Qantas is changing its loyalty programme so that award points and status credits are based on fare price rather than distance travelled.
In a move similar to changes announced by United Airlines last month (see news, June 11), Qantas Frequent Flyer members who book higher fare classes will be better rewarded while those who buy discounted economy fares will be penalised.
Effective immediately, Qantas has grouped its domestic and international booking fare classes into eight categories, which will apply to all flights operated by both Qantas and Jetstar Airways.
The new Frequent Flyer categories are:
- Discounted Economy
- Flexible Economy
- Premium Economy
- Flexible Premium Economy
- Flexible Business
In addition, Qantas has also divided its network into 22 regions, including Domestic Australia Short Flights, North West Australia flights to South East Asia, and Australian flights to the UK/Europe or East Coast USA.
Each region comes with a pre-determined number of Qantas Points and Status Credits, with more premium fares affording better rates compared to their discounted counterparts.
For example, members flying one way from North West Australia into South East Asia on flexible business class will earn 3,600 Qantas Points and 90 Status Credits, while those who have paid for the normal business fare will only get 3,300 points and 80 credits respectively.
So how does it compare to the old system? Previously, Qantas offered a “Minimum Points Guarantee” of 1,000 points for economy and discounted economy for every trip. This has now been reduced to 800 points only.
In contrast, the rates for flexible economy or higher cabin classes have been upped, e.g. premium economy travel now earns a minimum of 1,200 points – up from 1,000.
Finally, cardholders with other Oneworld airline loyalty programmes will continue to earn the same miles and status points as determined by each airline’s respective programme, even when flying with Qantas.