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Qantas aims to take the Sting out of exercise

written by | March 31, 2016
Actor Christopher Walken promoting the health insurance business Qantas Assure. (Qantas)
Actor Christopher Walken promoting the health insurance business Qantas Assure. (Qantas)

Every move you make, every step you take*, Qantas will be tracking you. In exchange for a serve of frequent flyer points.

Qantas’s partnership with health insurance provider nib, which was first unveiled in November 2015 and called Qantas Assure, was launched on Thursday with actor Christopher Walken fronting an advertising campaign encouraging people to be active.

Those who take out a Qantas Assure health insurance policy can earn up to 15,000 frequent flyer points a year for “staying active”, Qantas said on Thursday.


Qantas Loyalty chief executive Lesley Grant said trials of the Qantas Assure app showed the prospect of getting points for physical activity resulted in a change of behaviour, adding that Qantas frequent flyer members could “literally walk their way closer to their next flight”.

“When there are points up for grabs, members have told us they would take the stairs rather than the lift, park a few blocks away from the train station and do an extra lap of the park while walking the dog because they also know it is good for them,” Grant said in a statement.

The company said in November its new Qantas Assure program was aiming to capture between two and three per cent of Australia’s $19 billion health insurance market over the next five years.

The National Heart Foundation said it supported the initiative.


“We support Qantas Assure’s innovative approach to rewarding people for being more active. Research has shown that walking for 30 minutes or more a day can reduce the risk of coronary heart disease by a third,” National Heart Foundation chief executive Professor Garry Jennings said in the Qantas statement.

While limited to walking or running for now, Qantas said it was looking at extending the scheme to include other sports such as swimming, cycling and yoga.

And with Qantas’s more than 11 million members already earning points through using the telephone, drinking wine, eating out, playing golf and paying for all of the above and more with a credit card – in addition to actually flying – it seems the airline really is by our side all day and all of the night**.

Those who feel this latest initiative feels too much like Qantas saying “Oh can’t you see, you belong to me”*, then perhaps the appropriate response would be “Don’t stand so close to me”*.

Qantas’s promotional video featuring Walken can be seen below:

* With acknowledgements to The Police

** With acknowledgements to The Kinks

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