  2. Documentation from your employer confirming parental leave is for a period of six consecutive months or more from paid employment

Adoptive parent:

  1. Adoption Registration or a letter from the doctor confirming adoption date, plus
  2. Documentation from your employer confirming parental leave is for a period of six consecutive months or more from paid employment

While it does seem a fair bit of work is required to make your way through the red tape, it’s deliberately designed that way to make sure the system isn’t abused, and in our opinion it’s certainly worth the effort.

In more good news, Qantas are also offering more generous Family Transfers.  You can now transfer up to 600,000 points per year to an eligible family member.  Perfect for times when you need to pool resources in order to purchase a flight on points.  Family Transfers don’t count as activity on either account though, so it can’t be used to prevent points from expiring.  Another small catch, if you choose to make the transfer on the phone via Frequent Flyer consultant (rather than online) you will attract an Award Assistance Fee.

Neither of these new features are anything new for Velocity Frequent Flyers who have been enjoying these benefits for several years now so it will be interesting to see how they’re received by Frequent Flyers, and if it will affect passengers’ loyalty to one or the other of Australia’s largest commercial airline choices.