Qantas, Emirates: no plans for points upgrades between airlines

Qantas, Emirates: no plans for points upgrades between airlines

We may be four years into the ten-year partnership between Qantas and Emirates, but the airlines have no plans to smooth out one noticeable wrinkle in the relationship – the inability to use frequent flyer points earned on one airline to upgrade on the other.

Qantas loyalists still can't use their Qantas Points to apply for an upgrade on an Emirates flight, even if it's under a QF codeshare.

In the same way, Emirates Skywards members are unable to put their stack of Skywards Miles towards  a better seat on a Qantas flight.

Australian Business Traveller approached both airlines for comments on the issue, which remains a sore point with many business travellers and frequent flyers who have otherwise embraced the alliance between the iconic Aussie airline and the Gulf colossus.

"Given the high demand for upgrades within frequent flyer programs, our members are unable to use their points to upgrade on flights operated by any of our Qantas Frequent Flyer airline partners including Emirates or oneworld alliance airlines," a Qantas spokesperson said.

"Qantas Frequent Flyer members are currently unable to use their points to upgrade their tickets on Emirates flights," reaffirmed an Emirates spokesperson. "At this stage there are no changes planned to the current program."

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.
 

24 comments

  • Bob Burgess

    Bob Burgess

    30 Mar, 2017 08:29 am

    This is a key failing of the Qantas/Emirates alliance, I thought they said at the launch it was being looked at? Clearly too hard. Would be good if even Qantas & Skywards Platinums had some points upgrade capability, if the airlines wanted to keep a lid on this but still offer it to their most valuable passengers.
    No member give thanks

  • Serg

    Serg

    30 Mar, 2017 08:47 am

    No wonder - it is NOT partnership, but rather master-slave relationship. I am surprised that EK allow pax flying on EK metal with QF tickets into their lounges - pax carry QF tickets should be considered as "subclass" by EK.
    Member who gave thanks

    Frank

  • alenb

    alenb

    30 Mar, 2017 05:31 pm

    love your work :))
    No member give thanks

  • Serg

    Serg

    31 Mar, 2017 09:33 am

    Yea, David may already thought few times to ban me. But I cannot hold myself - I do not like QF-EK relationship. Period. I have no problem whatsoever when people like EK, but then why they need QF if EK flying to Dubai more flights and from more Australian cities? If you happy with "one hop to almost any European city" via Dubai then why not join EK loyalty scheme and buy ticket directly with EK to fly to Europe? It is usually cheaper and you will be treated better on their metal and in their lounges with their tickets. It is not QF offer that "one hop", but indeed EK does. In my eyes relationship not equal and it may be in case if EK would not fly to Australia at all and all traffic to Dubai would be carried by QF. I am old enough to remember those old days when QF was the best company in the world and unfortunately I do not believe that they can ever gain this crown back and this fact does not make me happy as an Australian.
    And please do not tell me about "economical basis" - it is looka like that it is more profitable for QF stop flying at all and became purely EK's ticket box, but do you like to see this happens? Me definitely not.
    No member give thanks

  • David Flynn

    David

    31 Mar, 2017 10:22 am

    We don't ban people for their opinion, Serg, only if they don't observe comment policy (and would prefer to encourage people to post on-topic and 'add value' to a conversation by allowing removal of comments or downvotes from users to get the message across).
    No member give thanks

  • Alexaqua

    Alexaqua

    31 Mar, 2017 05:57 pm

    I have QFF because of extensive travel in Australia (1-2 flights a month to Perth and 6 - 8 flights per month on the East coast). Plus 2-4 times per year to Europe. I love the QF/EK partnership. Frankly the Qantas first product sucks on the A380s, my last trip the seat was reset twice, the bathrooms are a joke and the crew are inconsistent. On the other hand, EK are brilliant (most f the time). I fly to Barcelona a bit and using QF in the old days meant through Heathrow, now it's direct from Dubai for me. Maybe I'm just one of the few who think it's the best partnership QF has.
    No member give thanks

  • Serg

    Serg

    1 Apr, 2017 10:35 am

    Thus I question again - if you like EK and Dubai as transit and value EK metal and service more than QF one then why not fly EK on EK tickets? Join EK program, collect their points and use them for upgrade. And you can spend your QFF accumulated points elsewhere like flying CX for example.
    No member give thanks

  • John Phelan

    John Phelan

    30 Mar, 2017 06:29 pm

    Actually, QFF elites are treated better by EK than by QF in terms of upgrades and recognition!
    Member who gave thanks

    VintageDom

  • Elizabeth

    VintageDom

    31 Mar, 2017 05:38 pm

    In my limited experience, I have to agree with John. Have been bumped up on two consecutive sectors by EK. 
    No member give thanks

  • simon drakeley

    drsimon50

    30 Mar, 2017 09:52 am

    but you cant use your QF points to upgrage on one world alliance member flights so why would EK allow it? would be nice of course to allow bilateral use - but QF dont allow on one world and that alliance has been a long time
    No member give thanks

  • eminere

    eminere

    30 Mar, 2017 05:19 pm

    This is true and a useful perspective to keep in mind when discussing the so-called "failings" of the QF/EK partnership.
    No member give thanks

  • bl812

    bl812

    30 Mar, 2017 09:59 am

    EK has one of the worst FF scheme,can't transfer points between family members either-maybe it's time for QF to reconsider this 'alliance"-you can book QF flight with EK points but that's the max one can do
    No member give thanks

  • Serg

    Serg

    30 Mar, 2017 12:45 pm

    It is mauvais ton to criticize here QF master and their relationship in whole.
    No member give thanks

  • Alan Su

    alansu

    30 Mar, 2017 10:34 am

    Was kind of hoping that when QF allowed points upgrades on QF codeshare flights to SCL on LA that they would consider other routes/partners too. Clearly not.
    No member give thanks

  • russell

    russell

    30 Mar, 2017 10:49 am

    I would like to see upgrades on oneworld partners using QF points as a priority.
    No member give thanks

  • alenb

    alenb

    30 Mar, 2017 05:33 pm

     if you have a tone QF qf points you pretty much have to beg Qantas to use them and then its really if they allow it where on EK upgrades and reward tix are readily available , cant compare
    No member give thanks

  • Simon Hirtzel

    shirty4005

    30 Mar, 2017 06:13 pm

    I've been Emirates Skywards gold for two years now, which is great when flying Emirates but is fairly limiting otherwise. Flying Qantas domestically, if I use my EK card for lounge access, they apply my EK Skywards number to my booking at the desk, which seems to negate earning any QF points ... and if it's a QF booking, means no EK points either. I haven't heard any instances of QF status matching Frequent Flyer membership with EK yet.
    However, using Skywards points to book or upgrade flights is easy, always plenty of choice.
    No member give thanks

  • Adam T

    AT

    30 Mar, 2017 07:18 pm

    Honestly Qantas must be a little hobby for Emirates, so would they bother. 
    No member give thanks

  • Brian Williams

    evilbrian

    31 Mar, 2017 03:51 pm

    As a long-term Skywards member I'm as happy as hell for the current arrangement to continue. I'd hate to have all those QFF members competing with me for EK upgrades
    Member who gave thanks

    NLF

  • zoomzoom

    zoomzoom

    31 Mar, 2017 06:25 pm

    The QF FF scheme is a joke, absolutely over the top taxes and charges. Total rip off, QF give nothing to the mugs who are loyal. Glad I dumped them years ago, save your points and use them in various airlines that suit. More choice, better product less cost!
    No member give thanks

  • Tracey Tinsley

    cosmocat12

    31 Mar, 2017 07:59 pm

    I have benefitted recently from the partnership. I used my QFF points to book an Emirates first flight on the A380. Could not be happier. I have never used points to book an upgrade however. Why can you book a seat using points points on EK, but not to upgrade?
    No member give thanks

  • Brian Williams

    evilbrian

    1 Apr, 2017 08:47 am

    Because it costs vastly more points to buy a ticket outright on EK than it does to upgrade, which is what both airlines want
    No member give thanks

  • M Will

    Plat 1

    1 Apr, 2017 07:02 pm

    Qantas - emirates partnership is a dud deal. 
    As a qantas plat 1 FF can't even select your preferred seat. If I wanted to fly emirates I would place my loyalty with emirates not Qantas. Qantas need to ask their customers of all status what they think about the relationship with emirates and respond accordingly.
    No member give thanks

  • casanovawa

    casanovawa

    2 Apr, 2017 02:18 am

    Especially as QF handed WA off to Emirates its a dud deal that Perth QFF residents can't use their points to upgrade unless they fly over to SYD/MEL and fly QF...
    No member give thanks

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20 Jul, 2019 02:59 am

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