Air New Zealand’s Airpoints Status Hold programme can help new parents with Gold or Elite staus keep their tier benefits for an extra 24 months.
Both parents get this benefit if they hold status in their own right.
This is an incredible win for new parents in New Zealand who have status with Air New Zealand.
Benefits of Air New Zealand’s Status Hold programme
If you are approved for a Status Hold, you’ll then have your Airpoints Gold or Elite tier status review date extended by 12 months from the date your application is approved.
At the end of this Status Hold period, your Tier Status resumes as normal. You start a new Tier Status year and receive all of your Elite or Gold benefits for another 12 months. During this 12 month period you will need to earn enough Status Points to retain your Tier Status by your next Tier Status review date.
Essentially, you get to keep your current Airpoints status for 24 months. You can also continue to earn and use Airpoints Dollars and enjoy most of your tier benefits, including lounge access, during the Status Hold period.
Eligibility for Airpoints Status Hold
You’re eligible to take up a status hold from Air New Zealand if you:
- currently have Gold or Elite status
- you’re welcoming a child in to your family within the timings outlined below:
- If your baby was born in the last 12 months or is due in the next six months
- If you’ve adopted or fostered a child under six years old in the last 12 months, or will be in the next six months
If two of the child’s parents are Airpoints Elite or Gold members, both of them are able to apply for Status Hold.
Neither has to prove that they’re taking any time off work, which makes this one of the most generous parental status hold programmes around.
If you have received complimentary Elite Partner status from an Elite member, you are not eligible to apply for Status Hold. However your existing Elite Partner will retain their benefits until their card expires. You can order a new one once your Status Hold ends.
It’s also worth noting that under this programme, you are not limited to the number of Status Holds you can take, providing you meet the following criteria:
- You cannot apply for an additional Status Hold until your retained status period has expired. The retained status period is 12 months following the end of your status hold; and
- You must earn at least 810 Status Points in the 12 months prior to an application being made for an additional Status Hold.
It remains to be seen how Air New Zealand handles self-employed parents looking to take time off. How do they self-certify to meet the requirements? If you have experience of applying for an Airpoints Status Hold as a self-employed worker, please let me know in the comments.
How to apply for Air New Zealand’s Status Hold programme
- Go to the Air New Zealand Status Hold webpage
- Click Apply Now
- Log in to your Airpoints account
- Fill in your personal details
- Provide supporting documentation
Comparing parental leave programmes
You’ll get a longer pause with Qantas, but greater time to requalify with Air New Zealand
Qantas puts your status on hold for 18 months, whereas Velocity allows only six months.
Air New Zealand allow a maximum status hold of 12 months, but then gives you an extra 12 months to requalify, which gives you 24 months overall.
You can use the benefit more times with Air New Zealand
Qantas members are limited to using two Status Holds in a five-year period, and Velocity allows one every two years.
Air New Zealand allow unlimited use, subject to earning a minimum number of Status Points in the 12 months prior.
Neither Velocity nor Air New Zealand require you to be on leave from work
Qantas requires you to provide documentation that shows you are taking at least six consecutive months off paid employment.
Conversely, nether Velocity nor Air New Zealand impose a minimum leave requirement.
Qantas is more generous with adoptive and foster parents
With Velocity, children must be under the age of 2, regardless of whether the relationship is biological, adoptive or foster.
Air New Zealand land in the middle, allowing a Staus Hold for adoptive and foster parents up until the child reaches 6 years of age.
Qantas is the most generous, allowing a Status Hold for adoptive and foster parents up until the child reaches 3 and 16 years of age, respectively.
This initiative from Air New Zealand is a welcome one for new parents, and competitive compared to the programmes on offer from Qantas and Velocity.
You can find more information on the Status Hold programme on the Air New Zealand website.