We haven’t seen many airline loyalty program promotions lately, let alone ones that are actually fun. I think it’s brilliant when airlines offer gamified promotions, as it gives members an incentive to really put thought into their participation and have fun engaging with a program. I have to give Qatar Airways credit, because they’ve just introduced a really interesting promotion.
While I doubt many people (or anyone?) will actually take advantage of this, Qatar Airways is offering 500,000 bonus miles to any member who takes all of their inaugural flights between August 1, 2017, and March 31, 2018. That’s an eight month period where you have to take every inaugural flight, and we don’t even know what all of those flights are yet.
The terms associated with this promotion are as follows:
- Offer is valid for main members.
- Family members are excluded from this offer.
- Travel period: 1 August 2017 – 31 March 2018.
- Free of charge (FOC) and Award tickets are not eligible.
- Members must fly all QR first flights to or from new destinations to be eligible for the bonus Qmiles.
- Please ensure you quote your Privilege Club membership number at the time of booking.
- 500,000 Qmiles will be added to the members account by 31 March 2018.
As you can see, you’d need to credit the flights to Qatar Airways’ own program, which is a bit of a bummer, since it’s not all that great. Award tickets also don’t qualify towards this.
As someone who chases inaugural flights without any sort of a reward, this seems like a very cool promotion. However, the problem is that Qatar Airways is notoriously unreliable when it comes to sticking to schedules. They also don’t seem to publish a centralized list of their new routes, so it’s tough to keep up with their new routes.
Qatar lists the following new routes on their website for 2017-2018, though it’s clear that this hasn’t been updated in a while:
At a minimum I know Qatar Airways is launching flights to Prague and Sohar this month, and I’m sure there will be many more new routes as well.
I wonder if anyone will complete this challenge. If Qatar Airways were a better organized airline and clearly published at the start of the promotion all the inaugurals, then I could see someone planning to make it all work. However, they’re basically saying “you have to take whatever inaugural flights we start, but we don’t know what all of them are yet, and may change them at the last minute.” That’s much trickier, and is tougher to plan around, even if you don’t have positioning costs to get to Doha.
Nonetheless I love the concept of this promotion, and I’d love to see more airlines offer similar promotions. I suspect very few people (if anyone) will actually take advantage of it, but it creates good visibility around their new routes, and also makes for a good story.
(Tip of the hat to @TheSharck)