Most of us are grounded these days thanks to the COVID-19 pandemic, and many people are wondering how this will affect their travel loyalty programs? After all, access to particular benefits normally depends on how much money is spent by the traveler in a certain period.
While some airlines and hotel groups have yet to announce how they plan to address the situation, here is a guide what some travel companies are doing to accommodate loyal members during the current crisis.
Silver, gold and diamond members of Cathay Pacific’s Marco Polo Club will have bonus club points added over the coming months to help keep their tier progressing. Perks such as single-use lounge passes, upgrade credits and companion Marco Polo Club gold membership that were due to expire soon will be extended.
Virgin Atlantic is extending its gold and silver members' status by six months. The number of points needed is staying the same, but members will get an additional six months added to their membership year to meet those requirements.
Singapore has renewed the membership of selected KrisFlyer elite silver, elite gold, PPS and solitaire PPS club travelers for another year, if they have membership validity periods ending in February and March 2020.
Air New Zealand
Air New Zealand is extending the status of customers' Airpoints by 12 months for its elite, gold and silver tier members. For elite members, an 'Elite Banked Year' will be added to their accounts by 31 March, which will automatically be redeemed if the status is not maintained through the usual methods. Airpoints members who have already retained their gold or silver tier through to 2021 will see that status extended a further 12 months into 2022.
Qantas Frequent Flyer status will automatically be extended for 12 months, and the extension will be completed in two phases. Memberships that end between March and June 2020 will be automatically extended by 27 March, and those ending between July 2020 and February 2021 will be automatically extended by 9 April 2020.
Emirates Skyward silver, gold and platinum members will qualify for their status if they meet 80% of the travel requirements this year. All flights completed before 30 June 2020 will receive 20% more tier miles.
Qatar Airways Privilege Club will extend all silver, gold and platinum members with a tier status ending before 31 January 2021 by 12 months. This also applies to members who have been downgraded after 9 February 2020.
Etihad will distribute bonus tier miles to all Etihad Guest members on a monthly basis. These will be calculated as a monthly average of the miles members are required to maintain their existing tier. It is also offering double tier points on all trips taken until 30 June 2020.
Bronze, silver, gold and gold guest list Executive Club members who are due for renewal between April and June 2020 need 30% fewer tier points to requalify for their status or move to a higher status level. Gold upgrade vouchers will have their expiry date extended by six months, as will those earned from 1 March 2020.
Flying Blue, the free loyalty programme of Air France, KLM, Aircalin, Kenya Airways, Transavia and TAROM, is lowering the elite status points requirements by 25% for all members with a qualification period ending in March, April or May 2020.
Hilton is extending the benefits of its Hilton Honors program, so members who were due to have their diamond, gold or silver status downgraded on 31 March 2020 will receive an extension through to 31 March 2021. Members with existing statuses will see their benefits extended through to 31 March 2022, no matter what their travel levels are over the next 12 months.
All members of Best Western Rewards will maintain their current status through 31 January 2022 without having to fulfil the qualifications. Members who were downgraded by a tier at the end of 2019 will be levelled up to their previous tier and will be able to maintain that status through 31 January 2022.
Radisson has extended the elite status for Radisson Rewards through February 2022 for statuses that would have expired in February 2021. E-certs earned using the Radisson Reward Visa card can be redeemed through 30 June 2021.
Marriott Bonvoy's loyalty club members will be given additional time to redeem award points, so their expiration will be extended from 31 December 2020 to 31 December 2021. Members with an active free night award expiring in 2020 as part of their credit card benefit, annual choice benefit, promotions or travel package will be able to use it through 31 January 2021.
Members of Accor’s loyalty program, Accor Live Limitless, will be credited with 50% of the status nights and points required to requalify for their current status level next year.