Qantas Frequent Flyer Silver: the unofficial guide

By Chris Chamberlin, November 14 2014
Qantas Frequent Flyer Silver: the unofficial guide

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

As you begin to notch up status credits in the Qantas Frequent Flyer program, Silver membership is quickly yours and gives a taste of what’s to come if you continue travelling with Qantas and its partner airlines.

Among the perks: earn up to 50% more points on flights, pay no seat selection fees when heading abroad and receive one free visit each year to the Qantas Club lounges.

How to earn Qantas Frequent Flyer Silver status

Just 300 status credits in a single membership year lands you a Silver membership, and you’ll only need to earn 250 status credits in the years that follow to keep your shiny card.

Status credits are earned when flying with Qantas, its Oneworld partners such as British Airways and Cathay Pacific, on Jetstar flights with a Plus Bundle or above, on Fiji Airways services and on Qantas QF codeshare flights including with Emirates, Canada’s WestJet and China Airlines.

You’ll also need to take at least four points-earning flights with Qantas or Jetstar each year, otherwise you’ll be stuck at the Bronze tier.

A single return trip from Sydney to London in premium economy combined with just one economy return trek to Melbourne gets you over the line for Silver, as would 15 return economy trips on that same domestic route.

If over the years of your Qantas Frequent Flyer membership you travel enough to have earned 7,000 status credits, you'll be granted Lifetime Silver status.

Lounge access for Qantas Frequent Flyer Silver members

As the first stepping stone towards the top of the Frequent Flyer food chain, Silver members don’t enjoy lounge access before every flight.

Instead, they receive a single-use lounge invitation that can be redeemed for access into any domestic Qantas Club, most Qantas international business class lounges (excludes Los Angeles), or the Qantas lounges in Hong KongSingapore and London when flying with the Red Roo or Jetstar.

They can also be used to access Qantas lounges when travelling with other airlines such as Emirates and China Eastern, although you’ll need to have a Qantas flight number on your ticket to get past the front door.

For further lounge access, members can pay for Qantas Club membership at the prevailing rates.

Checked baggage allowance for Qantas Frequent Flyer Silver

Within Australia on Qantas domestic economy flights, Silver frequent flyers can cart along one 32kg bag – a 9kg boost on the usual 1x23kg limit – and receive the usual 2x32kg allowance in business class.

Silver members 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 on many Aussie domestic hops.

On Qantas and Emirates international flights, the allowance is boosted to an extra 12kg of total weight in every class of service, except to North and South America where an extra 23kg checked bag can be taken.

However, higher baggage allowances on carriers such as British Airways, Cathay Pacific and Finnair don’t apply to Qantas Frequent Flyer Silver members.

Other perks for Qantas Frequent Flyer Silver

50% more points are served up when travelling with Qantas and Jetstar, along with 25% more points with American Airlines – including eligible codeshare services booked through Qantas and AA with non-alliance partners such as Emirates and Alaska Airlines.

Silver cards also come adorned with a Oneworld Ruby gemstone, which lets you side-step the queues at either the Premium Service Desks or business class queues ahead of Qantas, Emirates and Oneworld flights.

That red spot isn't just an oval – it's your key to the fast lane, so don't lose it!
That red spot isn't just an oval – it's your key to the fast lane, so don't lose it!

You’ll also be able to grab a seat slightly closer to the front on Qantas domestic flights, while the $25/person ‘advance seat selection fee’ is waived on Qantas international flights for the Silver member and any travellers booked on the same itinerary.

Flight upgrades, online award bookings for Qantas Frequent Flyer Silver

Silver members booked in economy can ask for an ‘on departure upgrade’ at the Qantas Club service desk whenever they have access to the lounge – great when you’ve booked at the last minute or where upgrades weren’t available online or over the phone.

Where upgrade requests to premium economy, business class and first class are queued, those from Silver guests are processed ahead of Bronze members, although after Platinum One, Platinum and Gold members.

Also, these travellers have a slightly higher chance of redeeming their points for a free flight with a small selection of seats withheld for Silver members and above, so always remember to log in before searching for award flights via the Qantas website.

And if you’re stuck at the airport on standby or on a waitlist, you’ll again be closer to the front of the queue than non-members and Bronze frequent flyers – which could mean the difference between taking off on time and waiting hours for the next departure.

Planning your move up to Gold status? Keep reading:

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Chris Chamberlin

Chris Chamberlin is the Associate Editor of Executive Traveller, and lives by the motto that a journey of a thousand miles begins not just with a single step, but also a strong latte, a theatre ticket, and later in the day, a good gin and tonic.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

09 Oct 2014

Total posts 35

I thought for AA your oneWorld ruby status allowed for one free checked bag each for everyone travelling with you? 

That ended in April I'm afraid... AA is honouring the 'two free bags' rule for Qantas Silver/Oneworld Ruby passengers that booked before it was removed, but for all new bookings made by these travellers, no baggage fee waiver applies.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

09 Oct 2014

Total posts 35

Thanks for the update!! I guess I'm lucky I hit Gold last week and have 5 AA flights this month. I would have been in for an unfortunate surprise otherwise.  

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