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News: Airline Loyalty Program Changes Due To COVID-19 -

Coronavirus made adjustments to our everyday life and travel in particular, but it doesn't mean we'll never return back to normalcy. While no one can predict when we are able to explore the world and travel again, airlines have made moves to keep their loyalty programs active.

Many airlines have started making extensions to elite status for existing members. Some airlines, like Delta and United, are extending the status of existing elite members by 12 months through early 2022, the others are giving shorter extensions or cancel miles expirations for this year.

Here are airline loyalty programs that have made program changes so far:

  • Aeroplan: the airline is temporarily pausing the expiration of Aeroplan Miles until May 14; Air Canada Altitude status is extended for existing elite members by 12 months; members have an opportunity to earn up to 25,000 AQM for miles donated to a charity engaged in fighting the COVID-19 crisis.
  • American Airlines: the airline extended all current elite statuses to January 31, 2022, and reduced the requirements for earning elite status for 2020; every dollar spent on an eligible AAdvantage credit card through the end of 2020 will count for one mile toward Million Miler status; memberships for Admirals Club lounges are extended for six months.
  • Cathay Pacific Marco Polo Club: frequent flyers with lounge passes, upgrade certificates, and Gold Companion Card nominations will receive six-month extensions to use them.
  • Delta SkyMiles: Medallion members are receiving a 12-month extension to elite status through early 2022; Medallion Qualification Miles are being rolled over to 2021; Sky Club members with expiration on March 1, 2020, or later are getting a six-month extension.
  • Emirates: the airline lowered elite threshold requirements between now and June 30.
  • Etihad Guest: to make it easier to maintain the Tier Status, the airline will give eligible members bonus Tier Miles every month for three months from March 31, 2020.
  • Flying Blue: miles won't expire between now and the end of 2020 for all Explorer members; Flying Blue Elite members with a qualification period ending between March 2020 and February 2021 will keep their elite status for another 12 months.
  • LATAM Pass: all members will maintain their Elite category for an extra year as an additional benefit, extending it until March 31, 2022.
  • Qantas Frequent Flyer: eligible members will receive an automatic 12-month extension to the membership tier status; those who have a paid Qantas Club membership with an anniversary date between March 23, 2020 and February 2024 will receive a six-month extension.
  • Qatar Airways Privilege Club: elite status that would expire by January 31, 2021, will be extended by a year; Gold and Platinum member Qcredits will be valid for two years as long as a member maintains their eligible status.
  • United MileagePlus: elite status is extended for existing Premier members through the end of January 2022; 2021 Premier qualification thresholds have been reduced for each status tier; United Club and Economy Plus memberships are being extended by six months.