Qantas has published an update to the way it will categorise flights on Intra-Asia routes. The change will see some discount Business fares being recategorised from Business to Flexible Economy for the purposes of calculating Qantas Points and Status Credits.
Until August 2022, Malaysia Airlines Business Class flights on most routes, including intra-Asia, have been classified as Business for Qantas points & status credits earn. This earn rate has applied to all routes other than “between Malaysia and Australia, New Zealand, Europe (including UK) and the Middle East”
However, come 1 August 2022, Qantas will move flights booked in “I” or “Z” into the Flexible Economy category. You will still fly in the Business Class cabin, the change only affects earnings in the Qantas Frequent Flyer program.
The following screenshot of the Qantas Fare Categories shows this change.
The significance of this is that these are typically the cheaper Business Class tickets that Malaysia Airlines sell. Indeed, at times, they have priced lower than some economy tickets.
If you have been flying on these tickets, come 1 August 2022 you will earn only half the status credits that you currently do. For example, if you have been using these tickets to fly from Kuala Lumpur to places such as Singapore, Bangkok, Hong Kong, you will have your status credit earning cut in half.
Qantas structures its earning tables in a way that favours flying on Qantas tickets. If you are booked on a OneWorld partner ticket, you will earn fewer points and status credits.
However, in the case of Malaysia Airlines, Qantas takes this to a whole other level. Since Malaysia Airlines joined One World, Qantas took the path of classifying some Business & Business Suites tickets as
Until now, this has affected flights between Malaysia and Australia, New Zealand, Europe (including UK) and the Middle East. In this case, Qantas has classified the flights as “Flexible Economy” for earnings purposes. This has the effect of reducing earnings substantially.
Even so, from time to time they still cut earnings even further For example, Qantas is also cutting back the earn rates on a number of Cathay Pacific flights. In the current case, Qantas are moving some of the discounted intra-Asia business class fares into Flexible Economy.
These fares were often quite affordable on Intra-Asia flights. As a result of this change, you will need to ensure you are booked into the correct fare class.