Qantas continues rejig of how you’ll earn frequent flyer points

Qantas continues rejig of how you'll earn frequent flyer points

 

Qantas is readying a change of rules on how many frequent flyer points you’ll earn when travelling on airlines such as Emirates, British Airways and Cathay Pacific – although the process itself is proving harder than expected.

A revamp of the points-earning chart for partner airlines was first flagged in mid-2014 as part of a dramatic overhaul of the Qantas Frequent Flyer scheme.

This included slashing the number of status credits earned when flying on partner airlines, making it harder to get that prized gold or platinum Qantas card unless you fly with Qantas.

An adjustment to how many points that same trip would earn was due to follow as the final piece of a ‘Fairer Flying’ overhaul of Qantas’ loyalty program, which in the July-December 2014 period tipped a record $160 million of pretax profit into the Flying Kangaroo’s pouch.

Qantas predicted the changes would be rolled out by September 2014 – but that never happened, leaving frequent flyers still earning the same relatively generous servings of points as they’ve done for years.

Change on the way…

But the revamp remains on the table, a Qantas spokeswoman confirmed to Australian Business Traveller.

“As flagged when we announced changes to Frequent Flyer earn rates in 2014, there will be changes made to the earn rates on Qantas’ partner airlines.”

“Changing those earn rates requires working with each partner individually and that’s a process that takes time given the number of partners.”

The spokesperson added that “like any change to the program we will provide appropriate notice ahead of any change taking place.”

What to watch for

The airline has previously suggested that the revised partner points-earning formula would take its cue from Qantas’ own system, which as of July 2014 has seen travellers earning Qantas Points based on the type and cost of their ticket rather than the outright distance of the flight.

That means passengers will likely earn more points for flying with partner airlines in business class and even more expensive economy tickets than the cheapest sale fares.

Flights could also fall into a number of geographical zones – such as Australia’s East Coast to Asia – rather than have their points calculated based on the overall distance flown.

Harder than it looks

Complicating the process for Qantas is that the number of frequent flyer points earned on partner airlines varies widely and wildly according to which airline you fly and which cabin you’re sitting in.

For example, flying in economy on Alaska Airlines, Fiji Airways, Iberia and LAN/TAM currently rakes in one Qantas Point per mile, with a 25% bonus in business class.

But in British Airways economy class the ratio drops to 0.25 Qantas Points for every mile flown – the same amount as applies to far more expensive fares on Malaysia Airlines and Qatar Airways.

 

Australian Business Traveller

US Airways moves to Terminal 6 at Los Angeles LAX Airport

US Airways moves to Terminal 6 at Los Angeles LAX Airport

Jetsetters travelling with Qantas to Los Angeles and then onwards with Oneworld partner US Airways will now find their connecting flight departing from Terminal 6 rather than Terminal 3.

And for those enjoying a stopover on the Californian coast, that also means heading to the check-in desks at Terminal 6, which you’ll find on Level 2.

All Qantas flights from Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane and New York arrive at Tom Bradley International (Terminal B), so allow a little extra time to reach Terminal 6 as it’s a little further away than the airline’s previous home.

US Airways flights will now depart via four dedicated gates in Terminal 6 – 60, 61, 62 and 63 while all American Airlines flights continue to use Terminal 4.

The change brings “larger, updated facilities and closer, easier connections between terminals (to) improve our customers’ experience and give us more room to grow,” said J.C Liscano, American’s Managing Director of LAX.

Ahead of the eventual AA/US Airways merger, American is kicking offflights from Los Angeles to Atlanta in March 2015, and recently commenced services from LA to Vancouver, Edmonton, San Antonio and Tampa.

The airlines’ top customers at LAX with tight transfer times may be treated to a luxury airport transfer program that escorts customers to their next gate of departure in a Cadillac CTS, SRX or Escalade.

Combined, American Airlines and US Airways provide nearly 200 daily departures to 54 destinations in seven countries/territories from LAX.

 

Source : Australian Business Traveller

TAM joins Oneworld alliance, partners with Qantas

TAM joins Oneworld alliance, partners with Qantas

TAM Airlines is now part of the global Oneworld airline alliance, further extending Qantas’ reach into Central and South America alongside its existing partner LAN Airlines.

The Brazilian airline’s initiation marks the biggest single-day expansion of the alliance since its launch 15 years ago, with US Airways also taking a seat at the Oneworld table.

Members of Qantas Frequent Flyer can now earn and redeem points on TAM Airlines flights, and eligible frequent flyers now hold the keys to the airline’s first and business class lounges.

Although TAM doesn’t fly to Australia, partner airline LAN flies from Sydney to Santiago via Auckland (LA800) in addition to Qantas’ thrice-weekly direct Sydney-Santiago (QF27) service – both of which allow onward connections to Brazil and beyond with TAM:

Soccer fans will also be pleased to hear that TAM flies between São Paulo and Rio de Janeiro – a route certain to be taken by many international visitors during the FIFA World Cup!

Qantas + TAM

Qantas frequent flyers can now earn points and status credits on TAM Airlines flights with a JJ flight number, while access to TAM’s lounges is granted to Gold, Platinum and Platinum One members of Qantas Frequent Flyer whenever travelling with TAM or another alliance member.

Priority boarding on TAM Airlines flights and access to preferred seating (where available) comes as standard at the Gold tier and above, although priority check-in is currently restricted to Qantas Platinum and Platinum One frequent flyers.

This means that the business class check-in lines at São Paulo’s Guarulhos Airport (GRU) are off-limits to Gold frequent flyers and other Oneworld Sapphire members, although a TAM Airlines spokesperson confirmed to Australian Business Traveller that priority check-in will be available to Sapphires when the airline moves into the airport’s new Terminal 3 in May.

At the Silver tier (Oneworld Ruby), passengers who are waitlisted for a TAM Airlines flight or travelling on standby are given preference over non-status passengers, with a higher priority given to Sapphires and Emeralds on the waitlist.

Expedited screening is available in selected airports for Oneworld Emerald members, while these Platinum-grade travellers may also check an additional bag or an extra 20kgs, depending on whether your ticket mentions a piece or weight allowance.

The benefits are reciprocal – members of TAM’s Fidelidade loyalty program can earn and redeem points on Qantas domestic andinternational flights, while similar checked baggage and priority boarding perks are all on tap.

Lounges

Now available across the breadth of the alliance is reciprocal lounge access, whereby TAM will open its lounges to Oneworld travellers based on their travel class or frequent flyer status, and Oneworld airlines will open the doors to their lounges for elite TAM travellers in return.

Gold-level flyers can access the airline’s Business Class lounges, while Platinum and Platinum One members can also make use of the First Class lounge in TAM’s São Paulo hub.

Closer to home, the same lounge rules apply – Qantas’ first class lounges in Sydney and Melbourne are open for Red Plus and Black Fidelidade members, while the welcome mat is also rolled out globally at lounges operated by American Airlines, British Airways, Cathay Pacific, Japan Airlines and the rest of the Oneworld family.

Here’s how the Fidelidade tiers stack up for Oneworld lounge access:

  • TAM Fidelidade Blue equates to Oneworld Ruby and Qantas Silver – no lounge access there
  • TAM Fidelidade Red matches Oneworld Sapphire and Qantas Gold – these flyers can access Oneworld business class lounges
  • TAM Fidelidade Red Plus and Black line up with Oneworld Emerald and Qantas Platinum – access is offered to all Oneworld first and business class lounges

Flying with TAM

With a respectable network across Brazil and the Americas, the airline has three main Brazilian hubs – São Paulo, Rio de Janeiro and Brasilia.

From here, the airline serves a total of 62 destinations worldwide, including direct flights to Buenos Aires, Caracas, Lima, Madrid, New York, Paris, Santiago and Zurich.

If you’re in Frankfurt or London, Brazil is just 12 hours away… why not make yourself at home in TAM’s Boeing 777 living room in the sky?

 

 

Source : Australian Business Traveller

Qantas slashes status credits on Oneworld partner flights

 

Qantas has slashed the number of status credits earned on flights with its Oneworld partner airlines as part of an unprecedented overhaul of its frequent flyer scheme.

From July 1 many Qantas travellers booked on British Airways, Cathay Pacific, Malaysia Airlines and other members of the Oneworld family will see the number of Qantas status credits fall by as much as half compared to the current rate.

The changes send a clear signal that for Qantas, ‘loyalty’ now means loyalty to the Flying Kangaroo first and partners second.

If you want to keep that shiny Gold or Platinum card and the perks which it bestows, the fastest way to do so will be to fly Qantas.

(Qantas also plans to release a new points table for partners which could similarly reduce the number of Qantas Frequent Flyer points earned through Oneworld airlines.)

Under Qantas’ current and long-standing system, the number of status credits earned remained the same for Qantas and its Oneworld partners.

That all changes from July 1. Here are the sad numbers for four Qantas Oneworld partners that fly out of Australia.

Cathay Pacific

Flying between Sydney, Melbourne or Brisbane and Hong Kong with Cathay Pacific?

Today you’ll earn 30 status credits (for a one-way trip) in economy, 60 in premium economy and 120 in business class.

From July 1 those rates drop to 15 status credits for economy, 30 for premium economy and 60 in business class.

The rare winners in this case are residents of Perth, as the ‘west coast’ rate in Qantas’ new zone-based chart sees CX flights retain the their current status credit rates.

British Airways

The same cuts apply to BA passengers shuttling between Sydney and Singapore.

If you’re flying all the way to London, an economy ticket with BA sees the number of status credits fall from 60 to 35 from July 1.

British Airways’ World Traveller Plus premium economy rate fall from 120 status credits to 70 while Club World business class tumbles a ton, from 240 status credits to 140.

Even BA’s lush First class will lose some of its lustre as the current serve of 360 Qantas status credits plummets to 210.

Malaysia Airlines

MAS’ home hub of Kuala Lumpur falls within the same Asian zone as Hong Kong, so status credits flying on Malaysia Airlines get a similar slicing as for Cathay Pacific.

Qatar Airways

Qatar’s Melbourne-Doha flights suffer the biggest hit. Discount economy now earns 45 Qantas status credits, with 90 in full fare economy and 180 in business class.

As of July 1 those allocated are savaged to a mere 20 status credits for discount economy, 40 for full economy and 80 for business class.

It’s almost as if Qantas would rather see its Melbourne frequent flyers head to the Middle East with Qantas or a QF-badged Emirates flight…

Things are less traumatic if you’re flying with Qatar out of Perth, due to the shorter distances involved.

Today’s status credit count of 35 for discount economy, 70 for full economy and 140 for business class is trimmed to 30, 60 and 120 status credits, respectively.

 

Source : Australian Business Traveller

Oneworld to gain SriLankan in first half of 2014

Oneworld to gain SriLankan in first half of 2014

Oneworld will add another Asian airline to its belt in the first half of next year when SriLankan joins the international alliance alongside founding member Qantas and newcomer Qatar.

“We haven’t set a firm target date for SriLankan as yet, but it will be first half of the year” a spokesman for oneworld told Australian Business Traveller.

The Sri Lankan flag carrier, which is being sponsored into oneworld by Cathay Pacific, is currently upgrading its IT platform to the Amadeus system and will then establishing the necessary links into the booking systems of other oneworld airlines.

Brazil’s TAM Airlines will also sign up to oneworld on March 31st 2014, joining its Chilean sibling LAN and leaving the Star Alliance to which TAM has belonged since 2010.

The move will boost the network of flights and point-earning options available to Qantas travellers throughout South America.

Alongside Qatar, which becomes a full member of oneworld next week, SriLankan and TAM will boost the alliance’s membership tally to 15 airlines.

 

“Qatar is also a really, really good fit for us” oneworld CEO Bruce Ashby told Australian Business Traveller earlier this year. “They can carry people into a lot of points into Southern Europe and Africa where we didn’t have much presence before, and there are a lot of niches like that where they offer great value to flesh out our network.”

Qatar Airways will be oneworld’s second member airline based in the Middle East, alongside Royal Jordanian which joined oneworld in 2007, but the first of ‘the big three’ Gulf carriers to join any alliance.

 

Australian Business Traveller