The Qantas Frequent Flyer program is an easily accessible option for most Kiwis, with a couple of credit card options and being the second largest Trans-Tasman carrier, along with its subsidiary Jetstar providing an improving domestic service. There are also plenty of opportunities to earn Qantas points from both purchases and flights in New Zealand.
The extra value to Qantas points, however, lies in the opportunity to redeem those points earned on not just Qantas or Jetstar flights, but on any of Qantas’ oneworld or strategic partners.
We’ve produced this easy-to-follow beginner’s guide which answers a few questions on both searching and booking partner awards using Qantas points.
Did you know you could use your Qantas Points with 26 other airlines?
Which airline partners can I use my Qantas Points with?
Qantas is part of the 14-member oneworld alliance, the smallest of the three major alliances; the others being Star Alliance (27 members) and SkyTeam (20).
Here is a list of the oneworld airlines, with those most likely to be used by travellers from New Zealand in bold:
- American Airlines
- British Airways
- Cathay Pacific (and its low-cost subsidiary Dragonair, soon to be renamed Cathay Dragon)
- Japan Airlines
- LATAM (the post-merger airline of LAN and TAM)
- Malaysia Airlines
- Qatar Airways (if they ever get themselves organised enough to start their direct Auckland to Doha service)
- Royal Jordanian
- S7 Airlines
- SriLankan Airlines
Qantas also has a surprisingly large amount of partners outside of the oneworld Alliance, numbering 12 in total:
- Aer Lingus
- Air Niugini
- Air Vanuatu
- Alaska Airlines
- China Eastern
- EL AL
- Fiji Airways
- Jet Airways
How do I know how many points Qantas charges for awards on each airline?
Qantas has four different points tables (in order below of cheapest to most expensive), depending on which airline you want to fly with:
- Jetstar Classic Flight Rewards: Jetstar and its subsidiaries in Singapore, Japan and Vietnam. These prices are 20% lower than the next tier, but you’re usually better off buying Jetstar flights with cash
- Qantas Classic Flight Reward: Qantas, Airnorth, Air Vanuatu, American Airlines, Emirates and Fiji Airways
- Partner Classic Flight Rewards: all other airlines (airberlin, Aer Lingus, Air Niugini, Alaska Airlines, British Airways, Cathay Pacific, China Eastern, Dragonair, EL AL, Finnair, Iberia, Japan Airlines, Jet Airways, LATAM, Malaysia Airlines, Qatar Airways, Royal Jordanian, S7 Airlines and SriLankan Airlines)
- Oneworld Classic Flight Rewards: when travelling on at least two oneworld airlines other than Qantas
You can view the four points tables here.
Which airlines can you search for and book through the Qantas website?
qantas.com can be used to search for availability on Qantas and its preferred partners, including American Airlines, British Airways, Cathay Pacific, Emirates, Fiji Airways, Jetstar and Qatar Airways.
Like other award redemptions, seats are subject to availability and there is a decent chance you might not be able to fly on the exact date you desire, so you’ll need to be flexible on dates and routes (as always when using points to travel).
Search for your flight using the home page, making sure to select searching for a reward flight rather than paying with cash
The calendar will show you availability in the different cabins (Economy, Premium Economy, Business and First Class)
As you can see, Emirates and Qatar results are prioritised in this search engine
You can book flights on these airlines through the Qantas website without having to call them on the phone.
What about the other airlines?
British Airways is the most reliable source for finding seats on most oneworld airlines, like Japan Airlines or Malaysia Airlines, which Qantas may not have access to.
Unfortunately, you can only register (for free) if you use a non-New Zealand address, but use a friend or family member (or just make up an address) and you’ll be all set.
Oh, and best try to avoid redeeming your points on British Airways flights themselves as the fuel surcharges are usually very high 😉
As for the non-alliance partners, such as Alaska Air, you can either try their own website or there are a number of search engines that will do the work for you.
Once you are done selecting and noting down your preferred flights details, call Qantas Frequent Flyer (0800 101 500) between 8am and 7pm AEST Monday to Friday and give them the flight numbers and dates you have found availability for to book your award flight!
Summing up – why is this worth knowing?
Using Qantas Points with partner airlines is one of the best uses of Qantas Points – if you didn’t realise before now that you don’t just have to use your Qantas Points for Qantas flights, you’ve been missing out.
Understanding the different partners that the Qantas Frequent Flyer program has, along with how their points redemptions values are calculated, is key to getting the most from your Qantas Points – so now you know!