Qantas is raising the ire of Australian frequent flyers by increasing upgrade award levels while simultaneously decreasing mileage earned on partner airlines.
Members of Frequent Flyer must now spend up to 80-percent more points to upgrade their seats from economy to business class. An upgrade on a flight from Sydney to London, for example, has been increased to 90,000 points from 50,000.
“Previously, (upgrades were) the most effective use of the points,” lobbyist Clifford Reichlin of Australian Frequent Flyer said. “Before this change, each point was worth about nine cents for upgrading, and now they’re only worth about 4.5 cents.”
Further, in addition to taking over British Airways Executive Club in the South Pacific last year, Qantas has apparently adopted Executive Club’s meager earning rates on economy flights.
The previous Qantas level of one point per mile flown will drop to .25 points per mile.
“The increasing popularity of the banks offering frequent flyer points is costing Qantas,” Reichlin said. “Travelers are really going to have to shop around and make sure they’re getting the best use of points.”