Qantas unveils Frequent Flyer overhaul

Qantas unveils Frequent Flyer overhaul

Qantas unveils Frequent Flyer overhaul

"A lot of on-ground spending but not much reward in the air". Upgrades will require an increase in points of between nine and 12 per cent.

Members will have much more inventory to choose from.

Qantas will turn its attention from frequent flyers to frequent shoppers with the launch of the new Qantas Points Club later this year.

A million extra seats and a slashing of carrier charges are the centrepiece changes in the overhaul of Qantas' Frequent Flyer scheme, which was announced on Thursday.

The additional seats will concentrate on peak periods like Easter, Christmas and school holidays.

"Importantly, they'll also be on the most popular routes, like London, Los Angeles, Singapore and Tokyo". But more points will be needed soon to get business class seats "to better reflect the value of this premium experience". Carrier charges on some worldwide bookings have also been slashed by up to 50 per cent.

Joyce said this was what the changes targeted.

That move in particular should resonate well with the airline's frequent flyers.

The changes include extra seating, less carrier charges and a reduction on the number of points needed for worldwide economy Classic Reward seats.

Mr Joyce said carrier charges had been a "pain point" for rewards customers.

But premium economy on the same flight will cost 18,600 points extra.

The reduction in carrier charges is being introduced across all cabin classes.

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On the plus side, the number of points required for worldwide economy Classic Reward seats have decreased by up to 10 per cent.

For example, that Melbourne to LA flight in premium economy used to cost 144,000 points, and now costs 162,600 points.

In business class, it will go from 192,000 to 216,000 points, and in first class, from 288,000 to 325,600 points.

The airline has justified the increase by pointing out it's the first in nearly 15 years.

"We're not touching that - it will remain the same exclusive club it is today", Mr Joyce said.

"These changes allowed us to add 30 per cent more seats on Qantas worldwide because of this rebalance. We're not making money out of the changes, we're investing money back into people's ability to use their points".

The new club will include two tiers with entry gained based on a member passing an annual criteria.

In that regard, the Qantas Points Club appears like a "status lite" proposition for buyers rather than flyers.

Other notable initiatives including a new tiered Points Club program to recognise members who earn several points through non-flying related initiatives as well as a Lifetime Platinum status for the airline's most loyal flyers.

Members have often complained there are not enough seats or upgrades available for them to book with points.

In response to complaints from consumers about the scarcity of seats on popular routes, the company pledged a million extra reward-based seats per year on its aircraft and those of partner airlines, with booking fees associated with points-based purchases cut by up to 50 per cent on global flights.

This follows Qantas" announcement of a dedicated "Points Plane' reserved exclusively for Qantas Frequent Flyers.

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