Qantas frequent flyers travelling on American Airlines can expect to earn fewer points from September, with Qantas axing the 'minimum points guarantee' for travel on its US partner.
That system currently sees a baseline of 500 Qantas Points handed out for even the shortest American Airlines flights, including popular connections such as from Los Angeles – the west coast hub of both Qantas and AA – to San Francisco and Las Vegas.
As of September 1, the number of Qantas Points earned on those and other short-hop routes – commonly flights of less than 90 minutes – will fall by up to 80%.
The exception will be American Airlines flights booked under a Qantas QF flight number, typically as part of a more extensive itinerary beginning with a Qantas flight to the US.
The shortest flights on the American Airlines network will see passengers on most flexible economy tickets earning just 250 Qantas Points, while travellers on mid-range economy fares will accrue 125 Qantas Points.
The cheapest tickets available – which correspond to American's 'O' and 'Q' class fares – will land a mere 100 Qantas Points.
Curiously, the Qantas website indicates that a 'B' class American Airlines flexible economy ticket – AA’s second-most expensive economy fare – will deliver no points at all from the same date, even though you’ll continue to earn points on all of AA’s lower- and higher-priced tickets.
Status bonus stays
Qantas has however retained its 'status bonus' for passengers booking American Airlines flights under AA flight numbers. Silver-grade Qantas Frequent Flyer members will get a bonus of 25% additional points, with an extra 75% serve for Golds and 100% more points if you're carrying a Platinum or Platinum One card.
Passengers in American Airlines domestic 'first class' – which equates to business class in Australia and most other countries – won't be affected by the change, as these flights still earn at least 500 Qantas Points anyway under the Qantas Frequent Flyer USA earning tables.
Qantas' move follows American Airlines axing the ‘minimum points guarantee’ from its own AAdvantage frequent flyer scheme on August 1 (although passengers booked on B-class flexible fares can continue to earn miles under the AAdvantage program, even after September 1).
Passengers travelling on American Airlines but with a Qantas QF flight number on their ticket will also continue to earn points as though they were travelling on a Qantas aircraft, including with a minimum guarantee of 800 Qantas Points on every flight.
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