What the Qantas Frequent Flyer Changes Mean for You

Qantas recently overhauled their frequent flyer system for the first time in almost 20 years. The changes, set to be rolled out over the next 12 months, are focused around how members are rewarded.

While Alan Joyce says this change is to “streamline the system”, we thought we’d take a look at how these changes are set to benefit members.

The big, headline-worthy change is that there are now an extra million reward-based seats available to book on Qantas and its airline partners, up 25% from the previous program. A large portion of these seats will be available during peak travel times, including Easter, Christmas and New Year.

Qantas chief executive Alan Joyce says this has come out of feedback from many members, who had the points to spend but were finding there was little or no seats for them to purchase.

International taxes on flights are also up to 50% cheaper when booking with frequent flyer points. For example, an economy flight from Sydney to New York will now have taxes of $180 instead of $360.

However, it’s not all good news. The amount of points required to book international flights is set to change. For those who mostly book economy, it’s good news for you – these will be slightly reduced. The amount of points required for more expensive cabin classes is set to increase, between 9 and 12% depending.


So, what does this all mean for you?

If you’re a casual points earner and an occasional flyer, you probably are better off under the new system. There’ll be more seats available and more convenient times for fewer taxes and fewer points.

Alternatively, if you’re a die-hard points accumulator with the preference for more expensive seats, you’ll have to spend your points a little wiser and keep working hard to accrue them.


What other changes have been made?

Qantas has announced new airline partners – Air New Zealand, Air France and China Airlines are now partnering with Qantas moving forward. These partnerships will only be on select routes within the destinations – for example, the Air NZ partnership is only flights within New Zealand, and the same rules apply with the China Airlines flights within China.

They also announced a massive overhaul to their out-dated online booking system.

And, if you’re among the 1% who have accrued Lifetime Gold status, there’s a new challenge for you.

Qantas also announced a new goal – the tier above Lifetime Gold – Lifetime Platinum, launching in September. It requires five times the amount of credits required to reach Lifetime Gold – an achievement many of us can only dream of.

Qantas Loyalty chief executive, Olivia Worth, describes it as “…more exclusive than the Chairman’s Lounge”. Sounds fancy!


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