Points rich Qantas frequent flyers who feel they deserve a little treat for Christmas can cut loose this week with the airline running another of its popular points auctions. But you’ll have to dig deep as the starting bid for the most baseline experience is 100,000 points.
After a successful August points auction, Qantas is back for another round
Every day for nine days from December 1, Qantas is auctioning off “experiences” that range from an eight-day jaunt to London, lunch with 23 of your besties on Whitehaven Beach, through to installing a preloved business class seat in your lounge room.
The inaugural Points Auction in August made quite the splash. After 15 months of minimal flying and pots of points to burn, competition for the experiences on offer was intense, and winners ponied up some impressive amounts of points. A pair of A380 Skybeds went for two million points, while a day trip on a QantasLink Dash 8 for 30 people went for 4.8 million points.
“The response from our first Points Auction was phenomenal,” says Qantas Loyalty CEO Olivia Wirth. “We saw tens of thousands of visitors to the auction site with our frequent flyers really embracing the opportunity to use their points to treat themselves and their loved ones to once in a lifetime experiences.”
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One points auction down, eight to go
On Wednesday, Qantas auctioned off its first offer in the current round of experiences. That was a four-night trip to Adelaide that included a pair of return business class airfares from the winning bidder’s home port, two nights in the lovely Barossa Valley, and two nights at the swanky new EOS hotel in Adelaide. Car hire and a full day Yalumba winery tour were thrown in.
It’s not a bad package. The winning bid was 900,510 points, which as one person on an Australian Frequent Flyer forum pointed out, was enough for a pair of oneworld around the world first class tickets.
On offer on Thursday is arguably the pick of the auction experiences. Eight nights at a five-star London hotel, two return business class tickets to London, a half-day helicopter tour of London including a stopover for lunch at Heston Blumenthal’s restaurant The Hind’s Head, and few odds and ends added in. The opening bid is 500,00 points, but this one will soon skyrocket.
If you are a New Year’s Eve fireworks kind of person, the opportunity to bid for a three-night stay over the New Year at Sydney’s Park Hyatt might appeal. Sydney is one of the first cities in the world to see in the New Year and does very good fireworks. This stay at Sydney’s best hotel includes a private balcony with uninterrupted views of Sydney Opera House and Sydney Harbour, Veuve Clicquot champagne, dinner, and a long lunch. It sounds like the perfect staycation.
Qantas works to keep its most loyal frequent flyers engaged
Over the next six days, Qantas is rolling out a swag of experiences that range from the covetable to the collectible. On the last day, Qantas is attempting to flog off more aircraft seats. This includes a pair of preloved A380 premium economy seats and a bar cart (with Qantas crockery and cutlery but no mention of booze). Also up for auction on the last day is a preloved A330 business class seat (with the bar cart thrown in). Starting bids on both are 100,000 points.
As Qantas starts to slowly reboot its international flying, many potential passengers are holding off booking. After so many false starts and sudden shutdowns, many are taking a wait-and-see approach. Qantas wants that to change.
There are 12 million-plus Qantas frequent flyers and many hard-core loyalists among that number with substantial amounts of accrued points to burn. This kind of promotion is all about keeping them engaged while whittling down those big points balances.
“Throughout the pandemic, frequent flyers have continued to earn points on the ground, and we’ll continue to provide new and unique opportunities for them to put their points to good use,” adds Ms Wirth.