Platinum Privileges

One of the things that can make your climb up the corporate ladder sweeter in many ways is the parallel climb up the frequent flyer ladder. Points are passe. Sure, those occasional gifts are nice – who can say no to a fluffy toy or a toe clipper, especially when they are free – but just like on the ground, up in the air too status is everything. While you can rake in frequent flyer miles with plenty of on-ground activities (credit cards, hotel loyalty programs, duty-free shopping), you can only upgrade your status among the millions by putting in some serious flying time. But we assure you, the prize at the top, beyond the silver and gold, is completely worth it. Here’s a quick look at the Platinum perks across top airlines.

Maharaja Class

In India, currently Jet Airways and Air India have a platinum class to boast about. Once you get hold a JetPrivilege platinum card, life is one sweet song. Not only do bonus points keep pouring in for the slightest things you do – like checking in online or blowing your nose, but also you are guaranteed a reservation even if you book only 24 hours before and all cancellations fees are waived. Also you can take advantage of priority check in and security, access to premium airport lounges (even if you are travelling economy), additional baggage allowance of up to 20 Kgs and more.

If you haven’t yet earned your colours yet, Air India’s 10-day Platinum Pass might just be your thing. For `50,000, you can fly  unlimited for ten days to any of its 63 domestic destinations in executive class.

Middle-Eastern Royalty

Emirates announced in February this year, a new Platinum tier to enhance travel experience for frequent flyers. For the first time, Platinum members will receive exclusive benefits usually reserved for First Class passengers, including First Class check-in, baggage delivery and access to the First Class lounges in Dubai with a guest. They can continue to use all Emirates Lounges around the world, also with a guest, and they will receive 20kgs of additional baggage, regardless of their class of travel.

Luxury Down Under

The Aussies take their Platinum perks very, very seriously. Whether it be priority on free upgrades, access to lush premium airport lounges, fast-track check-in and security, additional baggage allowance or enhanced frequent flyer benefits like bonus points and award seats, airlines like Qantas and Virgin Australian  go all out for their Platinum members.

Living the American Dream

Platinum members of AAdvantage (American Airlines’ frequent flyer programme) get pampered endlessly. The Elite status benefits here range from waiving tickets charges, fees for ticket change or reinstatement priority, check-in, preferred boarding and seating, and priority standby and waitlisting when traveling on oneworld airlines in addition to access to their business and first class lounges. priority baggage delivery, service desk access and more. Even if you are flying economy, you get your pick of the preferred seats (standard legroom seats, more favorably located throughout the cabin) which are reserved for members of their frequent flyer programme.

In addition to the expected benefits, unleash the shopaholic in you with United Airways’ Premier Platinum status which allows you a 10 percent discount on all in-flight duty-free purchases. Also fly Star Alliance Gold wherever you go, get unlimited award and priority international awards, no charges for same day flight change and more.

 

Oriental Delights

Thai Airways’ Royal Orchid Plus Platinum status is by-invitation-only where members can enjoy enhanced recognition and benefits like unlimited complimentary upgrades, that can also be transferred to your nominees, on achieving specified mileage thresholds, top priority services before and after flights, dedicated check-in at Suvarnabhumi Airport and check-in at Royal First Class counters abroad, additional baggage allowance, access to Royal First Class Lounges with one guest and no expiring miles during Platinum status tenure.

Malaysian Airlines’ Platinum Enrich status can be achieved by earning ‘platinum miles’, flying business and first class on the airline. This status automatically means that you can enjoy Emerald status benefits with other oneworld member airlines like British Airways, Finnair, Japan Airlines, Cathy Pacific, etc.

 

This is another great boost for globetrotters; often your platinum status in one airline is recognised by other airlines belonging to the same alliance giving you additional bonuses that vary between airlines that include memberships at hotel chains (free upgrades, in-room internet access, late checkouts) and car rental services. To maximise the benefits of your platinum card, sign up for and keep an eye out in your frequent flyer newsletters for special offers and promotions by your airlines. For example, the occasion “double status credits” offer lets you earn twice the credits for travel booked and flown within a certain period. If an airline is offering a status-match, drop everything you are doing and sign up. In these rare promotions, an airline will instantly elevate you to the same status in its own frequent flyer program as you already hold with a competitor. Also be on the alert for ‘challenges’ and offers that bestow this status on you if you could earn a certain amount of qualifying points in a given period (sometimes, an additional fee is charged).

 

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