Qantas Gold Frequent Flyer Guide

Some highly useful benefits are unlocked once that shiny golden card lands in your hands.

By Staff Writers, July 18 2020
Qantas Gold Frequent Flyer Guide

Gold status in the Qantas Frequent Flyer program is often considered the 'sweet spot' in terms of the perks you get measured against the number of flights needed to pocket that shiny card.

Among those perks: access to hundreds of excellent airport lounges around the world, a higher checked baggage allowance and an earning boost of 75% more Qantas points on eligible flights.

 

How to earn Qantas Frequent Flyer Gold status

You'll have to clock up 700 status credits to gain a Gold card, but once that's done, you need only to accrue 600 per year to keep it.

Reaching Gold for the first time is a serious endorsement of your loyalty to Qantas.
Reaching Gold for the first time is a serious endorsement of your loyalty to Qantas.

You can earn those status credits for all Qantas flights and selected Jetstar flights (depending on what fare package you've bought); Oneworld member airlines such as American Airlines, British Airways and Cathay Pacific; and also codeshare flights with partner airlines including Emirates, China Airlines, Fiji Airways and Canada's WestJet.

However, at least four of your yearly Gold-qualifying trips must be on flights carrying a Qantas QF code, or with Jetstar on fares that earn both Qantas Points and status credits.

Flying domestically can make earning 700 status credits quite a chore. It's equivalent to 35 return trips from Sydney to Melbourne on the cheapest economy fares, or nine return business class trips on the same route.

Flying to Europe is much less a chore in the comfortable Boeing 787 business class.
Flying to Europe is much less a chore in the comfortable Boeing 787 business class.

It's much easier on international flights if you’re more of a globetrotter. Gold can be yours with just one return flight in first class or four treks in economy from Australia’s east coast to Rome or London with Qantas; three round-trips to Singapore in business class; or even a monthly sprint to Asia in economy.

If over the years of your Qantas Frequent Flyer membership, you travel enough to have earned 14,000 status credits, you'll be granted Lifetime Gold status.

Lounge access for Qantas Frequent Flyer Gold members

Arguably the biggest benefit unlocked by Gold-grade status is lounge access. For domestic travellers flying economy, Qantas operates lounges in over two dozen airports, with Gold members able to relax before their flight in Qantas Club lounges around the country.

And one guest can accompany you on every visit – very useful on business trips when flying with a colleague, or even your boss, who may not have status or lounge access on their own.

The Qantas Club at Brisbane Airport is one of many open to Gold-graded flyers.
The Qantas Club at Brisbane Airport is one of many open to Gold-graded flyers.

Less-known is that there’s actually no requirement for that guest to be travelling with you, or even flying at all. This is handy for informal pre-flight meetings or when you run into familiar faces along your travels, whether they’re coming or going.

On holidays, that guest could be a friend or partner. If travelling with little ones, Gold members can bring up to two children aged 4-17 into the lounge, along with kids aged 0-3 with no set limit – and that’s in addition to one adult guest, potentially getting your whole family through the door by way of your Gold membership.

Headed overseas? You can start your journey from Australia at Qantas’ international business class lounges and also drop into the new Qantas lounges in London, Singapore and Los Angeles.

Qantas reopened its Singapore lounge in late 2021.
Qantas reopened its Singapore lounge in late 2021.

You can also visit these international Qantas lounges when you're flying on a Oneworld partner airline or other subsidiaries and partners such as Jetstar, Emirates or Fiji Airways.

Your Qantas Frequent Flyer Gold card works the other way, too – it'll get you into the business lounges of British Airways, Cathay Pacific and other Oneworld airlines, along with most Emirates lounges whether travelling with Qantas or Emirates in economy, and the Fiji Airways Tabua Lounge in Nadi International Airport.

To see where you'll have lounge access on your next trip abroad, use Oneworld's handy lounge finder – just remember that Gold frequent flyers and other Oneworld Sapphire members can't access Oneworld first class lounges unless travelling in First.

Checked baggage allowance for Qantas Frequent Flyer Gold

Gold frequent flyers travelling within Australia can forget about Qantas’ regular economy baggage allowance of a single 23kg piece of luggage. Qantas Gold status ramps this to two bags of up to 32kg each, at no extra charge. That’s brilliant for everything from bulky material for a sales conference to tools of trade.

Qantas Gold members enjoy a big increase on their baggage allowance.
Qantas Gold members enjoy a big increase on their baggage allowance.

These travellers also receive a free electronic Q Bag Tag 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, where the ‘weight’ system applies, the boost is an easy 16kg on top of the published fare limit – totalling 46kg in economy, 56kg in premium economy and business class, and 66kg in first class including the bonus, again with a priority tag in any class of travel.

On international flights to North and South America, all Gold Qantas Frequent Flyers are entitled to 3 bags of up to 32kg each, regardless of booking class.

Further abroad across the Oneworld alliance, Gold frequent flyers can pack an additional 15kg over and above the regular economy allowance, or can bring an additional checked bag - of up to 23kg - where the 'piece' system is used, up to two bags in total.

(If the standard allowance includes one free checked bag, Gold members can bring two – and if no free checked baggage is usually offered, Gold members can bring one free bag, with the exception of British Airways' 'hand luggage only' fares.)

Some Oneworld airlines also provide generous allowances to Oneworld Sapphire and Qantas Gold frequent flyers over and above what's required...

British Airways gives Gold-grade frequent flyers – plus other travellers on the same reservation – an extra free checked bag when booked in economy on World Traveller, Euro Traveller and U.K. domestic fares (again, excludes 'hand luggage only'), and raises the weight limit per bag from 23kg to 32kg for the Gold member only whether stuck down the back or relaxing up the very front.

Stateside, American Airlines waives the usual fees on Qantas Gold members’ first two checked bags (up to 23kg per piece) and also extend that allowance to other travellers on the same booking, while Finnair allows one extra bag (up to 23kg) to be checked at no charge.

Holding Gold status can save you money on excess baggage charges.
Holding Gold status can save you money on excess baggage charges.

If a Gold member and their partner are jetting around on AA with two suitcases each, that’s an instant saving of $140 on every domestic journey within the USA and most flights to Central America or $200 ($350 if you are flying in basic economy) on flights from the USA to Europe and a cool $220 on flights between the States and South America.

More perks for Qantas Frequent Flyer Gold

Earn more points

Gold-grade frequent flyers earn 75% more points than Bronze members on flights with Qantas, Jetstar and American Airlines – excluding short routes like Sydney-Melbourne where Qantas’ Minimum Points Guarantee gives everybody the same bounty.

Note that this status bonus is applied to the actual points earned on the economy fare - or flexible economy when travelling in premium cabins)

For example, a return Qantas business class flight from Sydney to London would fetch a Bronze frequent flyer 40,300 Qantas Points (and 590 status credits) on a mid-range fare: but with Gold status, that haul is boosted to 58,900 Qantas Points.

Those extra points and status credits could see you join the Platinum ranks.
Those extra points and status credits could see you join the Platinum ranks.

Priority check-in and boarding

With a Oneworld Sapphire gemstone on your Gold membership card, you’re free to use the business class priority check-in facilities across the Oneworld alliance and with Emirates, along with priority boarding on most services.

Joining business class passengers and Qantas Frequent Flyer Platinum members, Gold cardholders can also use domestic priority boarding lanes wherever available, helping to get on the aircraft sooner and store any cabin baggage when there’s still plenty of space in the overhead bins.

Complimentary seat selection

With a Gold status card, you're able to book seats on Qantas international journeys without paying the usual ‘advance seat selection’ fee. The same applies to travel companions booked on the same reservation.

This perk also applies to flights with Qantas partners such as British Airways. Passengers on the UK airline are often surprised at its seat selection charges not only in economy and premium economy, but also in business class.

Gold frequent flyers will avoid seat selection charges on Qantas partner airlines too.
Gold frequent flyers will avoid seat selection charges on Qantas partner airlines too.

On a simple return trans-Atlantic hop, that can add over $200 to your travel costs: but in recognition of your frequent flyer status, BA waives all seat selection fees for Gold frequent flyers from the time of booking, including for all other passengers on the same reservation.

By comparison, Qantas Silver members only receive free BA seat selection within seven days of travel, while everybody else – including paid-up business class flyers sans status – can only make a gratis choice at the time of check-in, unless paying extra to reserve a seat in advance.

Lesser-known Qantas Frequent Flyer Gold perks

While all Qantas Frequent Flyer members can request domestic flight upgrades to business class using their Qantas Points – as a Gold member, you have one more option: an ‘on departure upgrade’.

Available until up to 20 minutes before your flight departs (compared to 24 hours prior for ‘normal’ upgrades), it’s a handy function if your travel plans regularly change as staff in the lounge or at the service desk may be able to help.

The number of points required is the same as any other upgrade on the same flight, and although you may not be ‘guaranteed’ catering if granted an upgrade at the airport.

These jetsetters also have a greater chance of using frequent flyer points to book a flight, with additional award seats available exclusively to Gold and Platinum members on selected services.

More Classic Reward seats are available to Gold Qantas Frequent Flyer members.
More Classic Reward seats are available to Gold Qantas Frequent Flyer members.

They appear online in the same way as any other award seat, although you may notice more availability between what’s shown by default and what’s presented when you search again after logging into your Qantas Frequent Flyer account.

If you’re flying with Emirates – whether on an award seat or a regular ticket – you’ll also receive invitations wherever available to skip the queues at customs and immigration, which is normally reserved for Qantas Platinum members on the Flying Kangaroo.

Phone calls made to the Qantas Contact Centre are also handled with priority, as are any premium economy, business class and first class upgrades requests: processed after those from Platinum One and Platinum members on the same flight yet ahead of Silver, Qantas Club and Bronze travellers.

It’s also occasionally possible to switch flights at the airport without fronting up for the change fee or the fare difference, but that’s the exception rather than the rule.

19 Sep 2012

Total posts 12

British Airways also gives oneworld sapphire members up to 32kg baggag allowance (up from 23kg) and an extra bag in economy and premium for free.

24 Apr 2012

Total posts 2546

Great pick-up rededeal, thanks – we've now added baggage details for BA.

QFF

19 Sep 2013

Total posts 181

I'm always puzzled by a possible paradox here: It's very difficult to obtain Gold by only flying economy. But if you fly Business and obtain Gold, it's not much value to you if you continue to only fly Business.

07 Aug 2012

Total posts 196

Probably aimed at those who fly Business for work and Economy for leisure.

Qantas

19 Apr 2012

Total posts 1445

You do get extra points and status credits if you fly business as well and that counts big time, especially for keeping gold..

04 Aug 2014

Total posts 39

Many people fly business internationally and economy domestically.

In the long haul flight Gold status doesn't really provide anything valuable except for the lounge and extra baggage because the economy class is just as cramped as usual. 

In short domestic sector seat isn't a concern but the lounge access is rather important and you get to choose superior seats when booking the ticket.  

 

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

09 May 2013

Total posts 132

Still not sure why they don't have priority boarding for gold in domestic. Having QFF Gold, I can board earlier with american (domestic). OW lists priority boarding for sapphire, even on QFF magazine onboard. How do they lose out? After all trying to get gold is not as easy as you all know. 

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

17 Aug 2012

Total posts 2219

The answer is simple. The morning and evening peak business flights, e.g. the 6:00pm SYD-MEL, are packed to the hilt with elites, so if the Golds had priority boarding you would find that about half the plane would have priority boarding, which would defeat the purpose of it.

04 Aug 2014

Total posts 39

^This. Gold status isn't that hard to achieve especially for the business travellers. The chances are priority boarding would become meaningless if it opens up to Gold status. 

 

Qantas

19 Apr 2012

Total posts 1445

In most places priority boarding where it occurs is open to Gold Status (Emirates it is Silver) - very handy on an A380 when one wants to gets one baggage up top. But in some domestic sectors it is also priorty as well. Just nice event when most Gold  et al want to be in the lounge and board last.  The big advantage of Gold is Lifetime Gold. One's dotage can be spent travelling with lounge access when the boss does not pay.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

09 May 2013

Total posts 132

I can understand if platinum ones and platinum so don't like gold members getting priority, but after they are boadrded they can still offer gold and even silver before boarding regular passengers. AA does this well domestically. I noticed today that gold is out of favour for sydney domestic premium security lane. Has this just happened? 

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

17 Aug 2012

Total posts 2219

Golds haven't had priority security for over a year. I think they lost it at the same time Plats lost anytime access to the lounge, but I'm only a Silver eking out his existence on the occasional service recovery QP invite so please don't quote me on that.

Mind you, SYD T3 has multiple lanes in its central checkpoint, all of which are used in the peak. it also has a subsidiary checkpoint on the far side (i.e. furthest away from the AirportLink and Avro replica) that is open most of the day until mid-evening.

This is plenty of capacity and while there are lines in the morning rush, ordinary security at T3 is as fast as Express Path at T1, so you're not really losing out. (I've done them all at SYD, and T3 is a breeze.)

In any case, rather than try and board first, I'd focus on getting my work done in the lounge (or finishing my flat white - the Vittoria staff are good - or scoffing yet another decadent yoghurt with fruit and muesli).

24 Apr 2012

Total posts 2546

Hi watson374,

Gold frequent flyers and Oneworld Sapphire members can still use priority screening where available at domestic Australian airports, although not at international airports.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

17 Aug 2012

Total posts 2219

I stand corrected! Thanks, Chris.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

03 Sep 2014

Total posts 4

Hey everyone! I just achieved gold & got my tags yesterday!!!!

24 Apr 2012

Total posts 2546

Nice work Natski – enjoy your new perks!

30 Oct 2014

Total posts 12

Gold card holders should be ware that the American Airlines baggage benefits for gold card holders do NOT extend to travellers on the same booking when travelling on a domnestic sector as the rules have changed. I found this out the hard way when travelling from Mintreal to NY which is considered a domestic sector.

24 Apr 2012

Total posts 2546

Hi Andrew,

I hope you kept your receipt to request a refund, as that's not what is being promoted by AA on its own website.

The published AA baggage rules state that the first and second checked bags are free for the following travellers:

  • Oneworld alliance Sapphire (Qantas Gold)
  • Customers flying on the same reservation as a... Sapphire member regardless of frequent flyer status or fare type (not applicable to group bookings)

  • These free checked bag allowances apply on flights marketed and operated by American Airlines, or on flights marketed by American Airlines and American Eagle service. American Eagle service is operated by Envoy Airlines Inc.

On the other hand, AAdvantage Gold members (the equivalent of Qantas Silver and Oneworld Ruby) and their guests no longer get two free checked bags if the booking was made on or after April 8 2014 - perhaps the agent was confused Qantas Gold (Oneworld Sapphire) and AA Gold (Oneworld Ruby)?

Full details here: https://www.aa.com/i18n/utility/baggageExceptions.jsp

-Chris

16 Oct 2014

Total posts 8

Hi All,

I would like to know if I can bring one guest along to any OneWorld or Emirates lounge with my QFF gold satus? Just achieved it for the first time this month and would like to put it to good use.

Thanks!

24 Apr 2012

Total posts 2546

Hi leechangzhi,

Congratulations! If you can access the lounge (as in, if you're flying with the correct airline to grant you access to an Emirates or Oneworld lounge), you can indeed bring one guest in with you. Enjoy!

16 Oct 2014

Total posts 8

Thanks Chris!

One more question, how strict are the lounges about the one guest rule? What if I am travelling on the same itinary with two or three friends? Are they flexible with lounge access for all?

I understand all on the itinary will be welcomed to check in together at Business Class counters and given priorty baggage?

Thanks!

23 Jul 2015

Total posts 3

i'm gold status FF, can i access the int business lounge if flying non qantas/codeshare airlines??

24 Apr 2012

Total posts 2546

This is covered in the article above – yes if the airline is a Oneworld partner (Cathay Pacific, British Airways etc.) or also Emirates and Jetstar, but not when flying with other airlines such as Singapore Airlines, for example.

23 Jul 2015

Total posts 3

so if im flying garuda from melbourne airport, i'm unable to access the lounge even with gold status?

24 Apr 2012

Total posts 2546

That's correct, because Garuda isn't a Qantas or Oneworld partner.

If you were flying in Garuda business class or were booked in economy and a frequent flyer with a SkyTeam airline such as Garuda itself or Korean Air, Delta etc., you would have lounge access.

Another option in Melbourne would be to pay for access to the Air New Zealand lounge, which is $55 at the door.

I have a question about lounge access for gold members. I travel a lot on CX and KA through HKIA. On these flights I normally put my QFF number which gives me access to a lounge, however I don’t get any qantas points or status credits on fares that are cheaper than full economy. I’m also a member of Asiamiles, but with no status. I’m keen to find out if I can attach my asiamiles number to my tickets to build up my points, and still access the Qantas lounge in HK by showing my membership card? Anyone with experience doing this? Thank you in advance for any help on this question!


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