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Qantas Will Launch Dynamic Pricing, Changes Points Plus Pay

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Tom Goward | 29/02/2024

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Qantas Frequent Flyer will launch a new flight reward product within weeks, to reduce the number of times its members are unable to redeem their points on the flights they want. After the national carrier released its half-year results, with profits down 13 per cent to $1.25 billion, Qantas Loyalty Chief Executive Olivia Wirth told investors that the frequent flyer side of the business was stronger than ever.

In the six months to December 2023, two million Classic Flight Reward seats were booked using Qantas Points, but despite this, many customers still struggled to find availability. That is, unless they were prepared to hunt for hours or drop one million points on Euro summer flights.

Ms Wirth, who will leave Qantas by the end of the month to “pursue other opportunities”, admitted that one of the most frustrating parts of Qantas’ loyalty scheme is the lack of international Classic Flight Reward availability in premium cabins.

“That’s a problem we’ve really been looking at over the past 12 months of how do we solve this, [and] how do we ensure we keep our member engagement high?”

“Today we can indicate there will be an announcement a few weeks down the track which will help solve this pain point and introduce a new flight rewards product.”

For its investors, Ms Wirth explains that the increase in reward bookings would pave the way for Qantas Loyalty to achieve its target of $800m to $1bn in profit by the 2030 financial year. For the half year, the frequent flyer scheme brought in $270m in underlying earnings.

“That is why we’re going to make this investment because it will underpin the growth in this business; it will ensure we can continue to attract more members, and importantly it will ensure those members continue to be engaged, so we think it’s a win-win-win” she adds.

Qantas To Launch ‘Classic Plus’ Dynamic Pricing

A Qantas Loyalty source exclusively told Flight Hacks that Qantas Frequent Flyer will launch a dynamic flight reward product within weeks, likely towards the end of March or early April. The new redemption offering is yet to be named, but we are hearing ‘Classic Plus’ is top of the list.

Designed to cosy up between Qantas’ existing Classic Flight Reward and Points Plus Pay, ClassicPlus aims to improve availability while also offering attractive value. But Classic Plus isn’t available on every single flight, that’s where Points Plus Pay comes into the equation for ultimate flexibility.

Qantas Reward+ Mockup

The new flight reward product will go live across the entire Qanats network in all classes of travel, with Classic Plus seats popping up once a particular option no longer has Classic Flight Rewards available.

Here’s what such a case might look like if you wanted to fly from Sydney to Uluru. Below, Classic Flight Rewards (red ribbon) are available for economy class, but not in business, where the more expensive Classic Plus (blue ribbon) has come into play.

Qantas Reward+ Mockup

As far as the compromise between value and availability, it appears Qantas has favoured the latter, with Classic Plus offering 1-cent of value per point for economy and 1.5 cents for business class, tied to the cash fare of a flight. For example, if an economy flight costs $500, a Classic Plus seat would be 50,000 Qantas Points, plus a cash payment to cover taxes. That’s only marginally better than Points Plus Pay.

The same Classic Flight Reward fare rules will apply to Classic Plus, in addition to identical taxes and fees charged on most 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.

Stay tuned for the official Classic Plus announcement shortly…

Points Plus Pay Now A Form Of Payment

From today, Qantas has moved ‘Points Plus Pay’ to its rightful home on the payment page. Making the customer experience better is finally a priority for Qantas, who’ve really pulled their finger out to make meaningful changes of late.

Before its relocation, finding a Classic Flight Reward on the Qantas website was like nailing jelly to a wall. After selecting ‘Use Points’ you would then have to do the same thing once over, followed by toggling off ‘Points Plus Pay’. Forget this step and you’d then see million-point trips just to cross the Pacific.

But now, selecting ‘Rewards’ (Use Points has been renamed for clarity) actually does something.

Qantas New Reward Search Results Feb24

There’s also a revised calendar layout, which shows true reward flights and not those overinflated Points Plus Pay options. The familiar red ribbon plus added text ensures you will know which dates have Classic Flight Reward availability in the travel class you have selected.

Qantas New Reward Search Results Feb24

On the booking page, there is no longer a need to refine results even further. You’ll simply see a list of flights, and which ones are available as a Classic Flight Reward. Making a booking is exactly the same as it was before.

Qantas New Reward Search Results Feb24

For those who are wondering where to find the option to use Points Plus Pay, it is now on the same page as traditional card payments. If you still need it, the slider can be adjusted to choose how many points you wish to trade for cash.

Qantas Points Plus Pay

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Tom Goward

Chief Operating Officer & Aviation Nerd at Flight Hacks

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  1. So on this basis a return business s class seat that costs say – 10k – (possibly up to 16k) from sydney to new york will cost 1 million points. No?

    • Unfortunately yes! But remember the taxes aren’t included in the points calculation. From Sydney to New York Qantas’ taxes are around $300 AUD – so you might only pay 97,000 points (what a deal). Cheers, Tom.

  2. So now will they increase their self set exorbitant fees and taxes even higher?

    Or perhaps introduce them to the booking of hotels?

    As someone who sat on over a million points all I see is a desperate grab for customer loyalty and smoke and mirrors. They really look to insult the intelligence of their clients and are no longer the airline they once were.

  3. Qantas can stick it where the sun doesn’t shine. After 35 years I’m going elsewhere. Have NEVER been able to use my points and when I tried recently, they we’re basically worthless. I now fly JAL who know how to provide service. The fact Qantas has only now decided to try and make it easier shows how little they have actually tried to make it a useful scheme. The reality is they’ve already made profit when you make inflated purchases (flights) that contribute to your points balance. There is NO reason why you shouldn’t be able to redeem loyalty points for ANY flight at ANY time at all.
    I’m now burning up my points with motel bookings and when they are gone I won’t bother with Qantas any more. Greed by Qantas looses customers

    • Hi Karl. I managed to use points+pay to use my Qantas points up, but I see where you are coming from because Qantas customer service is next to useless and I had to go on my large computer and it took ages for the website to work. Suffice to say it took me the best part of 2 hours to book the flight I wanted using the points I accumulated. I never fly with Qantas as many other airlines are cheaper and more efficient.

    • Hey Karl, sorry to hear you’re having trouble redeeming – it can be a challenge sometimes! Remember to be flexible, and check out some of our guides which might help. Blue Skies, Tom.

    • I too had a huge problem so turned to a travel agent who also couldn’t get me points flights. Wound up paying for premium Economy to London and using points for hotels in Dubai and Heathrow, both ways. Code share with Emirates so looking forward to seeing how they perform. Now I’ll have gained more useless points.

        • Because Emirates is a partner with Qantas, they will give you QF points if you book a flight with them. However, if you also want status credits you will need to book the emirates flight with a QF codeshare number (usually more expensive).

  4. 0.01 is Terrible value … so a one way ticket to Singapore in business is say 4K ( or 3k for sq)
    So we would be using 400k points for this
    If qantas have spent 12 months designing this
    What hope do we have

    • Hey Wazza. The idea of Reward+ is to offer a combination of value and availability. Of course, the pricing isn’t as low as Classic Reward levels, and in some cases would be pretty terrible, but at least Qantas says there will be more award seats! Cheers, Tom.

      • Come on Tom, get real, they are basically pricing these “rewards” as a Points Plus Pay. Just another blatant ripoff that won’t attract flyers back to Qantas

        • Nick, if you read the article they aren’t pricing these rewards as Points Plus Pay, it’s going to be a new category – which isn’t official but we’re the first to talk about it based on leaked info we have received. We can’t form an opinion until it becomes reality and we see the full details. If Classic Rewards remain untouched, this will be great as it will no doubt leave more seats for savvy users…let’s see!

    • Hey Lourdes. Be sure to check back on the Flight Hacks site and subscribe to our newsletter to keep updated! Cheers, Tom.

  5. About time too, I have been trying get a rewards business class to Miami from Brisbane return for 5 months now and nothing.

  6. Hi Tom,
    Thanks for the info on the classic rewards seats. It seems that you’ve only looked at domestic flights. I am trying to book an international flight SYD to FRA but the Qantas website is tricking, fooling diverting me or not responsive, at best. It looks like there are classic rewards seats available but after searching for flights it mostly says no flights available on selected dates – despite showing seat on the calendar. If you then move left or right, it will show you seats available but when you click on that date and go down the list, there’s no flights. It’s really frustrating.
    You might say, well, nothing available at those dates but I’ve checked the rest of this year and there seem to be no seats until December (meaning not in December either). I haven’t tried next year because I’d like to go this year.
    Have you tried to look into international flights and maybe know how to find classic rewards seats?
    Your help would be much appreciated.
    Regards
    Stani

    • Hey Stani. The screenshots in this article are just examples and mockups of reward searches. The Qantas website can be a real challenge to use, patience and flexibility is key! For example, there are quite a few dates in November with business class Classic Awards from SYD to FRA flying with Emirates. If you expand your search to depart MEL or BNE, there are even more options. Happy Flighting, Tom.

  7. Lots of gibberish spin here for what is actually really awful value. Bottom line is they are doing everything they can to deprive customers of reward flights.

    • Hi Pete. Qantas made it harder to find the monthly view for Classic Awards a few years ago. We covered how to get the calander view here. Cheers, Tom.

  8. Qantas is even make it harder for you to redeem the classic flights by round up 1cent per point,
    Example at current classic flights to Lax return 90k points, after the changes if the cost of the return fare is $1,650 then we have to redeem 165k instead of 90k points that is almost double the points can’t see that will benefit to QF members.

    • Pricing is the downfall of Reward+, but you shouldn’t be having too much trouble finding those 83,800pts return economy Classic Awards for SYD-LAX anyway. Blue skies, Tom.

  9. This was never going to be about giving better value to the customers… it is just smoke and mirrors, pr spin and same old gouging by qantas. That’s why their promises of improving customer service fail everytime…

  10. Qantas have the most elite IT of any company. They have perfected the art of hiding Rewards flights or making it impossible to find. Pre COVID there was many more premium cabin rewards seats to Europe for only 240k + $1500.00 taxes return. They can stop using the excuse of planes not in service and just deliver to the loyal customers that fly with them!!

  11. I used to fly first class with Emirates every two years from Adelaide to Gatwick. 380,000 points and $1200 in taxes. 6 times I have done this. Now I haven’t found a flight since covid. I have cancelled 2 trips Home as there isn’t a single flight available. I have million points which are basically useless. I have a trip booked to France September 2025 and really need to get that flight to my parents in the UK. Nit holding much hope and will end up likely spending $10k on a business class seat. It’s a joke as they are now in profit and surely help out loyal customers.

    • Hi Kevin. I understand your frustration, but do keep in mind that Qantas doesn’t control the number of award seats Emirates offers them. Try being slightly flexible with your departure and destination, for example, there are currently a large number of Emirates first redemptions showing from Brisbane and Perth to London Heathrow. Cheers, Tom.

    • Hey mate Emirates are starting out of Adelaide again soon yeah. Where is Qantas International from Adelaide. Ah yeah have not seen them for over 7yrs..
      Anyway we move on here at Dingo piss Creek. Or as Tom keeps replying blue skies..yeah.

  12. I tried to book a few years back. Economy one way to NY and business back from Florida. I checked everyday for 9 months prior to get reward seat. Nearly impossible. Ended up flying to Bali with cash then Bali via Hong Kong to NY. From Florida I ended up first class which was great but had to borrow an extra 200000 points from my mum, otherwise I couldn’t get back home

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