- Frequent fly points denied widow
- Qantas fails to implement new policy
- READ MORE: Qantas AGM erupts
A widowed grandmother says she is ‘cranky’ with Qantas after the airline refused to credit her with the frequent flyer points belonging to her late husband.
Rhonda, 72, said after her husband of 52 years Brian passed away in May she reached out to the airline to claim the 6,800 frequent flyer points in his account.
That first letter was met with a brutal rejection letter.
While offering ‘sincere condolences’ it stated Qantas’ ‘terms and conditions’ did not allow such a transfer.
Instead the shocked widow was asked to send a copy of the death certificate to immediately close the account.
Rhonda (pictured front) had to fight a frustrating battle with Qantas to get her late husband Brians (pictured back) frequent flyer points transferred to her
‘I know it’s not a lot of points but it’s the principle of it because, damn, you get hardly anything out of it anyway,’ Rhonda told Yahoo.
‘I just thought it would naturally come to me so, once I told them he passed away, I could’ve easily gone in and transferred them to myself without telling them but I wanted to do the right thing.’
However, in September the airline announced it would change policy to allow frequent flyer points to be claimed by the next of kin from the start of October.
When Rhonda heard Qantas CEO Vanessa Hudson flagging this issue as an attempt to redeem the airline’s flagging reputation by addressing customer ‘pain points’ she asked again about the points.
‘I immediately wrote back (to Qantas) and said that, ‘After hearing the news item, I was under the impression you were now looking at this’,’ she said.
‘I haven’t heard a word back since. I don’t know if they’re just ignoring me.’
The grandmother-of-five said her frustration was at boiling point.
‘I’ve just had enough,’ she said.
‘Everywhere I turn there’s a barrier, and what’s 6,800 points to them?
‘They are trying to keep their reputation intact and until I heard that announcement I was done with it.
‘Now I still haven’t heard and I am cranky about it.’
However, after she told her story to the media the airline eventually gave in and credited Rhonda with the points.
From October Qantas changed its policy to allow the next of kin to claim frequent flyer points from a deceased customer
She remained less than impressed saying it was ‘ridiculous’ it took media attention to get them.
A Qantas Loyalty spokesperson said the airline offered its sincere apologies to Rhonda.
‘Our customer team have been in contact with her to advise that her husbands’ points have now been transferred to her frequent flyer account,’ a Qantas Loyalty spokesperson said.
Rhonda said she had hoped to use the points to take a holiday and fly from her home in Sydney to catch iconic Outback train the Ghan next year.
Qantas rival Virgin will pass Velocity points to a deceased’s loved ones but only if it is specified in a will.
‘If the deceased member has left instructions for their points balance to be transferred to a beneficiary, we’ll let you know the next steps to complete this,’ Virgin’s website states.
Other major regional airlines such as athay Pacific, Singapore Airlines, Etihad Airways and Emirates do not transfer frequent flyer points as they are considered the airline’s property not the customer’s.