Qantas announces plan to reward sustainable frequent flyers

What do you do to try to live more sustainably at home? Do you have solar panels installed? Walk or ride to work?

Would you be more likely to try green initiatives if you were rewarded for them?

Qantas has announced a new ‘Green’ tier to its frequent flyer program, with the aim of giving passengers more rewards for sustainable choices they make at home and when they travel.

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The new membership tier, scheduled to roll out early next year, is designed to educate, encourage and reward the airline’s 13 million frequent flyers for everything from offsetting their flights, staying in eco-hotels, walking to work and installing solar panels at home.

To be eligible for the rewards, members will need to complete at least five sustainable activities across six areas each year to achieve ‘Green’ tier status.

The six areas are flying, travel, lifestyle, sustainable purchases, reducing impact and giving back.

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Once a frequent flyer has achieved Green status, they will be rewarded with benefits such as bonus Qantas points or status credits, which will be in addition to any rewards they earned under their existing flying status.

While the program will not officially start until early next year, frequent flyers who already offset their flights, home and car, install solar panels or make a contribution towards protecting the Great Barrier Reef will see these actions go towards meeting their sustainability target as part of attaining Green tier status.

Other environmentally friendly behaviours, such as walking to work and contributing to the purchase of sustainable aviation fuel, which significantly reduces the emissions from flying, will also be rewarded after the program launches officially next year.

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Members can use a calculator on the frequent flyer website to estimate direct emissions from their home and car and choose to offset them for a year at a time.

They will earn 10 Qantas points for every $1 they spend offsetting their home or car emissions.

Qantas chief executive Alan Joyce said sustainability was set to become a core part of the frequent flyer program and of the national carrier’s approach more broadly.

“Our customers are concerned about climate change and so are we,” Mr Joyce said. “There’s a lot of action we’re taking as an airline to reduce our emissions and that means we have the framework to help our customers offset and take other steps to reduce their own footprint.

“This new Green tier is a way of encouraging and recognising those who want to do their part by offering Qantas points or status credits, which we know helps shape customer choices.

“This isn’t the first time we’ve used points to reward members for taking positive action in their own lives. We’ve seen it work when we’ve provided points for walking through our wellbeing app, while the vaccination reward has been taken up by more than 600,000 members already.

“Offsetting is one of the main ways Australia can reduce its net emissions in the short to medium term until new low-emission technology becomes available.

“As an airline, we’re looking at structural changes to reduce our greenhouse gases, including investment in more efficient aircraft that can cut emissions by 15 per cent and using sustainable aviation fuel that typically cuts it by up to 80 per cent.

“In Europe and the United States, there’s a growing sustainable aviation fuel sector that proves the potential for Australia to create one of its own.

“We’re having conversations with the rest of the industry and governments on how we kickstart that. In the meantime, we are finalising our first significant purchase of sustainable aviation fuel.”

Would the offer of more frequent flyer points encourage you to act more sustainably at home? Why not share your thoughts in the comments section below?

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Written by Ben

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