If you’ve ever tried to redeem your Qantas Frequent Flyer points to fly Emirates Business or First Class to Europe, you’ve probably been shocked by the amount of extra taxes and carrier charges payable. But there’s a clever way to save hundreds in carrier charges when redeeming your points for Emirates award tickets.
On a one-way trip from Sydney to London in Emirates First Class, you could expect to pay 192,000 Qantas points plus a whopping $647.82 in taxes and carrier charges. Of this amount, $540 is a carrier charge imposed by Emirates. That’s 83% of the additional charges payable! The same carrier charge also applies to Emirates premium cabin award flights departing from other Australian cities including Melbourne, Adelaide, Brisbane and Perth.
Emirates carrier charges are lower from New Zealand than Australia
But did you know that Emirates’ carrier charges are much lower on redemption bookings that originate in New Zealand? In fact, the Emirates carrier charge on a First Class award booking from Auckland to London is only around $225 (in AUD). For this redemption, in total, you would pay 192,000 Qantas points plus NZD422 (~$405 in AUD).
The same Emirates carrier charge applies if you travel from Australia to Europe via New Zealand. For example, you could fly from Sydney to Auckland in Business class, spend a night in Auckland, and fly from Auckland to London the following day in Emirates First Class. This would cost the same number of Qantas points – 192,000 points – plus $413.82 (in AUD) in taxes and carrier charges.
How’s an example of an itinerary from Sydney to London via Auckland, and a breakdown of the taxes and charges payable:
In the above example, the airline-imposed carrier charges are listed under “air transportation charges”. The Qantas carrier charge for the Sydney-Auckland flight is $14, with the remaining $225 imposed by Emirates.
Using this method, you not only save more than $200 in fees but you also get to spend more time enjoying the Emirates First Class experience. Plus, you can visit New Zealand in the same trip. What’s more, Emirates First Class award availability to Dubai (and onwards to Europe) is typically better out of New Zealand than Australia – so you could get access to award seats on more dates.
How to book Emirates First Class Awards via New Zealand
This kind of itinerary can be booked on the Qantas website. But you would need to use the multi-city booking tool and split up the search into the Australia-New Zealand and New Zealand-Europe parts.
On a First Class award to Europe, you would pay a maximum of 192,000 Qantas points (at current rates) as long as the total routing is under 15,000 miles in distance and there are no stops of more than 24 hours along the way. Transits of less than 24 hours are allowed on a single award ticket, however beware that Emirates uses married segments. If the whole itinerary is more than 15,000 miles in length, Qantas will price this as two separate awards and you’ll need to pay more points.
This same trick can also be used to save the same amount of money in Emirates carrier charges on Business class awards from Australia to Europe. For Business class, you would expect to pay 128,000 Qantas points one-way (until the 18 September changes).
Would you like help using your frequent flyer points?
Frequent Flyer Solutions offers a personalised service that’s designed to take the hard work out of redeeming your frequent flyer points!
Award Flight Assist can help you to find the perfect flights using your points. Just let the team know how many points you have and where you would like to go, and they’ll prepare an itinerary for you.