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More QF Frequent Flyer changes on the way?

Discussion in 'Qantas Frequent Flyer Program' started by tuapekastar, Apr 30, 2005.

  1. tuapekastar

    tuapekastar Established Member

    Mar 16, 2005
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    Article in today's Melbourne Age (Travel Section, Travellers' Check by Clive Dorman). I cannot find it online so I'll reproduce a little of it here.
    It is primarily concerned with a clampdown on overweight luggage by QF (particularly for international travel) and Jetstar. In summary it strongly recommends you check your airline's baggage policy and utilise your bathroom scales prior to leaving for the airport.

    But the bit that got my attention was as follows...."There's more bad karma on the way. Qantas is said to be within a month of announcing the third devaluation of frequent-flier points within as many years. The latest change reportedly will require more points to fly to the most desirable destinations, while, as with the two previous devaluations, fewer points will be required to redeem short interstate trips. Which hardly anyone wants."

    Hmmmm...
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  2. frequent passport user

    frequent passport user Junior Member

    Apr 30, 2005
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    re. More QF frequent flyer changes on the way.

    I read the article too. The changes QF have made that will affect people later on this month are already very unpopular. They have tried (unsuccessfuly) to mask the hike in points required for international flights with the sweetner of reduced points for domestic flights & family transfers. People aren't that daft to realise what QF are doing. With so much competition on major domestic trunk routes also served by DJ, domestic flights are much cheaper and therefore less attractive to people than international tickets.

    If they make any more changes so soon it will drive people (including myself) to other airlines (such as SQ for international flights) and away from using credit cards to pay for goods or using QF FF business partners in order to rack-up points.

    Whilst I am no big fan of Virgin Blue, interestingly, Richard Branson has also been quoted as planning to introduce a Frequent Flier scheme too. If it ever materialises, QF will have to make changes to match what their competitor offers.

    Hope that I am not stating the obvious or getting on any soap boxes here, but at the end of the day, I guess that Qantas are in business to make money.Their aim is to have a scheme that attracts and keeps customers loyal. However, the management need to also keep looking at ways of cutting costs and at increasing revenue. If they make it any more difficult to obtain overseas flights on their "most desirable destinations" and are perceived to be continually 'moving the goal posts' the whole scheme will become far less popular.

    Perhaps Clive Dorman the author of 'No more Mr Nice Fly' (the article you referred to) has hit the nail on the head when he concludes "No wonder market researchers are finding frequent flier programs hitting rock bottom". :idea:

    This is my first reply to a posting on this forum, I'ld be interested what other people think is going to happen with the QF scheme in the future??? Am I being too pessimistic :?: :x
     


  3. NM

    NM
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    Aug 27, 2004
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    I hope this report is wrong. I am guessing that the reporter has confused the May 25 changes (that will apply withing a month) as being some new changes on the way.

    Each time Qantas has made major changes to the program they have given 6 months notice of teh changes, even though their terms and conditions do not require them to do so.

    I really can't see them feeling the need to make any awards more costly until they see the real response post May 25th. I put as much faith in this media report as any other speculative journalism.
     
  4. Kiwi Flyer

    Kiwi Flyer Senior Member

    Sep 24, 2004
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    Totally agree with NM
     
  5. Karen

    Karen Intern

    Mar 4, 2005
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    Sydney
    You know, I am obviously in the minority here, but it doesn't really bother me what Qantas does with the changes.

    I will still fly Qantas, cause I only fly when flying for free. I joined QFF for the sole purpose of getting something for free. Being a member hasn't changed who I shop with, my spending patterns OR how I pay. I paid with evertything on CC before I was a FF, purely cause of the 55 interest free - again because I just want something for nothing, and 55 days interest free when my average spend per month is $10k is not nothing. In interest alone on overdraft rates that is about $1000 a year saved, and saved tax free at that. Anything I get from QFF is just a bonus.

    The way I look at it - everything in life goes up in price. Why should FF awards be any different? Hubby and I took out honeymoon flights on the 30k unlimited travel deal just before the last raft of changes. To take the same flights today would be about 100k points and around 80k post 25 May. At the end of the day whether I pay 60k, 80k or 100k I still got a benefit for free that I would otherwise have had to pay for, and out of post-tax dollars at that.

    I have redeemed 320,000 in points in the last 18 months and have around 240,000 points now at my disposal. Ppl say that using points for short haul is a bad use - but what is the point of just hoarding them and never getting a benefit out ofit? You only need to look at Ansett to see - use it or lose it. By hoarding points instead of using them along the way ultimately you are going to be dudded by inflation. Its just the same as keeping your money under your mattress - you take the risk that money will be devalued suddenly in the future and your buying power would be reduced.

    Everyone who has read the terms and conditions knows that Qantas reserves the right to change the scheme at any time - just be thankful that both times their have been changes they have given months of notice and therefore a chance to use points if you feel you will be disadvantaged by waiting - "any time" could have meant tomorrow. They don't have to run the scheme at all - they don't have to offer status incentives, they don't HAVE to give complimentary QP membership. Everything you get for nix is justa nice little earner - if you think of it like this, everything you receive is a blessing - and any changes wont get your blood pressure up.
     


  6. pomjim

    pomjim Intern

    Aug 1, 2004
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    Brisbane
    Karen,

    oh, how I agree with you. Too many people on this board (as in life) whinge on all the time, seemingly forgetting exactly the point you made, that the points are FREE.
     
  7. NM

    NM
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    Aug 27, 2004
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    No, the points are not exactly free. On a credit card, you pay the annual card and reward scheme fees, and could likely find cheaper card fees on non-reward earning cards. And the cost of points is built into the air fares as well.

    And teh value of teh redemption for domestic flights is low when you consider the base fare price (less the taxes, levies and surcharges) for these routes and the restructed nature of such reward availability.

    For me, it only makes to sense to pay the higher CC fees etc if I am going to redeem something of greater value than a $60 BNE-SYD fare. I use my FF points for high-value rewards whenever I can. So far I have redeemed about 2M points in awards, including 7 x RTW tickets (economy), 2 London/Kiev tickets (business class), NZ in business class and lots of upgrades.

    When I sent Mrs NM and Mini-NM#4 over to Perth last year, there were no U awards available. So I paid for a N return fare and when availability showed up later I upgraded them to J. For me a $400 fare plus 14,000 points was good value for a J flight BNE-PER-BNE. Had U been available when we booked, I would have spent the points. But I though the points for an X award vs $400 was not good enough value for an economy seat. But I thought $400 + 14,000 points for a business class seat for the most important people in the world was pretty darn good value, and won a lot of brownie points as well since Mrs NM didn't know about the upgrade until she checked in.

    On my current trip I will be earning about 88,000 points (plus about 15,000 on CC, car rental etc) and spening up to 68,000 of those on upgrades - so far 2 out of 3 have cleared, but not holding much hope for LHR-MEL next week. Again, for me, that is a vlauable use of points. But the majority of my points come from flying rather than CC spend so I may have a slightly different perspective. If I have to travel for work, then I will invest a lot of my points to make my travel as comfortable and enjoyable as possible - ie upgrade whenever I can.

    And one of the biggest genefits from the changes later in May is the earning rate for Status Credits. My current trip will earn me 1230 Status Credits via some strange and convoluted routings. My next trip, which will be after the May changes, will earn me over 1400 Status Credits with a much more straight forward routing and about 20% less flown miles and hours in the air. And having QF FF status means I get better opportunities to redeem my FF points for upgrade and award flights.
     
  8. Karen

    Karen Intern

    Mar 4, 2005
    58
    0
    Sydney
    Having my credit card costs me LESS money than if I didn't. On the package I have with the CBA I pay $500 per year and get a platinum card with no other bank fees. I have 4 mortgages which at $8 per month each come to $384, then I have 4 bank accounts, account keeping fees for which would cost $96. I can't have less than this number of accounts, for business reasons. That is a total of $480. Because the platinum card comes with free travel insurance and concierge servcie we can argue that this is a buiness expense and therefore a tax deduciton. However, I can only claim the excess over and above having a Gold card, which doesn't come with other said benefits. The tax benefit available is therefore $97. So, I get one for one $ for points, bonus partners earing more for LESS (net $403) than I would pay if I didn't have the package which comes with a credit card attached. On our spending CBA earns at least $2400in commission from merchants. I am indeed receiving a FREE benefit in getting my award flights. In fact it costs me LESS than if I did nto do this, with the added bonus of awards.
     
  9. luckydog

    luckydog Member

    Aug 7, 2004
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    Melbourne
    Something for nothing?

    Clearly for those people (like me) who fly on Qantas because that is their employers airline of choice, and who accumulate their points through corporate travel, they are indeed getting those points for free.

    As for credit card points.... I use the Woolworths Ezy Master Card to get more points (at 1 or 1.25 points per dollar).
    I could redeem 3600 points for a $25 voucher and forget Qantas altogether, this would very quickly cover the annual fee. I suspect many people who never fly and who are uncertain about FF points quite happily take the vouchers as 'bonus cash'. Thats exactly how I view the FF points - a bonus.
     
  10. oz_mark

    oz_mark Enthusiast

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    It's interesting as Qantas would have us believe that the short interstate trips are the most popular trips for redemption. Of course, that could just be a bit of Qantas spin.

    From my point of view, I would be a bit surprised to see Qantas have another round of changes so soon after the last batch (which haven't cully been implemented yet). There is also the supposed Virgin Blue FF scheme just around the corner, and if Qantas were to believe that that was anywhere near being launched, why would they downgrade their's even further. Would be worth waiitng to see what the competition comes out with. Of course, if you didn't believe Virgin Blue were going to announce a FF scheme then you just keep doing what you want.
     
  11. thadocta

    thadocta Active Member

    One of the big advantages of the changes is the ability to take up one way awards. So whilst I never would have dreamt of spending 20K points on a SYD-MEL return, I *might* (depending on circumstances at the time) consider 8K points for an award flight for one leg and a red e-deal for the other leg, effectively only costing me 7K points for the trip.

    Again, it would depend on the circumstances - cash situation and so on - but it is actually an advantage to have that option.

    Dave
     
  12. infoworks

    infoworks Member

    Aug 11, 2002
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    I think using the credit card is eminently sensible, as long as it's paid off each (or most months). It's the interest rate that will kill it!

    I convinced my then 75 (now 85) year old mother to put all her bills thru her credit card, pay it off each month - less paperwork and points. I know she's had a few good trips in that time. The small annual fee makes for a cheap flight overseas and they are trips she would have been unwilling to pay cash for, even if she wanted to go (the older generation - aiyoh!).

    Unfortunately, QF is not alone in ratcheting up the points, and they are still slightly ahead of the huge amounts SQ wants.

    I am at the top level in several programs and can top up whichever program I wish using those credit card points.
     
  13. bambbbam2

    bambbbam2 Active Member

    Feb 13, 2005
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    More changes ahead?

    Saw a report about DeathStar staff receiving a commission for charging over-allowance baggage, though that was in the paper and not on the net.

    Anyone have a link?

    Also, the other part I don't understand is that surely with so many more people using CC's these days (or so the Reserve Bank informs us on debt levels) why are the points being devalued? Surely the increased throughput on these cards is covering the cost of the scheme?
     
  14. frequent passport user

    frequent passport user Junior Member

    Apr 30, 2005
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    Interesting replies to Saturday's Melbourne Age article 'no more Mr Nice Fly'.

    One of the reasons that QF frequent flyer points are gradually being devalued could be due to the sheer popularity of the scheme and the ever increasing number of people with large QF points balances??? Last time I phoned the QF FF centre the guy told me as much & that the management were concerned about it. :shock: :?

    People complain about QF & I guess their staff aren't as happy as they used to be. However, there are certainly a lot of worse airlines out there! :D
     
  15. markis10

    markis10 Veteran Member

    Nov 25, 2004
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    The average small business user can easily get a million points a year using their credit cards to pay bills normally paid by cheque, in most cases they get an extra 30 days credit as well!

    So you promote a product on the current perceived value of its rewards scheme then slowly devalue the program, public perception of the value of the rewards trails reality by months or even years giving you a chance to make the program pay for itself in the long run.

    I have always tried to use my points promptly with this in mind, for instance Avis at one stage offered 1000 global rewards points per day on commodores, I used to mini lease one for three months during the promo, get 90000 points and redeem it on a business class trip to Singapore. That trip cost me $3300 in total and I had use of a new car for three months - hows that for a mileage run of a different type!

    These days I would probably need to rent for a year to get the same return in terms of points at a far greater cost.

    I suppose all good things must come to an end! The points return on a particular trip is not the influencer it used to be when it comes to my travel selections.
     
  16. oz_mark

    oz_mark Enthusiast

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    If Qantas are concerned about the number of points they are carrying, there is little evidence that they are trying to manage the problem.
     
  17. oz_mark

    oz_mark Enthusiast

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    For those interested the article is online now (Travellers Tips seem to come online a week after they are in the print edition.)

    http://www.theage.com.au/news/Tips/No-more-Mr-Nice-Fly/2005/04/29/1114635699842.html
     
  18. luckydog

    luckydog Member

    Aug 7, 2004
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    Transfers

    Considering Qantas are giving away $100K cars to encourage transfers I can't think Qantas are that worried about the number of points they have on the books.
     
  19. danielh

    danielh Member

    Dec 5, 2003
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    Well their current planned changes has prompted almost everyone I know to use up their points before May 05.

    Regards
    Daniel
     
  20. johnsmith

    johnsmith Member

    Dec 5, 2004
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    Re: Transfers


    Do you know how much Qantas is paid for transferring FF points from credit card companies to Qantas FF program.
     
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