Qantas is cracking down on illegal buying & selling of frequent flyer points

By DeepAvThroat | Dec 28, 2018, 03:11 PM
There's been a burst of activity over at QFF lately with the airline cracking down on people who are buying and selling Qantas Points. As many here will know, Qantas does permit "family transfers" across a fairly broad range of family affiliations through to nieces, nephews and first cousins. But QFF members who have sent points to people outside that group and those who have received points in the same way are having their accounts suspended pending investigation and will need to supply proof to QFF in the form of a legal statutory declaration that the person who they sent points to or received them from is an eligible "family member". This is catching out a lot of people who buy and sell points in bulk, including some high profile people at sites like OzBargain. Their accounts are now locked and if they can't prove the transfer was legit they stand to lose the points they 'bought' or have their entire account closed and lose all their points. My two cents is that it's good to see QFF clamping down on this, it should happen a lot more often.
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By highflyer | Dec 28, 2018, 03:16 PM
Does this include using points to upgrade only "family" members? I never understood why there was that limitation... the points are yours to spend.. why only limit it to family members?
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By johnaboxall | Dec 28, 2018, 03:39 PM
Does this include using points to upgrade only "family" members? I never understood why there was that limitation... the points are yours to spend.. why only limit it to family members?

One of the benefits of showing loyalty to an airline is by receiving and having the ability to use points to get upgrades and reward seats. By allowing a points grey market to flourish, it diminishes the ability for the points to be used appropriately (that is, within the terms and conditions of the program that each member agrees to when signing up to QFF).

QF doesn't need the possible complaint situation where 1A has someone who flew for ages to earn points for that upgrade, and 1B contains some muppet from ozbargain who bought the points and didn't do the hard yards to earn the points.
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By Stuart Jackson | Dec 28, 2018, 04:50 PM
I assume the people selling these large parcels of points are higher level frequent flyers who have accumulated large amounts of points and have no use for them. By selling the points via ozbargain and such they are devaluing the whole program. No wonder it’s so hard to find awards seat availability!
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By Nichokiu | Dec 28, 2018, 04:56 PM
Good on Qantas! Ban the bargain hunter scrum, and increase seat availability for all! Definitely should happen more often.
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By Bob Burgess | Dec 28, 2018, 06:24 PM
I assume the people selling these large parcels of points are higher level frequent flyers who have accumulated large amounts of points and have no use for them. By selling the points via ozbargain and such they are devaluing the whole program. No wonder it’s so hard to find awards seat availability!

They're not really 'high level frequent flyers', most of the time they are people who can put a lot of transactions through cards such as if they have a business, and they also churn credit cards. This is just a deliberate strategy to earn stacks of points so they can sell them. Sure, there are many actual frequent flyers with millions of points who can't use them but they tend to be legit people, not the ones out to make a fast buck but who also risk having their account shut down, that's something that a real frequent flyer would never risk!
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By patrickk | Dec 28, 2018, 08:45 PM
Does this include using points to upgrade only "family" members? I never understood why there was that limitation... the points are yours to spend.. why only limit it to family members?

Because that is the rules of the program. It is not compulsory to use the points, you can allow them to lapse.
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By patrickk | Dec 29, 2018, 06:29 AM
It’s hard to not know it’s against the rules when it is called a family transfer with a long list of eligible members of what is a ‘family’. A good way to churn through a zillion points is to fly points plus pay.
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By GBRGB | Dec 29, 2018, 08:45 PM
In these modern times I would have thought that anyone could be considered a relation of someone in a relationship, no matter what the circumstances, it would be difficult for a business to suddenly define a relationship on only their selective terms, that would be grounds for discrimination I would have thought.
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By mannej | Dec 30, 2018, 03:42 PM
In these modern times I would have thought that anyone could be considered a relation of someone in a relationship, no matter what the circumstances, it would be difficult for a business to suddenly define a relationship on only their selective terms, that would be grounds for discrimination I would have thought.

Not all discrimination is illegal, and I believe that QF are fairly generous with their definitions so I’m not sure there is an issue here.
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By maabbot | Dec 30, 2018, 05:01 PM
Sorry but what is the fundamental problem with this. You have earned he points so why shouldn’t you have he right to use / transfer as you see fit. Qantas happily sells points to banks etc - this is all about protecting Qantas as being the sole source of points available (outside of flying) and reducing competition. You selling them does change the supply of points in the market or diminish the ability to use.

Buying points from Qantas does however...
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By Stuart Jackson | Dec 30, 2018, 10:13 PM
Sorry but what is the fundamental problem with this. You have earned he points so why shouldn’t you have he right to use / transfer as you see fit. Qantas happily sells points to banks etc - this is all about protecting Qantas as being the sole source of points available (outside of flying) and reducing competition. You selling them does change the supply of points in the market or diminish the ability to use.

Buying points from Qantas does however...

What’s fundamentally wrong is that selling points on eBay and such is against the rules of the program! It devalues the program because there are more people with more points trying to upgrade/get awards so making it harder for legitimate ff. People aren’t buying points to get a toaster!
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By maabbot | Dec 31, 2018, 01:50 AM
Sorry it’s a zero sum game there are more people with on average fewer points and the same aggregate points. SCs play key role in your priority for bookings and FF points can be used at the Qantas store to buy everyday appliances. They are not limited to just flights.

You can buy them off Qantas if you so wish. I am actually fine with the policy, but let’s not hide what the driver is. It’s to ensure Qantas is the sole source of bought points.
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By highflyer | Dec 31, 2018, 03:23 AM
I think i've been misunderstood by some comments... what i meant is, you have earned the points... why does Qantas limit upgrades only to Family members... there have been plenty of times i've wanted to upgrade friends or colleagues i've been travelling with (not sell the points)... since I've earnt the points... shouldn't i be able to upgrade anyone i want using the points i've earned... and not only be limited to "family" members...?
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By Stuart Jackson | Dec 31, 2018, 08:00 AM
Sorry it’s a zero sum game there are more people with on average fewer points and the same aggregate points. SCs play key role in your priority for bookings and FF points can be used at the Qantas store to buy everyday appliances. They are not limited to just flights.

You can buy them off Qantas if you so wish. I am actually fine with the policy, but let’s not hide what the driver is. It’s to ensure Qantas is the sole source of bought points.

You can’t buy points as you can in a US based system. Qantas only allows a purchase of points towards a specific redemption and only a certain % of points can be purchased.
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By GBRGB | Dec 31, 2018, 08:54 AM
Mannej you are missing the point, anyone can be someone’s partner, we can no longer assign a society view of what constitutes a relationship, I don’t see how QF could under any possible circumstances ask someone to prove that someone is their partner, how could that process possibly occur without invading someone’s privacy.
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