Qantas Frequent Flyer, the award program of the Australian flag carrier will modify the earning ratio for status credits per December 1st 2015.
Qantas put the hammer down on especially cheap Business Class options such as the popular Malaysia Airlines Tickets, the ‘J Class’ Japan Airlines Business Upgrades within Japan as well as some Qatar Airways routes. These designated routes are not even being counted as Business Class but treated as Economy Class under QFF’s strange new earning scheme.
It’s not unusual that some frequent flyer programs penalize specific airlines. Lufthansa Miles & More for example cut the earnings for Turkish Airlines flights quite some time ago.
Under the new rules, some routes will increase earned Status Credits while others will decrease as the program moves to a ‘zone’ system. Qantas also doesn’t publish a proper chart of how many miles will be collected. You now have to use a calculator. You can access this tool here.
Qantas seems to attempt moving members to fly on their own aircraft where QF competes against partners. Such as Singapore to Sydney or Sydney to Tokyo where both Qantas as well as oneWorld partner airlines fly.
While Qantas earns 120 Status Credits for Business Class on either of these routes, the ‘Partners’ British Airways or Japan Airlines earn only 60 credits.
Here you see what the calculator pops out for Qantas on Singapore to Sydney:
And to compare, this is the same route with British Airways:
Qantas Frequent Flyer has always been the most confusing and at the same time one of the most unattractive programs in the market. What to think of a loyalty program that charges a membership enrollment fee for their members?
The new shift to a zoning system however also has a few increases in earnings, even on partner airlines. Especially within Asia on Cathay Pacific.
Another big problem is the short notice Qantas gave their members. This is a big cut in the membership terms & conditions with only six weeks notice. Usually Qantas has to give 3 months notice in case of such modifications.
To really see all the changes you have to go in depth into the membership communication which should have been sent to each members email.
At the same time the mentioned changes of the business class routes but earning economy value are nowhere mentioned in detail. The Qantas website also has no proper announcement which I find grotesque. If you are a member of Qantas Frequent Flyer you should definitely keep your eyes open and maybe request additional information from membership services.