Qantas slashes status credits for British Airways, Cathay Pacific, Oneworld partners

Qantas slashes status credits for British Airways, Cathay Pacific, Oneworld partners

Qantas has slashed the number of status credits earned on flights with its Oneworld partner airlines as part of an unprecedented overhaul of its frequent flyer scheme.

From July 1 many Qantas travellers booked on British Airways, Cathay Pacific, Malaysia Airlines and other members of the Oneworld family will see the number of Qantas status credits fall by as much as half compared to the current rate.

The changes send a clear signal that for Qantas, 'loyalty' now means loyalty to the Flying Kangaroo first and partners second.

If you want to keep that shiny Gold or Platinum card and the perks which it bestows, the fastest way to do so will be to fly Qantas.

(Qantas also plans to release a new points table for partners which could similarly reduce the number of Qantas Frequent Flyer points earned through Oneworld airlines.)

Under Qantas' current and long-standing system, the number of status credits earned remained the same for Qantas and its Oneworld partners.

That all changes from July 1. Here are the sad numbers for four Qantas Oneworld partners that fly out of Australia.

Cathay Pacific

Flying between Sydney, Melbourne or Brisbane and Hong Kong with Cathay Pacific?

Today you'll earn 30 status credits (for a one-way trip) in economy, 60 in premium economy and 120 in business class.

From July 1 those rates drop to 15 status credits for economy, 30 for premium economy and 60 in business class.

The rare winners in this case are residents of Perth, as the 'west coast' rate in Qantas' new zone-based chart sees CX flights retain the their current status credit rates.

British Airways

The same cuts apply to BA passengers shuttling between Sydney and Singapore.

If you're flying all the way to London, an economy ticket with BA sees the number of status credits fall from 60 to 35 from July 1.

British Airways' World Traveller Plus premium economy rate fall from 120 status credits to 70 while Club World business class tumbles a ton, from 240 status credits to 140.

Even BA's lush First class will lose some of its lustre as the current serve of 360 Qantas status credits plummets to 210.

Malaysia Airlines

MAS' home hub of Kuala Lumpur falls within the same Asian zone as Hong Kong, so status credits flying on Malaysia Airlines get a similar slicing as for Cathay Pacific.

Qatar Airways

Qatar's Melbourne-Doha flights suffer the biggest hit. Discount economy now earns 45 Qantas status credits, with 90 in full fare economy and 180 in business class.

As of July 1 those allocated are savaged to a mere 20 status credits for discount economy, 40 for full economy and 80 for business class.

It's almost as if Qantas would rather see its Melbourne frequent flyers head to the Middle East with Qantas or a QF-badged Emirates flight...

Things are less traumatic if you're flying with Qatar out of Perth, due to the shorter distances involved.

Today's status credit count of 35 for discount economy, 70 for full economy and 140 for business class is trimmed to 30, 60 and 120 status credits, respectively.

Also read: Qantas Frequent Flyer overhaul: how the changes will affect you

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Chris Chamberlin
Chris Chamberlin is a senior journalist with Australian Business Traveller and lives by the motto that a journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step, a great latte, a theatre ticket and a glass of wine!
 

27 comments

  • Scott Wilson

    Libertyscott

    27 Mar, 2014 11:34 pm

    Sad, but this is not unsurprising.  Air NZ Airpoints earnings rates on other Star Alliance flights are utterly absymal.

    It does, of course, raise the point that the airline alliances are increasingly becoming looser, with a few airlines in the alliances coming much closer together, and others having a peripheral relationship.  QF will expect this will win it more traffic on the routes it competes with OneWorld partners, e.g. NRT, HKG, SIN and Europe more generally. Too many QFF choosing BA via SIN, or CX via HKG to go to London instead of DXB?

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  • aqua

    aqua

    27 Mar, 2014 11:46 pm

    Just sent my TA:

    "Just got the update on Qantas' upcoming 'enhancement' to SC earn on partner airlines.

     
    Please also run an itinerary on Virgin/Star Alliance, as I will have to give serious consideration to ditching Qantas for good."
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  • aqua

    aqua

    27 Mar, 2014 11:57 pm

    am just about to press 'go' on a 12 sector  J class intinerary into several asian countries. I'll miss the First Lounge in Sydney, but I think AJ has moved the goal posts too far. I know they're hæmorrhaging red ink over at QF, but seriously, WTF?  (I'm Platinum with both VA and QF)

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  • spinoza

    spinoza

    27 Mar, 2014 11:56 pm

    Would be interesting to see how much easier it is to reach emerald with AA vs QF doing the same travel. Seems to me like its pretty easy, especially flying premium economy and just travelling to US once, plus Europe twice, or a couple of times to Asia, and you're executive platinum. What are the downsides?

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  • Hugo

    Hugo

    28 Mar, 2014 10:15 am

    It's a good question worthy of further investigation. It depends where you fly and in what fare codes and whether you can manage to get booked on AA ticket stock for doing it.

    I, for instance, just flew MEL-SYD-DFW-DEN and then DFW-BNE-MEL on QF and AA in economy. I earned a mediocre 9,405 "elite qualifying miles", just 4,705 "elite qualifying points', and 9,405 redeemable miles. All of which seems pretty crummy for the 40+ hours I spent sitting on aircraft.

    If your primary activity is domestic Australian cheapest-fare flying, you'll find yourself earning just 219 miles for each MEL-SYD jaunt compared to 800 QFF points, so that's terrible in redeemable miles terms.

    In status terms you might think you'd need to do this 456 times to earn executive platinum status, but actually you can also earn it by segments, so you'd only need 100 segments -- fifty SYD-MEL return. To get platinum in the same route on Qantas you'd need 70 to earn the first time or 60 to retain. 

    In conclusion, if you're flying a lot of short-haul Australian domestic economy sectors AA makes it slightly easier to earn status but gives you far fewer redeemable miles for doing it. That's just a simple first-order calculation though, start throwing other stuff into the mix and everything changes.

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  • KG

    KG

    28 Mar, 2014 03:52 pm

    In general I have notcied AA gives you better mileage earning when flying on OW partners long haul. When flying QF AA has 4 fare classes that give you 25% or 50% mileage respectively, others all 100%. On BA all fare clases (even deep dioscount) give you 100% elite qualifying miles though (only 50% EQP). For travel on QR our AA friends are a bit less generous and MH is somewhat in between. CX has a8 fare classes not earning anything but all above 100% and more. So I guess if you fly towards Europe and want a stopover in Asia, take BA and credit to AA. Even on flights to Asia with MH and CX one seems genreally better off crediting to AA. And then I haven't even talked about the great and low redemption levels on AA, way less flying needed for premium travel!

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  • PK

    PK

    28 Mar, 2014 01:33 am

    Chris, thanks for the article. Just one minor correction and a general comment. You presently earn 120 SC for a business class flight on CX from SYD to HKG, not 90, so it will be a 50% cut across the board on those flights.  Also, I don't think the QR rate from Perth being trimmed proportionately less than that from Melbourne is about shorter distance. My quick scan of the new table suggest to me that this is all about cutting SC earn on routes where QF has a OW competitor. Note for instance that you get massive earn if you fly from the East Coast of Australia to the East Coast of the US on another OW airline but there isn't really a convenient one so QF doesn't lose anything, whereas a similar distance to London has had the SC earn slashed where they face BA, CX, MH and QR. I might not be happy about this but I can see why they're doing it. 

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  • fxdxdy

    fxdxdy

    28 Mar, 2014 07:06 am

    Finnair between Helsinki and Bangkok appears to be safe.
    That is until Emirates starts flying there, and then I guess it will be culled as well.

    I guess my favourites of flying to NZ on LAN and the US via Japan on JAL are now gone.

    Bugger.

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  • TheRealBabushka

    TheRealBabushka

    28 Mar, 2014 07:19 am

    Will other OW airlines retaliate and cut the earn rate for Qantas flights?

    Will Qantas eventually leave OW? *horror*

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  • sagidec

    sagidec

    28 Mar, 2014 09:09 am

    This could either help them or bite them.

    Either they start playing with Oneworld members or lose customers to Oneworld partner airlines frequent flyer programs and loyalty.

    Only time will tell...

    Based on their enhancements, they seem to want to get out of Oneworld.

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  • woganfan

    woganfan

    28 Mar, 2014 10:17 am

    It is nothing more than a f*#¥ you to their customers & the beginning of their exit from OW under pressure from Emirates.  AJ has never had ANY intention other than turni Qantas in to a budget airline cherry picking high paying customers for special treatment and screwing everyone else.  The international arm is now a joke and rather than operating a full service airline AJ is simply laundering some money off fares purchased through Qantas website and letting another airline do the work.  Just about all the OW fares and codeshares on the QF website have gone with no options other than Emirates.  At least CX and BA still deal with each other.  

     

    This is is a move too far now and I for one will happily ditch QFF for CX or BA and use the emerald status throughout hem for lounge access until he hammers the final nail in the QF OW membership.

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  • Glynn Gill

    GG

    28 Mar, 2014 10:02 am

    is this just another Qantas incentive to look at alternative carriers?

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  • mern2001

    mern2001

    28 Mar, 2014 10:22 am

    Like the other readers, I can also see whay QF have reduced the SCs they award for other airlines. The real question that Qantas (and Alan Joyce) need to ask themsleves, however, is why do passangers chose to fly with CX to Europe rather than QF. The answer is that the business seats and service are better. The business airfare are also usally cheaper. I think this decision will be a real turn-off for loyal QF customers.

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  • hutch

    hutch

    28 Mar, 2014 11:15 am

    I can understand slashing points/credits between Aus - HKG/KL etc... but when people fly QF to HKG and then fly around north Asia with CX, they shouldn't be punished. QF don't fly there and surely its better for QF to funnel passengers onto 'partners' rather than people just shift to SQ or CX.

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  • whipper

    whipper

    28 Mar, 2014 11:29 am

    I think you just answered your question - why should Qantas reward you to travel on another airline (and most of time paying less for the privlige). I am 100% behind these changes - it rewards those of us who pay the most - that makes complete sense - not the bottom feeders who are only after a bargin.

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  • mern2001

    mern2001

    28 Mar, 2014 03:25 pm

    You need to read the post a little more carefully. It's about quality of service as well. Better bottom feeder than lickspittle

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  • woganfan

    woganfan

    28 Mar, 2014 11:54 pm

    Another petty reply calling people who have to be more savvy with tickets bottom feeders.  Not sure why you are so bitter about them and calling them bottom feeders and I'm not sure you should be posting statements like this on this forum.  You're obviously not capable of reasonable mature debate. 

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  • William Franklin

    WEF

    29 Mar, 2014 11:08 am

    Most have valid point to make regarding this matter. Mern2001 distils it into its essence though. It really is that simple. I have been flying CX longhaul for >10yrs, they are in my view in a completely different league to QF. AJ has dumbed QF down to such a level that it has no competitive advantage whatsoever. While the Asian carriers are enhancing service standards, AJ seems hell bent on distroying service. This latest farce should be the final lurch. The SCs earned from CX which contributed toward my (15yrs) Platinum are now substantially diluted and will probably see me dropping back to my Gold for Life. As it's for life, there are no longer any advantages from continuing to make the 3 QF domestic flights per week. Well done AJ, another piece of masterful strategy. Bit of "Group Think" at the QF board table perhaps?

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  • tuzza1

    tuzza1

    28 Mar, 2014 12:29 pm

    I have been a life member of the QF club and a gold or platinum [or equivalent ] for more than 30 years, my FF number has 4 digits.

    I am also a life gold FF but there is nowhere to go above that for 'life' so have to earn Status credits for my platinum status annually, as I have enjoyed for many years, as I often travel overseas.

    So...when I fly on qf or partners I can generally use the lounges from 3 different ways but although I have paid for each of them one way or another, i can of couse only use one of them.

    Also, over the years QF has cut its services to many places I travel, sometimes replecing them with code shares and increasingly with jetstar. As I often use a 1World explorer fare, i cannot use codeshares or jetstar most of the time.

    The FF programme has also been cut back many times, both in terms of earn and benefits. I have really resisted changing my Australian carrier and as far as loyalty goes its been mostly one way.

    Just dont know what I will do, the 'seamless' claim is a joke and being treated equally between 1W members is another thing that has slipped away over the years.

    Now I am to be penalised again for flying on partner airlines to places that qantas doesnt service. sigh1

    perhaps part of the answer is for QF to give people in my situation "life platinum'. that would ease some of the pain

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  • johnnypc67

    johnnypc67

    28 Mar, 2014 12:54 pm

    i'd fly QANTAS more if it flew from and when and where i want and not through Dubai

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  • harryh

    harryh

    28 Mar, 2014 01:27 pm

    How does this affect BA flights that are already booked? I fly SYD - LHR on BA Premium economy in July.  Thanks.

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  • spinoza

    spinoza

    28 Mar, 2014 03:49 pm

    Since the flight is in July, you'll get the new rates. i.e. half of what you expected. 

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  • woganfan

    woganfan

    28 Mar, 2014 11:58 pm

    I'm not so sure.  If booked prior to the announcement the flights will generate the status credits under the older better award system.

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  • Himeno

    Himeno

    28 Mar, 2014 02:00 pm

    I'd like for QF to explain just *how* we are meant to fly with them when they *don't* fly where we need to go.

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  • dazzle_perth

    dazzle_perth

    28 Mar, 2014 02:11 pm

    Hi all

    Would anyone know what would happen to the status credit earns on AA now that we move away from a distance-based status credit earn rate to a sector and fare-based earn rate? 

    Reason for asking:

    - Would it even make sense to do status runs on AA YUPP fares now?

    I think one of the readers have raised a good point - it's prolly a good time to start thinking about raking up status on AA now...

    any insightst/thoughs much appreciated.


    Cheers

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  • Les White

    Les White

    28 Mar, 2014 04:47 pm

    I Booked To London Via Singapore With BA And Air Niki From Rome To Vienna And Turkish From Vienna To Istanbul Then BA Fromistanbul To London Then Ba London To Hong Kong, Then cathay pacific Honk Kong To Adelaide.

    The Email States That Because I Am Travelling In August And September The Points Remain The Same.

    I Guess At Least According To Them Mine Remains The Same, I Would Have Used Qantas But They Couldnt Really Cover A Lot Of What I Wanted To Do And To Be Honest I Would Have Kissed Goodbye To A Lot Of $$$$$.

    I Think Its Time Qantas Bit The Bullet And Give AJ The Boot!!

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  • amitchell

    amitchell

    1 Aug, 2014 11:09 am

    Silly move by Qantas, handing Virgin an even bigger slice of the business pie (especially given their partner airline improvements) I am moving my companies business to Virgin immediately, it is easier to collet status points and in my case the same flights this year with Qantas as last year will mean I go from comfortably achieving Platinum to going back to Gold wheras the same flights in Virgin easily get me Platinum and they give me Gold straight up. Iknow of at least 5 others who run medium business that are doing the same. might not mean much individually but the groundswell of dissapointment will grow. As they say Loyalty goes both ways. Qantas will learn this lesson the hard way.

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