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 Virgin in Australia. 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 and increasing it with Delta and United.

What am I losing by not staying at Platinum? 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 don’t 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?

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