Around three weeks ago, thanks to a heads-up from Australian Frequent Flyer, we revealed that Qatar Airways was offering a rare status match into its Privilege Club for frequent flyers of six airlines including SIA. With many of our readers already holding Elite Gold, PPS Club or Solitaire PPS status in the KrisFlyer programme, this was a great opportunity to pick up a year’s oneworld elite status.
From Sunday evening Qatar Airways started to email members about their successful status matches into the programme, with new Privilege Club membership tiers now valid until June 2021.
Status match emails were still coming through yesterday afternoon, though it seems almost everyone has now been informed.
Initially the offer was rolled out to frequent flyers with the following airlines:
- Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer
- Emirates Skywards
- Etihad Guest
- Turkish Miles&Smiles
- South African Airways Voyager
- Virgin Australia Velocity
Later Singapore Airlines, South African Airways and Virgin Australia were removed from the list, however all except Virgin Australia made it back onto a (regularly) extended offer (thanks to Head for Points for noticing it had returned).
Eventually the final applications were accepted on the morning of 28th May 2020 Singapore Time.
How did Qatar match your status?
Mainly Miles readers have been reporting to us the following status matches from the KrisFlyer / PPS Club programme into Privilege Club:
It’s not clear how Qatar Airways decided which PPS Club members would be matched to Gold membership (oneworld Sapphire) and which would be matched to Platinum (oneworld Emerald), though it seems that having some recent flying activity on your statement may have helped some gain the higher tier.
Readers using other valid frequent flyer programmes under the promotion also reported the following matches to us:
- Etihad Gold ➔ Gold
- Etihad Platinum ➔ Platinum
- Emirates Silver ➔ Silver
- Emirates Gold ➔ Gold
- Emirates Platinum ➔ Platinum
- Turkish Elite ➔ Gold
- Turkish Elite Plus ➔ Platinum
- Velocity Gold ➔ Gold
- Velocity Platinum ➔ Platinum
We haven’t heard from anyone who tried a status match from South African Airways. If you have any more data points from the above schemes do feel free to share them in the comments section.
Singapore lounge access
Now that you’ve hopefully got your Gold or Platinum status with Qatar, here’s how you can use it to your advantage to access a range of lounges at Changi before departing on on a oneworld flight.
This assumes a ‘return to normal’ with all oneworld lounges reopened and airlines back in their original locations at Changi (e.g. Cathay Pacific back at T4).
Access is based on flying Economy Class on a oneworld operated and marketed flight (e.g. Malaysia Airlines Singapore to Kuala Lumpur under MH flight code).
|Departing CX only||Departing CX only|
In all cases you’ll be able to bring a guest with you into the lounge, provided your guest is also departing on a oneworld flight number.
Note that once Cathay Pacific returns to T4 and reopens its lounge there, you’ll only be able to visit this facility if you are departing from T4 (i.e. on Cathay Pacific, since there are no other oneworld airlines there).
It is not possible to visit T4 unless you are departing from there, however passengers departing T4 can visit T1/2/3, which means those flying Cathay Pacific can utilise the T1 oneworld lounges.
One lounge you unfortunately won’t be able to use with your newfound Qatar Airways status is the airline’s excellent new Premium Lounge at Changi’s Terminal 1.
This is strictly reserved for those flying in Business or First Class with a oneworld airline and there is unfortunately no access based on frequent flyer status alone.
Doha lounge access
If you’re flying through Doha in Economy Class with Qatar Airways, you’ll be eligible to access:
- Gold: Qatar Airways Business Class Lounge (+ 1 guest)
- Platinum: Qatar Airways First Class Lounge (+ 2 guests)
Note that these are not the normal lounges used by Qatar’s Business Class passengers (Al Mourjan Business Lounge) or First Class passengers (Al Safwa First Lounge). These only operate for passengers actually travelling in premium cabins.
However Qatar Privilege Club Platinum tier members flying in Business Class will be able to access the Al Safwa First Class Lounge, with two guest passes provided.
What about Silver members?
Privilege Club Silver members get lounge access when flying Qatar Economy Class in Doha, at the Qatar Business Class Lounge, plus some other airports on the network (e.g. Marhaba lounge in Sydney).
You can search here for eligibility.
When the status match was announced, it wasn’t clear whether those successful would receive the usual Qcredits awarded when upgrading to the Gold or Platinum tier.
In fact those matched to Platinum status should find they have been gifted 60 Qcredits, while those with Gold status have 40 Qcredits.
These are valid for 2 years, even if you don’t retain your status level next year, and can be used to:
- Upgrade flights (e.g. Economy to Business)
- Offset excess baggage charges
- Pay for award fees (e.g. change / cancellation)
- Obtain guest lounge passes
These benefits are only available when you fly Qatar Airways, not with oneworld partners.
For example, 33 Qcredits is enough to upgrade from Economy Class to Business Class on Qatar Airways between Singapore and Doha (one-way), which gives you the excellent Qsuite on that route.
Bear in mind however that it is very difficult to get a Qcredit upgrade on the Singapore – Doha route, so you can’t expect it to work except on the emptier flights.
How to keep your new status
As part of this promotion Qatar Airways also halved the number of Qpoints you need to accrue to renew your status level for another year.
The Qcalculator on the Qatar Airways website allows you to determine how many Qpoints you’ll accrue when crediting Qatar Airways or oneworld flights to the programme by adding your Privilege Club frequent flyer number to your revenue booking.
As you can see a return Business Class flight with Qatar Airways from Singapore to Paris and back puts you well on your way to renewal in the Gold tier, even if you secure one of the cheaper saver fares in a promotion.
Note: The Privilege Club site is still showing the regular Qpoints thresholds to retain your status (600 for Platinum, 300 for Gold). This is presumably an IT issue and may be resolved later.
Now for the slightly complicated bit. Simply crediting your revenue flights with oneworld airlines over the next year to your Qatar Privilege Club account isn’t enough to cross the threshold and renew your tier for a further 12 months, to June 2022.
For status retention or upgrade you must have flown at least four Qatar Airways marketed or operated flights (or accrued at least 20% of the required Qpoints on Qatar flights) during your membership year to be eligible.
That may be difficult to achieve over the next 12 months, so don’t necessarily count on an easy renewal.
Qatar Airways has an informal ‘soft landing’ policy for its Privilege Club members, leading many readers to ask us whether their Platinum status will soft land to Gold status for the June 2021 – June 2022 period, even with no activity.
Ordinarily if you earned your Qatar Platinum status through flying with the airline and its partners this would be the case, however under this offer you must renew by achieving the reduced Qpoints thresholds shown above, otherwise you will return to Burgundy (basic) membership in June 2021 regardless of your status match tier.
There will be some disappointment among many PPS Club members who have been matched to Qatar’s Gold level, however this still gets you access to up to three very nice lounges at Changi when departing on a oneworld flight, once travel starts to pick up hopefully later this year and well into 2021.
Those with Platinum status should definitely be looking at using the Qantas Singapore First Lounge, though it may not reopen until 2021.
Even if it means booking an inexpensive Malaysia Airlines Economy Class flight to KL, or redeeming some Avios or Asia Miles for a route like that, it’s definitely worth doing to experience the excellent Neil Perry-inspired à la carte dining.
Let us know in the comments section below whether you got your status match and from what tier level you applied, regardless of which frequent flyer programme you used.
(Cover Photo: Qatar Airways)