Travel Tips

Basmah Qazi

Biggest overhaul in 32 years: Qantas announces major changes to its Frequent Flyer program

Biggest overhaul in 32 years: Qantas announces major changes to its Frequent Flyer program

Qantas has just made the biggest announcement in the 32-year history of its Frequent Flyer program, with massive changes benefiting the customer into paying less fees and having access to more seats along with the opportunity to earn points while on the ground.

Speaking to the media on Thursday, CEO Alan Joyce and divisional head Olivia Wirth made the revelation which will affect 13 million members.

It is expected for the changes to take place over the next 12 months, with the airline investing $25 million into the scheme.

The biggest changes will be access to more seats, with over 1 million seats reserved for Frequent Flyers. Destinations that will benefit the most will be London, Los Angeles, Tokyo and Singapore.

Another plus is reduced fees and carrier charges when redeeming points.

If you’re someone who tends to travel in economy, you will now be using less points for a Classic Rewards seat.

But if you prefer to fly first class, business class and premium economy, then the news is slightly bleaker as you will be paying an increased fee of 15 per cent – which is a first for the airline. You will also be paying more for an upgrade to a premium cabin – up to 9 per cent.

“While the points required for business class seats on international and domestic flights will increase slightly, it is the first increase in 15 years and the product has improved a lot in that time,” said Mr Joyce.

“There’s a lot about the Qantas Frequent Flyer program that our members tell us they love but there are also areas of the program that have increasingly come under pressure as a result of rapid expansion,” added Ms Wirth.

“What we’re announcing today is all about investing more into the heart of our program, the member experience.”

However, the most exciting change is the new “Points Club” program which helps members earn points when they aren’t up in the air.

The club is comprised of two tiers and entry gained based on members meeting an annual criteria.

Once travellers gain access to the exclusive club, they will receive lounge entry and bonus star credit, as well as bargain deals across their “partner” network.

“The combination of the new Points Club, the introduction of our most elite tier in Lifetime Platinum, and the increase in seats across our network means the revamped program should offer something for everyone,” said Ms Wirth.