Qantas Makes Changes To Its Frequent Flyer Program

7 April 2014
Read Time: 1.7 mins

The Qantas Frequent Flyer program has changed and it’s all about increasing value for money. The more you spend, the more points you’ll earn under a revamp which sees the airline switch from a distance-based rewards system to one that awards points according to the type of fare of you choose.

 A Qantas A380 in flight

Passengers will now earn more points on Qantas and Jetstar Airlines by purchasing higher-priced fares, such as ‘flexible’ tickets rather than discount fares – ensuring that passengers who purchase premium seats earn greater rewards.

“It’s all about creating a fairer, more simplified program, designed to align the number of Qantas points and status credits you earn more closely with the fare you pay, where you fly and the airline you choose,” the airline said in an email to its nine million Frequent Flyer members.

As part of the overhaul, Qantas has also made changes to its ticket categories – or booking classes – splitting them into Discount Economy, Economy, Flexible Economy, Premium Economy, Flexible Premium Economy, Business, Flexible Business and First Class.

While you’ll earn fewer points on short-haul Discount Economy and Economy flights than previously, you’ll earn more by purchasing Flexible fares or a seat in Business or First Class.

A new zone-based system will also take effect following the move from a point-per-mile-flown program, with the Qantas network now divided into 22 specific flight regions.

Credit Due

Despite the changes in how points are awarded, the accompanying status credits remain largely unaffected - with a few minor exceptions.

Some higher-priced long-haul flights to destinations like the United Kingdom and Europe will actually earn more status credits under the new system, while select domestic routes such as Sydney to Adelaide will – under the new zone-based structure – accumulate fewer points than they once did.

Passengers flying on one of Qantas’ Oneworld alliance partners, such as British Airways or Cathay Pacific, have also had their status credits reduced.

It’s all about inducing loyalty to the Flying Kangaroo, and business passengers and those who frequently fly at the ‘pointy end of the plane’ will find the changes amply beneficial.

It’s now quicker than ever to climb the status credit ladder to Gold and Platinum class, particularly if you’re flying Business Class or above on a flexible fare.

A return Business Class trip on one of the airline’s flagship routes, such as to New York or London, earns more than enough status credits to retain Gold status for a year – making the changes particularly fruitful for corporate travellers and their companies.

New Direction

While passengers purchasing the cheapest fares will receive fewer points than they once did, Qantas says
“the reward should reflect the value of your fare” and believes the changes make for a more equitable distribution.

Points earned on bookings made before the March 27 announcement will not be affected, while there is no change in the number of points needed to redeem a Classic Award flight.

The full changes come into effect for travel from July 1 onward, in what is a bold new direction for the Qantas Frequent Flyer program.

Mike Tuckerman

From Europe to Asia and many places in between, there's rarely a town or city I've not enjoyed exploring. When I'm not wandering the streets and discovering new destinations, you can usually find me hanging out with the locals at major sporting events.