Qantas points will now be earned domestic flights within New Zealand that are operated by low-cost subsidiary Jetstar. As of last week, Jetstar flyers on all New Zealand domestic flights will earn at least 400 Qantas points, even on the cheapest Starter fares. Unfortunately passengers on starter fares will not earn status credits, however points and status credits will continue to be earned if a more expensive bundle is purchased.
Previously, Qantas points and status credits were not earned on the cheapest Jetstar fares on any Jetstar flight, anywhere in the world. This is still the case for most routes, with flights wholly within New Zealand being the only exception. This means that Starter fares on flights within Australia, and between Australia and New Zealand will continue not to earn any points. New Zealand domestic flights on the same ticket as international connections will not earn points either. Jetstar says it is offering this in New Zealand is due to the different market conditions, with Jetstar being the only competitor to Air New Zealand on NZ domestic routes. But at least one member is unimpressed that this does not extend to flights in Australia.
So Kiwis Can earn points but not status credits when flying on JQ in NZ with out the need to buy a bundle, unless they want status credits where as us Ozzies still need to buy a bundle should we want to earn points when flying on JQ in Australia. How very un Australian IMHO.
Nonetheless, our members are happy to see more Qantas point earning opportunities in New Zealand.
This is great news, I generally use Jetstar for domestic NZ flights so getting points without a bundle is most welcome.
This announcement is not the only good news for New Zealand flyers. Jetstar recently announced plans to start flying to up to four regional destinations in New Zealand, using a small fleet of Dash 8 turboprop aircraft. These new flights would add some much-needed competition in a market otherwise dominated by Air New Zealand, the monopoly carrier. Many New Zealanders hope that Jetstar’s expansion will mean lower fares on regional routes. Air New Zealand currently charges fares bordering on extortion on some regional routes where they have a monopoly. (You can read more about this development HERE.)
The recent announcements would appear to be a part of a concentrated effort to increase Jetstar’s presence and loyalty to Qantas in New Zealand. Qantas already acknowledges that New Zealanders make up the highest Qantas Frequent Flyer membership base outside of Australia, and the airline is clearly keen to capitalise on this. A few months ago, Qantas offered free status matches to New Zealand residents. Now, in addition to offering Qantas points on all Jetstar flights, New Zealand residents can join Qantas Frequent Flyer for free until the end of the year. Some members believe that the next logical steps would be to open more airport lounges in New Zealand, and to reinstate direct flights between Auckland and the United States.
With Air New Zealand’s loyalty program “Airpoints” regarded by many as offering poor value, the effort may well pay off for Qantas loyalty as some New Zealanders look for alternative programs and airlines.
Join the discussion HERE.