Qantas has released a fully-fledged Frequent Flyer iPhone app (not just a link to their website this time). We took it for a spin to see whether it was actually useful.
The good news: the app is a real app, not a link to a website, as the original (and now withdrawn) Qantas app was. It also lets you see your points balance quickly and easily, and determine which flights or gadgets/goodies you could buy with your points.
The somewhere in-between news: it will use your current location to tell you your nearest Qantas point-earning outlets, such as your nearest Woolworths, Dick Smith, etc. (Hint: this is the part of the app that encourages you to go out of your way in your normal shopping routine to earn Qantas frequent flyer points.)
The bad news: it doesn't let you do anything else useful, such as check in for a flight, check your itinerary details or book flights. To be honest, the whole thing smells of having been developed by an advertising agency -- it is heavy on the "slick" and light on the "truly useful functionality".
The really horrible news: in possible the worst, most superfluous example of "augmented reality" ever, it allows you to use your iPhone's camera to see floating signposts showing destinations you can fly to on a Qantas frequent flyer points reward flight.
Is it worth the download? Well, it is certainly a quick and easy way to check your Qantas frequent flyer points balance. But there's already a really nice app called Consume that does that (plus shows how many status credits you are from retaining or upgrading your Frequent Flyer level), and it can also show you balances for all sorts of other cards and accounts in one place, so it's hard to endorse the Qantas Frequent Flyer app as being worthy of a spot on your homescreen. Maybe a few pages back.