Qantas revamps Airline Partner earning

Qantas has just announced significant changes to the earning tables for Partner Airlines on the Qantas Frequent Flyer scheme. The changes bring the partner earning tables into line with the changes previously made to Qantas earnings. The changes are cross cutting across all of the partner airlines, including Emirates and its various oneWorld partners.

Under the existing system, the number of Qantas Points earned while flying on partner airlines is calculated based on the number of miles flown, with some adjustments based on your cabin class. Under the changes, slated to kick in from 1 December, 2015, Qantas will switch to a more zone based system. Under this system, which partly reflects geography for many routes, and distance based zones for others, the points earn will move away from a system that allocates on distance flown.

The structural changes reflect the same changes that were made to the Qantas earn rates.

  • Economy has been split into three categories from two. Previously there was Economy and Discount Economy. Under the new structure there is Discount Economy, Economy and Flexible Economy. A review of the tables suggests that what was Economy is now Flexible Economy, and the old Discount Economy has been split into Economy and Discount Economy.
  • In addition, the cabin bonus has given way to rolling the points into the calculation for each category.

The new tables are available at the Qantas website on this page.

Winners and Losers

A structural change, such as this, often brings winners and losers, and this time it is no different. In the next few sections, we take a look at some of the winners and losers under the changes.


Adelaide was fairly hard done by in the previous changes, as it was grouped together with the Sydney and Melbourne. So, while Qantas do not operate out of Adelaide, the partners that do fly to Adelaide were treated as competition. For partner earning, Adelaide now has its own ‘region’, specifying specific earn rates for flights from Adelaide to Hong Kong, Malaysia, or Dubai. (Newly announced Qatar flights to Doha don’t seem to have made it into the current version of the table.)

Between Australia and Asia

If you are flying between Australia and Asia on one of the Qantas partner airlines, the previous changes had already had some impacts, as they rolled back the earnings on routes where Qantas offered some level of competition.

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.

Cathay Pacific looks to have had some changes, but to a lesser extent that Malaysia Airlines.

Between Europe and Asia

On the flip side, there will be an increase in the number of Status Credits earned when flying on
partner airlines between Asia and Europe. This affects flights on partners such as  Cathay Pacific.

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.

Malaysia Airlines seems to have come in for its own special treatment. Business Class between Kuala Lumpur and London will only net 60 Status Credits,

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