Qantas, Emirates: no plans for points upgrades between airlines

By David Flynn, March 30 2017

We may be four years into the ten-year partnership between Qantas and Emirates, but the airlines have no plans to smooth out one noticeable wrinkle in the relationship – the inability to use frequent flyer points earned on one airline to upgrade on the other.

Qantas loyalists still can't use their Qantas Points to apply for an upgrade on an Emirates flight, even if it's under a QF codeshare.

In the same way, Emirates Skywards members are unable to put their stack of Skywards Miles towards  a better seat on a Qantas flight.

Australian Business Traveller approached both airlines for comments on the issue, which remains a sore point with many business travellers and frequent flyers who have otherwise embraced the alliance between the iconic Aussie airline and the Gulf colossus.

"Given the high demand for upgrades within frequent flyer programs, our members are unable to use their points to upgrade on flights operated by any of our Qantas Frequent Flyer airline partners including Emirates or oneworld alliance airlines," a Qantas spokesperson said.

"Qantas Frequent Flyer members are currently unable to use their points to upgrade their tickets on Emirates flights," reaffirmed an Emirates spokesperson. "At this stage there are no changes planned to the current program."

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.

Bob Burgess

Bob Burgess

13 Sep 2016

Total posts 184

This is a key failing of the Qantas/Emirates alliance, I thought they said at the launch it was being looked at? Clearly too hard. Would be good if even Qantas & Skywards Platinums had some points upgrade capability, if the airlines wanted to keep a lid on this but still offer it to their most valuable passengers.

Serg

Serg

QFF

12 Apr 2013

Total posts 1446

No wonder - it is NOT partnership, but rather master-slave relationship. I am surprised that EK allow pax flying on EK metal with QF tickets into their lounges - pax carry QF tickets should be considered as "subclass" by EK.

alenb

alenb

Emirates Airlines - Skywards

14 Feb 2014

Total posts 32

love your work :))

Serg

Serg

QFF

12 Apr 2013

Total posts 1446

Yea, David may already thought few times to ban me. But I cannot hold myself - I do not like QF-EK relationship. Period. I have no problem whatsoever when people like EK, but then why they need QF if EK flying to Dubai more flights and from more Australian cities? If you happy with "one hop to almost any European city" via Dubai then why not join EK loyalty scheme and buy ticket directly with EK to fly to Europe? It is usually cheaper and you will be treated better on their metal and in their lounges with their tickets. It is not QF offer that "one hop", but indeed EK does. In my eyes relationship not equal and it may be in case if EK would not fly to Australia at all and all traffic to Dubai would be carried by QF. I am old enough to remember those old days when QF was the best company in the world and unfortunately I do not believe that they can ever gain this crown back and this fact does not make me happy as an Australian.
And please do not tell me about "economical basis" - it is looka like that it is more profitable for QF stop flying at all and became purely EK's ticket box, but do you like to see this happens? Me definitely not.

David

David

24 Oct 2010

Total posts 2337

We don't ban people for their opinion, Serg, only if they don't observe comment policy (and would prefer to encourage people to post on-topic and 'add value' to a conversation by allowing removal of comments or downvotes from users to get the message across).

Alexaqua

Alexaqua

14 Feb 2012

Total posts 37

I have QFF because of extensive travel in Australia (1-2 flights a month to Perth and 6 - 8 flights per month on the East coast). Plus 2-4 times per year to Europe. I love the QF/EK partnership. Frankly the Qantas first product sucks on the A380s, my last trip the seat was reset twice, the bathrooms are a joke and the crew are inconsistent. On the other hand, EK are brilliant (most f the time). I fly to Barcelona a bit and using QF in the old days meant through Heathrow, now it's direct from Dubai for me. Maybe I'm just one of the few who think it's the best partnership QF has.

Serg

Serg

QFF

12 Apr 2013

Total posts 1446

Thus I question again - if you like EK and Dubai as transit and value EK metal and service more than QF one then why not fly EK on EK tickets? Join EK program, collect their points and use them for upgrade. And you can spend your QFF accumulated points elsewhere like flying CX for example.

John Phelan

John Phelan

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

28 Oct 2011

Total posts 323

Actually, QFF elites are treated better by EK than by QF in terms of upgrades and recognition!

VintageDom

VintageDom

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

21 Oct 2012

Total posts 6

In my limited experience, I have to agree with John. Have been bumped up on two consecutive sectors by EK. 

drsimon50

drsimon50

qantas

10 Oct 2013

Total posts 113

but you cant use your QF points to upgrage on one world alliance member flights so why would EK allow it? would be nice of course to allow bilateral use - but QF dont allow on one world and that alliance has been a long time

eminere

eminere

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

25 Sep 2013

Total posts 1136

This is true and a useful perspective to keep in mind when discussing the so-called "failings" of the QF/EK partnership.

bl812

bl812

Emirates Airlines - Skywards

11 Mar 2015

Total posts 184

EK has one of the worst FF scheme,can't transfer points between family members either-maybe it's time for QF to reconsider this 'alliance"-you can book QF flight with EK points but that's the max one can do

Serg

Serg

QFF

12 Apr 2013

Total posts 1446

It is mauvais ton to criticize here QF master and their relationship in whole.

alansu

alansu

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

22 Jan 2015

Total posts 67

Was kind of hoping that when QF allowed points upgrades on QF codeshare flights to SCL on LA that they would consider other routes/partners too. Clearly not.

russell

russell

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

04 Nov 2011

Total posts 327

I would like to see upgrades on oneworld partners using QF points as a priority.

alenb

alenb

Emirates Airlines - Skywards

14 Feb 2014

Total posts 32

 if you have a tone QF qf points you pretty much have to beg Qantas to use them and then its really if they allow it where on EK upgrades and reward tix are readily available , cant compare

shirty4005

shirty4005

Emirates Airlines - Skywards

20 Feb 2017

Total posts 1

I've been Emirates Skywards gold for two years now, which is great when flying Emirates but is fairly limiting otherwise. Flying Qantas domestically, if I use my EK card for lounge access, they apply my EK Skywards number to my booking at the desk, which seems to negate earning any QF points ... and if it's a QF booking, means no EK points either. I haven't heard any instances of QF status matching Frequent Flyer membership with EK yet.
However, using Skywards points to book or upgrade flights is easy, always plenty of choice.

AT

AT

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

14 Sep 2012

Total posts 260

Honestly Qantas must be a little hobby for Emirates, so would they bother. 

evilbrian

evilbrian

Emirates Airlines - Skywards

07 Sep 2012

Total posts 151

As a long-term Skywards member I'm as happy as hell for the current arrangement to continue. I'd hate to have all those QFF members competing with me for EK upgrades

zoomzoom

zoomzoom

21 Aug 2015

Total posts 90

The QF FF scheme is a joke, absolutely over the top taxes and charges. Total rip off, QF give nothing to the mugs who are loyal. Glad I dumped them years ago, save your points and use them in various airlines that suit. More choice, better product less cost!

cosmocat12

cosmocat12

31 Mar 2017

Total posts 2

I have benefitted recently from the partnership. I used my QFF points to book an Emirates first flight on the A380. Could not be happier. I have never used points to book an upgrade however. Why can you book a seat using points points on EK, but not to upgrade?

evilbrian

evilbrian

Emirates Airlines - Skywards

07 Sep 2012

Total posts 151

Because it costs vastly more points to buy a ticket outright on EK than it does to upgrade, which is what both airlines want

Plat 1

Plat 1

01 Apr 2017

Total posts 8

Qantas - emirates partnership is a dud deal. 

As a qantas plat 1 FF can't even select your preferred seat. If I wanted to fly emirates I would place my loyalty with emirates not Qantas. Qantas need to ask their customers of all status what they think about the relationship with emirates and respond accordingly.

casanovawa

casanovawa

14 Sep 2013

Total posts 14

Especially as QF handed WA off to Emirates its a dud deal that Perth QFF residents can't use their points to upgrade unless they fly over to SYD/MEL and fly QF...

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