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2021 is not looking any better than 2020 when it comes to air travel. As a result, airline loyalty programmes are surely looking at extending the elite status of their most valued customers. Qatar Airways Privilege Club is one of the first to act. All Silver, Gold and Platinum members will have their expiry extended until 31 December, 2021 (assuming they haven’t somehow earned enough QPoints to renew or upgrade it).
This news might not be particularly relevant to most readers – many will be waiting and hoping that British Airways Executive Club also extends their status – but a few of you might have taken advantage of the status match opportunity offered back in May 2020. (click here to be reminded)
In the 7/8 months since I was successfully status matched to Qatar’s Privilege Club, I still haven’t been able to take a Oneworld flight (or any flight for that matter). So I’ve already ignored my own advice about “wasting” a status match opportunity by not having a real plan for using and/or renewing that complimentary elite status.
Perhaps international travel will resume before the end of 2021, and I can at least squeeze in a Oneworld First Class lounge experience or two. Or perhaps governments will continue to fumble around incompetently and I’ll spend all of 2021 at home like I did most of 2020. But at least if they do, Qatar Airways might decide to extend everybody’s elite status yet again…
Here’s the press release from Privilege Club…
Qatar Airways Privilege Club Extends Members’ Tier Status Throughout 2021
The initiative is designed to further honour the loyalty of members during challenging times
DOHA, Qatar — Qatar Airways Privilege Club will extend its valued members’ tier status in recognition that travel plans continue to be impacted by the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. This initiative will extend members’ tier status until 31 December 2021 and applies to our Silver, Gold and Platinum members whose tier is due to end this year and have not earned enough Qpoints to retain it.
This announcement follows news that Qatar Airways will offer all passengers unlimited date changes and free refunds for tickets issued before 30 April 2021 for travel completed by 31 December 2021. Privilege Club members can therefore benefit from flexible booking policies that will allow them to change their plans with ease if they need to, while retaining their current, hard-earned tier status and enjoying the unique benefits associated with it.
Qatar Airways Chief Commercial Officer, Mr. Thierry Antinori, said: “At Qatar Airways we are doing everything in our power to be the airline you can rely on. Having flown continuously during the pandemic, we currently operate the largest network among airlines based in the Middle East thanks to the flexibility offered by our sustainable, wide body Boeing 787 and A350 aircrafts. We also offer the highest standards of safety on board and at Hamad International Airport – recently endorsed by our Skytrax 5-Star COVID-19 Airline Safety Rating Airport Safety Rating.
“Our Privilege Club members are very important to us and we want to continue to be there for them. We understand that some of our members may need more time to plan and book their upcoming travel. That is why we are announcing today our latest tier extension as one of the many steps that Privilege Club has taken over the last year to honour the loyalty of our valued members as we navigate these difficult times together.”
Last year, Qatar Airways’ Privilege Club was one of the first airline loyalty programmes to announce a tier extension offer of up to 12 months to its members. Throughout 2020, Privilege Club continued to invest in redefining the programme, including cutting the number of Qmiles required to book award flights by up to 49 per cent. It also revised its Qmiles policy so that when a member earns or spends them, their balance is valid for 36 months.
When travelling with Qatar Airways on board and at Hamad International Airport (HIA), passengers can expect the highest safety standards as well as comfort, luxury and hospitality. Qatar Airways recently became the first global airline to achieve the prestigious 5-Star COVID-19 Airline Safety Rating by international air transport rating organisation, Skytrax. This follows HIA’s recent success as the first airport in the Middle East and Asia to be awarded a Skytrax 5-Star COVID-19 Airport Safety Rating. For full details of all the measures that have been implemented on board and in HIA, please visit qatarairways.com/safety.
Additionally, Qatar Airways’ Business Class passengers on aircraft equipped with Qsuite can enjoy the enhanced privacy this award-winning business seat provides, including sliding doors and the option to use a ‘Do Not Disturb (DND)’ indicator. Qsuite is available on flights to more than 45 destinations including Frankfurt, Kuala Lumpur, London and New York.
At Hamad International Airport, Privilege Club members can enjoy the most luxurious lounges in the world. Platinum members can experience the incredible Al Safwa First Lounge with two guests when travelling in Business Class or the First Class Lounge when travelling in Economy Class, Gold members can unwind at the Business Class Lounge with one guest, and Silver members can access the Business Class Lounge as individuals. All Privilege Club members travelling on award flights in Business Class can enjoy the exceptional facilities at the Al Mourjan Business Lounge.
Qatar Airways currently operates more than 800 weekly flights to over 120 destinations across the globe. By the end of March 2021, Qatar Airways plans to rebuild its network to over 130 destinations. Many cities will be served with a strong schedule of daily or more frequencies.
Qatar Airways Privilege Club is the Official Frequent Flyer Programme of the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022™ and recently won a Frequent Traveler award for ‘Best Rewards Program’ in the Middle East, Asia, and Oceania regions for 2020.