Qantas has advised that it is set to change the way the number of Qantas Points earned while flying on partner airlines, such as its oneWorld partners, is calculated. In addition, there will be some adjusments to the way that Status Credits are calculated.
Broadly speaking, the changes bring airline partner earning into the same structure as that being used for Qantas and Jetstar earning. That is, for the most part, Qantas will provide tables for earning based largely on the geographical regions that you are flying between, rather than basing points earn on distance.
As it stands today, the calculation for Qantas Points is based partly on distance flown – the further you fly, the more points. On top of that, there are some multiplers that depend on the actual class of travel.
Under the new system, to be introduced on December 1st 2015, Qantas will switch to a new set of tables based on geographical regions that you fly between, rather than the outright distance. In addition, there is a revision of the fare categories that are used. A significant change is that the number of economy class categories is being incresed from two to three.
At present, economy fares map to either a Discount Economy or Economy group. Under the new system, this will spli into three – being Discount Economy, Economy and Flexible Economy.
The exisiting Cabin Class bonus is also being removed. WIth the move to defining various earning categories, the previous cabin bonus becomes redundant as the tables will take into account the cabin variations.
Who is affected?
The revamp affects flights with Qantas partner airlines, which includes Emirates, Oneworld member airlines, together with some other airlines such as Aer Lingus, China Eastern and Fiji Airways. If you collect Qantas Points from flying any of these airlines, your points earning will be affected.
Exactly what changes will occur, will depend on which airlines you tend to use, your class of travel, and the actual routes you fly with partner airlines. There are positives and negatives in the change, depending on all those factors – there really are winners and loses.
For the details on the changes, you can refer to the revised partner points earning table. Qantas have also updated their points calculator to reflect the changes, and you can change the dates in the calculator to see how you will be affected.
What are the changes?
The changes are quite broad across the entire partner network, so the following highlights some of the more significant changes that the new tables will have.
Before getting into the route specific changes, it needs to be noted that there are some significant traps for partner airlines Malaysia Airlines and to a lesser extent Qatar.
For whatever reason, Qantas have really taken an axe to the number of points and status credits that can be earned on Malaysia Airlines, particularly on its long haul flights. In many cases, any premium cabin fare such as Business or First Class will be classified as Flexible Economy for the purpose of Point and Status Credit earn.
Qatar also has some traps in its mappings. In particular, business fares are classified as FLexible Economy for earn, while First Class fares are classified as Business.
Asia – Europe
Generally speaking, there will be an increase in the number of Status Credits earned when flying on partner airlines between Asia and Europe. This includes partners such as Cathay Pacific, British Airways and Finnair. As previously mentioned, partner Malaysai Airlines has come in for its own special treatment.
As an example, a one-way business class flight between Hong Kong and London will today earn 80 Status Credits. Under the new structure this will increase to 120 Status Credits.
Australia – Asia
If you fly between Australiia and Asia on one of the partner airlines, you will generally earn less than what you could achieve flying Qantas. This is a change that had previously been partly implemented, and it seems to have continued with the latest set of changes.
If you are flying on Malaysia Airlines, you are particularly hard done by, as a Business Class ticket between is to be classed as Flexible Economy for the purpose of Frequent Flyer earning.
A Business Class ticket between Melbourne and Kuala Lumpur, which today would earn 60 Status Credits, will be pared back to just 30 Status Credits under the new calculation.
Adelaide and Perth
Adelaide was somehat hard done by in the previous changes. For the purpose of partner earning, there are some specific routes where Qantas will recognise the lack of competition it provides, and gives a boost to the earnings. These include Hong Kong, Malaysia and Dubai.
Similarly, Perth has its own specific chart for Hong Kong, Malaysia/Singapore, Dubai and Doha. Note that in the case of Dubai, there is no partner option to earn Status Credits.
Further information on the changes is available on the Qantas Website. You can view the revised partner points earning table and there is also an updated version of its points calculator. The calculator allows you to select your travel date in order to see the effect of the changes.