Frequent Flyer News: Emirates Reduces Qantas Points & Upgrades

21 January 2015
Read Time: 1.6 mins

Words by Jason Dutton-Smith

It will soon be a little harder to earn those Qantas Frequent Flyer points on Emirates. The Middle Eastern carrier has announced that from 1 February 2015, the Qantas points accrued on Emirates flights will be reduced. The airline will also stop upgrades on new fare classes to be introduced.

‘Business Special’ will replace what is now the lowest business class fare, with the 25% premium cabin bonus also to be dropped. This means that Qantas Frequent Flyer members on an Emirates ‘Business Special’ fare will now earn points equivalent to that of an Economy Flex Plus fare reducing the point earn dramatically.

Those travelling on an ‘Economy Special’ fare will see an even greater drop in points earned. Base points once earning .50 per mile will reduce to an accrual of just .25 per mile flown. Half the initial offering.

Other economy fares will be re-branded as ‘Economy Flex’ and ‘Economy Flex Plus’ and will earn the original .50 points per mile and one point per mile respectively.

It should be noted that passengers flying on an Emirates aircraft with a Qantas (QF) flight number will still earn the full suite of points.

The table below explains the differences in fare types and points accrual for flights before and after the 1 February change over.

How to Maximise Your Points and Status Credits with Qantas

The best way for a Qantas Frequent Flyer to maximise their point and status earning potential is to ensure that a ‘QF’ flight number is always selected when travelling on an Emirates flight. This can be done by your travel consultant at the time of booking.

Emirates flight numbers start with ‘EK’ and points and status credits can still be earned with your Qantas Frequent Flyer card but at the reduced earnings as per above.

Upgrade Option Changes

Upgrading to Emirates business and first class cabins has been removed for select fare types.

From 1 February 2015 the lowest priced fare classes in both business and economy cabins – renamed ‘Business Special’ and ‘Economy Special’ – will not be eligible for any upgrades.

Previously all fare types were eligible for a fare upgrade regardless of the ticket cost. So moving up a class with points will now cost just a little more up front with a higher fare purchase required.

Important note – If wanting to upgrade your paid flight using Qantas points (e.g. from an economy ticket to a business class seat) you will need to be on a QF flight number AND a QF operated aircraft. Emirates do not allow upgrades using Qantas Frequent Flyer points for Emirates (EK) operated flights, even if under a QF flight number.

Qantas customers can use points to book an Emirates flight though if payment is made with points only. This is most common for flights that go via Dubai onto 60 plus code-share destinations including Europe, Africa, Middle East and more.

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