Frequent Flyer Points Now Transferable After Death in Major Airline Policy Update

woman on airplane looking out window
In a significant policy reversal, Qantas has announced changes to its Frequent Flyer program.

The new changes allow family members to inherit points after the account holder’s death. This move comes after the airline faced criticism for its previous policy, where points were forfeited unless transferred before death, causing distress for families who shared a single account.

Qantas’s new CEO, Vanessa Hudson, who is on an apology tour following the challenging final months of Alan Joyce’s leadership, revealed the revised policy. Under this change, family members can now apply to have the deceased Frequent Flyer’s unexpired points transferred into their own account. However, the application must be made in writing within 12 months of the person’s death by an executor or administrator of their estate. Proof of death must be supplied.

Expiration and Account Closure

The inherited points will adopt the same expiry date as the other points in the recipient family member’s account. Subsequently, the deceased member’s account will be officially closed. It’s important to note that status credits, which contribute to reaching and maintaining Qantas Frequent Flyer status, cannot be transferred and will be lost upon confirmation of the member’s death.

This move aligns Qantas with its rival Virgin, which already allows the inheritance of Velocity points. However, in Virgin’s case, this is only possible if the transfer is specified in the deceased person’s will.

Air New Zealand does not currently allow the transfer of Airpoints from the deceased person’s account. Those not redeemed at the time of the member’s death are cancelled unless a formal claim is made by the beneficiary of the member’s estate

Eligibility for Inheriting Qantas Points

Qantas defines an “eligible family member” as someone who can demonstrate, to reasonable satisfaction, that they are any of the following:

  1. Husband or wife
  2. Parent or step-parent
  3. Domestic or de facto partner
  4. Child, including foster or stepchild
  5. Brother or sister
  6. Half brother or half sister
  7. Grandparent
  8. Grandchild
  9. Daughter-in-law or son-in-law
  10. Brother-in-law or sister-in-law
  11. Father-in-law or mother-in-law
  12. Aunt or uncle
  13. Nephew or niece
  14. First cousin

CEO’s Commitment to Customer Policies Review

CEO Vanessa Hudson has committed to a comprehensive review of all Qantas customer policies to ensure fairness. The promised changes include better contact centre resourcing and training, an increase in the number of seats available for purchase with Frequent Flyer points, more generous recovery support during operational issues, and improvements to in-flight catering.

This move by Qantas reflects a growing trend among airlines to address the concerns and preferences of their loyal customers, emphasising a customer-centric approach in the highly competitive aviation industry.


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