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Frequent Flyer Status Extension Ultimate Guide

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Tom Goward | 09/04/2020

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The outbreak of the coronavirus continues to cause extensive disruption to the travel industry. Many flights have been suspended, reduced or cancelled, with some airlines shutting down entirely. Airlines are flat out assisting travellers with existing bookings, and even offering change and cancellation fee waivers. Given the nature of the outbreak, many frequent flyers are wondering what will happen to their elite status.

This article covers many of the airlines relevant to Australian travellers which are extending the status of frequent flyers due to Coronavirus.

Qantas 

Qantas is extending status for Silver, Gold, Platinum and Platinum One Qantas Frequent Flyers. If your anniversary date is between March 2020 and February 2021 you will automatically receive a 12-month status extension. Qantas Frequent Flyers do not need to fly to retain their status for an additional year. The same policy applies to members who have been gifted Gold or Platinum status by a Platinum One Member.

The program will be rolled out in 2 separate stages:

  • Those with anniversary dates between March and June 2020 will have their status  extended by March 27 2020
  • Those with anniversary dates between July 2020 and February 2021 will have their status extended by April 9 2020 at the latest.

Cathay Pacific

Instead of status extensions, Cathay Pacific are offering ‘relief points’ for Marco Polo Club members. Cathay are sending points over three instalments across February, March and April 2020, based on each members’ current status:

  • Diamond: 140 points p/m; 420 points total
  • Gold: 65 points p/m; 195 points total
  • Silver: 30 points p/m; 90 points total

If your membership was due to expire in February 2020, the additional club points should have been credited to your account. For other members, you should have received your additional club points for February in March. Otherwise, Club Points relief for March and April will be credited by the end of each month.

Qatar Airways

Qatar Airways is extending the status of Privilege Club members by 12 months, with members whose status will expire before January 31 2021 eligible for the extension. Additionally, Qatar Airways are extending the validity of Qcredits by two years for Gold and Platinum members who retain their status during that time.

British Airways

British Airways have lowered elite qualifying requirements for Executive Club members due for renewal in April, May and June. These select members will be able to retain their status with 30% fewer Tier Points required:

  • Bronze: 210 Tier Points (normally 300)
  • Silver: 420 Tier Points (normally 600)
  • Gold: 1,050 Tier Points (normally 1,500)
  • Gold Guest List: 3,500 Tier Points (normally 5,000)

Alaska Airlines

Alaska Airlines is extending status for all elite Mileage Plan members by 12 months,  through to December 31 2021. However, the bonus 50,000 Mileage Plan miles that Alaska normally awards to MVP Gold 75K members is excluded from this offer. Plus, members who were in the process of completing a status match will have their status match extended until the end of 2021

Air New Zealand

Air New Zealand is extending status for Silver, Gold and Elite Airpoints members by 12 months. The extension will be based on your status as of 20 March 2020, with top-tier Airpoints Elite members already receiving an ‘Elite Banked Year’. This will be automatically redeemed if status is not maintained through usual methods.

For Airpoints Silver and Gold members, a 12-month status extension will be added to your account. Plus, Airpoints Silver and Gold members who have already retained their status until 2021 will receive an additional 12-month status extension into 2022.

Singapore Airlines

Singapore Airlines is extending the status of KrisFlyer and PPS Club members by 12 months. The benefit will be automatically applied to all KrisFlyer Elite and PPS Club members whose status expires from March 2020 through to February 2021.

United 

United is extending the status of all Premier Silver, Gold, Platinum and 1K MileagePlus members until January 31, 2022. United is also making it easier to reach a higher tier by reducing the thresholds each status level by 50% for 2021. The new qualifying requirements were sent to members via email:

Air Canada

Air Canada is extending the status of all Altitude members until the end of 2021. For members who reach a higher status tier before the end of 2020, Air Canada will extend that higher status for 2021 as well. Air Canada is also pausing Aeroplan mileage expiration until May 14 2020.

Turkish Airlines

Turkish Airlines are extending the status and free upgrade period of Miles&Smiles members by 6 months. Additionally, Turkish Airlines have doubled the purchase limit for status miles. Members can check their current in their accounts.

Aegean Airlines

Aegean Airlines are extending Miles+Bonus members’ tier expiration date by 6 months, until May 18 2021. This means that members will essentially have 18 months to meet the qualification or requalification requirements.

ANA

ANA has announced that they will stop Mileage Club miles from expiring between March 31 2020 and January 28 2021. These miles will instead expire on March 31 2021. Plus,  flights made between January 1 and June 30 2020 will earn members double Premium Points.

Virgin Australia

Virgin Australia is extending the status of Silver, Gold and Platinum Velocity Frequent Flyers by 12 months. You will retain the status you held between the 4th and 29th of March 2020, with the extension effective from your review date. Virgin Australia are also awarding bonus status credits during the first weeks of April, May and June. Status credit gifts will be transferred based on your membership tier as at March 29 2020, at the following rate:

Delta 

Delta is extending the status of Sky Miles members by 12 months, with all Medallion status for 2020 being automatically extended for the 2021 Medallion Year. This means that your current status will be valid throughout 2021 and into early 2022. Plus, Delta are rolling over all Medallion Qualification Miles from 2020 into 2021, making it significantly easier to earn status next year.

Etihad 

Etihad Airways announced that from March 31 2020 they would transfer bonus Tier Miles to all Etihad Guest members on a monthly basis. Although no specific numbers have been released at this point, Etihad have said that the Tier Miles offered will be “calculated as a monthly average of miles members earn flying with Etihad Airways and are required to maintain their existing tier.”.

Emirates 

Emirates are allowing Silver, Gold and Platinum Skywards members with tier review dates prior to March 1 2021 to retain their status for 12 months if they fly 80% of the usual travel requirements. For Silver, Gold and Platinum Skywards members who are unable to retain their existing tier and have tier status review dates between March and September 2020, Emirates will extend their existing status until 31 December 2020. Emirates have also extended the validity of Skywards Miles until 31 December 2020.

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Tom Goward

Tom is a Hobart-based writer with a passion for aviation and travel.

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