The Ins and Outs – A guide to Qantas Frequent Flyer

 

The Qantas Frequent Flyer program is one of the best frequent flyer programs available to business and leisure travelers using the Qantas network. Being a member of the oneworld alliance, the benefits extend to all other oneworld airlines and a select few other partnerships. This post will provide an overview of the system and how it benefits the real “frequent flyer”.

The Partnerships

Qantas being a member of the oneworld alliance allows FF to take their benefits with them when flying on any other oneworld airline.

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THE ONEWORLD MEMBER AIRLINES IMAGE – ONEWORLD

This means that points and status credits can be earnt with each of the partners above at certain rates depending on the airline the flight is booked with and the class traveled in. Most of these airlines can be booked as codeshares with Qantas on the Qantas website earning at the same rates as any Qantas operated flight. When flights are booked with a non-Qantas flight number the earn rate is altered depending on the airline the flight is booked with. For example, a return trip in Business on a Qantas-coded flight will earn       15 600 Qantas points and 270 Status Credits, while the same route flown on a Cathay Pacific coded flight will earn only 11 200 points and 120 Status Credits.

Now, Qantas has a series of other partnerships with other non-oneworld airlines, including the Qantas-owned Jetstar, Emirates, Aer Lingus, Air Niguni, Air Vanuatu, Airnorth, Alaska Airlines, Alitalia, China Eastern, El Al, Fiji Airways and Jet Airways. With each of these airlines, you can earn Qantas points.

Using Points

Qantas points can be used in a multitude of ways. They can be used to book flights, book hotels and tours. Points can be used on the Qantas Store where you can use points to pay for a huge variety of things like headphones, appliances, and even Qantas luggage, however, the website is a notorious way to waste points as the rate of conversion from points to dollars is shocking. The best way to spend points, however, is to use them to upgrade, e.g. an upgrade from Flexible fare economy on the Sydney – Perth route is only  10 000 points! That’s if the upgrade is accepted though!

Status Credits

Qantas passengers earn status credits on every Qantas flight and some Qantas partner airline flights. Status Credits can only be earnt by actually flying, not by signing up to credit card deals. Status Credits are earnt based on your fare type, carrier and length of flight. For example, the Kangaroo route from Sydney to London in First would earn a whopping 420 Status Credits each way! Earning a passenger Silver Status in one flight. Status credits are the key to the membership tiers and provide those benefits that non-frequent flyers envy! The more status credits, the better your benefits.

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Status credits are the key to the membership tiers and provide those benefits that non-frequent flyers envy! The more status credits, the better your benefits.

Silver

Silver Status entitles the card holder to a host of benefits. To gain the status, you need to collect 300 Status Credits, and fly at least 4 Qantas or Jetstar coded flights. To retain the tier benefits for another year you need to earn only 250 Status Credits. Silver holders get one Club Lounge Access card, allowing entry to one of the Qantas Domestic Club lounges or one of the International Business lounges. Luggage allowances increase by 9 kilograms, to 32kgs per passenger rather than 23 on domestic flights. On Qantas and Emirates International flights, the allowance is boosted by 12 kilos, except on Northern and Southern American flights where the allowance is 2 23kg bags, however, these allowances don’t apply to Qantas’ partner airlines. Silver card holders also are given two complimentary “silver” QTags which replace the standard paper bag tag with an electronic one which can be used on all Qantas domestic routes (not QantasLink). Silver card holders you earn 50% extra points on Qantas and Jetstar flights and 25% more on American Airlines and eligible code shares like Emirates and Alaska Airlines when booked on the Qantas website.

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THE QANTAS SILVER CARD WITH THE ONEWORLD RUBY GEMSTONE – IMAGE AUSBT

The Silver card also includes the oneworld Ruby gemstone, which gives access to advanced boarding, and check in at premium economy counters, and if unavailable, Business counters. The membership also waives the $25 dollar advance seat selection. Silver card holders can place upgrade requests, using points or paying, and their requests gain priority over Bronze requests, however, all other tiers before have priority over Silver. Finally, a small amount of extra reward seats (points paid seats) are withheld for Silver members, so remember to log in when making a reward booking.

Gold

Gold status is the next rung up on the Qantas Frequent Flyer status ladder, and is known as the sweet spot when it comes to the balance between status credits needed and the benefits that entail. Gold card holders need to earn 700 status credits in one year and only 600 to keep the card the next year. Like silver four flights must be made on a QF coded flight or on a Jetstar flight which earns points and status credits. 700 status credits requires 35 round trips on a cheaper economy fare or 9 in business class. Also, once you have earnt 14000 lifetime credits, you’re rewarded with lifetime gold status.

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THE GOLD QANTAS FREQUENT FLYER CARD – IMAGE AUSBT

Gold cardholders gain access to the Qantas domestic Club lounges with one guest (who doesn’t have to be gold). When traveling overseas, Qantas gives gold card holders access to any Qantas business lounge including their new lounges in Hong Kong, Singapore and LAX as well as their other business lounges on home soil. Being a oneworld sapphire equivalent, it means you can access any other oneworld business lounge when on a oneworld flight. It also gives access to the Emirates business Lounges and the Fiji Airways Tabua Lounge at Nadi International Airport.

(CLICK FOR LARGER VIEW) THE NEW QANTAS BUSINESS LOUNGE AT HONG KONG – IMAGES QANTAS

The checked baggage allowance on Domestic flights is boosted to 64kg between two bags in both Economy and Business and two gold Q bag tags which replace paper bag tags and use self-serve bag drop counters.

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THE QANTAS SELF-SERVE BAD DROP MACHINES WHERE YOU CAN USE YOUR FREQUENT FLYER CARD AND Q TAGS TO GO COMPLETELY PAPERLESS ON YOUR DOMESTIC HOPS – IMAGE AUSBT

On oneworld flights, an extra 15kg is added to your allowance or if the ‘piece’ system is used an extra bag is allowed. Some airlines have different rules so double check before you fly. Gold frequent flyers earn 75% extra points when it comes to any points earning flights. The Sapphire gemstone gives access to business class check-in counters on Qantas, Jetstar, oneworld and Emirates as well as priority boarding on most flights and some priority security lanes when available. Advanced seat selection is available for free allowing the selection of extra legroom seats which usually cost $25. These benefits apply to other companions booked on the same booking. On-departure upgrades are available when online and over the phone attempts don’t go through. Gold frequent flyers have additional award seats held aside for Gold and Platinum card holders. When flying with Emirates Gold passengers are given invitations to the private lines at customs and immigration. Phone calls to Qantas are prioritized and upgrade requests are prioritized too unless there’s a Platinum or Platinum One customer edging for the same upgrade.

Platinum

A Platinum card can be earnt for a huge sum of 1 400 status credits and retained for 1200 credits. As usual, 4 flights must be flown on Qantas metal flight or on a Jetstar flight. 70 return flights from Sydney to Melbourne will earn you the Platinum card.

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THE PLATINUM CARD – IMAGE AUSBT

Platinum Frequent Flyers can access Qantas business or club lounges when flying domestically and even head to the lounge at the end of your flight. When flying internationally, Platinum passengers can use Qantas first class lounges including the brand new Qantas LAX lounge.

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THE NEW LAX FIRST LOUNGE – IMAGE QANTAS

When flying on a oneworld carrier, your emerald gemstone gains you access to any oneworld business or first class lounge when flying on a partner airline. You can find lounges available using the oneworld lounge finder. Checked baggage when flying on a oneworld is boosted by one extra bag or an extra 20kg while when flying with Qantas or its partner airlines, it is as follows. On Qantas domestic the allowance is 2x32kg bags in economy and 3 in business. When flying internationally, the amount is boosted by 20kg unless flying to North and South America where an extra 32kg bag is allowed. On airberlin, an extra 8kg cabin bag is allowed and on American Airlines, 3 free checked bags weighing up to 23kgs each and two checked bags for the customers on the same booking as the Platinum member. On British Airways, the allowance is boosted to allow an extra bag for both the Platinum card holder and any other passengers on the booking with a 32kg allowance for the Platinum customer only. When flying domestically, Q Tags can be used. Qantas Platinum cardholders earn double points when flying on eligible points earning flights. The Emerald gemstone gives holders access to business and first class check-in counters on Qantas, oneworld and Emirates flights along with priority boarding. Advanced seat selections are available for free including exit rows. Platinum card holders can use Domestic premium security lanes and the Express path when flying overseas on both your departure and arrival. Platinum card holders have priority over all other passengers except Platinum One holders when requesting upgrades, and award seats reserved just for Premium holders. There is also a Platinum call center which has more experienced assistants who can even help book an award seat when they are unavailable on some occasions (up to Qantas discretion). On most longer flights, like the cross-country leg or on international flights, crew may hand out luxury amenities like pajamas or amenity kits when you’re flying economy and even bring noise cancelling headphones or premium drinks like champagne!

Platinum One

This is the big one, the exclusive card that only a select few manage to earn with some serious benefits including a free platinum card for your partner or in some cases friend! (hah I wish I had a friend like that) To grab the elusive white card you need to earn a huge 3 600 status credits with 2 700 of those being flown on Qantas over at least four Qantas flights.

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LUCKY MR FYSH! I GUESS BEING A QANTAS FOUNDER GETS YOU THE ULTIMATE BENEFITS – IMAGE AUSBT

Lounge access is the same as Platinum benefits, and so is the baggage allowances and Q Bag Tags. You’ll also earn double points on points earning flights and be able to preselect your seats including the first row of economy on domestic and exit rows on both domestic and international flights. The three-row mini-cabin in Business on the A380 is available and 1A in First is up for grabs too. Membership fees are waived on the Qantas epiQuire and the Qantas Golf Club and so are booking fees when making a flight booking. Domestic flight times can be changed upon request on the day of departure even if there’s a fare difference. There’s a special Platinum One team who will personally assist customers during delays or when urgent assistance is needed. Platinum One holders are at the top of the list when it comes to flight upgrades and on departure upgrades are also available. If there is a family member travelling with you but on a separate booking, you can upgrade them with Platinum One priority. Its also not uncommon for special treats to end up in your inbox including flight simulator sessions, Qantas branded iPad covers and even tickets to the F1 Gran Prix! Giving the assistance team a call could secure a points booking when unavailable online and is not uncommon for the Customer Service Manager or Supervisor to drop by your seat for a special welcome with your express arrival card. On some flights they may even bring your favorite drink, amenity kits or noise-cancelling headphones, all thanks to their customer iPads which has every detail about customers including how you wish to be addressed, your meal preferences and even your pajama size and hair colour!

Chairman’s Lounge

The Chairman’s lounge is a secret lounge that isn’t sign posted and only a select few know where it is. Its often a door marked “Private” and discreetly tucked away. It a secret separate lounge for members specifically chosen for you guessed it, the Qantas chairman. There isn’t much else to say apart from the fact it carries the same perks as Platinum One!

The Qantas Club

The Qantas Club is a pay for membership which gives a series of perks for the card holder. Lounge access includes access to the domestic Qantas Clubs while bringing one guest and internationally, Club members can use the same business lounge as business class passengers at any airport that Qantas flies too. This means Club card holders can use the Qantas Singapore, Hong Kong, Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Auckland and LA business lounges and when flying to their destinations like Dallas, Shanghai, London and New York they can access partner airline lounges as per the Qantas website

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THE QANTAS CLUB CARD – IMAGE AUSBT

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THE NEW QANTAS BUSINESS LOUNGE IN LAX’S NEW TBIT TERMINAL 4 – IMAGE AUSBT

Emirates opens the doors of their Business lounge to Club card holders when in Dubai on a QF flight number. American Airlines welcomes cardholders to their Admirals lounges when on a QF or AA flight number. The membership brings a 32kg baggage allowance when flying domestically in economy and an extra 12kg when flying internationally with Qantas or Emirates unless flying to the Americas, where an extra checked bag is given when in economy or premium economy. On departure upgrades can be requested at the lounge and cardholders get priority over bronze when requesting upgrades. Membership costs $510 annually, $925 for two years and $1 755 for four years with a one-off joining fee or $385.

Q Cards and Q Tags with Q Chips

Qantas is an innovator with technology particularly on the domestic forefront. Qantas frequent flyers are given smart Q Cards which contain an intelligent Q Chip. If you haven’t yet checked in online or on your mobile, you can use the Q Card to check in by tapping it on one of the readers and after being met by a beep and a green light on the top of the reader, you’re checked in.

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Q CARD READER FOR CHECK IN – IMAGE QANTAS

You’re then sent a mobile boarding pass. If you have checked in online and need a boarding pass you can use the automatic counters to get one or if you’re a premium customer you can visit the premium counter. You can then head to the automatic bag drop counters to check in bags. If you have a Q Tag an electronic bag tag, free for Qantas Silver, Gold, Platinum and Platinum One frequent flyers with corresponding colours, or available for purchase online. These replace a traditional paper bag tag. Head over and tap your card on the reader and follow the prompts and you’ll be at security in no time. If you don’t have a Q Tag you can print a paper one at the counter.

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THE QANTAS DOMESTIC AUTO BAG DROP MACHINES WHICH UTILISE THE NEW Q TAGS – IMAGE QANTAS

After security and a quick stint in the lounge, head to the boarding gate where you can use either your printed boarding pass, your mobile one or your Qantas Q Card.

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USING YOUR CARD TO BOARD IS EASY – IMAGE QANTAS

Overall the Qantas Frequent flyer program is extensive and is one of the best in the world. Hopefully this has helped you gain a better understanding of the program.

Happy Flying

Harry

 

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