Australian Business Traveller regularly drills into frequent flyer point earning tips and strategies, the best ways to burn them once earned, and how to extract the most value from frequent flyer memberships.
This time in Get the Points, why not flying directly can help you bump up your Qantas Frequent Flyer status to the next level -- or retain silver/gold/platinum if you've already got it.
But for people who don't have The World's Largest Points Balance, or who simply want to maximise their frequent flyer status with flights work is paying for, there's another neat trick you should know about.
The crux of the tip is this: flying direct from A to B won't usually earn you as many status credits as if you join several flights together to get to the destination.
For example, if you fly Melbourne to London Heathrow directly, you'll earn 60 status credits.
However, if you fly Melbourne to Singapore, then take another flight from Singapore to London, you'll earn 70 status credits (30 for the first flight and 40 for the next).
In business class, it's 240 status credits earned for the direct flight, or 280 for the two flights.
There's a Qantas Points and Status Credit calculator that lets you see how many status credits you can get for any flight to help you work out the best combination of flights to maximise status credits.
Flights that are booked with a stop-over by the airline don't count for this trick though; you actually have to book two separate flights in order to benefit from the extra status credits.
If you're not convinced about why earning status credits is a worthwhile endeavour, here's the explanation from a previous Get the Points article:
Frequent flyer programs are best known for one thing: points. And if you only want free flights and upgrades, then points are great.
But If you want Qantas Club access when you're travelling — even in economy class — while also earning more points and a better chance of getting upgrades, then it's membership status — gold or platinum — that you really need to aim for.
On Qantas, even being a silver-level frequent flyer — one step up from the bronze level you get when you join — has valuable benefits.
Silver members are able to pre-book into much better seats closer to the front of the plane, get priority check-in with shorter queues for international flights, are issued with permanent wireless bag tags, get extra baggage allowance and more.
Of course, Gold members and Platinum members get many more benefits — Gold offers free access to the Qantas Club prior to any Qantas/Jetstar flight, and Platinum gets access to the ultra-luxurious International First Class lounge, among many other extras.
While there are any number of ways to clock up frequent flyer points to spend on flights or goodies (through credit card programs, store reward cards, and so on), there's only one way to attain — and keep — a status level with Qantas Frequent Flyer, and that's to actually fly with the airline.
When it comes round to the end of the qualifying year, some frequent flyers who really value their high tier status will book flights just to earn status points.
These "status runs" may be a weekend away in a far-flung destination or a more hardcore set of back-to-back red-eye night flights over a couple of days. However, this can obviously be an expensive and tiring exercise.
Most frequent flyer redemption flights don't offer status credits — they're only given out to paying customers.
Are you a point maven? Do you do mileage runs in your sleep? Are you merely a Woolworths grocery shopper who has discovered a particularly good points earner? Send your earning and burning tip-offs to [email protected].