Qantas downgrades me

I got downgraded last week in the Qantas Frequent Flyer Scheme from their top tier: Platinum to their next tier: Gold.

This was because I have downgraded my travel with Qantas over the last year by 50 per cent. Basically in protest over what I see as the downgrading of Qantas service and the downgrading of the Platinum benefits.

When I have a valid choice when flying I have been choosing someone else. The beneficiary of this in Australia has been the Virgin group who now offer a competitive product and across the ditch it has been Air New Zealand who offer a better product than the NZ domestic Jetstar service. In the USA this has meant reducing my travel with American (horrible airline) and increasing it with Delta (okay carrier) and United (ugh). Next week I am going to talk about juggling Frequent Flier schemes!

What am I losing by not staying at Platinum? The benefits of each tier are listed below in the table below. For me, the losses that impact me are:
  •  32kg less checked baggage on non US international flights and in Australia (which I have needed seven times out of 763 flights)
  •  a few less frequent flyer points eg Melbourne to Perth 420 less points and Melbourne to Los Angeles 1980 points. Seeing you need 7000 minimum to get a flight, its not a massive loss.
  •  I can no longer use First Class lounges and First Class Check in (slum it to Business Class ones instead!)
  • no access to a lounge on arrival (I used this 3 times a year maximum anyway)
  • cabin service manager will no longer welcome me on board on international flights
None of these are incentives to fly Qantas twice as much as I do now. Instead I will focus on maintaining Gold status on three airlines: Qantas (One World), United (Star Alliance)and Virgin (benefits on Delta/Etihad/Singapore/Air NZ) which will allow me to get benefits across as many airlines as possible. I am missing Status in the Skyteam group of airlines but I am not too stressed as I dont fly any of them often (except Delta and I get Virgin privileges with them anyway).

Virgin Australia will be launching a Platinum later this year -will be interesting to see what they offer? I am also interested to see if Virgin end up in Star Alliance?

What are other Qantas Platinum and Gold fliers doing?

Table showing comparions between Qantas Platinum and Gold and a noting of the differences between the tiers


Platinum Gold Comparison
Priority telephone service Priority telephone service Little difference
Complimentary Advance Seat Selection with preferential seating Complimentary Advance Seat Selection with preferential seating Little difference
Automatic seating preferences in Premium Economy, Business or First Automatic seating preferences in Premium Economy, Business or First
Priority Economy seat purchase for up to two, including yourself --- Difference
Qantas provides preferential access, when available, to selected Qantas Classic Award seats  Qantas provides preferential access, when available, to selected Qantas Classic Award seats 
Priority check-in at First or Business counters Priority check-in at Business counters Little difference
Complimentary Q Bag Tags with smart chip technology Complimentary Q Bag Tags with smart chip technology
Priority baggage on Qantas, regardless of your class of travel (bags marked first) Priority baggage on Qantas, regardless of your class of travel (bags marked priority) Little difference
International Baggage: 64kg International: 32kg unless in business Difference
To/from USA: 3 x 32kg To/from USA: 3 x 32kg
Domestic Baggage: 2 x 32kg Domestic: 1 x 32kg unless in business Difference
Premium Security Lanes in Brisbane, Melbourne, Perth and Sydney and International locations Premium Security Lanes in Brisbane, Melbourne, Perth and Sydney and International locations
On Departure Upgrade requests up to three hours before departure on selected Australian domestic Qantas flights  On Departure Upgrade requests up to three hours before departure on selected Australian domestic Qantas flights 
Priority Waitlist/Airport Standby Priority Waitlist/Airport Standby
Priority boarding on international Priority boarding on international
Complimentary membership of The Qantas Club Complimentary membership of The Qantas Club
First Lounge in Sydney and Melbourne Business Lounge in Sydney and Melbourne Little difference
Domestic Business Lounges Domestic Qantas Club unless in Business Little difference
Domestic Lounge access on arrival --- Difference
100% points bonus 75% points bonus Little difference
Earn a Status bonus of 100% more points calculated on the base Economy rate with Qantas, eligible Jetstar, British Airways or American Airlines flights Earn a Status bonus of 75% more points calculated on the base Economy rate with Qantas, eligible Jetstar, British Airways or American Airlines flights
Platinum Frequent Flyers enjoy oneworld Emerald status Platinum Frequent Flyers enjoy oneworld Sapphire status Little difference






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