Dubai's Emirates Airline has introduced a new tier to its frequent flyer programme and announced several new benefits for all members as part of its alliance with Australian airline Qantas Airways.
From April 1, a day after the alliance is set to be launched, Skywards members with more than 150,000 miles will be elevated to the ‘platinum’ tier, which will sit above blue, silver and gold tiers.
Platinum members will be given additional benefits, including being allowed to take a guest into the Emirates First Class lounge in Dubai and other Emirates lounges across the network, and a complimentary Skywards gold card for their partner.
They will be able to use their Skywards miles for any available seat, unlike other members who are limited to the quota set aside for Skywards members, be guaranteed a business class seat, be given an extra 20kg baggage allowance and earn a 75 percent bonus on Skywards miles.
Emirates has not revealed how many of its 8.6m Skywards members will qualify for the Platinum tier, although 110,000 are presently gold members.
The airline also announced that from April 1 all Skywards members would also be able to earn points on any Qantas flight, although Australian domestic flights will only qualify if they are part of an international journey with Emirates or Qantas.
They also will be able to use their miles to redeem a Skywards saver reward flight on Qantas services.
The partnership also means Emirates will recognise almost 9m members of Qantas’ frequent flyer programme, allowing them to earn and redeem miles on the UAE airline’s network.
Members of either airline’s loyalty programmes will have their tier status recognised with both airlines when flying on their joint network.
Both airlines’ members in the gold or higher tiers will have access to each other’s airport lounges in the Middle East, Australia, Europe, Asia, and North Africa.
The alliance has received preliminary approval from the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission. Final approval is expected next month.