The alliance between Qantas and Emirates not only lets you earn Qantas Points on Emirates flights – you can also use your Qantas Points to book a business or economy seat or even a first class suite on Emirates.
Finding your flight
Head to the Qantas website, login to your frequent flyer account, enter the route you’d like to travel on in the search box and be sure to tick ‘Search Classic Flight Rewards’ at the bottom:
It also pays to check the ‘flexible with dates’ option to browse what’s available – you’ll then see a travel calendar on the next screen, and where a blue seat appears, there are economy flights available for booking with frequent flyer points that can get you to your destination:
[Click any of the images in this article to enlarge them.]
Those won’t necessarily be Emirates flights: they could indeed be on other partners like Cathay Pacific or Qatar Airways, but to get the full picture, look to the top and check ‘premium economy’, ‘business’ and ‘first’…
… and hit ‘go’ to update the calendar:
You can use this to better-determine your exact travel dates. For example, we can see that only economy and business class tickets are available on Sunday February 5 2017 when using frequent flyer points, yet one day later on February 6, premium economy and first class options are also available.
Sure enough, the next screen returns a one-stop Emirates journey to Paris…
In each direction, you’d need 60,000 Qantas Points for an economy ticket on this route, 128,000 Qantas Points for Emirates business class and 192,000 Qantas Points in first class, per person: the same number of points as you’d need to fly with Qantas from Sydney to London, for example.
From there it’s as simple as entering in your name and personal details and paying an amount to cover government fees, taxes and also additional charges imposed by Qantas Frequent Flyer and Emirates.
These vary from route to route and range from anything as low as a few hundred dollars on longer return flights in economy through to $1,000+ at the pointy end of the plane to Europe and back.
That cost is somewhat offset through Emirates’ complimentary chauffeur service at each end of the journey for business and first class passengers – which you can book via the Qantas or Emirates website after your booking has been finalised – and amounts to four free transfers on one return trip to Europe.
Down the back of the bus, be mindful that Emirates flights booked using frequent flyer points use the Emirates EK flight number, not a Qantas QF flight number – so if you’re a Qantas Club member and were hoping to use a lounge pre-flight, you’ll be out of luck.
(Qantas Gold and Platinum frequent flyers can, however, access Qantas and Emirates lounges before Emirates flights, regardless of whether a QF or EK flight number is booked.)
Follow Australian Business Traveller on Twitter: we're @AusBT