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We Called and Asked

We Called and Asked: These Asian & Australian Airlines Are Extending Status

We Called and Asked: These Asian & Australian Airlines Are Extending Status
Joe Cortez

Of all the regions affected by COVID-19, Asia has been one of the hardest hit areas. From the virus’ origin in China, the spread to neighboring Australia, Japan, and South Korea was unlike anything the world had seen before. There’s no way to fathom or measure the human toll novel Coronavirus has taken through the region.

Airlines across the region are also affected, with many forced to slash the majority of their flights. As a result, flyers may not have the opportunity to renew their elite status for the next year. FlyerTalk reached out to many of the Asian and Australian carriers for their policies – here’s what we found out.

China Southern Airlines

As part of what the call a “Special frequent flyer program customer care program,” the monochrome China Southern Airlines website announced an extension of elite membership status. Elite status and preferential elite membership will be extended through 2021, and Sky Pearl Miles will be extended as well. To qualify for extension, members must register on the website.

China Eastern Airlines

The SkyTeam member has not announced any extension online or through their press releases. Elite status memberships currently remain on a 12-month calendar year requirement.

Air China

According to the airline, Air China PhoenixMiles elite status is good for a 24-month period. Any elites who qualified for elite status in 2020 should retain their status through 2021. Those who are in the process of renewing may find their status downgraded, with the lower status granted for 12 months.

Hainan Airlines

Hainan Airlines’ Fortune Wings Club is extending elite status and mileage expiration dates indefinitely. In a statement on their website, the airline notes that the expiration date “will be announced later,” and notes old cards with expiration dates in 2020 will be considered valid until further notice.

All Nippon Airways

Although they remain in their joint venture with United Airlines, All Nippon Airways has not announced any extension of their elite status. On their website, the policy remains the same: “The number of premium points earned from January to December each year determines premium status for the following year. Premium service starts 1st of April and is valid for 1 year.”

Japan Airlines

An equally large carrier in Japan, JAL Mileage Bank has not announced any extension of status or elite miles. FlyerTalkers disappointed in the lack of policy note Amazon gift cards are one option to use expiring points.

Update 4/2: JAL Mileage Bank miles and e JAL Points expiring between February 29 and July 31, 2020 will be credited back as e JAL Points that are valid for one year.

Singapore Airlines

Due to the COVID-19 outbreak, Singapore Airlines will extend status and Elite Gold Rewards for one year. As published on their website, KrisFlyer Elite Silver and Gold will be extended for one year, while Elite Gold Rewards expiration date will be extended to Mar. 31, 2021.

Cathay Pacific

Although Cathay Pacific has not announced specific plans, they are planning some extension of their elite program status for members. In a statement to the South China Morning Post, the airline confirmed they would work with current elites, and will communicate further “as soon as the plans are confirmed.”

Asiana Airlines

Much like Air China, Korean carrier Asiana Airlines’ status is valid for 24 months. On their website, the airline notes: “You can acquire Elite Membership more easily than ever as the Asiana affiliate card records will be reflected in the eligibility criteria and eligibility maintenance requirements every 24 months from the ‘base date’.”

Korean Air

Korean Air also grants elite status for a 24-month period, at least through 2022. According to the SKYPASS guide, elite status is good for two years, and can be renewed for two-year periods.

EVA Air

Although the Taiwan-based carrier announced changes to their schedule, there are no announcement to changes for their frequent flyer program. As of press time, EVA Air has not noted any changes to their elite program.

Malaysia Airlines

Troubled carrier Malaysian Airlines announced several changes to their policies due to COVID-19, including “The Ultimate Flexibility” waiver program and prompt communications via e-mail. The airline has not announced any extensions or changes to their Enrich program.

Air New Zealand

One of three major carriers serving Oceania, Air New Zealand proactively announced a one-year extension of all elite statuses due to COVID-19. Those who have elite status as of Mar. 30, 2020 will be extended for one year through an Elite Banked Year. All frequent flyer benefits will only be valid until flyer’s current review date.

Qantas

Qantas Frequent Flyer status will be extended for those who have status as of Mar. 19, 2020, but across two phases. Those with expiration dates between March and June 2020 will see the extension by Mar. 27, 2020, while all others will be extended by Apr. 9, 2020.

Virgin Atlantic

Members of Virgin Atlantic Velocity will also see their elite status extended for one year. Qualifying flyers should now have details on their extension, including their status credit gift and 12-month status extension.

Need help navigating the COVID-19 situation? FlyerTalk has a forum dedicated to the latest information – click here to read the newest posts.

View Comments (4)

4 Comments

  1. lifeonthego_k

    April 6, 2020 at 10:20 pm

    So is Qatar Airways

  2. MEL-World

    April 8, 2020 at 8:39 pm

    I think you mean Virgin Australia Velocity here, not Virgin Atlantic.

  3. DestinAsian

    April 8, 2020 at 10:56 pm

    What some airlines need to focus on is getting refunds back to their customers. For example, my ordeal has been Singapore Airlines as they are holding onto my S$2,700 business class air ticket for a flight they cancelled and would not want to refund. I have found their policy and responsiveness to be dreadful. They surely know how to turn back their most loyal customers.

  4. ithacxa

    April 9, 2020 at 2:47 am

    Virgin Atlantic’s program is Flying Club, while Virgin Australia has Velocity. Kindly reflect the change. Thanks.

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