Air India Flying Returns freezes status expiry and points expiry till August 2020

One of the questions on every frequent traveller’s mind has perhaps been what happens to their hard-earned status with their airlines or their loyalty programme. While some global programmes have been proactive in making moves in this regard, such as Hilton Honors which has extended status by a year, I have been waiting for Indian programmes to make their move as well. Vistara’s last move was that they put status expiry on hold till April, however, points and unused vouchers continue to expire at the moment.

Air India, however, has now brought out their loyalty programme announcement, and they have some pretty big and generous moves in comparison to Vistara at the moment.

Air India has notified to their frequent flyer programme members, that their Flying Returns programme will be taking the following actions to ensure their members do not lose their points or status through the current pandemic outbreak.

a poster of a man with a balloon

To explain that briefly,

  • Points Expiry will happen in August 2020. Any points due for expiry before that won’t be expired till August 31, 2020.
  • Status quo on the status of members, as of March 1, 2020, through August 31, 2020. This means if your status is going to expire anytime during the next five months,  it has gotten an extension for the time being.

I know these moves are not a catch-all, and perhaps, even more, will be required depending on when we see this situation get behind us. For instance, how much flying needs to be done to retain their status. Still, currently, I am very impressed with the generous response of Air India to this situation for their 2 million or more frequent flyer members. Vistara sure will have some catching up to do.


Air India members rejoice. If you are unable to fly in the next few months, you will still be getting your status perks once you take to the skies again. In a way when Air India Flying ‘Returns’, so do your points and status.

What do you make of the move from Air India to protect their member’s statuses?

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About Ajay

Ajay Awtaney is the Founder and Editor of Live From A Lounge (LFAL), a pioneering digital platform renowned for publishing news and views about aviation, hotels, passenger experience, loyalty programs, travel trends and frequent travel tips for the Global Indian. He is considered the Indian authority on business travel, luxury travel, frequent flyer miles, loyalty credit cards and travel for Indians around the globe. Ajay is a frequent contributor and commentator on the media as well, including ET Now, BBC, CNBC TV18, NDTV, Conde Nast Traveller and many other outlets.

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  1. I am in the UK and have several tickets booked for internal flights in May. I can’t find anywhere how to cancel, the London number is just leaving a garbled answer phone message And I can’t make out what will happen to my money. SpiceJet is even worse I have two flights with them at a cost of over £250 and they want to charge me around £70 to cancel the flight and even then they are keeping my money against future flights which may or may not happen. I have not cancelled them yet as they are for May and if domestic flights are still closed I may be able to get a better deal. My emirates flight I can only get credit against flight check-in within the next year. That’s if I go anywhere. I understand the airlines are taking the draconian measures so as not to go bust. I can accept that but not SpiceJet charge for cancelling which I think it’s appalling and I can’t even get through to Air India despite emailing as well. It is entirely frustrating

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