MAS joins oneworld: what does this mean for Qantas travellers?

By David Flynn, January 31 2013

Malaysia Airlines will take its place at the oneworld table tomorrow, February 1, joining an A-league roster of airlines including Qantas, British Airways, Cathay Pacific and American Airlines.

It’s a significant win for Australian travellers. MAS offers daily direct flights to Kuala Lumpur from Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Adelaide and Perth, with onwards legs to major cities including London (on an Airbus 380), Amsterdam, Frankfurt and Mumbai.

From tomorrow you’ll be able to book those and other Malaysia Airlines flights through Qantas, and also add your miles flown on MAS to your tally of Qantas Frequent Flyer points and status credits.

Australian Business Traveller sat down with representatives of Malaysia Airlines and Qantas to put together this executive summary of what MAS’ oneworld membership means for Australian travellers, especially members of the Qantas Frequent Flyer scheme. 

Fly MAS, earn Qantas Frequent Flyer points & status credits

As is the case with other oneworld airlines, when you’re travelling on MAS you’ll be able to earn Qantas Frequent Flyer points and status credits (or you can clock up the miles in MAS’ Enrich frequent flyer scheme).

You’ll also be able to burn your Qantas Frequent Flyer points for reward seats and upgrades on Malaysia Airlines flights.  

Frequent flyer status: MAS Enrich, Qantas and oneworld

The top tiers of MAS Enrich neatly line up against the status levels for Qantas and oneworld.

MAS Enrich Platinum = Qantas Frequent Flyer Platinum = oneworld Emerald

MAS Enrich Gold = Qantas Frequent Flyer Gold = oneworld Sapphire

MAS Enrich Silver = Qantas Frequent Flyer Silver = oneworld Ruby

Enrich premium perks include 50% excess baggage allowance for Gold and 100% for Platinum, a variety of priority services and of course the all-important lounge access.

MAS lounge access for Qantas Frequent Flyers

Platinum-class Qantas Frequent Flyers can check into the Platinum Suite at the MAS International Golden Lounge Wing at Kuala Lumpur International Airport, along with the MAS First Class lounges at KL, London and Sydney – no matter what class they’re travelling in.

(Although in Sydney we’d stick with the world-class Qantas First Lounge, and at London Heathrow you can take your pick from several first class and business class lounges.)

Gold-class Qantas Frequent Flyers can flash their card for entry into all MAS Business Class lounges around the world, again regardless of their class of travel.

Note that Qantas Frequent Flyer access to MAS lounges hinges on the rule that you must be travelling on a flight that’s both marketed and operated by a oneworld member airline such as Qantas and MAS.

Read: Get travel-savvy by understanding "marketed & operated" flights

Of course, there’s a bit of quid pro quo from Qantas – MAS Enrich Platinums can now luxuriate in the Qantas First Lounge in Sydney and Melbourne international airports, while Enrich Golds can head for the Qantas Business Lounges.

Malaysia Airlines concedes it may even close some of its international lounges in airports where oneworld partners already have a strong presence. 

"We have not made a decision yet" MAS PR spokesman Anbarasu Sundram told Australian Business Traveller late last year, when asked if MAS would retain or close its Golden Lounges in ports where there are equivalent oneworld lounges.

"Once we have decided on the lounge status, not only in Sydney but also in other international locations where we have our own lounges and that of our oneworld alliance partners, we will inform all our stakeholders."

David Flynn is attending the Malaysia Airlines/oneworld global press event in Kuala Lumpur as a guest of MAS and oneworld.

Follow Australian Business Traveller on Twitter: we're @AusBT.

David

David Flynn is the Editor-in-Chief of Executive Traveller and a bit of a travel tragic with a weakness for good coffee, shopping and lychee martinis.

Why are they holding back the publishing of the accruals table?

Is it likely that MH will hike up the fares for mileage accruable flights post 1 Feb 2013?

Currently MEL/KUL/MEL in N booking class is going at AUD845 all up.

I'm tracking to see if this changes tomorrow!

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

25 May 2012

Total posts 582

Just as a comparison, Qantas updated the earn & burn tables for airberlin a day or two after the media event (which was the day before the official date it took effect).

Yes noted. Trying to understand the rationale for this.

Surely this information is known way in advance. Curious to understand if there are specific reasons why the release occurs on or after the official date.

Curiosity killed the cat....

am
am

15 Apr 2011

Total posts 586

Publishing them ahead of time is only asking for trouble...

"Your website says I can earn points flying on Malaysia, where are my points. And no, I didn't notice the enormous warnings about not being able to earn points befor Feb 1. Give me my points. NOW."

They'd also be risking people booking MH for travel in a few months if they knew that they'd be able to earn points. I know somebody who was looking at it, but booked QF because of the uncertainty surrounding earn rates. It sounds silly, but it's a real consideration.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

12 Jan 2013

Total posts 55

Thats great news. I am a fan of MAS. Their service and food is often better than Qantas.

 

07 Aug 2012

Total posts 197

Very interesting that QF has decided to reduce the points earned on flights from AU-EU. Business class only earns 0.75 points per mile!

19 Jun 2012

Total posts 28

Interesting that this is mutual, as Enrich members get the same on QF.

No other oneworld airlines have anywhere near such a poor points relationship to MH than QF.

01 Feb 2012

Total posts 370

I didn't even realise this was allowed under oneworld's rules! CX and QF doesn't do that on HKG to SYD for example.. imagine flying full economy and only getting 0.25!

At least the status credits are the same, so flying J on MH might be a cheaper status run compared to other local options.

01 Feb 2012

Total posts 370

Even more strange considering Qantas doesn't fly to KUL... is there going to be a codeshare for SYD to KUL? 

07 Aug 2012

Total posts 197

And to top it all off, QF sponsored MH into oneworld!

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

18 Oct 2012

Total posts 122

What does this mean for MH FF,s ? Note: that MH FF,s  need considerable less points to travel on a compareable route and class , and I might add a much more direct route is offered by MH. I personally would hate to see this go.

Qantas - Platinum

18 Jan 2011

Total posts 84

Just double-checking - this article says that points upgrades are possible with QF points on an MH flight...

Any pointers as to how this would be achieved? Would you need to contact MH to upgrade? Is it possible somewhere through the QF website?

I can't find much/any information about this elsewhere...

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

18 Oct 2012

Total posts 122

Probably call MH , although they may still not know how it all works. I think you would have to become an MH FF member 1st , then transfer points , if this is the case I wouldnt be surprised if there is a charge for this from MH. MH do charge if you transfer  your points to family members and its not cheap.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

19 Nov 2011

Total posts 246

I am disappointed that the earn points table for QFF for MH flights are so poor. How can First Class and Business Class be equal? The price one pay for the tickets are so significant.

QF don't fly to KUL, but the earn points are so poor too. What is wrong with QF? They sponsored MH but I suspect when the Sapphire project went sour, QF probably regretted that sponsorship decision. And loyalty of QF to Oneworld is obvious that they would prefer to provide more points to earn to EK instead.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

18 Oct 2012

Total posts 122

QF FF system is pretty poor , but thats common knowledge .

20 Sep 2011

Total posts 28

I was very excited about this news as business class on MH is a great service and often a lot less expensive than QF.  I need to fly to London in April and was all set to book on MH BUT.....what is this with the points earnings levels???? 

If i read it correctly bs clas on MH eans you only 0.75 points and NO cabin bonus???

How can this be when every other airline partner in One World seems to offer 1 point plus a 25% cabin bonus?

should I rethink my plans?

cheers

Philip  QF Platinum

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

19 Nov 2011

Total posts 246

I say go with BA Club World - amazing seats and service.


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