Qantas partner Qatar Airways is now selling ‘unbundled’ business class fares without frills like airport lounge access and advance seat selection, in exchange for a more affordable ticket price.
But how does that impact your haul of frequent flyer points, and status credits too?
With the earning rates in many major Oneworld programs now updated to include Qatar’s new Business Lite tickets, here’s how you fare when crediting flights to Qantas Frequent Flyer, Qatar Airways Privilege Club, and other key programs.
Earn Qantas Points, status credits on Qatar Airways’ Business Lite fares
When it comes to Qantas Frequent Flyer, passengers travelling on Qatar’s new Business Lite tickets will pleasingly earn the same number of Qantas Points and status credits as on all other paid Qatar Airways business class journeys.
That’s because Qantas now includes Business Lite – which aligns with the ‘P’ fare letter – as part of its standard Business earning category with Qatar:
On a return Business Lite trip from Sydney to London via Doha, that provides a total haul of 20,800 Qantas Points plus 280 status credits.
That’s a nice bounty, but as on all flights sold by partner airlines, it’s a reward far less generous than earned flying Qantas business class. To compare, Qantas’ lowest-priced tickets would fetch at least 37,200 Qantas Points and 560 status credits on one return Sydney-London journey.
Still, the attractive pricing of Qatar’s Business Lite tickets can still make them a great buy.
Earn Qpoints, Qmiles on Qatar Airways’ Business Lite fares
As you’d expect, Qatar Airways’ own frequent flyer program – Privilege Club – uses its earning rates to provide greater rewards to passengers purchasing more expensive tickets.
However, it’s still possible to earn Qmiles (a.k.a., frequent flyer points) and Qpoints (Qatar’s version of status credits), when booking Business Lite.
On that same return Business Lite journey between Sydney and London, Qatar Privilege Club members will earn at least 16,406 Qmiles and 116 Qpoints.
That compares with roughly 27,000-43,000 Qmiles and 170-272 Qpoints earned on the airline’s higher-priced business class tickets on the same flights.
Earn AAdvantage miles on Qatar Airways’ Business Lite fares
Over at American Airlines, the carrier’s popular AAdvantage program similarly offers miles on Qatar’s Business Lite tickets – but like Qatar, the earning rate on these are below what you’d get on a more expensive fare.
In fact, AA’s earning rates on these Business Lite tickets serve up fewer miles than in flexible economy, with travellers collecting 0.75 AA miles per one mile travelled in Business Lite, versus 1 AA mile per one mile flown in fully-flex economy.
With a return Sydney-Doha-London journey measuring at approximately 21,896 miles by distance flown, that delivers around 16,422 AAdvantage miles roundtrip – these being the miles you can spend towards flight bookings and other rewards.
You’ll still earn 1.5 Elite Qualifying Miles (EQMs) per one mile flown, however: that’s 32,844 EQMs on a Sydney-London return as a Business Lite passenger.
The earning rate for Elite Qualifying Dollars (EQDs) on these tickets – another measure of AA status – is again lower than other business class fares and flexible economy.
With an EQD rate of 15% on a distance of 21,896 miles, you’d fetch around $3,284 EQDs flying return from Sydney to London on a Business Lite ticket.
Earn BA Executive Club Avios on Qatar Airways’ Business Lite fares
Over at British Airways’ Executive Club program – which is once again open to new Australian members – Qatar’s Business Lite fares have been assigned a new “business low” earning rate.
Rather than amassing 1.25 Avios per one mile flown on Qatar’s other business class tickets, Business Lite itineraries bring home 0.75 Avios per mile instead.
Mirroring the rewards you could earn in AAdvantage, that delivers 16,422 BA Avios per return Sydney-Doha-London trip.
It’s not yet clear how many BA Tier Points can be earned on the same itineraries, as while the BA Executive Club calculator lists 160 for a one-way Sydney-Doha jaunt under the Business Lite fare letter, the number of Avios indicated doesn’t yet reflect the reduced earn rate on these fares, per the Avios table above.
Some other Oneworld frequent flyer programs including Cathay Pacific’s Asia Miles also haven’t been fully updated to reflect the new treatment of the airline’s Business Lite fares, although this is expected to be rolled out over the coming weeks.