As of July 1, 2008, Qantas Frequent Flyers have a new way to spend their points for award flights, called Anyseat.
Anyseat assures members the ability to use their points for an award seat but the seat is based on availability, demand and the time you choose to fly, so members will not know the amount of points needed for a certain flight until they start the booking process. A Web tool similar to a typical booking engine used when you are purchasing a ticket is available, displaying how many points a particular seat will cost you and giving other options on and around that date. You will generally need more points if you book closer to the travel date and fewer points if you book further in advance or during periods of slow demand.
A separate “Classic” Web tool for booking will continue to be available for those who prefer the current system. Simon Hickey, Frequent Flyer general manager, was quoted in The Australian, “Everything that’s here today — all the value that’s here today, all of those seats, all of that capacity, everything that’s in that program today — none of that changes. What we are doing is adding a lot more choice. So if you want to fly at 7am, Monday morning, Melbourne to Sydney, you can get it now.”
Members can also now choose to spend points to cover the cost of taxes and fees. For example, a roundtrip flight from Sydney to London costs 128,000 points in the Classic system but would cost around 200,000 points when the roughly $700 in taxes and fees are factored in.
Members can also look for new partnerships with more ways to earn and burn miles. These changes are all in anticipation of the Frequent Flyer program being spun off into its own segment. The airline is considering an initial public offering this year that would put 40 percent of the program on the market. The Toronto Star reported that ACE Aviation Holdings, Inc., the company that purchased Aeroplan, is in talks with Qantas. But when Rupert Duchesne, the CEO of Aeroplan, was asked if he would confirm that Aeroplan is in talks with Qantas about buying its frequent flyer program, he said, “I really wouldn’t comment on that one way or the other.”