Since 2015, Qantas has been in an extensive alliance with Shanghai-based China Eastern Airlines. The partnership is the equivalent of the Qantas-Emirates joint venture. Despite this, it doesn’t seem to receive much attention. So what exactly can Qantas frequent flyers on China Eastern expect?
China Eastern is part of the SkyTeam alliance. But the partnership means Qantas frequent flyers on China Eastern receive reciprocal status benefits such as lounge access. Qantas members can also earn and redeem points with China Eastern. Here are the details…
Which destinations does the Qantas-China Eastern alliance cover?
The Qantas-China Eastern joint venture covers routes between Australia and China, as well as 18 destinations within mainland China. Qantas currently codeshares on all China Eastern flights between Australia and mainland China, as well as many domestic routes to/from Shanghai. In all, 18 destinations in China are covered by the Qantas-China Eastern alliance. Qantas also offers a “QF” code on China Eastern services between Singapore and Shanghai, giving Perth travellers another option to get to China via Singapore.
Reciprocal Status Benefits for Qantas Frequent Flyers on China Eastern
Qantas Frequent Flyers on China Eastern can expect reciprocal status benefits when travelling between Australia and China. These benefits also extend to domestic flights within China.
Gold, Platinum and Platinum One frequent flyers with Qantas receive lounge access, priority boarding and priority check-in. These benefits are offered regardless of whether you’re flying on a Qantas or China Eastern aircraft, when booked on either a “QF” or “MU” flight number. However, these status benefits do not extend to China Eastern services outside the joint network (such as services from China to Europe).
There have been some reports of China Eastern staff not honouring the advertised status benefits. If possible, carry a printed copy of the status benefits with you (preferably translated into Mandarin).
Earn Qantas points & Status Credits on China Eastern
You can earn Qantas points on all eligible China Eastern flights. However, you must book under a “QF” flight number to earn Qantas status credits. Booking through Qantas will also ensure that you earn Qantas points at a higher rate.
No status credits will be earned if you’re booked on a “MU” code. But you can earn Qantas points on “MU” flight numbers, as long as you’re booked in an eligible fare class. (Check the eligible China Eastern fare classes on the Qantas website.)
Redeem Qantas points on China Eastern
You can redeem Qantas points for Classic Flight Reward seats on China Eastern Airlines. However, you’ll need to call Qantas to make a booking as China Eastern award availability is not displayed on the Qantas website.