Aviation

“Fair point”: Qantas claps back at Virgin over “huge news” billboard

Qantas has responded to Virgin Australia’s cheeky “Huge news” billboard, standing by the hype it created over its loyalty program shakeup.

As reported by Travel Weekly yesterday, Virgin commissioned a very cheeky billboard outside Sydney Domestic Airport taking aim at Qantas’ frequent flyer overhaul, which included 1 million new reward seats.

The billboard, created by CHE Proximity for Velocity Frequent Flyer, reads “Huge news. Nothing’s changed.” followed by a reference to the program’s award-winning reward seat availability.

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A Qantas spokesperson told Travel Weekly the billboard had a “fair point”.

“Some things haven’t changed. Qantas still has the number one frequent flyer program,” the spokesperson quipped.

“We still have the biggest and best ways to earn. And we are still the only Australian airline that flies to Europe, Africa, South America and half of Asia (or most of the globe). But the changes we have made have certainly been huge news for our members.”

Touché.

The airline also provided us with some new data from Qantas Frequent Flyers to back up their point.

The data, which compared bookings made since the changes were introduced with the same time last year, showed the total number of points redeemed is already up by approximately 45 per cent.

It also revealed a 40 per cent increase in international business reward seat bookings, a 20 per cent increase in international economy reward seat bookings and a 25 per cent increase in redemption bookings from members who hadn’t previously used points to book seats.

According to the Australian, Qantas’ announcement has received a mixed response from frequent flyers, with some happy with the extra reward seats and others disappointed in the additional points needed for upgrades to premium seats.

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