This article is part of our ongoing Business Travel 101 series for newcomers to the world of business travel.
A Qantas Gold frequent flyer card is your ticket to priority check-in, airport lounge access and priority boarding wherever these perks are available: but those same benefits are also offered to business class travellers, regardless of status.
While the advantages of Platinum frequent flyer status are clear – most notably, access to Qantas, Emirates and Oneworld first class lounges – Gold frequent flyers are somewhat stuck in the middle, which poses the question, is there any real advantage to your Gold status if you’re already flying at the pointy end?
Here are some of the ways your Qantas Gold status can come in handy, even when your airport perks are already taken care of.
1. You’ll earn more points, and can spend them more easily
Take a points-earning flight booked under a Qantas, American Airlines or Jetstar flight number and on all but the shortest of journeys, you’ll earn 75% more base points than business class passengers who don’t have status.
For example, a return Qantas business class flight from Sydney to London would fetch a Bronze frequent flyer 40,300 Qantas Points (and 590 status credits) on a mid-range fare: but with Gold status, that haul is boosted to 58,900 Qantas Points, being 18,600 Qantas Points more.
With more points to spend, Gold frequent flyers also have a better chance of using those points to book their preferred flight, including in business class, as Qantas releases more Classic Flight Reward seats to Gold members than it does for Bronze or even Silver frequent flyers.
For best results, when using the Qantas website to explore your flight options, be sure to login to your Gold frequent flyer account before running your search: if you don’t, you won’t see the extra seats reserved exclusively for Gold members (and above).
2. On some international flights, you can bring extra baggage
Business class tickets already provide a more generous checked baggage allowance than available in economy, and on some routes, your Gold status pushes that allowance even higher.
As an example, on most international Qantas flights, the standard business class baggage allowance is 40kg: but with a Gold frequent flyer card, you’re able to bring up to 56kg of baggage at no extra charge.
While there’s no additional allowance for Gold members on business class flights to The Americas, or on Australian domestic-only tickets, when jetting every else, that’s a nice safety net to have.
3. Your points-based upgrade requests take priority
Travelling in business class on Qantas Airbus A380 flights allows you to request an upgrade to first class using your Qantas Points: and while Platinum and Platinum One members have the best chances of success, Gold frequent flyers are next in line.
That puts you ahead of Silver frequent flyers, regular Qantas Club members and Bronze (entry-level) travellers, which could make the difference between flying in a suite or remaining in your business class seat.
4. There are added benefits on some partner airlines
Passengers flying with British Airways are often surprised that BA charges seat selection fees not only in economy and premium economy, but also in business class: including on the airline’s all-business-class flights from London to New York.
On a simple return transatlantic hop, that can add $224 to your travel costs: but in recognition of your frequent flyer status, BA waives all seat selection fees for Gold frequent flyers from the time of booking, including for all other passengers travelling under the same reservation.
By comparison, Qantas Silver members only receive free BA seat selection within seven days of travel, while everybody else – including paid-up business class flyers sans status – can only make a gratis choice at the time of check-in, unless paying extra to reserve a seat in advance.
5. Year-round airport lounge access is yours
If the bulk of your travels find you in business class such as on longer international flights, but you’re still required to take the odd economy journey – short routes within Australia, for example – this is where your status really comes in handy.
Even on the lowest-cost fare types as may be booked under corporate ‘best fare of the day’ policies, you’ll still have all the usual benefits you’ve come to appreciate, including priority check-in and priority boarding, and lounge access too.
In most airports, the lounge you can use is the same as for business class, although in Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Canberra and Perth domestic airports, you’ll have to make do with the regular Qantas Clubs rather than the higher-tier Business Lounges: on this trip, at least.