Late last year I was looking for a new job, as the bureaucracy at my previous government employer was wasting my time. I wanted to stop pushing idiots from failure to mediocrity and do something more creative and innovative. I am now the Community Manager of a real estate based social network, and consider myself something of an expert in online communications and electronic media strategies.

In seeking new employment I wrote to the head of the Qantas Frequent Flyer program, Simon Hickey, and offered my services in implementing a plan to turn the closed database of the frequent flyer program into an open social network. I suggested that turning the frequent flyer database inside out would create great value to Qantas and its customers. I did not even get a form letter response.

Fuck you Qantas. Just like the Grand Prix Corporation and the Red Cross Blood Bank, you fail your clients. You don’t understand them or realise how often your antiquated policies annoy them. You are hence doomed to failure.

As I will never get to implement my idea, which a number of my highly talented media friends and colleagues have described as brilliant, I am determined to publish it and claim it as mine. I believe that in a year or so Qantas will reveal it themselves. They will steal my idea and build it once they realise how good an idea it is.

5 October 2007

Dear Mr Hickey,

I write to offer my professional services to Qantas and in particular the Frequent Flyer program as an expert in online social networking and web 2.0 integrated marketing.

I have a plan for an innovative way for Qantas to build significant additional value into the Frequent Flyer (FF) program. This plan would benefit Qantas as well as its 4.9 million program members. (1) The basic features of this plan are:

  • Incentivising voluntary member profile self-development
  • Social networking for strategic marketing (2)
  • Free lounge wifi allows for location or presence awareness
  • Maximise value of FF database – FF has many more members than Facebook but makes little use of its information aggregation potential (3)
  • Data mining of member profiles

At present, the FF database is a closed system and FF members have little incentive to add information about their consumer preferences to their profiles. Imagine if the FF database functioned like a social networking platform such as Facebook, and your customers wanted to tell you more about themselves and revealed their likes, interests and goals in great detail.

Imagine swiping your FF smartcard (or enabling a bluetooth or wifi device) as you walk into a Qantas Club lounge and it automatically updating your online profile. Location awareness allows other lounge guests to browse (via their device) a virtual lounge room in real time showing present members’ profiles, find someone they would like to meet based on business or personal interests, then seek them out for a face-to-face chat.

Imagine drawing many of your members, who talk about travel and meeting in Qantas Club lounges in various external online forums (4), back into a Qantas social networking platform where they could be further exposed to your branding and messages.

Think of the value in harnessing the power of social networking (5) to encourage loyalty from the coming generations of Frequent Flyers – the X and Y generations who use information and communications technologies (ICT) as an everyday part of life.

If you would like to discuss these ideas further please contact me on [mobile number], by email at [email address] or on Facebook at [Facebook profile].

Yours sincerely


  1. Qantas flags sale of frequent flyer scheme
  2. Facebook’s ‘new?’ advertising strategy
  3. As of today, Facebook has 662,763 members of the network ‘Australia’.
  4. Flyertalk and
  5. Facebook 1, HSBC 0

Perhaps I may obtain some money and/or satisfaction from sueing them when they eventually plagiarise me.

Qantas frequent flyer social network

2 thoughts on “Qantas frequent flyer social network

  • 4 February 2010 at 2:47 am

    Silly man – this is the crappiest idea I have ever heard of. Have you ever heard of PRIVACY & privacy laws. Personally I would not want any Tom, Dick or Harry knowing my profile when I walk into a Qantas lounge.

    • 4 February 2010 at 4:20 am

      As you sound quite simple I have to state the obvious for you – see the word ‘voluntary’ in the letter. My proposal would incorprate the kind of tiered security and privacy settings like Facebook and other social networks.


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