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Brief Published: 14 Dec 2021

Qantas Launches Eco-Friendly Loyalty Tier


As the travel industry reckons with its climate impact, Australian airline Qantas is launching a membership scheme tied to passengers’ purchase of carbon offsets. Taking into account the limited effects of carbon offsets, the scheme cleverly encourages long-term engagement by rewarding customers for a range of eco-actions in their daily lives, independent of flying.

The scheme is set to launch in 2022 and aims to expand the 11% of current Qantas passengers who regularly purchase carbon offsets for their journeys. Offsets start at about AU$1 ($0.70) for a flight between Sydney and Melbourne. In addition to rewards for offsetting flights, consumers will also gain points for eco-conscious lifestyle choices, such as offsetting home electricity use and installing solar panels. 

Qantas estimates that it would cost a family of four with two cars AU$200 ($142) to maximise their lifestyle loyalty points over the course of a year, making the scheme an affordable alternative to conventional frequent flyer programmes. Accruing these points will result in bonus status rewards as well as a green digital loyalty card – a move Qantas hopes will entice passengers eager to brandish their eco-credentials.

Adapting loyalty programmes to reflect the current travel concerns – such as sustainability and affordability – is a smart move. As we explain in Travel’s New Loyalty Strategies, the key audience for frequent flyer programmes has shifted during the pandemic from business passengers to more cost-conscious young travellers, especially those among Gen Z.

With ongoing travel restrictions, developing new non-flying ways for travellers to engage with airlines is a clever way to foster lasting loyalty. Expanding beyond flight-tied loyalty points could also nudge consumers to take fewer flights – a move that is undeniably eco-conscious.

For more on eco-minded trips, see Fast-Tracking Sustainable Travel and Gen Z Travel Trends: 2022.