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.
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.