Qantas will change the way Frequent Flyer members earn points and status credits for travel on Qantas, Jetstar and partner airlines starting July 1, 2014. Qantas points and status credits will be earned based on where you fly, the fare you pay and the airline you choose, rather than on the miles flown. Discount and economy fares will earn fewer points than full-flex fares and Qantas will move from a miles-based system to a zone-based system. The network of Qantas and its partner airlines will be divided into 22 flight regions, with each of the regions offering a set number of points and status credits. The easiest way to determine how many points you’ll earn for a flight is to use the earn calculator at http://www.insideflyer.com/link/?11279
Qantas will also expand its Qantas Frequent Flyer fare categories from five to eight, including: discount economy, economy (new), flexible economy, premium economy, flexible premium economy (new), business, flexible business (new) and first. The number of points and status credits earned will depend on the booking class. Those flying in discount economy and the new economy category will see their points decreased for domestic and international flights. Status credits for these flights will mostly not change while status credits for international economy flights will increase. The current “cabin class bonus” will be eliminated with these changes. Minimum points earned for short-haul flights are going down for discount economy and economy flights, from 1,000 to 800, and are going up for flexible economy, premium economy and flexible premium economy from 1,000 to 1,200. Business, flexible business and first are also going up, from 1,250 to 1,400.
Elite members will continue to earn status flight bonuses (50 percent for Silver, 75 percent for Gold and 100 percent for Platinum members), but the status bonus will be capped at the flexible economy rate regardless of which cabin you fly in. Baseline frequent flyer points will go up for more expensive seats and down for less expensive.
The good news for elite members is that the number of status credits in many cases will increase under the new program. Status credits will be decreased for travel on partner airlines, based once again on the type of ticket purchased. Under the new program, elite members will be rewarded for their loyalty with higher status bonuses when flying Qantas over partner airlines. If you booked flights before March 29, 2014, those flights will earn points and status credits at the old rates.
For more information on these program changes and others, visit http://www.insideflyer.com/link/?11255
Bottom line: Qantas is following the latest trend of rewarding customers based on how much they spend rather than how far they fly, so budget travelers will see the greatest (and most negative) change to the program. Business travelers making long distance international trips on flexible fares will find it easier to gain elite status levels.