Qantas Cuts Points on American Airlines

points-cutQantas is removing its Minimum Points Guarantee for American Airlines flights. From 1 September 2016, Qantas frequent flyers will no longer earn a minimum of 500 points when flying American.

The number of Qantas points earned with American Airlines will now be based entirely on the Partner Airline Earning Tables published on the Qantas website. Economy flights of up to 400 miles, such as Los Angeles-San Francisco, will earn a measly 100 points. Flights between 401 and 750 miles will earn just 150 points in Economy. And AA flights from 751 to 1,500 miles in length will now earn 275 Qantas points in Economy.

The change affects flights marketed by American Airlines, or flights with an “AA” flight number – but not Qantas codeshare flights. American-operated flights that are booked through Qantas and feature a “QF” flight number will continue to attract Qantas’ own Minimum Points Guarantee of 800 points. While our members understand the reasoning behind this, they complain that it’s not always possible to book flights as a Qantas codeshare.

Basically, QF want you to fly on the QF codeshare if you are considering a partner airline. This would be fine if you can book the QF codeshare with the same conditions, flexibility and at the same price as booking direct (which is generally not possible).

Despite the rhetoric of increased cooperation between Qantas and its US-based oneworld partner, the removal of the Minimum Points Guarantee was actually initiated by American Airlines. American last week removed its own “Minimum Mileage Guarantee” on Qantas flights.

American removed it from Qantas, now Qantas are taking it from American.

According to one member, minimum point guarantees are designed to keep frequent flyer programs relevant for customers flying short distances. Very short flights (such as Sydney-Canberra) often cost just as much as considerably longer flights (such as Sydney-Adelaide). Without a minimum points guarantee, for example, a passenger spending $200 to fly to Canberra would be rewarded substantially less than someone spending $200 to fly to Adelaide.

Minimum points guarantees were designed so that folks that were flying small distances (and therefore earning small amounts of points on the old point-per-mile basis) were given a meaningful amount of points so that the FFP was meaningful. Otherwise people wouldn’t bother.

Does this decision affect you? Join the discussion HERE.


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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]