Complimentary chauffeur drive to stay, pledges Qantas, Emirates

By Chris Chamberlin , October 23 2017
Complimentary chauffeur drive to stay, pledges Qantas, Emirates

Business class and first class passengers of Qantas and Emirates will continue enjoying complimentary limousine airport transfers on flights to London and Europe, despite competitors such as Etihad Airways abolishing the free service on comparable routes.

However, this will hinge on the ACCC’s final determination on extending the partnership between Qantas and Emirates for a further five years.

In their application to the regulator, the airlines have said that "aligned benefits such as complimentary Chauffeur Drive... would not occur without the Proposed Conduct” being authorised.

The airlines' decision scotches rumours that the prized perk would be withdrawn by the end of this year.

Emirates also offers Chauffeur Drive to business class and first class flyers on its Sydney-Bangkok, Melbourne-Singapore and Brisbane-Singapore flights, but only when booked on an EK flight number: not as a Qantas QF codeshare passenger as part of the alliance, an arrangement that's expected to remain in place.

Flying Emirates first class to Singapore or Bangkok? You can book a complimentary airport transfer.
Flying Emirates first class to Singapore or Bangkok? You can book a complimentary airport transfer.

The airlines are also applying to expand their mutual partnership to Qantas’ new Melbourne-Perth-London and Sydney-Singapore-London flights – routes not covered by the current deal – on which Chauffeur Drive service will be offered to eligible passengers.

Aspects such as the earning and spending of frequent flyer points across both airlines and reciprocal airport lounge access also form part of the deal, and the airlines hope that the sheer volume of frequent flyer flight bookings will help highlight the benefits of the alliance to travellers.

For instance, since the partnership kicked off in 2013, Qantas Frequent Flyer members have booked 469,593 reward flights on Emirates using Qantas Points – approximately half of which were in business class and first class, qualifying for the complimentary Chauffeur Drive service.

In reverse, Emirates Skywards members have booked 70,559 seats on Qantas flights using their Skywards miles: around 85% of those being on Australian domestic flights, leaving about 10,000 Qantas international Skywards bookings.

Upgrades to business class and first class using frequent flyer points on the opposite airline remain off the table, however, Qantas Group CEO Alan Joyce previously confirmed to Australian Business Traveller.

The current partnership between Qantas and Emirates is due to expire on March 31 2018, unless extended.

Chris Chamberlin

Chris Chamberlin is the Associate Editor of Executive Traveller, and lives by the motto that a journey of a thousand miles begins not just with a single step, but also a strong latte, a theatre ticket, and later in the day, a good gin and tonic.

13 Sep 2016

Total posts 184

I think somebody here posted a comment along the lines that the Qantas Emirates chauffeur service was being axed by November, just goes to show that people shouldn't pay too much attention to anonymous rumours!

Joe
Joe

03 May 2013

Total posts 517

Emirates is Qantas' saving grace internationally.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

25 Sep 2013

Total posts 1227

"Upgrades to business class and first class using frequent flyer points on the opposite airline remain off the table, however, Qantas Group CEO Alan Joyce previously confirmed to Australian Business Traveller."


Dang!

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

19 Jun 2017

Total posts 42

Agree! Dang!
That would make it an actual purposeful and extremely good alliance. Not that it's not, but it seems to be losing some value now with EK removing Mel and Bne from AKL... such a fantastic points redemption in J and F.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

31 Aug 2012

Total posts 194

Are award flights on QF still excluded from the chauffeur service on London routes I wonder?

We're not aware of any restriction on Chauffeur Drive service for Qantas reward bookings on eligible routes. In the T&Cs, the only tickets ineligible for CD are complimentary tickets (such as prize flights) and for passengers who received a complimentary upgrade into a premium cabin and weren't originally entitled to the service (e.g. an 'operational upgrade' or 'op-up', as opposed to a points upgrade where you'd be entitled if you can make your request before the cut-off time). We can confirm that Emirates certainly provides the free CD service when travelling on reward flights booked using Qantas Points or Skywards miles, although not on other points-based bookings such as when using Alaska Airlines miles.

Virgin Australia - Velocity Rewards

13 Jan 2015

Total posts 593

It saddens me that half of those 469,593 reward flights are for economy...such a waste

QFF

19 Sep 2013

Total posts 162

We weren't offered Chauffer Drive when flying with a J award flight on Emirates using Qantas points recently, and when I checked this, I thought that the website said award flights were excluded.

Where were you flying, may we ask? I've personally booked a number of Emirates flights using Qantas Points and have always been able to book the chauffeur service, except on trans-Tasman flights where this isn't offered to anybody.

QFF

19 Sep 2013

Total posts 162

Hi Chris. Flew from Milan to Perth via Dubai, J class, using Qantas award points, 27-29 Sept. To be honest, I didn't chase Emirates up on this, as it didn't appear to be possible when I looked at the T&Cs. From your comments, looks like I should have made the effort.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

13 Mar 2015

Total posts 5

I have booked a Qantas rewards flight in F with Emirates for Singapore,(in 2 weeks) I'm flying with a friend and was offered two cars for each sector, one each !!!!!! this blew our mind !! we accepted one car each sector and two cars on the trip home from Melbourne Airport, very happy !!!!


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