Qantas Introduces a Simpler (Needlessly More Complex), Fairer (Fewer Miles on Cheaper Fares) Frequent Flyer Earning Program

Qantas is completely revamping its mileage-earning structure effective July 1.

In general it is meant to award more points on higher fares, and fewer points on lower fares. But they haven’t gone with a revenue-based model the way that Delta has. They aren’t rewarding points based on ticket cost.

Instead they have more categories, based on distance and fare class, and have created byzantine charts that I have had open on my screen for more than a day thinking about how to explain them.

And in the end I’m left shaking my head at the complexity, thinking that the charts sort of speak for themselves (or express the inherent confusion on their own).

Oh, and they call it a simpler, fairer flying program. Which tells me they’ve been drinking too much Fosters. *

* I do realize that very few Australians would actually be caught dead drinking Fosters. Which is rather the point.

You need to know your fare type, Qantas international has 8 types.

Then you figure out what zones you’re flying between. Find your fare type in the applicable category out of 22 zones.

They give examples of how points-earning will change, in some cases it’s fewer points and in some it’s more but in all cases it’s hopelessly and needlessly complex.

No more class of service bonuses, people buying the cheapest fares earn fewer miles, but apparently simpler and fairer. Or something.

Qantas does need to make changes to stem big losses. Already they have one of the most insanely expensive award charts for long haul premium cabin travel. Increasingly the complexity of the earning side probably isn’t the direction they need to go. But they’re already enough of a basket case I’m not sure it will matter (except for our poor Aussie friends who credit flights to Qantas frequent flyer in order to earn their elite status).

About Gary Leff

Gary Leff is one of the foremost experts in the field of miles, points, and frequent business travel - a topic he has covered since 2002. Co-founder of frequent flyer community, emcee of the Freddie Awards, and named one of the "World's Top Travel Experts" by Conde' Nast Traveler (2010-Present) Gary has been a guest on most major news media, profiled in several top print publications, and published broadly on the topic of consumer loyalty. More About Gary »

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