Consumers will fly less on frequent flyer points after Qantas changes

Qantas has announced major changes to their frequent flyer program, with points now being accrued based on money spent, rather than miles travelled. The changes mean that consumers will earn fewer points on lower fares and more points with premium priced tickets.


“Qantas is trying to drive customers to premium flights to accrue more points. When booking a flight it’s best not to get fixated with the points gained. Ask yourself; is the ticket I am purchasing the best deal on that day? It pays to shop around and find a competitive rate,” say CHOICE spokesperson Tom Godfrey.

In 2012 Qantas generated more revenue from points than from original ticket sales, or about 60% of its net profit1.

“Unless you’re a frequent business traveller, you’re faced with a dilemma. If you want to build up your frequent flyer points, you’ll need to fly the same airline every time or only transact with businesses that allow you to earn points through a linked credit card,” says Mr Godfrey

It’s important to remember that Qantas Frequent Flyer points also expire if you don’t earn or use them within eighteen months.

“Rewards programs can be confusing and complicated, but what is clear is that they’ve become a big dollar-driver for the airlines. Always read the terms and conditions before you sign up to ensure you understand the way you gain points and how you can use them,” says Mr Godfrey.

Key changes to ‘Fairer Flying’ program:

  • Qantas Points and Status credits will be earned based on where you fly, the fare you pay and the carrier you choose, rather than on the miles flown
  • A new earning table for Qantas and Jetstar will be introduced so consumers can see how many points and Status credits you can earn on all your fare options
  • Earning tables include all travel classes – Economy, Premium Economy, Business and First – replacing the current Cabin Bonus
  • New Frequent Flyer categories to align what you earn with how much you pay – earning fewer points on lower fares and more when you choose more flexible fares
  • There are also some changes to Status credit earn on other partner airlines

Reviewing the changes to points accrued on domestic flights, there is a significant drop for discount economy travellers, with points geared towards those spending more money.

Between And For departures Discount Economy Economy/Flexible Economy Business Flexible Business
Sydney Melbourne To 30 June 2014 1000 1000 1250 1250
On/from 1 July 2014 800 1200 1400 1600
Photo Credit: caribb