Qantas' miserly approach to upgrades

32 replies


Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

Member since 12 Nov 2017

Total posts 13

Let me begin by saying that I know this is a well worn subject ripe for accusations of entitlement and moaning, but... what's the point of being loyal to an airline when, as happened to me last week and very often, I board an international flight with over a dozen empty J seats only to sit in a packed economy cabin.

I'm Platinum but this should apply equally to gold pax, it seems only CL and P1 get a look in. I've heard frequent stories from the likes of EK, CX, BA where they've upgraded higher tier OW passengers because the opportunity existed, not op-up etc., and yet QF seem absolutely indifferent in their approach.

My travel is soon to shift to Asia centred in Singapore, does anyone have a comment on how SQ behave?


Member since 23 Feb 2015

Total posts 268

It also surprises me, especially in the era of direct aisle access, that Qantas doesn’t provide (at least) seat only upgrades where capacity allows. I can understand it to a degree in cases where it would impact the experience of a paying / redeeming passenger, but that shouldn’t be a factor on a significant portion of the fleet these days.

The only gratis upgrade I’ve ever had was on CX.


Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

Member since 01 Nov 2016

Total posts 143

Qantas not great at doing this unless you are higher than platinum. Have been upgraded on CX when I was just gold not platinum. Even in economy CX crew came and thanked me for being a Oneworld frequent flyer. Only upgrade on Qantas was to business when flying to Melbourne on the Dreamliner came online last year.

With regards to SQ, have no personal experience but a close friend who lived in Singapore for many years and flown them a lot doesn't get any upgrades. He has now made the choice and shifted back to flying QF and CX.


Member since 29 Feb 2016

Total posts 26

Well, as a lapsed LTG (havnt flown QF for a while and not a lot of points in the bag) I was surprised to get points upgrades issued for Mel/Per and return a few weeks ago. Both flts on 737, there were 2 of us and J cabins were full.. Do I flatter myself thinking it was a welcome back thing, or just luck ? As for actual, real, and for-free upgrades ? Well not since CX dropped F to Aust. Before that bumping Plats up to F was a regular thing.


Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

Member since 25 Mar 2014

Total posts 202

CX is the best bumper in my experience


Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

Member since 04 Nov 2011

Total posts 220

As a previous Qantas Platinum flyer, never had any love from Qantas. Apart from the standard greeting that was it. Have heard of others being offered drinks from J when in Y but cant say I ever was that lucky.

Only free upgrades for me were also on CX, on multiple occasions.


Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

Member since 07 Apr 2013

Total posts 134

I am also a QF platinum and have been unlucky many times in requested J class upgrades from LHR-SYD, but I am always looking for 2 seats as we travel for leisure rather than business. I do realise it's a busy route, and I have never received a free upgrade anywhere with Qantas, but have had several with Emirates, one even to first, with QF flight numbers and a free Y to J upgrade with Qatar last year back to Sydney.
To be fair, we have been looked after in Y on occasion with champagne from business class, that's a little embarrassing though when the others around us don't get it.


Member since 11 Nov 2014

Total posts 3

QANTAS yer right! Been FF since 1995 been plat/gold and silver lifetime NEVER had an upgrade, ever! Qantas are generally miserable with everything including costs of business class fares. Why pay $10k to got to USA J class when Qatar do it for $7500? Get points and status why bother with the "Floppy kangaroo"? I always blame Joyce tighter than a duck bum!!!


Cathay Pacific - The Marco Polo Club

Member since 11 Jun 2018

Total posts 58

CX has a reputation for bumping loyal high flyers to the next available cabin, based on the availability of spaces, the tier of passengers, and the fare type. It was really a mysterious mechanism. The most rumoured bumping sequence (excluding cx’s corporate staffs) is Macopolo Diamond>Marcopolo Gold>Emerald>Marcopolo Gold>Sapphire>Marcopolo Silver>Ruby>Marcopolo Green>Asiamiles. From my friends’ experiences, if a diamond member was booked in the business cabin on the long-haul routes, you are guaranteed (I mean it) to get an upgrade to the first cabin (if available). Gold members often get pumped up while the silver ones don’t have many chances. But the green ones, for some reasons, get more opportunities of free upgrades than silver.

And FYI, SQ doesn’t run such complimentary upgrades unless oversale, just like Qantas. It seems that they don’t lack such high-value flyers (see the pps club).

Last editedby koji at Sep 19, 2018, 07:59 PM.



Member since 19 Apr 2012

Total posts 725

I have had free CX and EK upgrades on QF FF Gold, but it makes sense as they CX and EK are in the business of conversion. I am sure QF does it the other way around. For QF charging points makes sense and not to devalue the worth of an upgrade. Lesson being: save up those points.


Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

Member since 13 Jul 2018

Total posts 2

It does fascinate me the difference in service levels I recieve as P1 now. Ive been P1 since Feb this year and since then I've had 3 free spontaneous upgrades at checkin and I've never had an upgrade request denied.

Apart from the champagne they sent out and the complementary dinner I got invited to recently with a celeb chef, I have really loved the extra "chatyness" of the cabin crew. When I was just Plat I frequently had upgrades knocked back. I agree though to achieve Plat status is still a lot of flying and they should be recognised better than they are currently.


Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

Member since 31 Jan 2016

Total posts 73

Plat 1, can’t be bothered.

Have had an economy to PE to US in the past but nothing else ‘graytis’.
However hoping for upgrade from J to F on QF1 shortly.


Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

Member since 16 Jun 2011

Total posts 230

I've been told there are senior people in the airlines are 'implacably opposed' to giving out free upgrades just because there is a spare seat.

Having said that, I've had a pretty good strike rate on getting points upgrades. The best way of getting an upgrade is to put a request in.


Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

Member since 29 Apr 2013

Total posts 20

I’m Platinum QFF and again have only ever received upgrades on Emirates. Last 2 flights haven’t even had the “Welcome Back” on the door nor any recognition during the flight. Soon as I hit LTG I’m off in search of a new love !


Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

Member since 04 Dec 2017

Total posts 7

Interesting and sometimes makes no sense. I have had 100% upgrade success rate as a QC silver, mostly international sectors.

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