Qantas Frequent Flyer Platinum: the unofficial guide

By Chris Chamberlin, October 27 2014
Qantas Frequent Flyer Platinum: the unofficial guide

This article is part of our ongoing Business Travel 101 series for newcomers to the world of business travel.

Serious frequent flyers will want to aim for Platinum status in the Qantas Frequent Flyer program thanks to a raft of generous perks that apply whether you’re flying at the front or stuck down the back.

On that list, access to first class lounges even when booked in economy, double points on eligible flights and a better shot at domestic and international awards and upgrades.

How to earn Qantas Frequent Flyer Platinum status

A Platinum card can be yours after earning 1,400 status credits in one membership year and retained in future years by earning at least 1,200 status credits.

Flights taken on Qantas along with Oneworld airlines such as British Airways and Cathay Pacific count towards that tally, as do Jetstar flights that are eligible to earn frequent flyer points, flights with Fiji Airways, and also codeshare flights on Qantas’ partners such as Emirates, China Southern and Canada’s WestJet.

You’ll also need to take at least four flights with a Qantas QF code, or at least four points-earning flights on Jetstar, to reach or retain your Platinum status.

To hit Platinum for the first time, 70 return trips between Sydney and either Melbourne or Brisbane on the cheaper economy fares would do the trick, as would 18 return trips in business class.

Jetting from Australia’s east coast to Asia and back – including to Singapore, Hong Kong, Tokyo and Shanghai – that’s six round-trip business class trips to cross the 1,400 barrier, or a near-fortnightly round trip in economy.

On longer flights, three return business class journeys from Sydney or Melbourne to London gets you that shiny Platinum card, as would 10 return economy flights on the same route.

Lounge access for Qantas Frequent Flyer Platinum members

Platinum frequent flyers can visit Qantas Clubs and domestic business class lounges with two guests whenever travelling with the Red Roo, and can also stop by the lounges after a domestic flight to freshen up or for an extra shot of coffee.

The superb Qantas First Lounges at Sydney, Melbourne and Los Angeles (below) await you and a guest, as do the also-new new Qantas lounges in Hong KongSingapore whether flying with Qantas, a Oneworld airline or even Jetstar.

In LA, Platinum members can score a free shirt pressing and shoe shine service, and can also jump the queue when waiting for the showers, although that perk is held for elite Platinum One flyers in Hong Kong and Singapore.

Also read: Qantas readies new Los Angeles first class lounge

Through Oneworld, your Qantas Platinum card opens the door to the business and first class lounges of American Airlines, British Airways, Cathay Pacific and more, plus most Emirates lounges whether travelling with Qantas or Emirates in economy and the Fiji Airways Tabua Lounge in Nadi International Airport.

If you’re flying within the Oneworld family, use the alliance’s nifty lounge finder to see where you’ll be relaxing at the start of your next journey.

Checked baggage allowance for Qantas Frequent Flyer Platinum

Whenever travelling with a Oneworld member airline, Qantas Platinum members can check in one extra bag, or an additional 20kg, at no extra charge.

On Qantas and other selected airlines, the benefits are slightly more generous, as follows:

  • Qantas domestic flights
    • In economy: 2 x 32kg
    • In business class: 3 x 32kg
  • Qantas and Emirates international flights
    • To North and South America (all classes): one extra checked bag, with 32kg allowed in each bag
    • To all other destinations: an extra 20kg
  • American Airlines and US Airways
    • Three free checked bags (up to 23kg per piece), plus:
    • Two free checked bags for travellers on the same booking as the Platinum member
  • British Airways
    • One extra bag for the Platinum member and any passenger also booked on the same reservation, plus:
    • A weight allowance of 32kg per piece for the Platinum member only

For use on Australian domestic flights, Platinum frequent flyers also receive two free electronic Q Bag Tags to attach to their luggage, which can be used in lieu of a traditional paper baggage tag.

More perks for Qantas Frequent Flyer Platinum

Double points are up for grabs when flying with Qantas, Jetstar and American Airlines – including eligible codeshare services booked through Qantas and AA with non-alliance partners such as Emirates and Alaska Airlines.

Platinum cards are also encrusted with a Oneworld Emerald gemstone, which lets you side-step the queues by using the business and first class check-in lines across the Oneworld alliance and with Emirates, along with priority boarding whenever it’s available – including on Qantas domestic flights.

You’ll also be able to nab a spot closer to the front and in the extra-legroom exit rows on Qantas domestic flights, and on Qantas international flights, the normal $25/person ‘advance seat selection fee’ is waived for the Platinum member and their accompanying party.

You can also whisk through Qantas’ domestic priority security screening lanes in selected airports, and will receive Express Path cards when flying abroad with Qantas and Emirates for use both on departure and on your return to Australia.

Flight upgrades, online award bookings for Qantas Frequent Flyer Platinum

On domestic flights, Platinum members booked in economy can ask for an ‘on departure upgrade’ at the lounge service desk, which is great when travelling on a whim or where upgrades weren’t available online or over the phone.

Where upgrade requests to premium economy, business class and first class are placed in a queue, those from Platinum guests are processed after Platinum One members but before those from Gold, Silver, Qantas Club and Bronze flyers.

When using points to simply book the flight, there are additional award seats available exclusively to Gold and Platinum members on selected services, so always remember to log in before searching for award flights via the Qantas website.

In short: Platinum-grade frequent flyers have a better shot at scoring an upgrade or using their points to sit in business class than frequent flyers do at the lower tiers.

The unpublished Qantas Frequent Flyer Platinum perks

Qantas has a dedicated call centre devoted to serving Platinum-grade members: you’ll find the number on the back of your card.

The operators at the Premium Desk tend to be more experienced than those of the general call centre, and can even assist with booking frequent flyer award seats on flights that only have cash fares available.

These requests are granted or declined at Qantas’ sole discretion, but there’s no harm done by asking the team nicely if an award seat can be booked on your preferred date.

On Qantas flights – particularly the longer treks across to Perth or when heading overseas – a member of the crew may also drop by your seat with selected goodies from business or even first class, such as amenity kits, noise-cancelling headphones or premium drinks (sometimes discreetly served in an economy-style cup).

Or, you may instead have the crew ask if they can “get you anything” when handing over your Express arrivals card. That’s your cue to ask with a smile for something from the pointy end without going overboard, such as “a nice glass of red” or “a little bubbly”.

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ChrisCh
ChrisCh

Chris Chamberlin

Chris Chamberlin is the Associate Editor of Executive Traveller and lives by the motto that a journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step, a great latte, a theatre ticket and a glass of wine!

turbojezz

turbojezz

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

20 Mar 2014

Total posts 125

Love the last paragraph!

Gbear

Gbear

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

27 Oct 2014

Total posts 1

I agree with almost everything in this post. Here is where it all goes bad:

1. You approach the gate for boarding with your Platinum card in hand. There is two queues-one for Business Class/Platinum, the other for general boarding. The people in the long queue decide they should jump over to the other, shorter one. Qantas staff do nothing about this, except give the queue-jumpers a less-enthusiastic welcome. Platinum flyers still end up queuing.

2.  If sitting in Economy, I'm usually in the front row. Sometimes I receive a special welcome and am asked if my jacket needs to be hung. This happens around one flight out of five. Special treats from Business Class? Never.

It's the ability to select seats from the forward rows that is important to me. Otherwise the perks are a hotch-potch of here today and gone tomorrow. As with most things, Qantas could do this a lot better.

markpk

markpk

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

29 Nov 2013

Total posts 445

I think the boarding kerfuffle is down to the time of day. If the flights around the middle of the day its more likely to have holiday/tourist travellers who aren't as clued into how the system works. 

In my experience, the peak hour business flights you've generally got experienced travellers who are more compliant (envious, but compliant). 

LivingWater

LivingWater

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

15 Aug 2014

Total posts 10

Cant agree more. I am only gold but fly business on occassion. I once saw the business platinum line longer than the general. Brought it to attention of qantas staff. They did nothing.

thank goodness virgin did status match and i can take my business elsewhere, 

Yohy

Yohy

20 Apr 2014

Total posts 94

I believe Plats can request classic reward seats to be made available in some instances? 

Also if travelling from SYD or MEL internationally its usually possibly to get a quick treatment in the First Lounge Spa if it isn't peak time  even if not travelling First.

 

gumshoe

gumshoe

04 Nov 2012

Total posts 216

Not used most of the plat. benefits, but we love the 1st lounges, luggage always under weight, book in online and all fresh from hotel before airport arrival, mine runs out soon, will then be just a gold, but that's OK.

11sjw

11sjw

11 Mar 2012

Total posts 285

Have enjoyed the Platinum perks whilst having them.  Enjoyed F Lounges in SYD and HKG as well as all the domestic J Lounges in Oz.  Pity they now annouce a Business Lounge in Perth (my home port) as the Platinum will be gone by the time it opens. :-(

I believe the recent "Simpler & Fairer" enhancement will see the end of a few Platinum memberships as the status runs in North America become devalued. Great for those that keep it and a negative for those that don't.

LivingWater

LivingWater

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

15 Aug 2014

Total posts 10

Feel sorry for platium who fly so much yet still get poor treatment.

recently sat with a platinum one flyer, front row economy whilst 8 empty business class seats stared us in the face. How does qantas treat such a good customer like that.

i was in awe of the fact that he got no special treatment.

the platinum one member just accepted it and commented that qantas sucks but his company uses qantas so no choice

mattjw

mattjw

29 Oct 2014

Total posts 1

I'm a platinum member, and have never had an upgrade on Qantas (despite business often being almost empty). Emirates is a different story, virtually every time I fly to NZ they upgrade me. As a result, I now choose Emirates over Qantas whenever possible.

dmilburn

dmilburn

29 Oct 2014

Total posts 2

Great article Chris.

I think what you've written is actually very accurate, I've had offers of "perks" from business class at times and similar to other comments have also received no additional attention at time also.

I'd be interested in a review of the Virgin equivalent and comparison if one has not already been written. And also further a comment made by Jeremy, has anyone transferred from Qantas Platinum  to Virgin and been able to move straight into Platinum.  Also I guess I'd be interested in tips on how to maximise the opportunity in terms of additonal benefits when considering the move?

stevo1702

stevo1702

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

09 Oct 2014

Total posts 35

About 2-3 months ago I received a Virgin status match and landed straight on Platinum despite never having reached Velocity Silver prior. 

This is particularly great for me because I fly into Maroochydore to visit family several times a year and the journey on VA metal has become significantly better. 

ick

ick

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

29 Oct 2014

Total posts 1

As a QF Platinum member, the Qantas check in, lounge and cabin crew are mostly very attentative and go the extra mile to ensure that I am welcomed and comfortable.  Occaisionally one of the staff is not having the best of days, but they are human. 

I regularly fly some of the other One World Airlines and have to say, at the moment, Qantas are out on their own as far as good, friendly service.  Hopefully the airline cost savings won't change the current good service and recognition that we get.

phyllisbird

phyllisbird

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

17 Aug 2012

Total posts 13

I'm not sure when it changed, but it now seems that the ability for a Platinum FF to score exit row seats for free has gone. I just booked a PER - SYD return ticket and it now expects $60 for an exit row seat. I checked the Platinum privileges on qantas.com and sure enough, it's no longer listed - you have to be P1 to get that benefit.

$60 for a domestic exit row seat? It's like they're TRYING to lose passengers!


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