Qantas Improves American Airlines Earn RatesQantas has increased the amount of points and status credits you’ll earn for many American Airlines flights, including trans-Pacific and US domestic flights.

It’s more good news for travellers following the approval of a new joint venture between American Airlines and Qantas earlier this year. As a result of the joint venture, Qantas has already announced the launch of new services from Brisbane to Chicago and San Francisco. Qantas also recently added 28 new codeshare routes within North America that are operated by American Airlines.

Changes to Qantas Frequent Flyer earn rates on American Airlines

At the beginning of this month, Qantas Frequent Flyer made several changes to improve earn rates for American Airlines flights. Firstly, it modified the airline earning table that applies to American Airlines flights so that some fare classes are now in a higher category than before:

Qantas Frequent Flyer earn categories for American Airlines flights
Qantas Frequent Flyer earn categories for American Airlines flights

Qantas Frequent Flyer has also increased the number of points and status credits you’ll earn for some flights marketed by American Airlines (i.e. with an “AA” flight number). This includes trans-Pacific routes operated by American Airlines such as Sydney-Los Angeles and Auckland-Los Angeles.

Here are the new Qantas partner airline earning tables with changes applicable to earn rates on American Airlines:

Qantas partner airline earning table - East Coast Australia to North America

Qantas partner airline earning table - Intra-USA Short Haul

Qantas partner airline earning table - USA domestic routes

Qantas partner airline earning table - New Zealand to Americas

USA status runs making a comeback?

The newly-increased earn rates on some routes within North America could make American status runs great again. Several years ago, American Airlines made a change so that domestic “First Class” flights on 2-cabin aircraft went from earning Qantas status credits at the First Class rate to the Business Class rate – a 33% reduction.

This is still the case, but flights under 400 miles now earn significantly more status credits than previously. Flights on trans-continental routes, as well as between Dallas/Fort Worth and New York or Boston, also now earn double status credits compared to before. The terrible AUD/USD exchange rate notwithstanding, US status runs could now be worthwhile again.

Changes to AAdvantage earn rates for Qantas flights

The changes are reciprocal. American Airlines has also significantly increased the amount of Elite Qualifying Miles (EQMs) that AAdvantage members can earn when flying Qantas. Here are the new AAdvantage earn rates for Qantas-marketed flights from 1 October 2019 for trans-Pacific flights:

AAdvantage earn rates for Qantas trans-Pacific flights from 1 October 2019

And here are the new American Airlines earning rates for all other Qantas-marketed flights:

AAdvantage earn rates for Qantas flights from 1 October 2019

Join the discussion on the Australian Frequent Flyer forum: Qantas improves earning on American


American Airlines breaks up with Alaska Airlines

As Qantas and American Airlines increase their cooperation, American and Alaska Airlines are scaling back their partnership. From 1 March 2020, Alaska Airlines Mileage Plan members will no longer be able to earn miles on many American Airlines flights, nor redeem miles for any American flights.

Likewise, it will soon no longer be possible to redeem American Airlines AAdvantage miles for Alaska Airlines flights. At least you can now redeem Alaska Airlines miles for Singapore Airlines flights!

Qantas is a partner airline of both American Airlines and Alaska Airlines.

It comes as LATAM Airlines, which will leave the Oneworld alliance, seeks to end its partnership with American Airlines as well.

Join the discussion on the Australian Frequent Flyer forum: AA and AS scale back partnership


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Matt Graham
The editor of Australian Frequent Flyer, Matt's passion for travel has taken him to over 60 countries… with the help of frequent flyer points, of course!
Matt's favourite destinations (so far) are Germany, Brazil, New Zealand & Kazakhstan. His interests include economics, aviation & foreign languages, and he has a soft spot for good food and red wine.

You can contact Matt at [email protected]