Three weeks ago I wrote an article about Qantas introducing ‘status holds’ for new parents. This is a topic that interests me as I have a couple of young children and, on both occasions, my wife lost her British Airways status when she went on maternity leave. I have never been very happy with this state of affairs.
Under the new Qantas scheme, any Silver, Gold or Platinum status member can put their Qantas status ‘on hold’ for up to 18 months. Full details are on their website here.
Here in the UK, Virgin Atlantic has an impressive policy for new mothers and fathers.
The Virgin website only alludes to this briefly. I asked Virgin for clarification when I wrote about this last year and this is what they told me:
Due to maternity and paternity leave, Gold and Silver Flying Club members can apply for an extension to retain their Gold or Silver status … The member needs to put the request in writing to Customer Services team (firstname.lastname@example.org) and provide documentary proof of the maternity/paternity absence. Customer Services can give the member a list of accepted documents.
Iberia, BA’s sister airline, has now taken up the idea too.
According to the current edition of the Iberia magazine:
To celebrate Mother’s Day (Sunday 1 May in Spain), Iberia Plus has decided to launch a groundbreaking permanent initiative.It will extend the validity of the Iberia Plus card for one year for women who are pregnant or have a baby and who therefore can’t maintain their flying time and lose their card level.
Female frequent travellers who wish to maintain the level of their Iberia Plus card for an extra year can submit a medical certificate of pregnancy or a birth certificate email@example.com
After the documents are confirmed, the level of the Iberia Plus card possessed by our customer at that time will be extended.
This offer is only for mothers and not for fathers, unlike Qantas, but it is still a major step forward. With one of the two major IAG airlines now doing this, can BA be far behind?
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