Qantas Frequent Flyer members can now use Qantas Points for an upgrade to business class on Aircalin flights from Sydney and Brisbane to Noumea (New Caledonia), and on LATAM Airlines flights from Melbourne to Santiago (Chile).
There’s just one catch – points-based upgrades are only available on flights booked under a Qantas codeshare flight number: so book with Aircalin on the normal SB flight number or with LATAM on an LA-coded flight and you’ll be stuck flying in economy.
The ‘magic’ flight numbers to book are QF361/QF362 between Sydney and Noumea, QF363/QF364 between Brisbane and Noumea and QF5027/QF5028 between Melbourne and Santiago, which can be booked via the Qantas website.
Between Sydney and Noumea, you’ll part with 11,000 points for a one-way business class upgrade from an economy Flex fare; 20,000 points on an economy Saver ticket or 26,000 points if your initial economy class flight was booked using Qantas Points as a Classic Flight Reward.
As with Qantas’ own international flights and selected codeshare flights on other routes, journeys booked on the least-expensive economy Sale fares are ineligible for upgrades – so if you’re planning to move forward into business class, consider purchasing a Saver fare or higher:
On journeys between Brisbane and Noumea, just 8,500 Qantas Points could see you upgraded from an economy Flex fare, with 15,000 Qantas Points required for a business class upgrade from economy Saver tickets and 18,000 Qantas Points on economy Classic Flight Reward tickets.
Further afield, trekking between Melbourne and Santiago attracts an asking price of 49,500 Qantas Points to upgrade from an economy Flex fare, 90,000 Qantas Points from an economy Saver fare and an even 100,000 Qantas Points if travelling on an economy Classic Flight Reward booking secured on the Qantas QF flight number.
As with all international flight upgrades in the Qantas Frequent Flyer program, these codeshare upgrades are also subject to availability in the days before departure, and aren’t guaranteed in advance, being a ‘request’ that’s considered shortly before you fly.
Since April 2015, Qantas Frequent Flyer members have also been able to upgrade to business class aboard LATAM Airlines’ flights between Sydney and Santiago via Auckland, when booking the journey as a Qantas codeshare flight.
However, points-based upgrades with Emirates continue to be unavailable to Qantas Frequent Flyer members, even as regulatory approval for the Qantas+Emirates partnership comes up for renewal in March.