Qantas opens business class check-in to Silver frequent flyers

By David Flynn, August 10 2015
Qantas opens business class check-in to Silver frequent flyers

UPDATE | Qantas passengers carrying a silver Qantas Frequent Flyer card can now use business class check-in counters on all international flights.

'Silvers' headed overseas have traditionally been restricted to premium economy counters by default, with access to the business class lanes only when there's no premium economy counter.

Earned after clocking up 300 Status Credits in a single year, Silver is the lowest rung on the Qantas Frequent Flyer ladder after the entry-level Bronze tier and the first to come with any actual perks.

Read: Qantas Frequent Flyer Silver – the unofficial guide

Gold-grade frequent flyers count business class check-in and lounge access as their top benefits, while Platinum status sees travellers head for the first class check-in desk and first class lounge.

Mindful of the increased traffic at business class check-in desks once Silvers join the queue, a Qantas spokesperson told Australian Business Traveller that the airline planned to boost the number of business class counters and trim back those assigned to premium economy.

Oneworld Priority

The change comes as the Oneworld airline alliance, which counts Qantas among its worldwide members, introduces a new Oneworld Priority program to more clearly communicate the alliance-wide web of benefits based on your frequent flyer status.

This includes upgraded airport signage to reflect which Oneworld-wide status tier.

Oneworld uses gemstones as alliance-wide status icons with QFF Silver aligned to Ruby, Gold matched to Sapphire and Platinum equating to Emerald.

Qantas will introduce new Oneworld Priority signage across its domestic and international network starting August 1 in a rolling four-month program.

Qantas' decision to upgrade the check-in experience of Silver frequent flyers brings it fully into line with Oneworld's published policy that 'Ruby' status-holders (which is equivalent to QFF Silver) should be able to check in at business class desks.

Read more: Oneworld Priority scheme helps frequent flyers spot status perks

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David Flynn is the Editor-in-Chief of Executive Traveller and a bit of a travel tragic with a weakness for good coffee, shopping and lychee martinis.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

12 Jul 2014

Total posts 110

Good to see QFF finally following suite of OW. BIt annoying that I can Business Check-in and Board with BA, but cant do so with my own airline. It rightly should be:

Bronze - award bookings

Silver - Bronze + Priority Check-in & Boarding

Gold - Silver + Lounge Access

Platinum - Gold + First Class Check-in & Lounge

PO - quote: 'I wont say cos I/employer spend stupid $$ on me flying.....'

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

08 Sep 2012

Total posts 244

On BA, only BA Silver and Gold Card (OW Sapphire and Emerald)  holders get priority boarding.

As a QF Silver (OW Ruby) you'd normally have to wait with the normal queue when on BA.

You've been lucky.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

21 Jul 2014

Total posts 147

BA gives priority boarding to Bronze/Ruby equivalent.

As of August 18th, BA will by tier (unlike the free for all farce now where 3/4 of the plane qualifies) - so OWE first, OWS next, then OWR.

correction: BA will board by tier

British Airways Executive Club Gold

25 Jun 2015

Total posts 22

OWR, OWS and OWE all have priority boarding on BA.

A bit of a farce really as it means on some flights most of the plane has priority boarding. I've been on a few of the early morning EDI-LHR 767 flights where I've left the lounge before the boarding call (which is called early in the lounge to give those there a head start) to find myself queuing behind at least 60-80 people in the fast track queue.


BA did run a modified boarding trial a-la-AA a month ago from certain stations (including EDI) where they boarded BA Gold/OWE, then BA Silver/OWS, then BA Bronze/OWR before general boarding. All good in practise except for the fact that after announcing boarding for OWE they only wait about 10 seconds before announcing boarding for OWS...

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

23 Oct 2013

Total posts 714

Generally other oneworld airlines like BA and CX extend their own frequent flyer benefits to other frequent flyers from the oneworld networks

It was about three years ago when I flew cathay from Brisbane via Cairns to Hong Kong as a QF silver and upon noticing the sign welcoming the OW Ruby flyers I checked in at the Business Class desk and was told that I can do that on an CX flight. Upon boarding the same checkin staff were also operating the boarding lanes and when she saw me standing there I was called foward and told again I can always use the prority lanes as a QF Silver when flying on CX 

Its small benefits like that which the other OW airlines don't publish

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

14 Jan 2015

Total posts 30

Thats great news for silver members, not that the line up is particularly long for them at the moment, but it does seems a little unfair on gold members and business class passengers. I wonder, will silver members get priority baggage tags on these international flights?

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

18 Jun 2015

Total posts 107

I doubt it

Premium Economy passengers dont get priority baggage so i doubt Silver will start getting it.

But the changes are great. I have a trip booked in mid august so this is perfect

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

23 Oct 2013

Total posts 714

Last flight on Qantas I had prority attatched but that was from Brisbane -> Sydney -> Tokyo

It was all on the one ticket in economy and prority bag was printed on the label in Brisbane from the computer system

25 Jul 2011

Total posts 12

The commitment to priority baggage for high tier FFs is a bit of a con anyway. The number of times I have had to wait until the carousel is almost empty and everybody else has their bag before mine arrives. I don't think priority baggage should be offered as a member benefit if it isn't guaranteed.

Jetstar Airways - Qantas Frequent Flyer

25 Mar 2015

Total posts 7

Absoloutely ridiculous - why does Qantas want to downgrade the value of Gold just to get in line with one or two other OneWorld airlines? They  should be a step above with others wanting to follow Qantas's lead  rather then become just a follower. Qantas obviousley does not check to see the lines for Business Class check in already - even adding a few more check in points, with Silver now checking in at Business, this is going to force a line longer then standard economy check in - what next, just join as a FF and check in at First Class??

The more they water down priveledges the elss the priveledge becomes!!!


Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

18 Jun 2015

Total posts 107

Oneworld Ruby & QFF Silver members already had Business checkin before Premium Economy was a thing so really its just adding this back. 

Only time will tell if it creates more queues at checkin. 

09 May 2015

Total posts 34

Seems to cheapen the Qantas business class product...I mean, why would real business class passengers want to muck in line and wait behind a bunch of business wannabes?

Those poor people in business will just have to relax and enjoy the countless other benefits such as lounge access, flat bed, incredible food and champagne ay?

Singapore Airlines - KrisFlyer

06 Feb 2014

Total posts 71

Big   News  -   Qantas  frequent  fliers   working    for  the   Government ,  flying  for    work  related  travel  may   not   get   any frequent  Flyer  points  ,  these   will be   nabbed   by  the  Government to   fund    further  travel.  Bad   news   if  you are a   public   servant.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer Platinum

07 Feb 2013

Total posts 558

You must be reading very old news, that has been that case for over 20 years now

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

18 Jun 2015

Total posts 107

Hey David

Has this gone ahead. As a silver member i haven't received any communication and the website hasn't been updated. 

24 Oct 2010

Total posts 2580

Hi sdtravel – have not seen any memebr updates from Qantas but the website has been updated to relect this, see

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

25 Sep 2013

Total posts 1272

And if you're particularly concerned you might get turned away at the business class check-in counters, print out a copy of the page and bring it with you to show staff.

Not sure that following OW lead is so clever on this occasion. It seems to me (although I'm happy to be proven wrong) that QF has an awful lot more FFers on higher status tiers (Silver and above) than other airlines, given the long distances that QF customers fly... It is not very difficult to make Silver on QF.

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