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Qantas cancels thousands of Aussie couple's frequent flyer points after husband dies

A Sunshine Coast woman says the points are rightfully hers.

A woman from the Sunshine Coast is facing a heartbreaking situation after Qantas cancelled the Frequent Flyer points she had accumulated with her late husband. Following the loss of her husband and youngest son in the same year, Julie Jenner had planned to use the points to bring her grandchildren to visit her in Queensland. However, when she attempted to access the points, she was told they had been cancelled.

Although the membership was in her husband Thomas's name, the couple shared a bank account and earned the points together through their regular spending, with Ms Jenner doing most of the shopping. Speaking to ABC News, Ms Jenner estimated there were around 2,000 to 3,000 points in the account at the time of her husband's passing, and she believes the entire amount should have been transferred to her.

Qantas planes at airport
As stated on the Qantas website, any earned points of a Frequent Flyer member will be cancelled in the event of that person's death, instead of being transferred to the next of kin. Photo: Reuters/Daniel Munoz

According to the ABC report, Ms Jenner's solicitor advised her to pursue the matter legally, but she is tired of fighting. "I've had about seven months of it and I just want what's fair and square," she said.

The Qantas loyalty program has a hardline stance, with the airline confirming in a statement that all Frequent Flyer Points earned but not yet redeemed or transferred prior to the death of a member will be cancelled with effect from the date of death. "Qantas Frequent Flyer memberships are individual. If a couple holds a joint points-earning credit card, the Qantas Points will be credited to the account of the primary card holder," the statement reads.

Ms Jenner described the situation as yet another setback in a difficult year. "People need to be aware that if they think their points are going to go across to their husband or their wife or their lifelong partners, they've got another thing coming. They need to really have a good look at how it's written and think twice about entering into that agreement," she said.

What about other airlines?

Most airlines have a similar policy of forfeiting points on the death of a member, as the points are not considered the member's property. Some international airlines, however, have discretionary policies which may allow points to be transferred.

Locally, Virgin Australia's Velocity Frequent Flyer program offers a compassionate approach to the passing of its members by allowing their points to be used for up to 12 months after their death.

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