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Qantas relaunches major promotion but you'll have to be quick

Customers only have five days to take advantage of the airline's popular offer.

Qantas promotional image
This year, Qantas frequent flyers can choose between double status credits or double points. (Source: Qantas)

Frequent flyers around Australia are rejoicing after Qantas announced one of their highly sought-after double status credit promotions.

These promotions generally run each year, around March, but with demand for air travel already sky-high and prices through the roof, there was some speculation among frequent flyers that they would miss out this year.

However, this year's promotion has arrived and covers bookings made between Thursday, March 23 and Tuesday, March 28, for travel between March 29 2023 and February 28 2024. Passengers can choose between either double status credits or double points.

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However, Adele Eliseo, flight-hacking expert and publisher of The Champagne Mile, said that because status credits were much harder to come by, the majority of frequent flyers would be choosing the former option.

"We expect that the majority of frequent flyers will opt for bonus status credits over Qantas points. There are so many ways to earn Qantas points on the ground, with regular points-boosting promotions on offer to help travellers to rack up frequent flyer balances fast," Eliseo said.

What are Qantas frequent flyer status credits and why do they matter?

Unlike the more familiar Qantas points, which can be readily earned via shopping partners or credit card payments, Qantas status credits can only be earned by flying.

"Qantas status credits are normally restricted to flying activity," Eliseo said. "This makes them difficult to earn, and arguably a much more valuable commodity to leverage under the current promotion."

Status credits are the key to progressing through the various tiers of the frequent flyer program and earning yourself a range of exclusive perks, like priority boarding and complimentary lounge access. The Frequent Flyer program features multiple tiers, from Bronze right through to the elite Platinum One. You could have all the Qantas points in the world, but if you're only a Bronze-level, you're still going to line up with everyone else at the airport.

Adele Eliseo
Adele Eliseo is the publisher of The Champagne Mile and an expert on flight hacking. (Source: Supplied)

If you want preferential service and premium perks like lounge access, even when you're flying economy, you need to level up your membership tier and, for that, you're going to need status credits.

"Unprecedented demand for travel is continuing to result in more stressful and crowded experiences, both at the airport and in the air," Eliseo said.

"Increasing numbers of travellers are seeing the benefits of upgrading their Qantas Frequent Flyer membership tier. Perks like airport fast-track lanes, lounge access, additional luggage allowance, and better access to customer care teams are all appealing benefits that can help make travel more comfortable."

Qantas status credits also expire at the end of each member year, so frequent flyers need to accrue credits each and every year if they want to maintain their status tier. Normally, a flight from Melbourne to Bali earns just 40 status credits, yet Silver, the lowest premium status tier, requires 300 credits to attain and another 250 to retain, meaning you'd have to fly to Bali and back, four times in a single year just to earn Silver.

Double-status credit promotions are immensely popular because they halve the number of trips you would need to take in order to earn or retain status. Platinum One requires a whopping 3,600 credits to unlock and the same again the next year to retain - that's a lot of flights to Bali!

Tips for racking up status credits (aka 'doing a status run')

While Eliseo noted Qantas fares were currently higher than in the past, she did have a few tips for flyers looking to glow up their status tier fast by 'doing a status run'.

"Flying from Australian cities in Qantas business class to New Zealand, with one or more domestic stops, can deliver a yield of up to 160 status credits (80 base SCs + 80 bonus SCs) or more one way," she said.

"While Qantas isn't currently offering many sale fares, frequent flyers can take advantage of moderately priced economy base fares like Sydney into Ballina, and Melbourne into Sunshine Coast. Travellers should also look further afield to flights into Noumea, Bali and Jakarta, with Qantas business class flights from Melbourne to Jakarta (stopping in Sydney) delivering 320 status credits one way.

"At the more extreme end, it's entirely possible to earn enough status credits to qualify for Qantas Platinum on one journey, by flying return from Sydney to London in Qantas first class."

But there's a caveat.

"There's an eyewatering outlay required to do this, with the cost of these flights currently sitting at around $17,000."

How to earn double status credits on your next Qantas flight

This year's promotion only runs for five days, so if you're hoping to unlock silver this year, or perhaps looking to retain your Platinum One status, you'd better be quick.

  1. Register here for your choice of double status credits or double Qantas points by 11:59pm (AEDT) on March 28. All passengers in each booking must register separately to be eligible.

  2. Make a new flight booking between March 23 and March 28, 2023 for travel between March 29, 2023 and February 28, 2024 on eligible Qantas-operated flights with a QF flight number.

  3. Don't forget to include your Qantas Frequent Flyer number in your booking.

For a more comfortable journey overseas, Eliseo had one final tip:

"Travellers should look to book flights serviced by the A330, which features Qantas's highly regarded lie-flat business class suite, as opposed to the 737, which only features reclining seats."

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