"We know the majority of our members want to use their points to take a dream trip overseas, so we are adding more reward seats including First, Business and Premium Economy, to places like London, Los Angeles, Tokyo and Singapore as well as slashing carrier charges."

By Ian Horswill


Posted on June 20, 2019

Qantas has announced major changes for the almost 13 million people in its Frequent Flyer program.

Qantas CEO Alan Joyce and Qantas Loyalty CEO Olivia Wirth unveiled the overhaul to the program in Sydney, Australia, which will be rolled out over the next 12 months.

There are winners and losers in the changes for members of the Frequent Flyer program, announced by Qantas.

FREQUENT FLYER WINNERS

ADDING more than 1 million extra reward seats available annually on Qantas and new partner airlines.

SLASHING carrier charges – the additional costs associated with flights booked with Frequent Flyer Points, saving members on average $200 on return flights.

REDUCING the number of points needed to travel in economy overseas.

NEW tiered Points Club to reward members who earn the most points from on-ground purchases.

INTRODUCING Lifetime Platinum status for the most loyal Frequent Flyers, which members need to accrue 75,000 status credits. Lifetime Gold and Lifetime Silver remain.

FREQUENT FLYER LOSERS

ADDITIONAL charges for Premium Economy, Business Class and First Class. Premium Economy Reward Seats up by 9 per cent

“The Qantas Frequent Flyer program has always been about rewarding customers for their loyalty. These changes are about making it easier for members to access those rewards and help to keep them highly engaged, which in turn is good news for our business as a whole,” Qantas CEO Alan Joyce said.

“We know the majority of our members want to use their points to take a dream trip overseas, so we are adding more reward seats including First, Business and Premium Economy, to places like London, Los Angeles, Tokyo and Singapore as well as slashing carrier charges.

“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.”

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Since its inception in 1987, the Frequent Flyer program has grown from 50,000 members who could only earn points on travel to almost 13 million members who can earn points with more than 300 partners. The majority of the points earned across the program are used on travel. Four flight redemptions are made every minute and 60 upgrades are confirmed every hour.

Qantas Loyalty CEO Olivia Wirth said they conducted extensive research into the habits and behaviours of Frequent Flyers to create a program that brings value to all types of members.

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

“While frequent travellers have always been at the centre of what we do, the growth of our program and its hundreds of partners has provided opportunities for many members to now earn most of their points on the ground.

“Our members are all unique in how they choose to earn and use their Qantas Points. 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.”