Complimentary chauffeur drive to stay, pledges Qantas, Emirates

Complimentary chauffeur drive to stay, pledges Qantas, Emirates

Business class and first class passengers of Qantas and Emirates will continue enjoying complimentary limousine airport transfers on flights to London and Europe, despite competitors such as Etihad Airways abolishing the free service on comparable routes.

However, this will hinge on the ACCC’s final determination on extending the partnership between Qantas and Emirates for a further five years.

In their application to the regulator, the airlines have said that "aligned benefits such as complimentary Chauffeur Drive... would not occur without the Proposed Conduct” being authorised.

The airlines' decision scotches rumours that the prized perk would be withdrawn by the end of this year.

Emirates also offers Chauffeur Drive to business class and first class flyers on its Sydney-Bangkok, Melbourne-Singapore and Brisbane-Singapore flights, but only when booked on an EK flight number: not as a Qantas QF codeshare passenger as part of the alliance, an arrangement that's expected to remain in place.

Flying Emirates first class to Singapore or Bangkok? You can book a complimentary airport transfer.

The airlines are also applying to expand their mutual partnership to Qantas’ new Melbourne-Perth-London and Sydney-Singapore-London flights – routes not covered by the current deal – on which Chauffeur Drive service will be offered to eligible passengers.

Aspects such as the earning and spending of frequent flyer points across both airlines and reciprocal airport lounge access also form part of the deal, and the airlines hope that the sheer volume of frequent flyer flight bookings will help highlight the benefits of the alliance to travellers.

For instance, since the partnership kicked off in 2013, Qantas Frequent Flyer members have booked 469,593 reward flights on Emirates using Qantas Points – approximately half of which were in business class and first class, qualifying for the complimentary Chauffeur Drive service.

In reverse, Emirates Skywards members have booked 70,559 seats on Qantas flights using their Skywards miles: around 85% of those being on Australian domestic flights, leaving about 10,000 Qantas international Skywards bookings.

Upgrades to business class and first class using frequent flyer points on the opposite airline remain off the table, however, Qantas Group CEO Alan Joyce previously confirmed to Australian Business Traveller.

The current partnership between Qantas and Emirates is due to expire on March 31 2018, unless extended.

Chris Chamberlin
Chris Chamberlin is a senior journalist with Australian Business Traveller and lives by the motto that a journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step, a great latte, a theatre ticket and a glass of wine!
 

11 comments

  • Bob Burgess

    Bob Burgess

    23 Oct, 2017 08:31 am

    I think somebody here posted a comment along the lines that the Qantas Emirates chauffeur service was being axed by November, just goes to show that people shouldn't pay too much attention to anonymous rumours!
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  • Joe

    Joe

    23 Oct, 2017 10:29 am

    Emirates is Qantas' saving grace internationally.
    No member give thanks

  • eminere

    eminere

    23 Oct, 2017 10:52 am

    "Upgrades to business class and first class using frequent flyer points on the opposite airline remain off the table, however, Qantas Group CEO Alan Joyce previously confirmed to Australian Business Traveller."

    Dang!
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  • silvyvc

    silvyvc

    23 Oct, 2017 12:35 pm

    Agree! Dang!
    That would make it an actual purposeful and extremely good alliance. Not that it's not, but it seems to be losing some value now with EK removing Mel and Bne from AKL... such a fantastic points redemption in J and F.
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  • MissBasset

    MissBasset

    23 Oct, 2017 12:16 pm

    Are award flights on QF still excluded from the chauffeur service on London routes I wonder?
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  • Chris Chamberlin

    ChrisCh

    23 Oct, 2017 12:33 pm

    We're not aware of any restriction on Chauffeur Drive service for Qantas reward bookings on eligible routes. In the T&Cs, the only tickets ineligible for CD are complimentary tickets (such as prize flights) and for passengers who received a complimentary upgrade into a premium cabin and weren't originally entitled to the service (e.g. an 'operational upgrade' or 'op-up', as opposed to a points upgrade where you'd be entitled if you can make your request before the cut-off time). We can confirm that Emirates certainly provides the free CD service when travelling on reward flights booked using Qantas Points or Skywards miles, although not on other points-based bookings such as when using Alaska Airlines miles.
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  • elchriss0

    elchriss0

    23 Oct, 2017 12:35 pm

    It saddens me that half of those 469,593 reward flights are for economy...such a waste
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  • grov

    grov

    23 Oct, 2017 04:07 pm

    We weren't offered Chauffer Drive when flying with a J award flight on Emirates using Qantas points recently, and when I checked this, I thought that the website said award flights were excluded.
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  • Chris Chamberlin

    ChrisCh

    23 Oct, 2017 04:27 pm

    Where were you flying, may we ask? I've personally booked a number of Emirates flights using Qantas Points and have always been able to book the chauffeur service, except on trans-Tasman flights where this isn't offered to anybody.
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  • grov

    grov

    24 Oct, 2017 03:57 pm

    Hi Chris. Flew from Milan to Perth via Dubai, J class, using Qantas award points, 27-29 Sept. To be honest, I didn't chase Emirates up on this, as it didn't appear to be possible when I looked at the T&Cs. From your comments, looks like I should have made the effort.
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  • Harry

    Hazza

    25 Oct, 2017 08:45 am

    I have booked a Qantas rewards flight in F with Emirates for Singapore,(in 2 weeks) I'm flying with a friend and was offered two cars for each sector, one each !!!!!! this blew our mind !! we accepted one car each sector and two cars on the trip home from Melbourne Airport, very happy !!!!
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16 Jul, 2019 04:48 pm

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