Qantas has significantly expanded its partnership with Air France and KLM. It’s now possible to earn and redeem Qantas points on all Air France and KLM flights, and Qantas frequent flyers can also enjoy some tier benefits when flying with the two European carriers.
Until now, Qantas has only offered codeshares on a limited selection of Air France and KLM routes between Singapore, Hong Kong and Europe.
Benefits for Qantas Frequent Flyer members with Air France & KLM
Under the new partnership, you can redeem Qantas Frequent Flyer points to book flights on the entire Air France and KLM network. From their hubs in Paris and Amsterdam, respectively, both carriers offer an extensive range of destinations across Europe, as well as the Americas, Asia, the Middle East and Africa. So this is certainly an exciting development!
“Members will now have access to hundreds of thousands more reward seats in popular destinations including Paris, Amsterdam, Rome, Barcelona and Athens, as well as new destinations across France, Italy and Northern Europe,” said Qantas Loyalty CEO Olivia Wirth.
Qantas announced that it would open up redemptions on Air France and KLM when it revealed major changes to the Qantas Frequent Flyer program in June 2019. At the time, Qantas promised that the changes would result in a million extra Classic Flight Reward seats each year. We now know that a large chunk of these will be on Air France and KLM flights. Redeeming Qantas points to fly to Johannesburg, Bangkok or London is still a challenge… but if you want to book a flight from Paris to Amsterdam, Qantas Frequent Flyer now has you covered!
You can now earn Qantas points on all Air France and KLM marketed flights (i.e. flights with an “AF” or “KL” flight number) that are operated by either Air France, KLM or Qantas. However, you won’t earn any status credits unless booked on a Qantas codeshare with a “QF” flight number.
In addition, Qantas Frequent Flyer members with Gold status or higher can now receive priority boarding, priority check-in and extra baggage allowance when flying with Air France and KLM. However, notably, lounge access is not included.
Benefits for Flying Blue members with Qantas
The partnership between Qantas Frequent Flyer and the Air France/KLM Flying Blue program is reciprocal. This means that Flying Blue members can now earn and redeem points when flying with Qantas. Flying Blue members can also now earn XP, which count towards status qualification, when flying with Qantas. This is interesting because Qantas members do not earn status credits for Air France or KLM flights.
Flying Blue is also the frequent flyer program of Aircalin, Kenya Airways, TAROM and Transavia. See the Flying Blue website for more details about the Qantas partnership.
The number of Flying Blue miles needed for an award ticket on Qantas varies by route. Here are some examples of pricing we found for Qantas award tickets:
- Sydney to Melbourne in Qantas Economy class – 13,500 Flying Blue miles + €31.63
- Sydney to Melbourne in Qantas Business class – 34,000 Flying Blue miles + €31.63
- Sydney to Perth in Qantas Economy class – 17,500 Flying Blue miles + €34.39
- Sydney to Perth in Qantas Business class – 43,000 Flying Blue miles + €34.39
- Sydney to Auckland in Qantas Economy class – 17,500 Flying Blue miles + €96.71
- Sydney to Auckland in Qantas Business class – 43,000 Flying Blue miles + €96.71
- Melbourne to San Francisco in Qantas Economy class – 57,500 Flying Blue miles + €150.06
- Melbourne to San Francisco in Qantas Business class – 144,000 Flying Blue miles + €209.96
Here’s an example of a Qantas award seat we found available on the Air France website:
Some of these awards are quite expensive, and Flying Blue does seem to be applying fuel/carrier surcharges. More award options is still good news for Flying Blue members, but this does have the potential to increase the competition for Qantas award seats even more – which is bad news for Qantas Frequent Flyer members.
Nonetheless, this new partnership makes Flying Blue a very attractive currency to have if you wish to book award travel between Australia and the United States – something that traditionally is notoriously difficult. You have the option to redeem Flying Blue miles on all SkyTeam airlines, including Delta (which operates direct flights) and Korean Air (which has generally good availability via Korea), as well as Japan Airlines and now Qantas. This puts Flying Blue in a similarly unique position as Alaska Airlines Mileage Plan for Australia-North America redemptions.
KLM also intends to roll out new codeshare partnerships with Jetstar and Jetstar Asia. KLM customers will soon be able to book onward travel from Singapore and Denpasar onto Jetstar flights to other destinations in south-east Asia and Australia.
Join the discussion on the Australian Frequent Flyer forum: Air France and KLM awards on the way?