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Qantas’ Frequent Flyer Overhaul Makes It Easier To Upgrade To Business Class…But There’s A Catch

There will be more ‘points seats’ to book — but they will be more expensive.

Qantas’ frequent flyer program just got back from a $25 million day spa and looks much better for it. But, while most features have scrubbed up nicely, there are some which Business and First Class travellers may need to get their heads around.

First up: the positives.

  • There will now be significantly more seats (across all classes) that can be booked with points — between Qantas and its codeshare partners (plus a deal they have with Emirates) this adds up to one million ‘reward seats’ a year.
  • Carrier fee charges have been slashed by up to 50%.
  • The rewards seats will be distributed across popular destinations like London, Los Angeles, Tokyo and Singapore (as well as others).
  • Economy ‘reward seats’ on international routes will be 10% cheaper to book with points.

However, for Business or First Class hopefuls, it’s not all smooth skin and cute cuticles. As part of the overhaul, premium cabin seats will now cost 15% more in points than they did before, and upgrades will require 9% more. Both changes will take effect from the 18th September 2019.

 

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Qantas says the increase has been made “to better reflect the value of this premium experience,” and will be offset (somewhat) by carrier costs coming down (which should save you, on average, $200 per international return trip).

“It is the first increase in 15 years and the product has improved a lot in that time,” (Alan Joyce).

For the high-rollers: Qantas also announced a new points club “more exclusive than the Chairman’s lounge” (SMH), which includes a two-tiered system of which even the base tier requires members to earn 150,000 points a year on the ground to keep their membership.

That’s a lot of ‘point-bought’ wine.

They also announced a ‘Lifetime Platinum’ status — the “ultimate recognition” for loyal passengers (and the threshold of which will be more than five times the amount of credits required for Lifetime Gold).

 

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Qantas expects the increased engagement the frequent flyer program is set to cause to pay for the $25 million dollar overhaul “within the first year.”

If you feel like helping them out; London, Los Angeles, Tokyo and Singapore await.

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