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Qantas Loyalty – the biggest change in 32 years?

Qantas Loyalty – the biggest change in 32 years?

[Updated] This was written as I discovered new aspects of the changes to the Qantas Frequent Flyer program from a combination of blogs, forums and press stories on 20 June – the day of the announcement.

For upgrades its a modest downgrade of just under 10%.

Ahead of the main announcement press conference, there have been some changes to the Qantas frequent flyer pages – click on to see details:

Changes to Qantas Award Upgrade tables 20 June 2019

The table above applies to domestic upgrades.

Everything you want to know . . .

The changes are up on the web in the Qantas Frequent flyer sub-site

Summary of changes

  • 5,000,000 seats available as classic flight reward seats annualy, . . .

Plus, up to a 30 per cent increase in International Premium Cabin reward seats including during peak travel periods to and from Australia to the most popular destinations such as London, Los Angeles, Tokyo, and Singapore.

  • International Economy Classic Flight Reward to the Americas, Asia, Africa and Europe6 decreasing by up to 10 per cent
  • Fees down by ‘up to’ 50 per cent Syd to London. Example: fees reduced from $1,080 to $700 in Business
  • International Premium cabin redemptions to increase by up to 15 per cent – so a devaluation of points
  • Upgrade points required to increase by 9 per cent
  • More partner airline redemptions
  • New partners (outside Oneworld) to include Air New Zealand, China Airlines, and coming soon Bangkok Airways, Air France and KLM Royal Dutch Airlines
  • Lifetime Platinum – I was right! That will be 75,000 Lifetime Status Credits thank-you-very-much
  • New ‘Points Club’ – for non-flight points earn – launching in late 2019
  • Changes to the website to make finding and booking flights and earning points easier (we shall see!)
  • Real-time access to a year’s worth of Qantas reward seats direct in ‘My account’
  • New browser tool ‘Points Prompter’ alerting you to points earning opportunities – for Chrome and Firefox
  • Changes to the website to make finding and booking flights and earning points easier (we shall see!)
  • Real-time access to a year’s worth of Qantas reward seats direct in ‘My account’
  • New browser tool ‘Points Prompter’ alerting you to points earning opportunities – for Chrome and Firefox

And from the Press Release

Representing a $25 million investment, the changes will improve how members are recognised and rewarded as well as how they earn and redeem points.

Qantas Press Release

2PAXfly Takeout

Not that revolutionary.

Good for infrequent flyers in Economy.
Bad for frequent flyers after premium seat space, for upgrades or redemptions.

Table from Qantas Fact Sheet PDF

Not moving to a revenue base (I was wrong). A devaluation for premium cabins – well that goes without saying. Less points for international economy – a little surprising, but that’s where the availability is. More Premium seat rewards at more popular times – I’m sceptical – but might just be a product of growth in capacity, and no actual change in percentage of all seats offered as points seats.

Platinum lifetime status – I told you so! Mind you, on my calculations you would have to spend a lot. If you travel this much you probably mainly travel on flex fares, and at an approx. price of $20/status credit, that means you would need to spend around AUD$1,500,000 to get lifetime platinum. Let’s say you earnt that over the 32 years of the Qantas Frequent Flyer program, that would require spending an average of around AUD$47,000 per year on Qantas and partner, status earning travel.

That’s a lot.

For example, you need to have qualified for Platinum for 62 years (the program has only been going for 32. Alternately you could have spent the last 20 years as a Platinum One – except that category has only existed since 2011 (8 years). So it’s a lot.

As they said at the press conference – the Platinum One Lifetime club is going to be more exclusive than the Chairman’s Club.

If you want a ready reference for these changes – you would do worse than downloading this Fact Sheet PDF provided by Qantas.

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