Today marks Qatar Airways’ initiation into the oneworld alliance, providing Qantas frequent flyers with another opportunity to earn points and status credits for travel to the Middle East and beyond.
That's the good news.
The bad news is that the earning rates for Qantas Points on Qatar flights are abysmally low, while the usual ‘cabin bonus’ of extra points for travelling in business or first class is absent altogether.
This makes Qatar Airways the first Qantas partner not to offer a cabin bonus, and in concert with the low point-earning rates these shortcomings will undoubtedly steer some travellers towards flights within the Qantas/Emirates network.
Earning Qantas Points on Qatar flights
The airline’s earning table leaves much to be desired for frequent flyers – as it stands, the already-low Malaysia Airlines table looks incredibly generous by comparison.
Surprisingly, even a fully flexible business class ticket won’t accrue one point per mile – and if you’re travelling in economy, you’ll perhaps be more excited about the status credits than the number of points earned.
Qantas frequent flyers can now earn points for travel on QR-coded flights at the following rates:
Transferring this into a real life scenario, let’s compare flying from Melbourne to London on both Qantas and Qatar.
On a Qantas flight (including codeshares such as Emirates), a Platinum-grade Qantas frequent flyer would earn 26,290 points for a one way journey in business class (QF9 via Dubai).
But when travelling with Qatar Airways via Doha, the haul would be roughly 8,015 points - less than one third of your haul on the Flying Kangaroo.
It gets even worse if you're in economy. The same Platinum frequent flyers on Qantas would earn 21,032 points, while the yield on Qatar plummets to a miserable 2,672 points. That's right: almost one-tenth the number of points!
To put this in perspective: you could earn more points flying with Qantas from Melbourne to Perth than you'd earn jetting from Melbourne to London on oneworld’s latest member airline!
How to book a Qantas points-earning fare on Qatar
Travellers need to be diligent when making bookings with Qatar if any frequent flyer points and status credits are to be desired.
For Australian flights, Qatar offers the choice of four main fare types: ‘promotion fare’, ‘economy restricted’, ‘economy semi-flexible’ and ‘economy flexible’, as seen below:
Given that not all economy fares qualify for Qantas points and status credits, it’s worth noting that only the ‘economy flexible’ and ‘economy semi-flexible’ types generally book into eligible fare classes – corresponding to Y, B and H, K & M, respectively.
While some ‘economy restricted’ fares will book into the earning L and V fare classes, this fare type also houses the N and S ‘buckets’ under its umbrella, which we discovered during a dummy booking… fortunately though, the airline’s website provides the opportunity to review the booking class before proceeding:
Confused by all of the letters? Review our expert tips for working with booking classes and ‘fare buckets’.
To welcome Qatar into the oneworld alliance, all existing member airlines will be offering double points or miles on Qatar Airways flights between 15 November and 31 January, although this excludes flights taken between 20 December and 5 January – the peak Christmas/New Year travel season.
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