Unlike Qantas, simply flying with Jetstar will not earn you any Status Credits (SCs).
Instead, you will need to purchase a Jetstar Starter Plus, Starter Max or Business Max bundle when you book with Jetstar. Fortunately, these are able to be purchased at set rates, meaning that combining these bundles with a discounted Jetstar fare can be an excellent way to boost your SCs balance.
Jetstar bundles also give travellers additional extras such as checked baggage, seat selection, and food and drink. For business travellers, these extras also remove change fees and can—depending on the bundle selected—be refunded (in the form of a Jetstar voucher).
However don’t confuse Business Max with FlexiBiz – the latter is a bundle available to purchase on some routes, but will not earn you any status credits.
The basics: which earn rate applies?
Each bundle earns points and SCs at different rates. The table below sets out which earn rates apply:
|Jetstar fare||Qantas earn category||Qantas SCs earn||Qantas Points earn|
|Starter & Starter FlexiBiz (domestic New Zealand flights)||Discount Economy||No||Yes|
|Starter & Starter FlexiBiz (most flights)||None||No||No|
|Starter Max||Flexible Economy||Yes||Yes|
How much does it cost?
The cost of each bundle does not appear to change in line with the underlying fares; instead, the cost of each bundle increases based on the aircraft type (in New Zealand), or the distance travelled (elsewhere).
Although Jetstar does not seem to publish any tables, some basic research seems to indicate that the following charges apply:
|Route||Starter Plus||Starter Max||Business Max*|
|SCs earned||Cost||SCs earned||Cost||SCs earned||Cost|
|Domestic New Zealand|
|Auckland-Palmerston North; Wellington-Nelson||10||$23 NZD^||20||$50 NZD||N/A||N/A|
|All Dash-8 Q300 routes, except those listed above||10||$25 NZD||20||$50 NZD||N/A||N/A|
|All Airbus A320-200 routes||10||$29 NZD||20||$60 NZD||N/A||N/A|
|0-750 miles||10||$50 AUD||20||$85 AUD||N/A||N/A|
|751-1,501 miles||15||$45 AUD||30||$85 AUD||N/A||N/A|
|1,501 miles+||20||$45 AUD||40||$85 AUD||N/A||N/A|
|Australia||25||$57 NZD||40||$120 NZD||N/A||N/A|
|Rarotonga||25||$65 NZD||40||$120 NZD||N/A||N/A|
*Business Max bundles are not available on flights marked as N/A. ^These NZ Domestic routes do not offer any food/drink as part of the bundle, and are therefore cheaper than the others.
The benefits of status with Qantas
So why choose Jetstar?
Even after adding on a bundle, the total cost of a Jetstar fare can still be substantially less than the equivalent fare on Qantas.
For example, a flexible fare on Qantas from Auckland to Sydney on this select date in February costs $583.
The same route on Jetstar costs $279 including the Starter Max bundle.
Each option nets you 40 SCs. If you do not mind flying Jetstar on this short route, you will pay only $6.80 per SC on Jetstar against $14.57 per SC on Qantas—over double Jetstar’s price! You’ll also still get lounge access (if you already have status), an up-front extra legroom seat, a hot meal and drink, and extra luggage allowance.
How many NZ Domestic flights would I have to fly to earn/retain status?
We’ve crunched the numbers below, using the following scenario:
- Travel between Auckland and Wellington
- You always book the cheapest sale fare + Starter Max bundle, which on this route will at best be $25 + $60 one-way ($85 total)
- You use a fee-free payment method
|Earn (number of one-way segments)||15||35||70|
|Retain (number of one-way segments)||13||30||60|
Adding a bundle to your Jetstar fare can be a cost-effective way to generate SCs—if that is what you are after. It also represents a good way to pack inclusions into your fare.
This is especially so on shorter flights where comfort is less of a factor, status-conscious flyers should consider Qantas’ budget alternative, Jetstar.
It’s even possible to earn status just by flying Jetstar Domestic in New Zealand!