Emirates cuts Qantas Frequent Flyer points on business class, economy flights

By Chris C., January 14 2015
Emirates cuts Qantas Frequent Flyer points on business class, economy flights

Qantas frequent flyers will earn fewer points on Emirates flights from next month, with some business class tickets downgraded to earn no more points than an economy airfare.

As of February 1 Emirates will reclassify its most affordable business class fares as a new Business Special package and drop the 25% premium cabin bonus, reducing their earning to the same one Qantas point per mile as Emirates' Economy Flex Plus fares.

However, Emirates flights booked under a Qantas QF flight number through the airlines' codeshare agreement will continue to earn a full serve of frequent flyer points and status credits.

Read: Earn maximum Qantas Frequent Flyers points on Emirates flights

Emirates' cheapest economy tickets will also see their earning rate halved under the revised fare structure, dropping from the current base of 0.5 Qantas points per mile to a mere 0.25 points per mile.

Mid-range economy fares continue to earn half a point per mile and will be branded as Economy Flex, while Economy Flex Plus serves up a full point per mile flown in the same way that top-level Skywards Flex fares do today.

A Qantas spokesperson told Australian Business Traveller that Emirates had flagged "changes to its (own) Skywards loyalty program for travel from February 1", and that "consequently, there are some changes to Qantas Frequent Flyer earn when travelling on the Emirates code (EK)."

The rejig from Emirates follows Qantas’ own frequent flyer revamp last year that saw status credits halved on many Oneworld partner airline flights in a bid to make booking flights with the Red Roo a more attractive proposition than with its network of partners.

Australian Business Traveller has approached Emirates for their comments on the changes although has not yet received a response.

Emirates has also removed the upgrade option from its new Business Special and Economy Special ticket classes, meaning that travellers booked on the cheapest business and economy fares will not be eligible to use their Skywards Miles for a bump into the next highest cabin.

Read: Emirates blocks business, first class upgrades from cheap fares

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Chris C.

Chris is a a former contributor to Executive Traveller.

10 Mar 2011

Total posts 529

So is it actually Qantas who is cutting the points (as per the headline) or is it Emirates who are reducing the points (as inferred in the body of the article)?

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

02 Jul 2011

Total posts 1380

Personally, its blame Qantas IMHO.

What's the bet that these 'Business Saver' classes are not made available under the QF code

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

07 May 2012

Total posts 371

Would not ever consider an EK or other airline flight without a QF code.  If QF don't offer it with a QF code, would consider the need to go to that destination.

Virgin Australia - Velocity Rewards

22 Apr 2013

Total posts 144

Sometimes it's not as simple as that driley. For example next month while in Shanghai, I need to take a side trip to Istanbul. Now... I can only book that flight via the QF web site if I book it on FF points. I don't want to do that (work trip) so my only option is to step outside the QF booking aliances (eg, direct with CX... at least I'll earn SOME SC and points... but not as many as I'd otherwise had I been able to book with QF direct)

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer - Chairmans Lounge

01 Sep 2011

Total posts 414

Bingo! I am running into this a fair amount and its frustrating.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

31 Aug 2012

Total posts 215

It makes Award travel all the more compelling IMO!

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

30 May 2013

Total posts 355

Even more reason not to fly Emirates. As someone who travels predomenantly economy, I'd choose Qantas over Emirates any day - espeically if the Emirates option was on a Boeing 777. 10 abreast in a 777? No thanks.

24 Dec 2013

Total posts 97

Emirates and Qantas have opposite views on op-ups. For this reason I'd choose Emirates over Qantas any day.

Virgin Australia - Velocity Rewards

28 Oct 2014

Total posts 18

Gotta laugh at some of the comments.  Emirates is only tweaking the points rules much like Qantas has already done just recently!  Also - for short haul between SYD/MEL/BNE and Auckland - the choice is obvious - and it's certainly not an ancient 737 flown by you know who!


16 Nov 2011

Total posts 600

Agree I would choose an A380 over a 737 anyday, but really you loose cred when you start using words like ancient. These supposed ancient 737's were all delivered to Jetconnect or Qantas, brand new between late 2009 and 2011. So the eldest is 5.5 years and the youngest 3.5 years.

Whilst I think only the 4 or 5 have the BSI interiror all have AVOD seat back IFE.

Emirates Airlines - Skywards

14 Feb 2014

Total posts 32

upgrades on ek are easy using miles, op-ups very frequent compared to QF lottery as if its some kind of precious thing, why not reward your FFs for loyalty. 

however this new thing with emirates might become too complicated, they say some fare buckets will earn you more, on average so far 1000 tier miles however it looks like 30K one way upgrade to asia on flex has gone and now minimum 36K.

time to look at etihad or qatar  

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

16 Jan 2015

Total posts 1

Time to look at Etihad or Qatar? No different from Emirates - all 100% owned by Arab governments which treat foreign workers kike dirt and have institutionalised the oppression of women and gays.

Lufthansa - Miles & More

29 Jul 2014

Total posts 182

Nothing like snubbing your partner emrites. This is why out of the major 3 gulf airlines there the worst for passenger happiness and in all honstey comfort and most other factors. My choice is EY due to all flat beds on lh flights in busniess class and good points on VA 


12 Apr 2013

Total posts 1460

I am curious if they will change prices also? (rethorical question :-)


06 Sep 2012

Total posts 7

This has to be a Qantas initiative.

Which airline has a history of cutting benefits to loyal customers, and which airline has a history of adding value?

I'll continue to fly on Emirates planes, with Emirates customer service and accumulate Emirates Skywards FF points, which are easier to use than Qantas.

British Airways - Executive Club

28 Mar 2014

Total posts 74

QF started to open the hornet's nest when they decided to penalise their FFs for travelling with other airlines.

Cant blame ek for getting back at them. 

24 Apr 2012

Total posts 2509

In fairness, the changes you speak of actually encouraged Qantas frequent flyers to travel with Emirates (on a Qantas codeshare) rather than Oneworld airlines such as Cathay Pacific and British Airways.

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