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Shocked passengers have hit out at the Australian airline, Qantas, after their hard-earnt frequent flyer points vanished from their accounts.
The airline was flooded with complaints after posting a promotional video on its Facebook page last month asking “What will you do with your Qantas points?”
The post was meant to be inspiring, but to some flyers it proved to be the final insult. Because, unfortunately, the answer to the question was “nothing” for many unsuspecting passengers who went to cash in their points only to discover they no longer existed, leaving them “disgusted”.
While some were simply angry about the carrier’s rule that sees frequent flyer points deleted from accounts after 18 months of inactivity, others claim they were the victims of a company decision that left them blindsided.
The root of the problem originates from a deal made between the airline and Woolworths back in 2016. Under changes to the Woolworths Rewards program, the default option for Qantas passengers changed to earning discounts with the supermarket giant instead of frequent flyer points.
Those wishing to continue earning Qantas points while shopping at Woolworths needed to manually go into their account and select that option.
Qantas says the rebranding was well-publicised at the time, but some passengers say they didn’t get the memo and instead received a nasty surprise. They claim to have found out this year that they actually hadn’t been earning any points since the switchover and thus they had all expired.
While Qantas said it had sent emails to its customers notifying them of the change in advance, some claim they didn’t receive one or that it had ended up going to their spam folder. Others said an email wasn’t enough — why didn’t Qantas call or text them to warn them before “stealing” their points?
Points are usually worth around one cent each, depending on what they’re used for.
One passenger wrote on the Qantas Facebook page of their loss: “Qantas wiped 360,000 points from me, all accumulated from fifo work, only contacted by email when they wiped my account, very disappointed Qantas.”
Another said: “Qantas the reason most people lost their points was when Woolworths stop(ped) their rewards points system. If Qantas was reasonable they would do the right thing by these people.”
For some, the loss amounted to hundreds of thousands of points, worth thousands of dollars.