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Qantas reduce Frequent Flyer miles & perks

1st Jul 2014

qantas frequent flyer changes

Qantas have today introduced sweeping changes to the Qantas Frequent Flyer program. It changes how Qantas passengers earn frequent flyer points and status credits.

Qantas has switched to a revenue-based awards scheme, rather than the previous one which was based on miles flown.

From today those travellers in more expensive fare classes will earn more. The changes - announced in March - follow hot on the heels of Delta Air Lines and United Airlines. Qantas' changes are similar to rivals Virgin Australia and Air New Zealand

Qantas points are not linked directly to fare prices, but Qantas will have 15 travel regions, which include Domestic Short, Medium and Long flights and East Coast Australia to Asia.

There are also eight fare categories, up from the current five. These booking classes are Discount economy, Economy, Flexible economy, Premium economy, Flexible premium economy, Business, Flexible business, and First. In effect for each of the four c lasses, you can buy a 'cheap' or 'expensive' ticket, except for First which is always expensive, and economy where there are three types of earning tickets.

Discount economy tickets will now earn a reduced number of Frequent Flyer points compared to more expensive 'flexible' and full-fare tickets.

The drastic overhaul of the Qantas Frequent Flyer program means that there is still a minimum point guarantee for very short flights between say Sydney and Melbourne, however Qantas' minimum point guarantee drops from 1,000 points to 800 points.

The old "cabin bonus" has been axed. There is now just a standard markup for any cabin other than economy.

The "status bonus" (for tiers of Silver and above) has been retained, but is now capped at the flexible economy rate.

However, a real surprise in the overhaul, is that many Qantas frequent flyers will earn more status. There is a jump in Business on short haul, from 40 to 45 SCs, and Sydney to Perth up to 95 from 80. To London there is a marked increase, with economy jumping from 60 to 95, and flexible business from 240 to 310 SCs.

However the zones will be enlarged, with the 'small' zone increasing from 600 to 750 miles, hitting both the Sydney to Adelaide run, at 725 miles, and Sydney to Cairns.

And there is a nasty sting in the tale if you fly with airlines other than Qantas, with status credits being slashed by half on most oneworld carriers. The moral is clear: book with a Qantas codeshare. Cathay Pacific flights from the East Coast have been particularly hard hit, with only 15 Status Credits earned to Hong Kong in economy, down from 30.

Qantas will axe the Marginal Any Seat Awards.



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