Qantas opens business class check-in to Silver frequent flyers

Qantas opens business class check-in to Silver frequent flyers

UPDATE | Qantas passengers carrying a silver Qantas Frequent Flyer card can now use business class check-in counters on all international flights.

'Silvers' headed overseas have traditionally been restricted to premium economy counters by default, with access to the business class lanes only when there's no premium economy counter.

Earned after clocking up 300 Status Credits in a single year, Silver is the lowest rung on the Qantas Frequent Flyer ladder after the entry-level Bronze tier and the first to come with any actual perks.

Read: Qantas Frequent Flyer Silver – the unofficial guide

Gold-grade frequent flyers count business class check-in and lounge access as their top benefits, while Platinum status sees travellers head for the first class check-in desk and first class lounge.

Mindful of the increased traffic at business class check-in desks once Silvers join the queue, a Qantas spokesperson told Australian Business Traveller that the airline planned to boost the number of business class counters and trim back those assigned to premium economy.

Oneworld Priority

The change comes as the Oneworld airline alliance, which counts Qantas among its worldwide members, introduces a new Oneworld Priority program to more clearly communicate the alliance-wide web of benefits based on your frequent flyer status.

This includes upgraded airport signage to reflect which Oneworld-wide status tier.

Oneworld uses gemstones as alliance-wide status icons with QFF Silver aligned to Ruby, Gold matched to Sapphire and Platinum equating to Emerald.

Qantas will introduce new Oneworld Priority signage across its domestic and international network starting August 1 in a rolling four-month program.

Qantas' decision to upgrade the check-in experience of Silver frequent flyers brings it fully into line with Oneworld's published policy that 'Ruby' status-holders (which is equivalent to QFF Silver) should be able to check in at business class desks.

Read more: Oneworld Priority scheme helps frequent flyers spot status perks

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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.


  • LondonAussie


    26 Jun, 2015 03:29 am

    Good to see QFF finally following suite of OW. BIt annoying that I can Business Check-in and Board with BA, but cant do so with my own airline. It rightly should be:

    Bronze - award bookings

    Silver - Bronze + Priority Check-in & Boarding

    Gold - Silver + Lounge Access

    Platinum - Gold + First Class Check-in & Lounge

    PO - quote: 'I wont say cos I/employer spend stupid $$ on me flying.....'

    No member give thanks

  • Alex_upgrade


    26 Jun, 2015 05:38 am

    On BA, only BA Silver and Gold Card (OW Sapphire and Emerald)  holders get priority boarding.

    As a QF Silver (OW Ruby) you'd normally have to wait with the normal queue when on BA.

    You've been lucky.

    No member give thanks

  • Dean


    26 Jun, 2015 07:19 am

    BA gives priority boarding to Bronze/Ruby equivalent.


    No member give thanks

  • BeijingBogan


    10 Aug, 2015 12:14 pm

    As of August 18th, BA will by tier (unlike the free for all farce now where 3/4 of the plane qualifies) - so OWE first, OWS next, then OWR.

    No member give thanks

  • BeijingBogan


    10 Aug, 2015 12:15 pm

    correction: BA will board by tier

    No member give thanks

  • GLAaussie


    26 Jun, 2015 09:38 am

    OWR, OWS and OWE all have priority boarding on BA.

    A bit of a farce really as it means on some flights most of the plane has priority boarding. I've been on a few of the early morning EDI-LHR 767 flights where I've left the lounge before the boarding call (which is called early in the lounge to give those there a head start) to find myself queuing behind at least 60-80 people in the fast track queue.


    BA did run a modified boarding trial a-la-AA a month ago from certain stations (including EDI) where they boarded BA Gold/OWE, then BA Silver/OWS, then BA Bronze/OWR before general boarding. All good in practise except for the fact that after announcing boarding for OWE they only wait about 10 seconds before announcing boarding for OWS...

    No member give thanks

  • henrus


    26 Jun, 2015 09:40 am

    Generally other oneworld airlines like BA and CX extend their own frequent flyer benefits to other frequent flyers from the oneworld networks

    It was about three years ago when I flew cathay from Brisbane via Cairns to Hong Kong as a QF silver and upon noticing the sign welcoming the OW Ruby flyers I checked in at the Business Class desk and was told that I can do that on an CX flight. Upon boarding the same checkin staff were also operating the boarding lanes and when she saw me standing there I was called foward and told again I can always use the prority lanes as a QF Silver when flying on CX 

    Its small benefits like that which the other OW airlines don't publish

    No member give thanks

  • dls1976


    26 Jun, 2015 10:36 am

    Thats great news for silver members, not that the line up is particularly long for them at the moment, but it does seems a little unfair on gold members and business class passengers. I wonder, will silver members get priority baggage tags on these international flights?

    No member give thanks

  • sdtravel


    26 Jun, 2015 10:54 am

    I doubt it

    Premium Economy passengers dont get priority baggage so i doubt Silver will start getting it.

    But the changes are great. I have a trip booked in mid august so this is perfect

    No member give thanks

  • henrus


    26 Jun, 2015 01:19 pm

    Last flight on Qantas I had prority attatched but that was from Brisbane -> Sydney -> Tokyo

    It was all on the one ticket in economy and prority bag was printed on the label in Brisbane from the computer system

    No member give thanks

  • brettmacf


    11 Aug, 2015 09:11 am

    The commitment to priority baggage for high tier FFs is a bit of a con anyway. The number of times I have had to wait until the carousel is almost empty and everybody else has their bag before mine arrives. I don't think priority baggage should be offered as a member benefit if it isn't guaranteed.

    No member give thanks

  • pallmall


    29 Jun, 2015 10:13 am

    Absoloutely ridiculous - why does Qantas want to downgrade the value of Gold just to get in line with one or two other OneWorld airlines? They  should be a step above with others wanting to follow Qantas's lead  rather then become just a follower. Qantas obviousley does not check to see the lines for Business Class check in already - even adding a few more check in points, with Silver now checking in at Business, this is going to force a line longer then standard economy check in - what next, just join as a FF and check in at First Class??

    The more they water down priveledges the elss the priveledge becomes!!!


    No member give thanks

  • sdtravel


    29 Jun, 2015 10:25 am

    Oneworld Ruby & QFF Silver members already had Business checkin before Premium Economy was a thing so really its just adding this back. 

    Only time will tell if it creates more queues at checkin. 

    No member give thanks

  • Jonnie


    29 Jun, 2015 11:09 am

    Seems to cheapen the Qantas business class product...I mean, why would real business class passengers want to muck in line and wait behind a bunch of business wannabes?

    No member give thanks

  • DB


    10 Aug, 2015 03:46 pm

    Those poor people in business will just have to relax and enjoy the countless other benefits such as lounge access, flat bed, incredible food and champagne ay?

    No member give thanks

  • Roger Benson


    4 Jul, 2015 03:41 pm

    Big   News  -   Qantas  frequent  fliers   working    for  the   Government ,  flying  for    work  related  travel  may   not   get   any frequent  Flyer  points  ,  these   will be   nabbed   by  the  Government to   fund    further  travel.  Bad   news   if  you are a   public   servant.

    No member give thanks

  • Doubleplatinum


    10 Aug, 2015 01:32 pm

    You must be reading very old news, that has been that case for over 20 years now

    No member give thanks

  • sdtravel


    2 Aug, 2015 09:19 pm

    Hey David

    Has this gone ahead. As a silver member i haven't received any communication and the website hasn't been updated. 

    No member give thanks

  • David Flynn


    10 Aug, 2015 01:46 pm

    Hi sdtravel – have not seen any memebr updates from Qantas but the website has been updated to relect this, see

    No member give thanks

  • eminere


    10 Aug, 2015 04:28 pm

    And if you're particularly concerned you might get turned away at the business class check-in counters, print out a copy of the page and bring it with you to show staff.

    No member give thanks

  • Places_to_go


    10 Aug, 2015 08:59 pm

    Not sure that following OW lead is so clever on this occasion. It seems to me (although I'm happy to be proven wrong) that QF has an awful lot more FFers on higher status tiers (Silver and above) than other airlines, given the long distances that QF customers fly... It is not very difficult to make Silver on QF.

    No member give thanks


17 Jul, 2019 03:07 am


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