I am not exactly enamoured of Frequent Flyer programs. The collapse of Ansett Airlines in mid 2001 cost me almost 60,000 points, which had been earned mostly through spending on my linked credit card. Ever since then, I have made sure to cash out my credit card reward points regularly, originally as gift cards, but most recently on a monthly basis as cash back.
The only reason I have Qantas and Virgin Frequent Flyer memberships is in the unlikely event that my occasional overseas trip might result in some points which I could then redeem onshore for a domestic holiday.
I learned about 3 years ago that redeeming points for flights with Virgin was a near futile exercise, and I learned on my return from Italy 5 months ago that whilst it is possible to earn Qantas points when travelling with airline partners, this was not the case in relation to my particular trip.
But whilst highly displeased with both programs, I see no reason to cancel my memberships.
What does bemuse me this week is the sheer volume of tone-deaf emails from Qantas Frequent Flyer offering various points or bonus points. 10 emails in the past week.
This is at a time when their much unloved CEO is, in response to the Coronavirus pandemic, standing down 20,000 staff, slashing domestic flights, and closing down the international part of the operation (I do not hear him announcing that he will take a pay cut so he can share the pain of the Qantas staff he suggests are suitable for stacking shelves at Coles or Woolworths during the crisis).
I find myself asking, what is the point of all these emails inviting me to boost my points via one deal or another, when non-essential domestic travel is being discouraged and international travel is nigh on impossible?
It is an exercise in futility, it really is.