Qantas is attempting to poach loyal frequent flyers from its competitors by offering to fast-track those who make the jump

Qantas has plans to poach frequent flyers from rival airlines. (David Gray, Getty Images)
  • Qantas is going after rival airlines’ frequent flyer programs as it tries to get passengers to switch.
  • The airline is offering to fast-track eligible flyers to ‘gold status’, granting them lounge access and a range of complimentary extras.
  • To qualify, rival flyers must earn 100 flight credits with Qantas – roughly equivalent to two domestic return flights – in a three month period.
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Qantas has plans to aggressively expand its loyal customer base as it emerges from the pandemic.

The airline announced on Thursday that it would be actively poaching other airlines’ frequent flyers by offering to fast-track the loyalty status of those who switch and fly Qantas.

Qantas is targeting 16 rival airlines with the promotion, including recently salvaged Virgin Australia, as well as Air New Zealand, Etihad, and Delta.

“With so much uncertainty in the market, we’ve seen a spike in requests from people wanting us to match their status with other airlines,” Qantas loyalty CEO Olivia Wirth said.

“If they are willing to bring their travel across to Qantas, we will fast track them to ‘gold status’.”

As part of the program, applicants from a rival airline must earn 100 credit points with Qantas within three months to qualify. That’s the equivalent of about two return domestic flights in economy, and one-seventh of the flight credits normally required.

If successful in attaining gold status, flyers can access Qantas and Oneworld airline lounges globally, receive preferential seating as well as priority to reward seats, check-in, boarding and upgrade requests.

Applicants have less than a month to register for the program, with the window for expressions of interest closing December 18.

Existing Qantas flyers won’t be entirely snubbed for their loyalty either, Wirth said, promising a 50% increase in the number of domestic rewards seats.

Considering Australia’s borders remain firmly closed, that might be reward enough.


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