Qantas has announced a new Green tier for its Frequent Flyer loyalty programme, which will sit alongside existing Bronze, Silver, Gold, Platinum and Platinum One flying tiers.
The initiative will see members rewarded with benefits including bonus Qantas points or status credits, the exact details of which have yet to be confirmed.
Members will need to complete at least five “sustainable activities” across six areas in order to achieve Green tier status and be eligible for the rewards – which will be in addition to any benefits received under their existing flying status or through the carrier’s Points Club.
Qantas said that the activities would include offsetting flights, staying in an eco-hotel, walking to work, purchasing solar panels, buying wine from an eco-vineyard, and “contributing to a sustainable organisation or project”.
Those achieving the Green tier status will receive a digital rather than physical card, and will also be invited to special sustainability events and experiences.
The programme will not officially start until early 2022, but the carrier confirmed that “from today frequent flyers who offset their flights, home and car, install solar panels or make a contribution towards protecting the Great Barrier Reef will see these actions go towards meeting their sustainability target as part of attaining Green tier status”.
Qantas said that the initiative had been driven by feedback from frequent flyers, with research showing that “almost two-thirds want to be more aware of their impact on the environment and would like support in their efforts to be more sustainable”.
In addition members can now earn ten Qantas points per $1 spent when they offset their home or car, with the carrier stating that the average annual cost to offset home energy for a family of four with two cars would be approximately $200 or 26,000 Qantas Points.
Qantas said that the initiative was in addition to, rather than part of, the carrier’s pledge to achieve net zero carbon emissions by 2050, which was unveiled in late 2019.
Commenting on the news Qantas Group CEO Alan Joyce said:
“Our customers are concerned about climate change and so are we. There’s a lot of action we’re taking as an airline to reduce our emissions and that means we have the framework to help our customers offset and take other steps to reduce their own footprint.
“This new Green tier is a way of encouraging and recognising those who want to do their part by offering Qantas Points or status credits, which we know helps shape customer choices.
“This isn’t the first time we’ve used points to reward members for taking positive action in their own lives. We’ve seen it work when we’ve provided points for walking through our wellbeing app, while the vaccination reward has been taken up by more than 600,000 members already.
“Offsetting is one of the main ways Australia can reduce its net emissions in the short to medium term until new low emission technology becomes available.
“As an airline, we’re looking at structural changes to reduce our greenhouse gases, including investment in more efficient aircraft that can cut emissions by 15 per cent and using sustainable aviation fuel that typically cuts it by up to 80 per cent.
“In Europe and the United States, there’s a growing sustainable aviation fuel sector that proves the potential for Australia to create one of its own. We’re having conversations with the rest of the industry and governments on how we kickstart that. In the meantime, we are finalising our first significant purchase of sustainable aviation fuel.”
Earlier this month Qantas Frequent Flyer launched its new strategic loyalty partnership with Accor’s ALL scheme, allowing members who link their accounts to earn points in both programmes on eligible hotel bookings and domestic and international flights.