A few months ago Qantas announced that it was giving its frequent flyer program an overhaul and now there are only two weeks before the changes become a reality.
This is good news for some travellers but pretty dismal for others, especially those that fly up near the pointy end of the plane. So if you want to get in before the changes are made, you need to be quick. The program switches over from 18 September onwards.
The most significant change is that Classic Flight Reward bookings for Qantas and its partner airline will cost up to 18 per cent more in Qantas points when booking in premium economy, business and first class cabins.
However, as a sweetener to go along with these increase point requirements, the airline has dropped the fees on all award flights.
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More Points Needed For Premium Flights
Those wanting to use their points for a Qantas premium economy Classic Flight Reward return flight from an Australian capital city to San Francisco would need to cough up 144,000 Qantas points (plus fees). However, from 18 September, this will now cost 162,600 Qantas points (plus fees) – which equated to a points increase of 12.9 per cent.
A return business class Classic Flight Reward on this same route will tally 192,000 Qantas points (plus fees) before the changes, but will increase by 12.6 per cent to 216,800 Qantas points from 18 September.
If you’re keen on a taste of the champagne life – even for a few hours – you can nab a first class flight for a mere
54,000 Qantas points (plus fees) on an Emirates A380 from Sydney to Christchurch. This will increase to 62,200 Qantas points after the changes. Still not a bad deal when you can sip on real Champagne, pick from a 5-star menu shower up in the air.
Upgrades Are Also Affected
If you’re one of those savvy Qantas frequent flyer members who use their points for upgrades, you’ll be interested to know that the ‘cost’ of upgrades is increasing by up to 9 per cent post 18 September.
Even if you’re flying after the changes kick in, as long as you put in your request now, you can nab your upgrade at the lower point tally.
But Wait…There’s Some Good News Too
It’s not all dismal news though. For most of us who can only afford ‘cattle class’, you’ll be pleased to hear that Qantas Frequent Flyer awards are more attainable with points tallies falling for economy class award fares. Plus fee levies on awards are also falling, making flying more affordable to the masses.
For example, a return Qantas classic economy award flight from Melbourne to Las Angeles costs 90,000 points plus $513 in fees. However, after 18 September, the same route will only require 83,800 points to get a free seat, plus $393 in fees. Now, that’s a cause for celebration.
So for those wanting a more premium flying experience, secure your award seats now. For the rest of us plebs, it’s best to wait until the changes kick in to claim your free Qantas award flight.
Do you use your Qantas points? Are you happy or sad about these changes? Tell us in the comments below.
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