Qantas is still waiting on final regulatory approval for its tie-up with Emirates, but continues to plan towards the expected rollout at the end of March. This week, it revealed more details on luggage allowances and frequent flyer benefits in the new scheme. Here's what you need to know.
Photo: Scott Barbour/Getty Images
The change which has been attracting the most initial media attention is the shift in luggage allowances. Having altered its system last April to restrict the number of bags you can take on many sectors, Qantas is now returning to a weight-based approach for checked luggage on international flights. Here's what you'll get for flights after March 31:
|Business/Premium Economy||Silver/Qantas Club||52kg|
|Business/Premium Economy||Platinum/Platinum One||60kg|
That's good news if you're happier travelling with multiple bags. Note that the rules remain different for flights to the USA, which will continue to use piece-based allowances which are slightly more generous:
|Economy/Premium Economy||None||2 pieces, maxium 23kg per piece|
|Economy/Premium Economy||Gold/Silver/Qantas Club||3 pieces, maxium 23kg per piece|
|Economy/Premium Economy||Platinum/Platinum One||3 pieces, maxium 32kg per piece|
|Business/First||None||3 pieces, maxium 32kg per piece|
|Business/First||Gold/Silver/Qantas Club||3 pieces, maxium 32kg per piece|
|Business/First||Platinum/Platinum One||4 pieces, maxium 32kg per piece|
Earning And Using Points
From the beginning of April, Qantas frequent flyers will be able to earn points on Emirates flights. The rates will be equivalent if the flight has a Qantas codeshare, but less generous if it's an Emirates-only flight. In particular, Emirates-only flights won't earn you status credits. You'll also be able to book Classic award flights (which we prefer to the more points-heavy Any Seat awards) on Emirates services, subject to availability.
In addition to existing Qantas lounges, Qantas customers with suitable status or tickets will be able to use Emirates lounges in Dubai and other locations when travelling on a Qantas or Emirates booking. In London, customers on Qantas bookings can use the American Airlines Admiral's Lounge (which unfortunately means losing access to the superior BA lounges for flights returning to Australia).
Qantas is also introducing a number of changes aimed mostly at business and first-class fliers, such as free chauffeur connections in some cities and free hotel access in Dubai if you have an extended transit time between flights. Nice benefits if you can get them, though as we noted when the chauffeur scheme was introduced, if you can afford business class you can afford a hire car.
Lifehacker Australia editor Angus Kidman thinks Dubai will have its work cut out to be a more organised airport than Singapore. The Road Worrier column, looking at technology and organising tips for travellers, appears each week on Lifehacker.