Many flyers are surprised to learn after they’ve taken their trip that their flight with Cathay Pacific, Qatar Airways, Malaysia Airlines or another Oneworld airline was ineligible to earn any points or status credits. This can happen because not all booking classes are eligible to earn points.
With Cathay Pacific, for example, Economy class bookings are only eligible to earn Qantas points and status credits in the “Core” and “Flex” categories. Cathay’s Economy “Supersaver” and “Save” fares earn nothing.
This phenomenon is not unique to Qantas Frequent Flyer. With most airlines, some of the discounted Economy fare classes on partner airlines are not eligible to earn miles. It’s also worth nothing that while Qantas “E” class fares are eligible to earn Qantas points & status credits, they won’t earn anything if you credit to another Oneworld frequent flyer program such as British Airways Executive Club.
In its recent inquiry into loyalty schemes, the ACCC identified a lack of awareness about booking classes as a key issue, saying that airlines needed to better communicate to customers which fare classes they were booking and the implications.
It’s unlikely that Qantas will get around to that any time soon, given its website does not even tell you which fare class you’re booking! In fact, even some travel agents have no idea that some fare classes on partner airlines are not eligible to earn points. So, we put together this explainer article with everything you need to know to ensure you’re earning Qantas points and status credits when flying with Oneworld airlines.
How to find out what your booking will earn
To make sure you’re booking a fare class that’s eligible to earn points, you’ll first need to identify the fare class that you’re booking.
There is some information about booking classes and how to find them here: What is a Fare Class and Why Does it Matter?
Then, check whether this fare class is listed in the relevant Qantas Frequent Flyer Earn Categories on Partner Marketed Flights table for that airline.
To find out exactly how many points and status credits you’ll earn, look at which earning category the booking class is aligned to, and then look up the route in Qantas’ partner airline earning tables. Alternatively, you may be able to use the Earning Points & Status Credits Calculator.
For example, we can see from the Qantas website that Cathay Pacific’s S, N, Q & O fare classes are not listed as eligible earning categories.
The lowest Cathay Pacific booking class that will earn Qantas points is “V” class, which is aligned to Cathay Pacific’s Economy “Core” fare family.
When booking a flight on the Cathay Pacific website, you can verify the booking class after selecting your flights.
It is generally the case that the non-earning fare classes are aligned to the cheapest tickets. This can mean you need to spend significantly more on your ticket in order to earn Qantas points and status credits! You’ll need to decide if this is worth it.
Which Oneworld booking classes do not earn Qantas points?
To make things easier for you, we compiled a list of all the Oneworld airline fare classes that are NOT eligible to earn Qantas points and status credits:
- American Airlines: B (Basic Economy)
- British Airways: All fare classes are eligible
- Cathay Pacific/Cathay Dragon: S, N, Q, O (Economy Supersave & Economy Save fares)
- Finnair: E
- Iberia: All fare classes are eligible
- Japan Airlines: H, G (domestic flights only)
- LATAM Airlines: E (all flights); GNOQ (within Chile); GKLMNOQSV (within Argentina); GLMNOQSV (within Peru); GNOQS (within Ecuador)
- Malaysia Airlines: S, N, Q, O, E, G (Economy Promo & Economy Basic fares)
- Qatar Airways: S, N, Q, T, O, W (Economy Promo & Economy Saver fares)
- Royal Jordanian: R (Super Saver Economy)
- S7 Airlines: I (in Business class), W, G, Z, A (in Economy class)
- Sri Lankan Airlines: All fare classes are eligible
Some fare classes earn at lower Qantas Frequent Flyer rates than they should
With some partner airlines, Qantas Frequent Flyer awards points & status credits for Business and First class flights at lower Economy class or Premium Economy earning rates. (Yes, seriously.)
This applies to the following Oneworld airlines:
- Malaysia Airlines – Business class flights ( C, D, I , J & Z class) and Business Suites flights (A, F & P class) earn at the Flexible Economy rate on routes between Malaysia and Australia, New Zealand, Europe, UK and the Middle East
- Japan Airlines – domestic “First” and “Class J” flights may earn at the Economy, Flexible Economy or Premium Economy rate
- Royal Jordanian – Business class flights booked in Z & I class (Business Plus category) earn at the Premium Economy rate
Yes, it’s a bit of a minefield out there! But with a bit of research – and possibly a good travel agent – it is possible to navigate.
Join the discussion on the Australian Frequent Flyer forum: Collection qantas status credit and points through oneworld flights