It is no surprise that one of the biggest industries affected by the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic was the airline industry. At the start of the pandemic, there were mandatory shelter-in-place orders, countries with closed borders, limits on large gatherings, and more that left airline companies reeling.
With the world’s travel plans getting rescheduled or canceled left and right, airlines were forced to adapt to this new reality while also refocusing their plans for the future.
Part of those plans includes making sure that loyal customers come back. And the first step in doing that is making sure that the perks that many elite members were used to receiving will still be there when they are ready to fly again.
With the help of some government bailouts, vaccines, and countries opening their borders again, travel has rebounded impressively. But what does that mean for you?
Here is your guide for what some of the world’s most popular airlines are doing when it comes to extending elite statuses, miles, and more.
Airline Responses Overview
Airlines have been updating their policies on what feels like a daily basis. This chart will be updated frequently with the most up-to-date information we have from the airlines.
You will find more detailed information about individual frequent flyer programs below the chart.
Airline Benefits Chart
Individual Airline Responses (Elite Status Requirements)
Air Canada and Aeroplan are making sure that frequent flyers are not forgotten. To start, miles will not expire through at least September 30, 2022. After that date, the normal rules apply and accounts without activity for 12 months will start to forfeit their points.
Additionally, elite members will have their statuses extended through 2022, and they can also gift their same level of status to a friend or family member. If you earned elite status in 2021, your status, as well as your Status Qualifying Miles (SQMs), Status Qualifying Segments (SQSs), and Status Qualifying Dollars (SQDs) will all rollover to help you qualify for 2022.
Any unused Priority Reward vouchers earned in 2020 will be extended through December 2022.
Air France and Flying Blue will maintain all elite members with a qualification period ending between March 2020 and December 2021 for another 12 months.
Alaska Airlines is extending the elite status of all existing Mileage Plan members through April 30, 2022.
Qualifications for 2022 MVP elite status have been reduced; the updated requirements are:
- MVP: 20,000 eligible miles or 30 segments
- MVP Gold: 40,000 eligible miles or 60 segments
- MVP Gold 75K: 75,000 eligible miles or 90 segments
- MVP Gold 100K: 100,000 miles or 140 segments
There has been no mention of point expiration, but as long as your account has some activity (even via the shopping portal), your Mileage Plan points will stay active.
American Airlines rolled out a whole bunch of incentives to keep AAdvantage elite members happy throughout the pandemic and has now started the new, simpler path to elite status — Loyalty Points.
Now, to earn elite status, members need to earn points by either flying, spending, or via partners. The requirements are:
Any Executive Platinum member with a systemwide upgrade certificate with an expiration date of January 31, 2021, will have it automatically extended through July 31, 2022, and Basic Economy fares are now eligible for systemwide upgrades as of October 1, 2020.
Members 21 and over will need to have account activity within 24 months to prevent their miles from expiring.
Hot Tip: As of November 11, 2020, American Airlines eliminated all change, cancel, and redeposit fees on award tickets.
British Airways has yet again extended Executive Club benefits for members, this time for those with a status end date between April 1, 2022, and June 30, 2022, for 12 months. Additionally, those members will have their Tier qualification thresholds reduced by 25% for 2022.
The new qualification thresholds are:
- Bronze: 225 Tier Points or 18 eligible flights
- Silver: 450 Tier Points or 37 eligible flights
- Gold: 1125 Tier Points
Finally, Gold Upgrade Vouchers, Companion Vouchers, and Travel Together Tickets earned via a British Airways credit card will be extended by 6 months if they were scheduled to expire before December 31, 2021.
For passengers who received an eVoucher or Future Travel Voucher due to a canceled flight (even if the passenger voluntarily chose to cancel), the voucher is now valid until April 30, 2023.
All Delta SkyMiles Medallion Elite statuses will be extended yet again, through January 31, 2023. Medallion Members who earned status by traveling in 2021 will receive elevated benefits for 2022.
If you have a voucher in your My Wallet section of your SkyMiles account, the following extensions have been made:
- Global and Regional Upgrade Certificates will receive an extended expiration date of December 31, 2023, and can now be used for award ticket bookings.
- SkyMiles Select members will receive a 6-month extension to the priority boarding benefit and any unused drink vouchers.
- Delta SkyMiles® Gold American Express Card members who have earned a $100 Delta Flight Credit will be able to use it through January 31, 2023.
- Delta SkyMiles® Platinum American Express Card and Delta SkyMiles® Reserve American Express Card members with unused Companion Certificates as of July 31, 2021, or Companion Certificates issued between August 1, 2021, and December 31, 2021, will have the expiration date extended to book and fly by January 31, 2023.
- Delta Reserve cardmembers will be able to use their Delta Sky Club 1-Time Guest Passes through January 31, 2023.
Finally, all vouchers and eCredits will be extended through December 31, 2023, will travel through 2024.
Emirates Skywards Silver, Gold, and Platinum members with a tier status review before June 2022 will automatically have their existing status extended by another 12 months, into 2023.
Members with status review dates after June 2022 will receive exclusive offers to help maintain status.
Skywards Miles that were due to expire on or after April 20, 2020, have been extended through August 31, 2022.
Etihad has not made the biggest splash when it comes to keeping Etihad Guest elite members happy, but there are some notable updates…
Members who were not able to meet their minimum Tier requirements will have their existing Tier status extended through June 30, 2022.
Tier Miles and Tier Segments requirements have been reduced by 20% until June 30, 2022, to help achieve and maintain tiers.
As of February 12, 2021, HawaiianMiles no longer expire.
Requirements for achieving 2022 Pualani Gold or Platinum status have been reduced by 50%.
The updated qualifications for 2022 are:
All TrueBlue Mosaic elite requirements have returned to normal levels for 2022/2023.
Travel Bank credits issued between February 27, 2020, and June 30, 2020, will have a 24-month expiration period as opposed to the normal 12 months.
And, as always, JetBlue TrueBlue points never expire — although Mosaic members will now need more of them to book extra-legroom seats thanks to a quiet devaluation.
KLM and Flying Blue will maintain all elite members with a qualification period ending between March 2020 and December 2021 for another 12 months.
LATAM has extended LATAM Pass status to current members who are currently Gold, Gold+, Platinum, Black, or Black Signature through March 2022.
In 2020, all Platinum One, Platinum, Gold, and Silver Qantas Frequent Flyer members who had not earned the required Status Credits to retain status received a 12-month extension. That status has been extended yet again, with some members receiving a status extension through December 2023.
Members will also receive status support:
- If Australia and New Zealand-based members book and pay for an eligible flight before June 30, 2022, their status will be extended for a further 12 months.
- Elite members outside of Australia and New Zealand will receive an extension as well but without the flight requirement.
If a Privilege Club Platinum, Gold, or Silver member has status expiring before December 31, 2022, they will automatically have their status extended to December 31, 2022, on the day of original expiration.
Additionally, Gold and Platinum members can now enjoy their Qcredits for longer, as they will now remain valid for 2 years, as long as the tier is retained. Qcredits for Gold and Platinum members can be spent on upgrades, extra baggage, and lounge access.
KrisFlyer Silver and Gold elite members have had their status extended through February 2024 and elite miles have been rolled over to the next membership year to allow for faster qualifications.
Additionally, miles that were due to expire in 2022 will be extended through January 2023. To make things easier to understand, Singapore has created a page dedicated to membership waivers and extensions.
KrisFlyer has also introduced Milestone Awards and is allowing members to earn status through online shopping and point transfers.
Any expiring travel funds with Southwest have been extended until September 2022.
And as always, Rapid Rewards points don’t expire.
There is currently no mention of reduced qualifications or changes for the Free Spirit program due to the coronavirus, but points will never expire as long as there is activity on the account during a 12-month period, or if you have the Free Spirit® Travel More World Elite Mastercard® or Free Spirit® Travel Mastercard®.
Miles&Go elite members who earned Silver or Gold status via flying (not via Club TAP Miles&Go or credit cards) will have their status automatically extended through December 31, 2022.
Additionally, if you have miles set to expire from January 1, 2022, through March 31, 2022, TAP will extend the validity of those miles for 12 months, provided that you traveled with TAP at least once in the last year or have a Club TAP Miles&Go subscription.
Turkish Airlines Miles&Smiles does not have any current status or mile expiration extensions.
If you need to extend miles or status any further, there is an option to purchase miles to reach the level needed.
All United MileagePlus elite members had their status automatically extended through January 31, 2022, however, some (but not all) members are now seeing their status extended even further by 6 or 12 months.
PointsPlus have also been extended in some accounts as well, so be sure to check yours.
Additionally, status qualifications have been reduced for the 2022 year. The new requirements are:
||Earn Premier Qualifying Flights (PQF)
||and Premier Qualifying Points (PQP)
||…or Meet a Higher PQP Goal
Additionally, all electronic travel certificates now have 24 months to be used and future flight credits are valid through December 31, 2022.
Virgin Atlantic Silver and Gold Flying Club members have had their status frozen through March 31, 2023. The airline has also reduced 2022-2023 earning requirements to 300 points for Silver and 800 points for Gold through March 31, 2023.
Members who have earned companion rewards, Clubhouse access, or upgrades through the Virgin Atlantic Reward Credit Card, Virgin Atlantic Reward+ Credit Card, or the Virgin Atlantic World Elite Mastercard® have had the validity of the voucher extended by 12 months.
Finally, Gold members who earned a companion reward for renewing Gold status, Clubhouse passes for the 1,500 tier point reward, or the 2,000 tier point upgrade reward have had these rewards extended by 3 months, as well.
WestJet Rewards has extended Platinum, Gold, and Silver status and tier benefits for members through December 31, 2022.
Any unused vouchers will either be extended through December 31, 2022, or new vouchers will be issued if qualifying spend has been met.
All things considered, most of the major airlines are going to be quite accommodating when it comes to extending elite statuses and benefits.
While the airlines certainly struggled at first, they seem to be doing quite fine now and passengers are boarding in record numbers.
From a consumer perspective, flyers now have some pretty enticing options with many popular frequent flyer programs offering elite status at a fraction of what they normally require. This could be a good opportunity for someone looking to make the switch from 1 airline to another without missing out on too many perks.
This information will be changing often, so be sure to bookmark this page and check back frequently!
The information regarding the Free Spirit® Travel More World Elite Mastercard®, Free Spirit® Travel Mastercard®, Virgin Atlantic Reward Credit Card, Virgin Atlantic Reward+ Credit Card, and the Virgin Atlantic World Elite Mastercard® was independently collected by Upgraded Points and not provided nor reviewed by the issuer.