Holding frequent flyer standing with an airline comes with loads of perks: entry to the perfect airport lounges, precedence check-in and boarding, a better checked baggage allowance and infrequently a bonus serve of factors on each flight.
Most travellers obtain their prized Gold or Platinum standing the laborious means – clocking up hours of bum-numbing miles in enterprise class or, worse, economic system.
However, there are methods to catapult your self into the highest tier with only a single flight: by making the most of free but little-known ‘standing problem’ applications.
Fight in your flight
These are primarily used to woo enterprise travellers away from competing airways by providing a shortcut to standing and the privileges which include it, in order that high-spending company flyers who already maintain standing on one other airline do not need to forego the equal perks and begin on the backside of the frequent flyer meals chain.
But you do not get one thing for nothing: these problem promotions require that travellers do a certain quantity of flying with the airline providing a fast-track standing deal.
You’ll additionally want to carry standing with a competitor of the airline providing the problem.
Here are 3 standing challenges open to Australian travellers.
Qantas Tier Accelerator
The Tier Accelerator scheme is a bit ‘struggle membership’ in that Qantas would not speak a lot about it. It’s not publicised and is issued at Qantas’ discretion, however the Tier Accelerator gives a fast-track to Qantas Gold or Platinum membership towards equal standing with the frequent flyer schemes of rivals reminiscent of Virgin Australia Velocity, Air New Zealand Airports, Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer and extra.
The Qantas Tier Accelerator dramatically reduces the variety of standing credit – and thus the quantity of flying – it’s worthwhile to qualify for that shiny Qantas Frequent Flyer card.
A mere 200 standing credit is required to earn Gold standing, in comparison with 700 standing credit below the same old QFF guidelines.
Rocketing from a no-status 0 to a Platinum hero takes simply 400 standing credit – a feat that’d normally take a stable 1400 standing credit.
These standing credit should be racked up inside 3 months of signing up for the Qantas Tier Accelerator supply, however that is not an enormous ask.
A single enterprise class return journey from Sydney to Singapore or Hong Kong will internet you 240 standing credit, so you may make Gold with room to spare.
Two of these journeys (or only one versatile enterprise class return fare to Los Angeles or London) is sufficient for fast Platinum standing.
Note nevertheless that you just will not be gifted Qantas Platinum or Gold standing throughout that preliminary 3 month interval: the one standing you get is that which you earn by flying.
To apply for the Qantas Tier Accelerator, contact the Qantas Frequent Flyer workforce on 13 1131 in Australia.
You’ll want proof of your present Platinum-grade or Gold-grade standing with a competing airline and provide a replica of your account exhibiting your latest journey with that airline. This is to weed out freeloading status-seekers who’ve finished comparatively little flying.
It’s then as much as Qantas to resolve when you’re a buyer value chasing – as famous earlier, an invite to participate within the Qantas Tier Accelerator program is solely on the airline’s discretion.
Virgin Australia Velocity Accelerate Pilot Gold
Virgin Australia’s Pilot Gold scheme works alongside related traces because the Qantas Tier Accelerator but additionally provides gives 3 months of free of charge Gold standing with the Velocity Frequent Flyer program, so you’ll be able to instantly get pleasure from these Gold-lined perks.
Pilot Gold is a part of the airline’s Accelerate enterprise journey program for corporations spending from $20,000 to $300,000 per yr on Virgin Australia flights.
However, Pilot Gold can be provided to particular person Qantas Gold or Platinum flyers prized by Virgin Australia, though it is not an computerized supply and is made on the discretion of Velocity CEO Karl Schuster, who tells High Flyer “it’s not unusual for me to grant it, but we scrutinise requests quite closely and try to use (Pilot Gold) in a very strategic way because it’s using airline assets.”
“You know what the lounges are like at peak periods, so it’s not something we throw around the place – we use it smartly and judiciously, in a very thoughtful way.”
Only 1 Virgin Australia flight and 80 Velocity standing credit is required to transform the Pilot Gold trial into full Velocity Gold standing. That’s achievable with a enterprise class journey between the east and west coasts.
Keen to take Pilot Gold for a take a look at flight? Start by contacting the Velocity Frequent Flyer workforce on 131875.
United Airlines (Star Alliance)
United Airlines provides a problem to succeed in Premier Gold or Premier Platinum standing, and as United is a member of the Star Alliance group each of those tiers are equal to Gold standing throughout all different Star Alliance airways (Star Alliance would not have a Platinum stage).
This delivers airport lounge entry, precedence check-in and boarding and a boosted baggage allowance with the likes of Singapore Airlines, Thai Airways, Air New Zealand, ANA, Lufthansa and Swiss, so it is excellent for the globe-trotting enterprise traveller.
You want to carry Gold or Platinum standing with a competing airline, and each Qantas and Virgin Australia are on that record.
Once you have registered and been accredited for United’s MileagePlus Premier Status Match Challenge you may begin with 90 days of Premier Gold or Premier Platinum membership.
(If you are not already a United Airlines MileagePlus member, you may first want to enroll, after which return to the promo web page to register for the problem. It usually takes 7-14 days for United to approve your software.)
Your 90 days of free standing may be prolonged to so far as January 2020 by flying a sure variety of what United calls ‘Premier-qualifying miles’ (PQMs, much like standing credit) on United Airlines flights.
Premier Gold standing is the candy spot right here because it’s earned with simply 12,500 PQMs.
Any United Airlines flight from Australia to the USA – reminiscent of Sydney or Melbourne to Los Angeles, Sydney to San Francisco or the brand new Sydney-Houston service – pulls in upwards of 15,000 PQMs for one-way in enterprise class or a return flight in economic system.
That’s sufficient to land you Premier Gold standing by to January 2019 in case your qualifying flight is on or earlier than June 30, or by to January 2020 in case your flight is after July 1.
Few folks spend extra time on planes, in lounges or mulling over the perfect methods to make use of frequent flyer factors than David Flynn, the editor of Australian Business Traveller journal. His unparalleled data of all elements of enterprise journey connects strongly with the pursuits of Executive Style readers.
Have you tried any standing shortcuts? Share your expertise within the feedback part under.
David Flynn from executivestyle.com.au