Qantas promotion doing what government can’t

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Qantas are unashamedly a huge stakeholder in the vaccine rollout and are putting their promotional efforts where their mouth is.

Happily, the huge prize pool is mainly in contra, which will demonstrate that coordinated effort amongst stakeholders moreso than cash is required to get Australians back in the air and to destinations.

Veronica Hope

Qantas to offer free flights, accommodation and fuel as incentive for Australians to receive COVID-19 vaccine

By political reporter Stephanie Borys, 25th August 2021

Free flights, accommodation and fuel will be offered to some Australians who get vaccinated against COVID-19.

In an attempt to help boost immunisation rates, Qantas has launched a nationwide campaign to encourage people to get the jab.

Between now and the end of the year, Australians aged 18 and over who are fully vaccinated can enter what the airline has labelled the “mega prize draw”.

Ten people will win a year’s worth of flights to 60 destinations (which includes overseas destinations), free accommodation (345 different hotels are taking part) and free fuel.

Qantas chief executive Alan Joyce said the vaccine rollout would help break the cycle of lockdowns and allow people to get back to work.

“The impact of the pandemic on the travel industry and our own Qantas Group team members means we have a clear vested interest in the success of the vaccine rollout,” he said.

“For us, getting the vaccine rate up to 70 and 80 per cent means thousands of people can go back to work.”

Dr Gulam Khandaker sitting in a chair smiling while a worker injects the COVID-19 vaccine.
The move by Qantas is the latest incentive to encourage Australians to get vaccinated.(Supplied: CQ Health

The announcement comes after Qantas said its cabin crew, pilots and airport workers would need to be fully vaccinated by November.

In a staff survey, about 4 per cent of workers told Qantas they were unwilling or unable to be vaccinated.

“People that have medical exemptions, we will find alternative mechanisms to manage that,” Mr Joyce told the ABC.

“For people unwilling to take the vaccine, we think aviation is not the industry for them.

“We are flying from hotspots to regional communities, to communities that are vulnerable, and I think it’s an expectation from those communities we put the protections in place.”

Incentives for every Qantas flyer

While only 10 people will win the mega draw, Qantas will offer a prize for every Australian who gets fully vaccinated.

Anyone aged 18 and over can choose their own gift from the airline.

Four iPhone screens show the process to claim rewards through Qantas.
Qantas is offering rewards to people who have been vaccinated against COVID-19.(Supplied: Qantas

The options include 1,000 Qantas points, 15 status credits (which help Frequent Flyers increase their status) or a $20 flight discount for Qantas or Jetstar.

In order to access the offers, Australians must download the Qantas App and upload their COVID-19 digital vaccination certificate (via Medicare) and select their reward.

Qantas said that a person’s vaccine certificate would be deleted once verified.

Mr Joyce said Australians only had to look overseas to see how vaccines changed the way people lived their lives.

“I was talking to our colleagues in the European airlines; some of them are nearly back to pre-COVID levels,” he said.

“So we know that the countries that are ahead of us in the rollout of the vaccine are seeing life getting back to normal and people starting to have the normal activities that they had before COVID. That’s a great sign for us.”

Encouraging vaccine take-up

There have been several overseas companies that have already offered incentives to people who get vaccinated in an attempt to boost the immunisation rate.

In Australia, small targeted programs have been launched to encourage people to get vaccinated.

They include a Victorian pub that has offered free beer to patrons and cash for staff at the Central Land Council in the Northern Territory.

Federal Labor wants the government to offer $300 to everyone who gets vaccinated, but the Prime Minister has dismissed that idea.

Thirty per cent of Australians over the age of 16 are now fully vaccinated and both the federal, state and territory governments want to get that figure to get to 80 per cent.

Mr Joyce also weighed in on the growing hesitancy among some states to reopen once 80 per cent of the population is vaccinated.

He said the states need to give people hope that there is a pathway out of pandemic restrictions.

“I think there would be a big backlash if people can maybe even go to London and visit relatives there but can’t go to Perth to visit their relatives,” he said.

“I don’t think that is what the expectation is, and I would say to the premiers: ‘If getting to 70 or 80 per cent is not the way out of this, what else do we need to do in order to get our lives back?'”

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