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Earn maximum Qantas Frequent Flyers points on Emirates flights

By David Flynn     Filed under: emirates, qantas, Qantas Frequent Flyer

The partnership between Qantas and Emirates has not only opened up dozens of new routes and one-stop flights into Europe, it also delivers new ways for Qantas Frequent Flyers to earn and burn their points.

But there are some traps for unwary travellers – so here's what you need to know before booking with either Qantas or Emirates.

Maximise your points with a QF flight number

While you can earn Qantas Frequent Flyer points on Emirates flights, you'll get the biggest haul by travelling with Qantas – such as the flagship QF1 Airbus A380 service from Sydney to London via Dubai – or by booking an Emirates flight under a Qantas flight number.

The first bit is straightforward enough, but the second is a relatively new wrinkle in the frequent flyer fabric due to Qantas 'codesharing' on Emirates' flights.

In plain language, that means a QF flight number is listed against an Emirates flight.

For example, the evening Emirates flight EK413 from Sydney to Dubai also carries the Qantas flight number of QF8413 (as it happens, all four-digit Qantas flight numbers beginning with '8' are actually Emirates flights).

This is more than just marketing: it makes a substantial difference to the number of frequent flyer points you earn.

If you book a ticket on this flight as an Emirates flight with the EK413 flight number stamped on your e-ticket, you'll earn Qantas Frequent Flyer points at a relatively low partner airline rate of 1 point per mile with a cabin bonus of 25% in business class and 50% in first class.

For flying Sydney-Dubai with Emirates in business class, that means 7,488 Qantas points (one way) plus your 25% cabin bonus of 1,872 points – for a total of 9,360 points.

But if you book the exact same Emirates flight under the Qantas QF8413 flight number, through Qantas or a Qantas travel agent, it carries the same weight as if you were flying on one of Qantas' own jets and delivers a full serving of Qantas Frequent Flyer points.

This sees your business class cabin bonus doubled to 50%  (first class is a lush 100%), so your 7,488 points are catapulted to 11,232 points.

More importantly for Qantas Frequent Flyer members, there's also an additional bonus based on your status: 50% for Silver, 75% for Gold and 100% for Platinum.

So if you're carrying a QFF Gold card the tally jumps by a further 5,616 points to reach 16,848 points.

For Platinum travellers, it peaks at 18,720 points, or twice what you'd have earned if your ticket was booked on the Emirates EK413 version of the same flight.

No status credits on EK flights

Speaking of status credits, that's another caveat for the flight code.

Emirates flights carrying the EK number don't earn any Qantas status credits, so you'll be stalled at your current Qantas Frequent Flyer level.

Book on the Qantas version of the same flight and you'll collect status credits – in the case of Sydney to Dubai in business class, that's 180 status credits each way.

Why fly Emirates instead of Qantas?

Considering the relative pitfalls of accidentally being booked to travel on an Emirates flight under its native EK flight number rather than the point-laden QF equivalent, our example may beg the question: why would you want to catch EK413/QF8143 instead of one of Qantas' own QF1 (Sydney) or QF9 (Melbourne) flights to Dubai?

It's because the daily Qantas flights to Dubai are timed to continue on to London, with a short stopover around midnight at Dubai  and a 5am-6am arrival into London.

But if you're going anywhere other than London your onwards flight will be with Emirates, and those flights typically leave in the early morning or afternoon.

In the case of EK413/QF8413, this reaches Dubai at 5.30am and dovetails neatly into Emirates' morning flights from Dubai to Europe just a few hours later.

That means a much shorter layover at Dubai International Airport than if you travelled on Qantas's own QF1 which arrives into Dubai at 12.35am, for example.

Using Qantas points for Emirates reward flights...

Free 'reward' flights are also on the menu, with the number of points needed spelled out in the Qantas & Partner Classic Awards table.

To trade in your Qantas Frequent Flyer points on an economy seat with Emirates will cost the same as for a Qantas flight, starting at 800 points for 600 miles.

As a practical example, flying Sydney to Hamburg via Dubai (a distance of 10,518 miles) will cost 64,000 Qantas Frequent Flyer points one way.

However, unlike Qantas, Emirates doesn't offer premium economy seating – so if you want a comfier seat and more legroom than Emirates' economy class you'll have to make the jump to 128,000 points one-way.

But no upgrades on Emirates...

You can't use your Qantas points to apply for an upgrade on any Emirates flight, even if it carries a QF flight number.

Upgrades are valid only if you're flying on Qantas' own aircraft (and under a QF flight number).

So while you can try your luck at upgrading to premium economy, business or first class on one of the Qantas flights to Dubai, for the onwards leg with Emirates you'll be stuck in the seat you bought.

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About David Flynn

David Flynn is the editor of Australian Business Traveller and a bit of a travel tragic with a weakness for good coffee, shopping and lychee martinis.


Have something to say? Post a comment now!

1 on 21/3/14 by williamsusanto

when you purchase ek flight on qf website to get qf code share flight no then the air fare will be more expensive compare to purchase ek flight direct on ek website. Best is get EK FF.

1 on 21/3/14 by BillWat

Can we fly first EK (cabins and a great bathroom) with babushka next trip to europe?

2 on 21/3/14 by simon

completely agree with above comment - if  you want the QFF points/credits then the cost of the flight is significantly more going through Qantas site rather than Emirates site - book all mine through Emirates now and changed FFprogramme - much cheaper and better - plus Emirates fly from Adelaide!

3 on 21/3/14 by Muzz

From previous experience, I would expect that also however after completing dummy bookings via both the QF and EK sites, for a one way SYD to DXB on the 16/04 in J, both priced the same $6115.00 (apart from a few cents).

In comparison, on a previous trip I booked PER to CDG via SIN and was given a QF option in code share with AF, after jumping on the AF site both J tickets were 3.5k less each....crazy price difference on same QF and AF metal, never makes sense to me.

4 on 21/3/14 by andrew255

It's shame that the agreement does not  grant status credits or tier miles if flown on each other airlines, therefore this partnership does not offer the full benefits to customer,

instead makes it complicated, 

I am a QFF platinum and gold on EK, thus when booking flights I have to make sure I give the FF number that corespondentts to the flight number I am booked in. If not I loose out on the tier / status credits which contribute ultimately to membership level at the end year.

On the contrary when flying on one world carriers I get both the miles and status credits for QFF.  This makes it easy for the customer. 

I am surprised they opted for this arrangement as in the past with the EK-Srilanka airlines partnership it did not matter what airline you flew you got the same tier miles accordingly to the tier of membership and class of travel 

5 on 21/3/14 by TheRealBabushka

"...Emirates flights carrying the EK number don't earn any Qantas status credits, so you'll be stalled at your current Qantas Frequent Flyer level."

This is the frequent flyer version of "let's f*** but no kissing please" so that my (OW) partner does not get jealous.

AB does the same with VA, but strangely AB allows the earning of status miles (as opposed to award miles, which are used for redemption) when flying on EY codes.

I wonder if OW has standard (swinging) rules to allow its members to have "open relationships".

1 on 21/3/14 by Mal

LOL! That has to be the comment of the week!!

6 on 21/3/14 by LinoNAC

However when you have Qantas points and wish to book an Awards ticket TT it is very hard to find availability on a Emirates A380 plane in business or first

It is very easy to find an award on a Qantas plane but Qantas I believe does not fly the A380 BNA to AKL to BNE only Emirate

(Both flights are under Qantas flight number) 


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