Qantas mistakenly sent its frequent travelers a text suggesting that customers have until the end of this year to book and board a flight, despite ongoing blockades and border closures, in order to maintain their current status.
The airline has since said the message was “made in error,” and frequent travelers instead have until June 2022 to catch their flight.
Last month, Qantas announced that frequent travelers could get an extension and keep their current membership status until at least June 2023, provided customers book an eligible flight before their current membership expires.
According to a report by The telegraph of the day, Qantas sent text messages to customers whose subscriptions were due to expire in the next few days, causing panic and confusion.
The message informed them that in order to maintain their status, they had to “book an eligible Qantas-operated flight” before that date, “to travel at any time in 2021”.
While as part of a previous status extension offer, Qantas gave customers until the end of 2021 to book their retention flight, this policy was changed in August, in light of ongoing lockdowns and state border closures, Qantas said.
According to a Qantas spokesperson, in November 2020, the airline “announced that eligible members could extend their status for 12 months by simply booking an eligible flight” until the end of 2021.
âIn August 2021, we extended this offer to members expiring before June 30, 2022,â she said.
âTo maintain their frequent flyer status, members whose status expires by June 30, 2022 must book an eligible flight before the end of their membership year, to travel until June 2022.
âSome members received the wrong advice from us via text message that they should travel this year. This was done by mistake and they have until June of next year to travel.
Qantas said members who were contacted with incorrect advice were contacted by the airline with the updated information.
Finder travel expert Angus Kidman told the The telegraph of the day that Qantas Frequent Flyers should consider whether it is worth booking an eligible flight to maintain their current membership status.
âIt’s worth booking a flight to qualify depends on if you imagine flying a lot in 2022,â he said. “If you do [plan to fly], and keeping your status gives you access to the lounge or other perks you enjoy, that makes sense.
Kidman said Qantas plans to resume a nearly full flight schedule between Sydney and Melbourne – Australia’s busiest route – from November.
âA quick flight between these two cities could definitely be worth keeping your status,â he said.
Usually, according to Kidman, a frequent flyer would have to earn 300 status credits to earn or maintain their QFF Silver status, which would equate to 15 economy class round trips between Sydney and Melbourne.
âSo if you can requalify with just one one-way flight, you get a much better deal,â he said.
âIt would have been nice if Qantas had offered a wider range of dates, but obviously it wants to get passengers off the ground as quickly as possible to recoup its huge pandemic losses. “
It comes as Qantas prepares to reintroduce part of its international flight schedule from mid-December, as well as much of its regional and domestic network in the coming months.
However, the airline recently announced a series of changes to its flight schedule in light of the current state of internal borders, delaying all services from Western Australia to the eastern states until February. and suspending the flagship London-Perth service.
Qantas has confirmed that it will “temporarily” reroute its flagship London-Perth service until “at least” April 2022, and is currently in talks with the Northern Territory government and Darwin Airport to facilitate a new direct service. via Darwin.
Qantas has also postponed its scheduled return to scheduled passenger services between Western Australia and the eastern states of NSW and Victoria by two months to February 1, 2022, “based on border assumptions.”
The airline said it would continue to operate five return flights per week between Perth and Sydney and Melbourne in order to maintain a minimum of connections for those authorized to travel.
It comes as WA Premier Mark McGowan continues to suggest he will keep the border hard with NSW and Victoria until at least early next year, until at least 90% of the entire population of WA has been fully immunized.
âBased on our discussions with Western Australia, we know their borders won’t be open to NSW and Victoria until early next year, so unfortunately we had to cancel flights. that we planned on these routes before Christmas, âsaid Qantas CEO Alan Joyce.