Many Australians save up their Qantas Frequent Flyer points in the hope of one day redeeming them for a free flight. Unfortunately, Qantas Classic Reward flights are not entirely free.
In addition to the Qantas points, you also need to pay for government/airport taxes and airline-imposed carrier charges. When redeeming your points to fly with Qantas, the carrier charges can add as much as $700 to the cost of a round-trip award booking! (This is how much you could expect to pay just in Qantas carrier charges on a return Qantas Business Class redemption from Australia to Rome or London – in addition to the points and other legitimate taxes & fees.)
Unfortunately, Qantas is not entirely transparent about these carrier charges on reward flight bookings. The airline does not publish a list of these fees anywhere. The only way to find out how much you’ll need to pay is to complete a “dummy booking” (or see our list below).
With simple one-way or return flights that can be booked on the Qantas website, the total amount of taxes & carrier charges may be displayed up-front when you search for flight availability:
But if you want to make a multi-city booking, or your itinerary can’t be booked online (e.g. because it departs from one of the many overseas countries not supported by the Qantas website), it can be much harder to find out how much you’ll have to pay.
When making a multi-city Classic Flight Reward booking on the Qantas website, you’ll be shown the number of points that you need to pay at each stage of the booking process. But the taxes and charges are only shown if you already have enough Qantas points in your account to complete the booking.
If you do have enough Qantas Frequent Flyer points in your account and are able to book the reward flight online, you can see the Qantas carrier charge amount by clicking on “Flight amount breakdown” later in the booking process. Qantas’ fees will be listed in the oddly-named “Air Transportation Charges” heading under “Other Carrier Charges”. This breakdown is not always available when booking an award flight that originates overseas.
If you can’t book online, you would need to phone the often dreadful Qantas call centre to complete the booking and find out how much you’ll be slugged in additional fees & charges.
As you can see, Qantas doesn’t exactly make it easy to work out their surcharges on Classic Flight Reward redemptions! So, we put together our own unofficial list of Qantas carrier charges.
Table of Qantas carrier charges
The amount of carrier charges you can expect to pay when redeeming Qantas points depends on your route and class of travel, and are applied on a per-sector basis. For example, for a return Business Class flight from Adelaide to Singapore via Melbourne, you could expect to pay $308 in Qantas-imposed carrier charges ($14 for each of the Adelaide-Melbourne flights, and $140 in each direction between Melbourne and Singapore).
The amounts listed in the table below apply to one-way Classic Flight Reward bookings made using Qantas points in Australian Dollars (AUD). For return flights, double the amount.
This information was correct as of February 2022 and applies to Qantas-operated flights:
|Route (one-way)||Economy||Premium Economy||Business/First|
|Australia-US West Coast||$60||$140||$185|
For more information about Qantas carrier charges – and how to avoid them – see our detailed guide here: The Great Qantas Frequent Flyer Rip-Off