Qantas recently announced a long list of changes to the Frequent Flyer programme, including an increase of points needed for premium redemptions from 18 September 2019.
This will affect every airline that can be booked through Qantas Frequent Flyer, including American Airlines, Qatar Airways, Emirates and more. Unfortunately, it also marks the increase in points needed for the popular oneworld Award for round-the-world trips in Premium Economy, Business Class and First Class.
Economy redemptions are still better off overall, with fewer points required immediately. However, partner airline taxes and surcharges have not decreased.
Changes to Qantas’ Rewards Table
This table covers travel on Qantas, Airnorth, Fiji Airways, Air Vanuatu, American Airlines and Emirates.
It also covers travel on Jetstar when booked in conjunction with an award on any of the above airlines.
Economy rates have already decreased so their new rates are reflected in the table.
|Zone||One-Way Miles||Economy||Premium |
|1||0 - 600||8,000|
|2||601 - 1,200||12,000|
|3||1,201 - 2,400||18,000|
|4||2,401 - 3,600||20,300|
|5||3,601 - 4,800||25,200|
|6||4,801 - 5,800||31,500|
|7||5,801 - 7,000||37,600|
|8||7,001 - 8,400||41,900|
|9||8,401 - 9,600||51,200|
|10||9,601 - 15,000||55,200|
A simple trip from New Zealand to Sydney, Melbourne or Brisbane in Business Class, whether on Qantas or Emirates, will require 5,500 points more per person, each way. A couple flying return would need 22,000 more Qantas Points for the exact same trip.
Flights to Fiji from Auckland, Wellington and Christchurch will also rise from 36,000 points to 41,500 points each way in Business Class.
For flights to Los Angeles on American Airlines, the increase is 10,900 points in Business Class.
A return Business Class trip from New Zealand to London, an aspiration for many readers here, will go up by 33,200 Qantas Points per person.
The silver lining in the above points changes is that the availability of award seats in both Business and First Class on Qantas is set to increase, meaning there is a greater chance of securing these premium seats, even in times of high demand.
Changes to Partner Airlines Reward Tables
Other partner airlines will be on this rewards table. Here is the full list:
Air Niugini, Alaska Airlines, British Airways, Cathay Pacific Airways, China Airlines, China Eastern, Cathay Dragon, EL AL, Finnair, Iberia, Japan Airlines, LATAM Airlines, Malaysia Airlines, Qatar Airways, Royal Jordanian, S7 Airlines and SriLankan Airlines.
|Zone||One-Way MIles||Economy||Premium Economy||Business||First|
|1||0 - 600||10,000|
|2||601 - 1,200||14,000|
|3||1,201 - 2,400||20,000|
|4||2,401 - 3,600||24,500|
|5||3,601 - 4,800||30,200|
|6||4,801 - 5,800||37,800|
|7||5,801 - 7,000||45,000|
|8||7,001 - 8,400||50,300|
|9||8,401 - 9,600||61,500|
|10||9,601 - 15,000||66,200|
Like the Qantas Rewards Table above, Economy rates for partner airlines has decreased immediately following the announcement, with all other premium cabin rates going up from 18 September.
Short flights aren’t affected as much as longer flights. New Zealand to Europe on any of these partner airlines, such as through Hong Kong with Cathay Pacific or through Doha with Qatar Airways, will rise 20,000 Qantas Points each way per person in Business Class.
Changes to the OneWorld Classic Flight Reward Table
Unfortunately, oneworld flight rewards will also see an increase. These awards are used when you have an itinerary that includes at least two oneworld airlines apart from Qantas and only consists of oneworld airlines (e.g. no Emirates or Jetstar flights are allowed).
The popular ‘round the world’ trip usually falls under ‘Band 10’, which covers travel up to 35,000 miles in total.
A Business Class round the world trip will increase from 280,000 points to 318,000 Qantas Points per person, while a First Class award will increase from 420,000 Qantas Points to 455,000 Qantas Points.
|Zone||One-Way Miles||Economy||Premium Economy||Business||First|
|1||0 - 1,200||20,000|
|2||1,201 - 2,400||28,000|
|3||2,401 - 4,800||40,000|
|4||4,801 - 7,200||49,000|
|5||7,201 - 9,600||60,400|
|6||9,601 - 11,600||75,600|
|7||11,601 - 14,000||90,000|
|8||14,001 - 16,800||100,600|
|9||16,801 - 19,200||123,000|
|10||19,201 - 35,000||132,400|
Again, Economy rates have already decreased, and come 18 September, there will also be a reduction in rates for all Premium Economy, Business Class and First Class for travel in Zones 1 to 8 (up to 16,800 miles).
Changes to the Jetstar Classic Flight Reward Table
Finally, here is the update to the Jetstar Classic Reward Table, which covers Jetstar Australia, Jetstar New Zealand, Jetstar Asia and Jetstar Japan. Only Jetstar Australia offers Business Class on its Boeing 787 Dreamliners.
|1||0 - 600||6,400|
|2||601 - 1,200||9,600|
|3||1,201 - 2,400||14,400|
|4||2,401 - 3,600||18,000|
|5||3,601 - 4,800||21,500|
|6||4,801 - 5,800||26,000|
|7||5,801 - 7,000||32,000|
|8||7,001 - 8,400||35,600|
|9||8,401 - 9,600||43,500|
|10||9,600 - 15,000||46,900|
The changes here are more modest – decreases in Economy rates and small bumps in Business Class rates. We still don’t rate using Qantas Points for Jetstar flights as particularly good value though, even in Business Class.
Frequently Asked Questions
How can I ensure my booking is charged at the current lower rates?
Redeem your Qantas Points and confirm the booking with payment before 18 September 2019 to ensure you lock in the lower rates.
However to lock in lower rates in Premium, Business and First on the oneworld classic award table, in Zones 1 to 8, you will need to wait until 18 September.
What happens if I need to make changes to my existing bookings after 18 September?
Chances are your booking will recalculate at the new higher rate. Avoid making any changes to existing bookings where possible.
I have an existing Economy Class booking which is now lower in cost with the new rates. Can I get the lower rate somehow?
Yes, it’s possible at a price. You can cancel your reservation for 6,000 Qantas Points and get a full refund, and then book again at the new rate. Ensure there is still reward seat availability before you attempt this, and that the discounted rate is cheaper than the cancellation cost.
While it is not great that most of our favourite redemptions will be going up in cost from 18 September 2019 onwards, there is not much that can be done except make the most of it.
If you have enough points now and have certain bookings in mind, it is definitely a great idea to try to lock them in now while the lower points rates still apply. Bookings and changes to existing bookings after 18 September 2019 will see the new rates kick in.
This is especially important for anyone considering the OneWorld ‘Round the World’ award in Business or First Class at the current pricing of 280,000/420,000 Qantas Points.