Qantas Frequent Flyer – Pay more or fly Qantas, earn more

For many of our members, yesterday was something of a red letter day. Around 6PM Sydney time, it was announced that there was significant changes being made to the Qantas Frequent Flyer program. Over the next 8 hours our community ran hot with feedback from our members as they digested the changes, and the implications for them from July 1. So what are the changes?

Status Credit Earn – no longer equal across One World carriers

Currently and until July 1, if you’re flying a One World carrier and crediting to Qantas, the Status Credit earn is the same as if you are flying with Qantas. Post 1 July, travel will be less rewarding in many cases by not taking Qantas. For instance, Brisbane to Hong Kong discount economy with Qantas will earn 30 Status credits each way. If you take one of the more frequent Cathay Flights, earning is halved, to 15 Status Credits each way. A similar reduction will be felt travelling to London from the east coast, with Status Credits dropping to 35 from 60 each way.

For our Western Australia members, at least Qantas recognised that they don’t have a choice in many cases to fly Qantas internationally, so they are not being penalised.

Perth has finally seen some (relative) benefit from having Qantas international services (all but) disappear! Our partner earn rates basically stay the same and are higher than the east coast, even though the flights are shorter. I figure it’s QF’s way of acknowledging that we can’t fly in QF codes, unlike much of the east coast.

Points Earn Changes – spend matters

Along with the Status Credit changes to One World Partner flights, the other significant change is earning points. Currently and until July 1, travel in economy credits as discount or full economy. So those travelling on the more expensive flexible discount fares earn at the same rate. After July 1, for international travel, a new earn category of flexible economy is added, while the earn rates for discount economy drop. Interestingly, Flexible Economy also includes the Premium Economy sale fares.

So how does this affect travellers? Looking at discount Y from the East Coast to Asia, there will be a drop of around 20% in earn if you book the sale fare. That’s around 4,000 points for a Platinum member lost in the new system, as status bonus is calculated on base rate earn. On the other hand, those travelling on flexible economy fares now see an increase in points earned.

Removal of Any Seat Awards

The other major change announced is the “marginal” Any Seat Award being phased out on the same day. As this was one of the better ways of redeeming points for value with some routes offering very cheap status credit earn, they will be missed.

All these changes are made by Qantas under the guise of being a simpler and fairer system. But many of our members feel it’s anything but simple.

Anything that requires 7 web pages to explain a simplified system isn’t simple at all. I really do not understand what is SIMPLE about this system!

One wonders when the redemption rates will change to a “fairer and simpler” system?

So how does the proposed changes affect you, join the conversation HERE.

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