Qantas customer's Frequent Flyer points wiped from account: 'UNFAIR'

A Qantas customer has spoken out about an "unfair" move from the airline, as 30,000 Frequent Flyer points were removed from his account.

Simon McCoy contacted Yahoo News Australia earlier this week, saying that his Frequent Flyer points were removed due to inactivity.

Mr McCoy had 30,000 Frequent Flyer points on his account, which is enough to use for economy flights from Sydney to Brisbane three times.

“I have attempted to explain to Qantas that the reason for the inactivity was that I was in lockdown due to the pandemic, however they have still refused to return my points,” he said.

A Qantas Airlines Frequent Flier card.
Qantas have recently been adding new partners to the Frequent Flyer program. Source: Reuters

“Qantas said that the points expired in accordance with the terms and conditions which is correct, and I appreciate that they’re applying the rules.

“But some consideration needs to be given to this pandemic.”

Since the Covid-19 pandemic hit in 2020, travel bans and border closures have forced the grounding of many flights.

When it comes to flights, the airline has stated on their website that they are “also offering flexible options to customers affected by travel restrictions.”

Customer slams ‘inflexible’ points redemption solution

Mr McCoy said that when speaking to Qantas about the removal of points, he was instead encouraged to join an Active Points Program to earn his points back.

“They told me if I can earn another 2,500 points on this new program, they’d give me my points back,” he said.

Frequent Flyer points are traditionally earned when customers participate in a free app-related activity, or make a purchase at a number of participating outlets.

Photo of Simon McCoy.
Mr McCoy declined Qantas’s offer to join the new program. Source: Supplied/Simon McCoy

“I told them no, because by agreeing to that I’d essentially be agreeing that my initial removal of points was fair.

“I feel Qantas’s inflexible attitude on this matter is an example of it unfairly profiting from the pandemic at the expense of its customers.

“I am especially aggrieved by this act given the millions and millions of taxpayer funds provided to Qantas during the pandemic.

“From a principle perspective, it’s just bad business practice.”

Yahoo News understands that Frequent Flyers members wishing to earn back expired points must contact the airline within six months of points expiry to qualify for the points challenge.

Qantas clarifies Frequent Flyer rules

A spokesperson from Qantas has told Yahoo News that Frequent Flyer points will not expire, as long as some activity occurs on the account.

“Qantas Points do not expire as long as you earn or use at least one point over an 18 month period,” the spokesperson said.

People waiting for departure in airport terminal with Qantas planes in view.
In response to the pandemic, Qantas has extended Qantas Lounge invitations, and flyer tier status for many active Frequent Flyers. Source: Getty Images

“This means Frequent Flyers can easily keep their balance active indefinitely by earning points for undertaking free activities such as logging steps, tracking sleep or checking their car's headlights in the Qantas Wellbeing app, or by using just one point, for example on the Qantas Store or even Qantas Wine.

“Qantas Frequent Flyers have continued to earn and use points on the ground over the last 20 months and, while travel restrictions meant flying was limited, we have extended Frequent Flyer’s status so members could continue to enjoy the same benefits when they travel again, as well as extending the validity of travel credits."

Yahoo News understands that prior to points expiring, reminders and notifications are sent to members at risk of points expiry.

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