You'll soon need more Qantas Points to book an Emirates flight

From 1 September 2020 you'll need as many as 20% more Qantas frequent flyer points to book an Emirates reward ticket.

By Brandon Loo, June 4 2020
You'll soon need more Qantas Points to book an Emirates flight

Qantas has quietly lifted the number of frequent flyer points required to snare a reward ticket on partner Emirates. As of Tuesday 1 September 2020, you'll need up to 20% more points to book the same seat as before.

The devaluation stems from Qantas shifting Emirates from the Qantas Classic Flight Reward table to the Partner Classic Flight Reward table, which requires more points overall.

However, Qantas claims that a recent reduction in Emirates' carrier charges will mean that some frequent flyers will see more value, not less, from a points-based Emirates booking even when the higher redemption rates are taken into account.

More Qantas Points needed for Emirates flight rewards

From September 1, Emirates joins the likes of Qatar Airways, Cathay Pacific and British Airways on the more-expensive Partner Classic Flight Reward table – leaving just Qantas, Fiji Airways, Air Vanuatu and American Airlines on the lower-rate Qantas Classic Flight Reward table.

Here's what that means for some popular Emirates routes:

Route (one-way) Qantas Points (before 31 Aug 2020) Qantas Points (after 1 Sept 2020)
Melbourne-London Economy: 55,200
Business: 144,600
First: 216,900
Economy: 66,200
Business: 159,000
First: 227,500
Sydney-Christchurch Economy: 18,000
Business: 41,500
First: 62,200
Economy: 20,000
Business: 43,800
First: 64,500
Perth-Dubai Economy: 31,500
Business: 82,000
First: 123,100
Economy: 37,800
Business: 90,000
First: 129,300
Dubai-London Economy: 20,300
Business: 57,000
First: 85,500
Economy: 24,500
Business: 61,200
First: 89,800

Longer routes see a more significant increase in the number of Qantas Points needed versus shorter routes, while economy class bookings are more heavily impacted than business or first class reservations.

For example, a one-way Sydney-London flight booking in economy is hit with a 20% increase in Qantas Points (55,200 to 66,200 points), while a cheeky one-way Sydney-Christchurch jaunt in Emirates first class sees a modest 3.7% uptick (62,200 to 64,500 points).

As long as you book before 31 August 2020, your future travel on Emirates beyond that date will still be charged the lower points amount. But any new bookings or changes after 1 September 2020 will likely be at the new, increased points rates.

Qantas and Emirates flights will be charged at different rates

Bouncing Emirates from the Qantas Classic Flight Reward table to the Partner Classic Flight Reward table will be problematic for travellers whose points-based booking involves connecting from a Qantas flight to an Emirates flight, or vice versa.

That's because Qantas Frequent Flyer allows you to mix and match flights from different airlines on the same rewards table, and use your points on a single 'through-fare' if the transits between each flight are less than 24 hours.

Under the current system, someone could fly from Cairns to Brisbane with Qantas, and then Brisbane to London (via Dubai) on Emirates for the same number of points as the Brisbane-London leg itself – i.e. 144,600 Qantas Points in business class all the way from Cairns.

Before the devaluation, you can combine Qantas and Emirates flights on the same reward table.
Before the devaluation, you can combine Qantas and Emirates flights on the same reward table.

However, this and other sweet spots will no longer be possible for new bookings made from 1 September 2020 onwards.

A Cairns resident will now need to fork out 27,600 Qantas Points to fly to Brisbane in Qantas business class, and then separately use 159,000 Qantas Points to fly Emirates to London – a total of 186,600 points.

After the devaluation, combining Qantas and Emirates flights on the same booking will result in the full amount being charged for each.
After the devaluation, combining Qantas and Emirates flights on the same booking will result in the full amount being charged for each.

It's still possible for that traveller to jet from Cairns to London in business class for 144,600 points, but it means their only feasible option will be to continue flying Qantas from Brisbane to Singapore and then onwards to London, as this keeps their whole ticket on the Qantas Classic Flight Rewards table.

Emirates reduces carrier charges

In related news, Emirates is also decreasing the carrier charges that are levied on bookings made by points. This is across most of the carrier's routes and does apply to new bookings made with Qantas Points.

The Gulf airline's carrier charges were amongst the highest in the industry previously, with almost $600 added to a one-way business class ticket from Australia to Europe using points, in addition to genuine fees and taxes.

Travellers will feel a bit of relief in their back pockets now with that charge dropping below $350 on the same routes, but the impending increase in Qantas Points needed for Emirates tickets will be sure to leave a lingering bittersweet taste.

Also read: Here's how coronavirus will change Emirates first, business class

Brandon Loo

Based in Perth, Brandon enjoys tucking into local delicacies, discovering new cocktails, and making aeroplane food look good on camera.

Lmc
Lmc

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

09 Nov 2018

Total posts 73

Hmmm with the last increase in number of points needed for qantas Flights and now a lift in points on Emirates seems they have significantly devalued the QF FF program.... probably by giving out and the ability to easily earn points.

On a positive the reduced cash component on Emirates is welcome!

05 May 2016

Total posts 587

Had hoped after the recent devaluation for points use on classic rewards that there wouldn't be another for a while. This is disappointing.

I doubt there will be many bookings before September due to the uncertainty over whether travel can take place.

Jetstar Airways - Qantas Frequent Flyer

24 Aug 2018

Total posts 74

Why quibble about points when we are all dying to get on a plane and go back to our plans to enjoy the northern summer and forget the crap we have had to endure the last three months. I am tired of being held hostage by the isolated outbreaks of covid- 19, which are being used by our state premiers to keep us in one place, against all reasonable arguments. With the huge bulk of the Victorian ( and Australian ) population virus free, the so-called necessessary need to keep not only state , but also national boundaries closed it tantamount to paranoia and so called medical advisers to governments need to instil a sense of balance and focus on overall lack of infection rather than the ' unexpected' very low numbers of people suffering this disease. it seems all state governments are now suffering from the Victorian nanny state complaint. If we , Australians , are as robust as the myth perpetuates, give us a chance to prove it. Qantas get my boarding pass ready, please?

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

25 Sep 2013

Total posts 1237

Why quibble about points? Because as consumers we should be able to complain about stealthy devaluations that actually have a material impact on the affordability of travel points-wise?

Etihad - Etihad Guest

21 Jul 2019

Total posts 47

Any QF FFliers out there who can tell me what reward seat (business class) availability was like on Emirates for Australia - London (via Dubai) before this health crisis began? Thanks.

HB
HB

04 Jun 2020

Total posts 3

It was always much easier (and better) to get a business class ticket on that route with points on Emirates than with Qantas themselves, before Covid struck. At the moment Qantas seem to only be offering awards tickets in conjunction with BA and only via Sydney whereas Asiamiles are far more accomodating with availability and airlines!

Etihad - Etihad Guest

21 Jul 2019

Total posts 47

Thank you so much @HB. I've never had luck with my redemption attempts on my QF FF points (for QF flights itself) over the years, except for one time. Probably just bad luck. But I'm looking at redeeming (or at least trying) with Emirates next year, and it does seem that availability was pretty OK, up till now. Thanks again.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

25 Feb 2017

Total posts 12

Also, I'd recommend Qatar who in my opinion have the best business product (hard & soft) of all the airlines! We've flown, EK; QF; CX; BA from Aus to UK using points over many years and hands down, QR wins!! You'll also find the points needed will be less than most of the other partner options. One provision thou, we've flown mainly from Perth and Adelaide. Anyway worth considering as I don't believe QR has changed any of their redemption rates thru their QF partnership. Good luck!

HB
HB

04 Jun 2020

Total posts 3

Sunnybrae, the trick is to just keep searching and searching as it changes even while you are looking, you need to be flexible! At the moment it is just British Airways, And JAL but the above explains it!

Sadly I agree with the remarks about Qantas service both in flights and their customer service! Compared to other airlines, the service is rubbish and it's lucky they are backed by the government as their attitude to most of their FF is an arrogance that beggars belief.

Emirates business is like Qantas first class, in fact most of the airlines flying in and out of Australia leave Qantas standing, it's very sad.

American Airlines - AAdvantage

13 Jul 2015

Total posts 248

THis is disappointing. I can see that flights on Qantas as of today are ALREADY more expensive than Emirates for the same leg in terms of points needed - I remember when they used to be the same. Having said that, I see close to no Emirates flights to London anways.

03 Apr 2018

Total posts 3

With the disappearing Emirates premium reward seats in almost all routes nowadays, the devaluation on Emirates flights is the least of anyone's concern now.

24 Sep 2019

Total posts 13

So in just one year we've gone from 128000 to 159000 points to fly business to Europe. And availability out of Australia has almost disappeared. Very disappointing.

15 Jun 2017

Total posts 2

I cannot find any availability of EF classic reward flights, last week there was availability on every route every day.

05 Jun 2020

Total posts 1

Its disappointing as I like to choose Emirates over QANTAS every chance I get. My wife and me recently flew Brisbane Singapore in Mar just before lock down and did the Brisbane -Singapore with Emirates. Due to COVID had to fly back with QANTAS Singapore - Sydney onto Brisbane. The trip with QANTAS was on the A380 and its been the worst Business Class experience I've ever had. Crew were disinterested and we had to actually continually ask for drinks or assistance. An absolute mile behind Emirates. I guess they will try and stop us using Emirates and showing them up so this is one way to go about it.

Virgin Australia - Velocity Rewards

24 Jan 2018

Total posts 355

Cant say QFF weren't warned that AJ's been counters would find a way to devalue points. This month its Emirates, next month it'll be another incursion to erode value (and credit Q revenue).

Be afraid, be very afraid.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

16 Mar 2016

Total posts 37

It is a shame they have done this as often Emirates was the best choice to get to Europe via Dubai in business class on points as it was the same as flying on Qantas, not that I could ever get a seat on Qantas to Europe, plus Emirates could practically get you to any major city in Europe without the need to add an extra flight out of London. This increase in points plus the loss of the chauffeur service really lessens their appeal though I do still love the A380.

I have just managed to book business class Brisbane to Paris via Hong Kong on CX for 159k points and a reasonable $140 in taxes for May 2021 which I thought was fairly good, Seemed to be plenty of availability on China Eastern, BA and JAL but they were all more points and much higher taxes.

HB
HB

04 Jun 2020

Total posts 3

Be very careful jgb59, I have just had my Cathay flight cancelled! Qantas advised they could not find a replacement and it would be up to 10 weeks till my points were refunded! I did explain that was unacceptable and had them returned immediately (not the grays) but traveller beware!

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

25 Sep 2013

Total posts 1237

I'm sure yours was the only refund they had to process.

24 Sep 2019

Total posts 13

Well the issue with points refunds taking so long is that most of don't have hundreds of thousands of spare points in our account ‘just in case our international flights get cancelled and we need to book alternative flights at short notice'. If they can automatically deduct the points when booking on their website it seems ridiculous that the points can't be re-instated just as easily when you hit the big red cancel button.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

08 Jul 2017

Total posts 24

Pointless points. How different do these rewards systems look to 25 years ago .....

Rxm
Rxm

Jetstar Airways - Qantas Frequent Flyer

14 Jan 2017

Total posts 51

All pretty irrelevant when you consider it's almost impossible to find classic reward flights for international destinations in any event.


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