Qantas frequent flyers will be able to maintain their status level for 18 months should they take time off to care for a new addition to the family such as a newborn, foster child or adopted child.
In a similar scheme to Virgin Australia’s Velocity frequent flyer program, Qantas’s “Status Hold” will allow parents who are taking at least six months off work to continue to receive the benefits of their silver, gold or platinum status even if they do not fly enough to re-qualify for another year of elite status.
The new initiative was one of several changes to the program announced on Tuesday alongside increased limits for families transferring points from one member to another and allowing members to make an unlimited number of points transfers in a 12-month period, from a maximum of four previously.
Qantas Loyalty chief executive Lesley Grant said feedback from the frequent flyer program’s 11 million members prompted the changes.
“Status Hold is designed to suit their evolving lifestyle and family needs,” Grant said in a statement.
“We recognise that all families are a bit different, so Status Hold will apply to men and women and those welcoming a foster or adopted child.”
Virgin’s “Membership Pause” allowed members who have a new addition to the family to place their membership on hold for six months. After this six-month period, they will have their silver, gold or platinum status for a further 12 months. Virgin also allowed family members to “pool” points and status credits into the one account.