Last chance to upgrade to Qantas business class before costs rise

By Chris Chamberlin , February 14 2017
Last chance to upgrade to Qantas business class before costs rise

Qantas is increasing the number of frequent flyer points needed to upgrade to premium economy, business class and first class from February 20 2017: but travellers have one last chance to upgrade their upcoming flights before those costs climb.

That’s because on domestic routes, jetsetters can upgrade to business class from the moment they’ve booked their economy seat (subject to availability) – so by requesting your upgrade now it can be processed at the current more favourable rates, as long as you're travelling before February 20.

Wherever you’re headed, here’s a reminder of what’s changing, plus how you can make the most of Qantas’ current frequent flyer upgrade rates before the new ones kick in.

Qantas domestic business class upgrades

Frequent travellers on the shortest domestic flights including Sydney-Melbourne, Sydney-Brisbane and Sydney-Canberra can relax, with no change to the number of frequent flyer points needed for a business class upgrade.

However, marginally longer routes like Sydney-Adelaide, Sydney-Hobart, Melbourne-Brisbane and Brisbane-Cairns will climb from 15,000 to 17,500 Qantas Points for a one-way business class upgrade from ‘discount economy’: an increase of 5,000 Qantas Points per return trip, per passenger.

It’s a similar story for cross-country flights such as between Perth and Sydney, Melbourne or Brisbane – including on Airbus A330 flights with Qantas' latest Business Suite – with the one-way upgrade cost rising from 20,000 to 25,000 Qantas Points on similar ‘discount economy’ fares from the 20th.

There’s no change to the number of points needed to upgrade from a flexible economy ticket on any domestic route: only when upgrading from lower-cost Red eDeal tickets.

Also read: Are business class upgrades still a great use of Qantas Points?

Qantas international premium economy, business class, first class upgrades

On international flights, Qantas takes a different approach with upgrades, which can still be requested from the moment you book, but which aren’t considered (and approved) until much closer to departure.

The number of points needed to upgrade again varies between routes, but as a blanket increase, passengers on Economy Saver fares will need 25% more points than before for a business class upgrade, while those on Economy Flex and Premium Economy Sale fares will need 10% more points.

On a one-way flight from Sydney or Melbourne to London, that hikes the asking price from 96,000 to 120,000 Qantas Points from Economy Saver fares, one-way, and from 60,000 to 66,000 Qantas Points to upgrade to business class from Economy Flex or Premium Economy Sale tickets.

You’ll also need 25% more points than before to upgrade from Economy Saver to premium economy – moving from 60,000 to 75,000 Qantas Points on the same London flights – while some upgrades from business to first class are also increasing by 25%.

For a full list of what’s changing, read our AusBT rundown: Qantas hikes frequent flyer upgrade rates.

Chris Chamberlin

Chris Chamberlin is the Associate Editor of Executive Traveller, and lives by the motto that a journey of a thousand miles begins not just with a single step, but also a strong latte, a theatre ticket, and later in the day, a good gin and tonic.

As always, they (QF) seeimingly overlook the fact that "earning" the points goes up (with increased fares) so there is no reason , other than greed and disregard for the interests of their loyal customers, for such changes.

Virgin Australia - Velocity Rewards

24 Aug 2011

Total posts 764

Supply and demand. You charge what the market will bear. Plus QF are in the lucky position in that there are so many rusted-on "QF only" fans. 

05 May 2016

Total posts 585

I have no plans to travel overseas before the cutoff and don't think I have a large enough points balance to splurge on domestic upgrades at this time.


The increase in points required will make it harder to justify possibly trying for a F upgrade sometime.

I want to fly from Mel to Perth in July. How do I know if an upgrade is available prior to booking the flight? Or can I only find out after the booking is processed?

05 May 2016

Total posts 585

Check if there is a classic reward seat available in Business for the domestic flight. If there is then you should be able to get an upgrade instantly confirmed. If there are no award seats available in Business then you'll have to wait till closer to the flight to see if you've got your upgrade. The East Coast to Perth routes are very popular routes to fly Business. Your upgrade chances would be higher on some other domestic routes.

QFF

12 Apr 2013

Total posts 1446

Unlike international routes (MEL-BKK for example where Classic Award practically does not exist on QF metal) getting Classic Award on MEL-PER flight in J is relatively easy if you plan ahead and it cost 36K points. So if seats available I would rather get Classic Award.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

09 Jun 2011

Total posts 91

Hmmm, I wonder how true this is in practice: "With Qantas’ new upgrade rates applying to all [international] upgrades processed from February 20 – rather than merely those requested from the same date – this means there’s no opportunity to get your request in early to save on points, as there is with domestic flights."

as the indicative cost is displayed at the time of the request. 
International upgrade points 

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

09 Jun 2011

Total posts 91

Hmm, that post was a bit of a mess... 

ant
ant

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

08 Sep 2016

Total posts 7

So I want to use this offer to purchase some Economy flights from SYD-Perth and upgrade using points before the cutoff.

When booking, the flights I want have some "Business Classic Reward" seats available. Will that mean I'll be able to upgrade after purchasing an Economy seat? Or is there still a chance I can't even after booking?
Thanks.

ant
ant

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

08 Sep 2016

Total posts 7

You know what, I just read the post above which answered my question (but wasn't there when I looked earlieer today!)

ignore my post.

05 May 2016

Total posts 585

You should, yes. If it doesn't work call up QANTAS before someone else uses the automatic upgrade.

OCA
OCA

11 Nov 2014

Total posts 11

Cant wait to use my hard earned points to upgrade to crappy business class seating from Perth to Singapore. Just discovered Scoot business class for $800 return for a bigger seat. Qantas you are sucking big time all due to Share Holders pressure and the Irish CEO

QFF

12 Apr 2013

Total posts 1446

At 120K points MEL-LHR it does not make much sense to upgrade vs getting Classic Reward. Understandable that Classic Reward are difficult to get, but upgrade is also practically unreachable for pax without status.


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