How The Qantas-Emirates Deal Changes Luggage Allowances And Frequent Flyer Points

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

Checked Luggage

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:

Class Status Allowance
Economy None 30kg
Economy Silver/Qantas Club 42kg
Economy Gold 46kg
Economy Platinum/Platinum One 50kg
Business/Premium Economy None 40kg
Business/Premium Economy Silver/Qantas Club 52kg
Business/Premium Economy Gold 56kg
Business/Premium Economy Platinum/Platinum One 60kg
First None 50kg
First Silver/Qantas Club 62kg
First Gold 66kg
First Platinum/Platinum One 70kg

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:

Class Status Allowance
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.

Lounge Access

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).

Other Benefits

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.


Comments

    On a recent trip back from the United States Qantas was very generous on my luggage allowance. I had one piece that was slightly over the 23kg limit (damn home luggage scales), and another piece that was at the 32kg limit (which I was prepared to pay the extra fee for). The gate agent let them both go through for free, what a nice fellow.

    What's the deal with luggage weight if you go round the world, via USA first and then home via Europe?

      Not directly answering the questions, but we were caught a few years ago when flying out of Australia with Qantas with 3 bags (below max weight) between the two of us, and coming back from Europe with BA (on a Qantas ticket and booking) and subject to their rules - max one bag each. And the most unhelpful people I've met in airports are from BA.
      So my guess is you have to plan for the non-US luggage rules.

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