Qantas is completely overhauling how Frequent Flyer points work. The airline is describing it as the biggest change in the program's 32 year history with a million extra seats added to international reward flights and a new "two-tiered" points club.
However, some flights will now require more points which means spending more money. Here's everything you need to know.
Qantas reckons its revised Frequent Flyers program will result in customers paying significantly less fees for international reward flights which will also be more readily available.
In addition, there will be more ways for FF members to earn points on the ground (more on which below). Carrier charges on some international bookings have also been slashed by up to 50 per cent.
“We know the majority of our members want to use their points to take a dream trip overseas, so we are adding more reward seats including First, Business and Premium Economy, to places like London, Los Angeles, Tokyo and Singapore as well as slashing carrier charges," Qantas Group CEO Alan Joyce said in a statement.
This follows Qantas' announcement of a dedicated 'Points Plane' reserved exclusively for Qantas Frequent Flyers. The first flight will take customers from Melbourne to Tokyo (Narita) on 21 October, 2019.
Booking a free flight is one of the most popular ways to redeem Qantas points. Unfortunately, limited availability has made this unduly difficult. In a bid to expand free flights to more customers, Qantas has launched a new 'Points Plane' service that will offer dedicated Frequent Flyer redemption flights to select destinations. Here are the details.
Qantas Points Club
Qantas is also launching 'Points Club' - a two-tier program aimed at customers who earn points through non-flying related transactions.
"The club will unlock, for the first time, flight and travel benefits for non-flying members including lounge access and bonus status credits – as well as member-exclusive offers and discounts across Qantas Frequent Flyer and partners," Qantas explained.
To gain access to the entry-level Points Club tier, customers first need to earn 150,000 points on the ground. The second tier, dubbed 'Points Club Plus', will have a higher annual threshold and come with richer member benefits.
Points Club will be launched in late 2019.
Qantas Frequent Flyer Points increase
The changes aren't all consumer friendly, sadly. Qantas has admitted that the points required for business class seats on international and domestic flights will increase "slightly" by up to 15 per cent. (Qantas' definition of 'slightly' appears to differ from most people.) Points required for upgrades will also increase by up to 9 per cent.
The airline has justified the increase by pointing out it's the first in almost 15 years. The increases in premium cabins won't take effect until 18 September 2019 - so we advise spending your points before then.
On the plus side, the number of points required for international economy Classic Reward seats have decreased by up to 10 per cent. This change is effective immediately.
Here's the full suite of changes announced by Qantas for its Frequent Flyer program:
- One million additional reward seats added to Qantas and its airline partners
- Carrier charges on some international bookings to be slashed by up to 50 per cent
- Up to 15 per cent increase on points for premium cabins on domestic and international classic flight reward seats
- A new two-tiered points club
- New airline partners include the likes of Air New Zealand, China Airlines and Air France
- A new lifetime membership will be available to flyers who earn 75,000 status credits
- The base tier will require members to earn 150,000 points earned on the ground.
What do you think? Are customers left better off or worse by the changes? Share your thoughts in the comments!
Frequent flyer points are a fantasy currency that fluctuates depending on how you use them. This makes it difficult to know what they're worth — or whether you're squandering their potential value. This infographic breaks down the dollar value of 1000 points when purchasing everything from flight upgrades to commercial goods.