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Ultimate Guide To Qantas Classic Plus Rewards

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Tom Goward | 21/05/2024

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Qantas Frequent Flyer has introduced Classic Plus Flight Rewards, a new way to book flights using Qantas Points. The airline claims its new flight reward product is the bees knees, and that Classic Plus will bring in more than 20 million additional reward seats in 2024 alone.

Classic Plus Rewards occupy the middle ground between Qantas’ best-value Classic Flight Rewards, and most flexible Points Plus Pay. While easier to book with greater availability, the trade-off is that Classic Plus is considerably more expensive than standard reward tickets, at lest in most cases. It’s a dynamic reward product, with the cost in points calculated based on the cash airfare at a fixed rate. This means the cost will be higher during peak travel periods, but can also drop for advance bookings and during sales.

This beginner’s guide covers Qantas Classic Plus Rewards in detail.

What Are Qantas Classic Plus Rewards?

Classic Plus seats are now live on Qantas.com for travel from 1st July 2024 onwards. The new flight reward product is dynamically priced, so the number of points required will vary based on Qantas’ lowest cash fare when you search for flights. That means you could score a better deal when making a return booking, especially on international routes, where Qantas fares are sometimes lower if booked as a return.

On the topic of return bookings, it’s worth mentioning that Classic Plus is only available from an Australian point of sale. So while you can book Melbourne to L0ndon as a one-way or return Clasic Plus ticket, you can’t book that journey beginning in London.

Classic Plus is designed mainly to resolve availability concerns, following complaints by Qantas Frequent Flyers unable to find flights they can actually book using points. But with more seats comes a higher cost, so Classic Plus tickets are, for the most part, more expensive than booking a Classic Reward. It is cheaper than Points Plus Pay through, which is the most flexible option and available on every single flight right down to the last seat.

The same Classic Flight Reward fare rules will apply to Classic Plus, in addition to identical taxes and fees charged on those redemptions. The only difference between a Classic Flight Award and Classic Plus is the availability and price. So while Classic Plus is easier to book, but you’ll need more points.

Classic Reward vs Classic Plus vs Points Plus Pay

 Classic RewardClassic PlusPoints Plus Pay
Points CostFixed - based on distance, cabin & airlineDynamic - based on cash fareDynamic - trade cash for points
ValueBest1.5 cpp or 1 cpp point in economyWorst - around 0.6 cpp
Fees & TaxesIn additionIn additionIncluded in price
Points EarnNoneNoneBased on fare & status
Status Credit EarnOnly for Points Club membersOnly for Points Club membersBased on fare & status
Change Fee5,000 points5,000 pointsBased on rules of selected fare
Cancelation Fee6,000 points6,000 pointsBased on rules of selected fare
AvailabilityLimitedBetterEvery seat

How Much Does Qantas Classic Plus Cost?

You can redeem Classic Plus in Economy at 1-cent per point, or 1.5-cents per point in Premium Economy, Business and First. That value includes fees and taxes, of which Classic Plus incurs the same charges as a standard Classic Reward for Economy and Premium Economy, but at a higher rate for Business and First Class.

Qantas tells us that their website is set up to automatically show the lowest-priced reward available. If both Classic Plus and Classic Reward seating is available on a given flight, the cheapest of the two should be shown.

Because Qantas calculates the cost of a Classic Plus Reward using the cash fare of a flight, more expensive cash routes are also more expensive using points.

Examples: Classic Plus Pricing

Let’s say you want to fly from Sydney to North America in Business Class, but can’t find any best-value Classic Rewards. Picking a random date in September, the Business cash fare for Sydney to San Francisco came to $11,771 for Business Class. For Classic Plus, you’d need to drop a whopping 743,100 Qantas Points + $626 in taxes.

Example Qantas Classic Plus Reward SYD-SFO

That’s compared to 108,400 Qantas Points + $345 taxes for a Classic Reward on the same route, making Classic Plus a whopping 585% more expensive in this example.

But on the flip side, Classic Plus can occasionally work out cheaper than a Classic Reward. Travel across the ditch is a good example, with a recent sale offering up Classic Plus Business for 31,700 points + $175 from Sydney to Auckland. That’s 24% less than a Classic Reward on this route, which costs 41,500 Qantas Points.

Example Qantas Classic Plus Reward SYD-AKL

Availability Of Classic Plus

Qantas allows Classic Plus bookings on a range of its existing fare classes. If those particular cash fares are on sale, a Classic Plus Reward should also be available. Seats become available 353 days before departure, regardless of your frequent flyer status.

Classic Plus Rewards are available on the following Qantas fare classes;

  • First: A
  • Business: I, D (J, C)
  • Premium Economy: T, R
  • Economy: E, O, Q, N, S, V, L, M, K (H, B, Y)

Brackets indicate fares that can be booked as Classic Plus where First Class or Premium Economy is not available on a particular leg of the journey, meaning part of the itinerary is travelled in a lower cabin.

How Do I Book A Classic Plus Reward?

Step 1: Log into your Qantas Frequent Flyer account on qantas.com.

Step 2: Search for your flight, toggling on the “Rewards” option.

Qantas New Reward Search Results Feb24

Step 3: Select from the available reward seats that are shown (Classic Flight Rewards have a red ribbon, Classic Plus Rewards have a blue ribbon).

Qantas Classic Plus Reward example Sydney to Vancouver

Step 4: Follow the steps to complete your booking.

Tip: Whether you’re booking a Classic Reward or Classic Plus, the lowest available points cost is automatically shown on the flight window.

Qantas Classic Plus FAQs

Why can’t I book a domestic Classic Plus flight?

Domestic Classic Plus bookings will be available later in 2024.

How many Classic Plus seats are available on each flight?

The number of Classic Plus reward seats available on each flight is linked to specific commercial fare classes. Once fully rolled out, Classic Plus will be offered on any Qantas flight to any destination that has these fare classes available.

Is Classic Plus available on Jetstar or partner airlines?

Classic Plus will only be available across Qantas flights.

Can I upgrade from a Classic Plus fare?

You can use Qantas Points to request an upgrade from a Classic Plus fare. From May 2024, upgrades from business to first will be possible, which isn’t allowed on the existing Classic Reward.

Is Points Plus Pay still available?

Points Plus Pay is now available on the payment page. After selecting your flight and progressing through to payment, adjust the Points Plus Pay slider to choose the mix of points and cash you prefer.

Can customers book a Classic Plus Flight Reward departing from overseas ports?

At this stage, Classic Plus is only available from an Australian Point of sale.

Can I book Classic Plus over the phone?

Classic Plus seats can only be booked online via qantas.com, and not over the phone via the Qantas contact centre.

Can I combine a Classic Plus fare with a Classic Reward or Qantas cash fare?

You can combine Classic Plus fares with Classic Reward or cash fares in a single booking.

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Tom Goward

Chief Operating Officer & Aviation Nerd at Flight Hacks

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  1. Hey 😊

    Would you possibly have any rough idea, the amount of Qantas Frequent Flyer points, it would total, for my Wife & our daughter (9) years of age.

    To fly return from Warsaw to Melbourne in about late January 2025?

    • Hi David. Classic Plus fares are only available on Qantas-operated flights from an Australian point of sale. Therefore, your route won’t be available. Check out Qantas’ partner tables for the cost of a Classic Reward from Poland to Australia. Cheers, Tom.

    • Hi David

      First, late January is peak travel time into Australia as it’s the end of the school holidays nationally.

      Second, it’s difficult to get three premium (business or first) award seats at the best of times, but at the end of January and only booking now (rather than earlier in the year), it will be impossible. Economy will be easier but, given point one above, still very, very difficult.

      Third, the options with Qantas points (assuming you can find a seat) are: (a) with British Airways to London and then onwards to Australia with British Airways, Qantas, Cathay Pacific, Malaysia Airlines, SriLankan, Qatar Airways or Japan Airlines, all with at least one stop; (b) Finnair to Helsinki and onwards to Australia with Qantas or one of the above partners via an Asian gateway; (c) with Qatar Airways to Doha and onwards to Australia; and (d) Air France from Warsaw to Paris and then to an Asian gateway (e.g. Singapore) and onwards to Australia with Qantas or one of the above partners.

      Fourth, the cheapest option with Qantas points is with British Airways to London, then Qantas to Singapore and onwards to Melbourne for a cost of 173,600 points one way in business, per person, plus taxes. In economy, the cost would be 69,200. At a guess, taxes would likely be in the vicinity of $600 per person.

  2. Just tried to change a classic reward outward bound flight to a classic plus leaving the return unchanged. You can’t change the classic reward to classic plus! You have to cancel the outbound flight. Then make a complete new outbound booking on a seperate PNR. This would then be classed as a one way and the number of points needed for this goes from 114,000(based on return flights) to 151,000 ( now based on one way!). Would probably have to cancel everything and start again! Seems they have made it just too difficult to make changes!

  3. It’s frustrating that you can’t book a classic plus ticket over the phone. I want to book a seat for my infant but this isn’t possible online, and isn’t possible over the phone. Many calls to the customer service team has left everyone scratching their heads and trying to work out a way to make it happen in the system. The answer I’ve been left with is that I need to pay cash for the infant + seat fare, which doesn’t make this FF very happy. If she was only 3 months older and classed as a child there wouldn’t be an issue and could book online. They definitely need to look into this to find a solution for families flying long-haul and not wanting a wriggling toddler on their lap the whole way – she’s much too big for the bassinet now.

    • Classic Plus can’t be booked over the phone? That sounds odd, but you say you’ve tried multiple times, did you escalate to a manager? Personally I would just book a seat for your baby under the child option instead of infant as you can select the right date of birth during the booking process (sorry don’t have kids so not sure if it actually lets you book though ha!), worth a try at least.

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