Last chance to upgrade to Qantas business class before costs rise

Last chance to upgrade to Qantas business class before costs rise

Qantas is increasing the number of frequent flyer points needed to upgrade to premium economy, business class and first class from February 20 2017: but travellers have one last chance to upgrade their upcoming flights before those costs climb.

That’s because on domestic routes, jetsetters can upgrade to business class from the moment they’ve booked their economy seat (subject to availability) – so by requesting your upgrade now it can be processed at the current more favourable rates, as long as you're travelling before February 20.

Wherever you’re headed, here’s a reminder of what’s changing, plus how you can make the most of Qantas’ current frequent flyer upgrade rates before the new ones kick in.

Qantas domestic business class upgrades

Frequent travellers on the shortest domestic flights including Sydney-Melbourne, Sydney-Brisbane and Sydney-Canberra can relax, with no change to the number of frequent flyer points needed for a business class upgrade.

However, marginally longer routes like Sydney-Adelaide, Sydney-Hobart, Melbourne-Brisbane and Brisbane-Cairns will climb from 15,000 to 17,500 Qantas Points for a one-way business class upgrade from ‘discount economy’: an increase of 5,000 Qantas Points per return trip, per passenger.

It’s a similar story for cross-country flights such as between Perth and Sydney, Melbourne or Brisbane – including on Airbus A330 flights with Qantas' latest Business Suite – with the one-way upgrade cost rising from 20,000 to 25,000 Qantas Points on similar ‘discount economy’ fares from the 20th.

There’s no change to the number of points needed to upgrade from a flexible economy ticket on any domestic route: only when upgrading from lower-cost Red eDeal tickets.

Also read: Are business class upgrades still a great use of Qantas Points?

Qantas international premium economy, business class, first class upgrades

On international flights, Qantas takes a different approach with upgrades, which can still be requested from the moment you book, but which aren’t considered (and approved) until much closer to departure.

The number of points needed to upgrade again varies between routes, but as a blanket increase, passengers on Economy Saver fares will need 25% more points than before for a business class upgrade, while those on Economy Flex and Premium Economy Sale fares will need 10% more points.

On a one-way flight from Sydney or Melbourne to London, that hikes the asking price from 96,000 to 120,000 Qantas Points from Economy Saver fares, one-way, and from 60,000 to 66,000 Qantas Points to upgrade to business class from Economy Flex or Premium Economy Sale tickets.

You’ll also need 25% more points than before to upgrade from Economy Saver to premium economy – moving from 60,000 to 75,000 Qantas Points on the same London flights – while some upgrades from business to first class are also increasing by 25%.

For a full list of what’s changing, read our AusBT rundown: Qantas hikes frequent flyer upgrade rates.

Chris Chamberlin

Chris Chamberlin (ChrisCh)

chris@ausbt.com.au / @ChamberlinChris

Australian Business Traveller journalist Chris Chamberlin 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!
 

13 Comments

  • readosunnycoast

    readosunnycoast

    14 Feb, 2017 09:57 am

    As always, they (QF) seeimingly overlook the fact that "earning" the points goes up (with increased fares) so there is no reason , other than greed and disregard for the interests of their loyal customers, for such changes.

    No member give thanks

  • tronixstuff

    tronixstuff

    14 Feb, 2017 04:36 pm

    Supply and demand. You charge what the market will bear. Plus QF are in the lucky position in that there are so many rusted-on "QF only" fans. 

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  • mviy

    mviy

    14 Feb, 2017 10:12 am

    I have no plans to travel overseas before the cutoff and don't think I have a large enough points balance to splurge on domestic upgrades at this time.


    The increase in points required will make it harder to justify possibly trying for a F upgrade sometime.

    No member give thanks

  • WeeWillyWonka

    WeeWillyWonka

    14 Feb, 2017 11:35 am

    I want to fly from Mel to Perth in July. How do I know if an upgrade is available prior to booking the flight? Or can I only find out after the booking is processed?

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  • mviy

    mviy

    14 Feb, 2017 11:55 am

    Check if there is a classic reward seat available in Business for the domestic flight. If there is then you should be able to get an upgrade instantly confirmed. If there are no award seats available in Business then you'll have to wait till closer to the flight to see if you've got your upgrade. The East Coast to Perth routes are very popular routes to fly Business. Your upgrade chances would be higher on some other domestic routes.

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  • Serg

    Serg

    16 Feb, 2017 01:11 pm

    Unlike international routes (MEL-BKK for example where Classic Award practically does not exist on QF metal) getting Classic Award on MEL-PER flight in J is relatively easy if you plan ahead and it cost 36K points. So if seats available I would rather get Classic Award.

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  • Chris

    flychrisfly

    14 Feb, 2017 01:35 pm

    Hmmm, I wonder how true this is in practice: "With Qantas’ new upgrade rates applying to all [international] upgrades processed from February 20 – rather than merely those requested from the same date – this means there’s no opportunity to get your request in early to save on points, as there is with domestic flights."

    as the indicative cost is displayed at the time of the request. 
    International upgrade points 

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  • Chris

    flychrisfly

    14 Feb, 2017 01:37 pm

    Hmm, that post was a bit of a mess... 

    No member give thanks

  • Ant

    ant

    14 Feb, 2017 04:51 pm

    So I want to use this offer to purchase some Economy flights from SYD-Perth and upgrade using points before the cutoff.

    When booking, the flights I want have some "Business Classic Reward" seats available. Will that mean I'll be able to upgrade after purchasing an Economy seat? Or is there still a chance I can't even after booking?
    Thanks.

    No member give thanks

  • Ant

    ant

    14 Feb, 2017 04:53 pm

    You know what, I just read the post above which answered my question (but wasn't there when I looked earlieer today!)

    ignore my post.

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  • mviy

    mviy

    14 Feb, 2017 04:54 pm

    You should, yes. If it doesn't work call up QANTAS before someone else uses the automatic upgrade.

    No member give thanks

  • OCA

    OCA

    15 Feb, 2017 09:38 pm

    Cant wait to use my hard earned points to upgrade to crappy business class seating from Perth to Singapore. Just discovered Scoot business class for $800 return for a bigger seat. Qantas you are sucking big time all due to Share Holders pressure and the Irish CEO

    No member give thanks

  • Serg

    Serg

    16 Feb, 2017 01:04 pm

    At 120K points MEL-LHR it does not make much sense to upgrade vs getting Classic Reward. Understandable that Classic Reward are difficult to get, but upgrade is also practically unreachable for pax without status.

    No member give thanks

Guest

24 Feb, 2017 07:03 pm

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