Air New Zealand is trying to lure high-value flyers from Qantas and Virgin Australia with privileges from the upper level of its loyalty scheme.
In a sign of intensifying competition, Gold or higher status members in the Australian airlines are being targeted to try Air NZ's Airpoints Gold status as the two-way transtasman bubble travel is about to start.
Last November, Qantas sweetened its loyalty scheme for flyers from rival airline programmes, and Air New Zealand Airpoints members resident in Australia were targeted to switch over.
David Flynn, of Australia-based Executive Traveller, said this was similar to Qantas' own Fast Track offer, and another shot fired in the airline war across the Tasman.
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"This particular dogfight is aimed at capturing the most valuable travellers – the frequent flyers who sometimes spend more time in airport lounges than their own lounge rooms – which means they're big spenders, especially on full-priced flexible fares."
Qualifying customers will get to try Air New Zealand's Airpoints Gold tier with lounge access, complimentary frequent flyer seating, priority check-in and boarding, priority baggage, additional carry on and checked baggage allowance and more.
Air NZ loyalty general manager Kate O'Brien said it had been a hard year of being disconnected from Australians and now it was time to "roll out the gold carpet" to welcome them.
"We can't wait to fly customers across the Tasman, so we're encouraging Gold status or higher customers of qualifying airlines to try Air New Zealand," she said.
"We know there is pent-up demand for transtasman travel and it's the perfect time for customers to get a taste of our world-class customer experience and reap the benefits of our Airpoints programme. We have lounges across Aotearoa and Australia that our Gold Airpoints members can relax in before a flight."
After the initial four-month period, accounts will be reviewed to see whether those trialling Air NZ have earned 100 status points through travel.
If they have, they keep the Gold Membership active for the next eight months.