Emirates axes Chauffeur Drive on Qantas codeshare flights to Asia

By Chris Chamberlin , March 11 2015
Emirates axes Chauffeur Drive on Qantas codeshare flights to Asia

Emirates is no longer offering its complimentary Chauffeur Drive service to business and first class passengers flying with Emirates but booked under a Qantas QF flight number to Singapore, Kuala Lumpur and Bangkok.

Chauffeur Drive remains available on these routes when travelling on an Emirates EK flight number, whether the reservation was made via Emirates or Qantas (excluding on arrival or departure in Kuala Lumpur).

However, by choosing an EK flight number travellers earn far fewer Qantas Frequent Flyer points and no status credits.

Read more: Earn maximum Qantas Points on Emirates flights

The changes took effect on February 6 but were not announced by either airline, being merely slipped into the fine print on both the Qantas and Emirates websites.

A spokesperson for Qantas confirmed the shake-up to Australian Business Traveller, advising that the airline is "honouring the complementary Chauffeur Drive for customers, travelling on Qantas codeshare flights operated by Emirates to/from Asia, who booked prior to 6 February".

"There is no change to the Chauffeur Drive service for eligible customers travelling between Australia and New Zealand to/from Dubai and London Heathrow (QF1 / QF2 / QF9 and QF10) and eligible codeshare services operated by Emirates to destinations in Europe, the Middle East and North Africa."

Curiously, travellers merely using Qantas Frequent Flyer points to book Emirates flights to Asia continue to receive the complimentary Chauffeur Drive service, as award tickets are issued with EK flight numbers and already come sans status credits.

Australian Business Traveller was advised by an Emirates spokesperson that "flights booked on an Emirates flight number (e.g. EK404) will continue to be eligible for this service. All existing Chauffeur Drive Service requests confirmed prior to and on 6th February 2015, by Qantas on this route will be honoured by Emirates."

Emirates Skywards members who book travel directly with Emirates on EK flight numbers aren’t affected by this change and can continue to utilise the complimentary chauffeur service while accruing Skywards Tier Miles.

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Chris Chamberlin

Chris Chamberlin is the Associate Editor of Executive Traveller and lives by the motto that a journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step, a great latte, a theatre ticket and a glass of wine!

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

10 Jan 2013

Total posts 715

I can understand where Emirates is coming from, even if it disappoints me at little. After all, Qantas sought to ring-fence business to it by slashing earn on non-QF codes for a vast majority of routes (thereby kneecapping OneWorld a fair bit), even when they didn't fly their tin themselves on some of those routes. 

It's all about trying to keep customer payment within the airline (because Qantas takes a slice if it's booked through them). Such is the trend these days...

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

10 Jan 2013

Total posts 715

I'd rate status credit earn more important than a limo ride, in any case, because everyone wants OneWorld Emerald (and Qantas doesn't hand out Lifetime for Platinum/Emerald).

Yes agreed. On that basis (to obtain OW elite) Qantas should pull the offering for their London services as well. QFFs know what's important and SC trumps the limo service. Conversely, true blue Skywards would also elect to fly EK metal.

So essentially QF is catering for the odd chance that an EK pax ends up flying QF metal. The likelihood of that is slim since EK offers better and wider connections. It is in fact the QFFs who really go out of their way to fly a QF code. A price signal would ensure they fly QF metal.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

10 Jan 2013

Total posts 715

The advantage of the Qantas/Emirates hook-up was greater reach than Qantas alone could offer. It's pulled back somewhat from Asia and Europe, covering that with Emirates QF coded services, and chased North American capacity/routes (with AA picking up feeder to intra-North American destinations not big enough for Qantas).

Ironically I fly EK more now than I ever did before (but under QF code). I like that it has created recognition beyond OneWorld (because it creates more of a safety net) and gives me more flight destinations/times, and some of their product is quite decent, but of course it's not all roses (but then what is).

I agree it's more likely elite Skywards members stick to EK tin, the real benefit to them is easier connections for internal Australian domestic flights thanks to the hook-up.

Mal
Mal

14 Jun 2013

Total posts 360

Isn't this another step in Emirates whittling away at the benefits of their so-called partners? They've already slashed the number of Qantas points you earn on an EK ticket and now they're saying the only way to get a chauffeur drive on these routes is to book under the EK flight code. I expect we will see more of this in the future.

The chauffeur service is an anomoly in the first instance, especially since Qantas does not offer it on its own flights to Singapore.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

10 Jan 2013

Total posts 715

It's sort of a hang-over from EK's pre-QF alliance days TheRealBabushka, isn't it? When they had to tout a bit harder for business, and thus offer a few sweetners to tempt. Now that they have good referrals from Qantas, not so much temptation needed anymore.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

06 Nov 2014

Total posts 343

EK has been very generous to QF already in regards to limo service. All other partners don't get it at all. So it was only a matter of time. 

EK Silver

11 Mar 2015

Total posts 3

Chauffeur drive is not offered at all in Kuala Lumpur.

True Ian – we've clarified that in the second paragraph, although it's still available to Kuala Lumpur on an Emirates EK flight number from Melbourne.

EK Silver

11 Mar 2015

Total posts 3

Sorry about that Chris.  I was thinking only about the arrival; not departure.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

21 Aug 2014

Total posts 513

Well afterall Qantas is at the rein of Emirates.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

07 Apr 2013

Total posts 146

I'm glad I have already booked my limo prior to February 6 for pickup in Singapore for September then!

04 Dec 2012

Total posts 12

Thanks for your detective work, Chris. Don't you hate it when they bury things in the fine print?

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

13 Mar 2015

Total posts 1

I am not bothered about so called status credits but I do value the EK and QF limos.

There seems to be a big watering down of the QF/EK relationship as since January 1st there has been virtually no Emirates flights available for Qantas Classic Awards flights to the UK and many European cities.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

26 May 2013

Total posts 33

This so called partnership seems to be in spirit alone.  Try booking an Emirates flight through QF. Needed to change from QF 2 recently.  Customer service offered QF 2  the next day despite 5 EK flights from LHR daily.  Ho hum 


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