Wednesday, 18 May 2016

Hold that status!

Somewhere in an old briefcase, I've got a British Airways Gold Card. Being a Gold Member was certainly good while it lasted, but my status went back to almost zilch with the birth of my son. On my return to work, I orientated myself more towards working within Germany, with at most short trips within Europe.

I was pleased to read that Qantas have launched a Status Hold initiative. Frequent Flyers will be able to hold their status 18 months after having a child. This applies to mums and dads, as well as those adopting or fostering a child, as long as they have taken at least 6 months m/paternity leave. So no more having to rebuild your status, and you can still use all the privileges bestowed on you - lounges, preferred seating and so on.

This is a great idea, and shows the true meaning of a loyalty scheme. It's a long-term reward, with the new parents getting something back. The brand recognises the potential value of those customers in the future, and also gives the new offspring a good first impression of the airline when they are travelling with their parents.

More than that, it recognises the way a new mum who has been a successful career woman may be feeling. She may feel guilty about leaving her young child, she may experience a loss of confidence. She is almost certainly sleep-deprived. Letting her keep her status and all those privileges, just when she needs them most, is something that hardly costs much to the airline, but could lead to increased loyalty in the next phase of her life and career.

Now that's what I call family-friendly!

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