This article is part of our ongoing Business Travel 101 series for newcomers to the world of business travel.
When you’re flying first class, you already have the best seat on the plane with pre-flight access to the best airport lounges: but for frequent flyers who regularly travel up the very front, what more does your Qantas Platinum card provide that’s not already included with the airfare?
Across both points and perks, here are five reasons to keep your Platinum card handy even when you’re already invited to the Qantas First Lounge.
1. You’ll earn more points every time you fly
When travelling with Qantas and American Airlines – including on codeshare flights operated by partners such as Emirates – Qantas Platinum members earn more points than Bronze-level flyers through what’s known as a ‘status bonus’, and that bonus can be significant.
For example, a Bronze frequent flyer taking a return first class trip from Sydney or Melbourne to London would earn 49,600 Qantas Points (+840 status credits) on all paid fares, but a Platinum frequent flyer taking the same flights would earn a higher 74,400 Qantas Points.
Practically speaking, after two return trips, a Bronze frequent flyer would have accrued enough points for a round-trip ticket between Sydney and Hong Kong in premium economy, or a return trip between Sydney and Tokyo when flying premium economy one way and economy the other.
(Naturally, that Bronze frequent flyer would have worked their way up to Platinum after two such trips in the same year, but everybody has to start somewhere, and with Qantas, that’s Bronze.)
On the other hand, a Qantas Platinum member taking those same first class flights would instead have enough points up their sleeve for a return business class trek to Hong Kong or Tokyo, or many other destinations such as Singapore, Shanghai and Beijing.
2. With more points to spend, you may have more opportunities to do so
While all Qantas Frequent Flyer members can use their points to book flights across the Qantas network, Platinum members have a better chance of securing their preferred flight using points, including in first class, as Qantas releases more Classic Flight Reward seats to Platinum members than it does for Gold, Silver or Bronze frequent flyers.
When searching for reward flights on the Qantas website, be sure to log into your Qantas Platinum frequent flyer account before running the search – otherwise, you’ll only see what’s available to Bronze members, when other options may be available to you.
If that doesn’t work, another option is to call Qantas and ask if a Classic Flight Reward seat can be released on your desired travel date(s).
This isn’t a 'published' Qantas Platinum benefit – instead, listed on the Qantas website as a Platinum One perk – but many Qantas Platinum members have reported success over the years, so it never hurts to ask: and if unsuccessful, you’re no worse off than when you started!
3. You can always bring extra baggage with you
Even though first class tickets already include a generous baggage allowance, a Platinum card pushes that even further, so you can shop until you drop without paying for those purchases a second time at check-in.
On most Qantas and Emirates international first class flights, the standard checked baggage allowance of 50kg becomes 70kg thanks to your Qantas Platinum card, while on journeys where the ‘piece’ system is used, Qantas allows you to bring an extra bag.
That includes all of Qantas’ flights to The Americas, so on your next first class jaunt to Los Angeles or Dallas/Fort Worth, you can bring 4x32kg bags – that’s up to 128kg of checked luggage – versus the normal allowance of 3x32kg.
On Australian domestic flights where you’ll be flying business class, given first class isn’t available, your Qantas Platinum status also increases the limit from 2x32kg to 3x32kg, except on flights connecting to or from international journeys, where the international allowance applies.
4. You’ll have first class lounge access when you can’t fly first class
First class is a comfortable way to fly, but it’s not available on every route – which is again where your Qantas Platinum card comes in handy, guaranteeing your access to first class lounges where they’re available.
For example, Qantas’ flights from Sydney to places like Beijing, Honolulu, Johannesburg, San Francisco, Santiago, Shanghai and more all top out at business class, but thanks to your earlier first class travel, you can head straight to the Qantas first class lounge.
The only downside is that the in-lounge spa appointments are only pre-arranged for first class passengers and other higher-level cardholders, so if you’ve become accustomed to that pre-flight massage or facial, keep your fingers crossed that there’s a spare appointment on the day you fly!
5. You can give somebody Qantas Gold status
As a regular first class flyer, you’ll have no shortage of status credits, and if you amass 2,400 status credits in a single membership year from Qantas flights, you’ll unlock your choice of ‘Platinum Bonus Reward’, one of which is a complimentary Gold card for anybody of your choosing.
That could be for your partner – who might not get to travel as often as you, and may not otherwise have frequent flyer status of their own – or a child, parent, friend, colleague, or anybody else you nominate.
Reaching the 2,400-mark is achievable with three return first class flights to London each year, or one return trip every four months, while the complimentary Gold card gives the recipient access to domestic Qantas Club and international business class lounges whenever flying with Qantas, among many other benefits.