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EXCLUSIVE | Qantas Frequent Flyer members will soon be able to use their hard-earned frequent flyer points to book reward flights with Malaysia Airlines, Japan Airlines and China Eastern via the Qantas website.
Booking points-based travel on these airlines can currently be made only by phoning the Qantas call centre, which of course takes significantly more time than booking online and makes it hard for travellers to know whether they can use their points on specific dates or flights before dialling in.
Some travellers have also reported encountering telephone agents who aren’t familiar with the process of booking reward flights on other Oneworld airlines – requiring them to hang up, call back again and try their luck with a different agent, which adds even more time to the booking process.
“We know how important it is for our Qantas Frequent Flyer members to be able to book Classic Flight Rewards with our partner airlines online,” a Qantas spokesperson told Australian Business Traveller.
“While they can already do that with the majority of partner airlines, we’re continuing to work with Japan Airlines, China Eastern Airlines and Malaysia Airlines to ensure they have the specialised technical requirements to enable online redemptions,” the spokesperson added.
Malaysia Airlines will be the first to come online, with a spokesperson for the airline confirming September 1 2017 as the airline's "go live date" for booking seats using Qantas Points via the Qantas website.
Qantas plans to roll-out online reward bookings for Japan Airlines and China Eastern by the first half of 2018, once its IT requirements have been implemented by those carriers.
This will include support for Qantas’ traveller-friendly calendar reward search tool:
Rather than passengers needing to search for reward flights on one specific date at a time, the calendar view highlights all dates with reward flights available that month on any given route – a feature which Australian Business Traveller understands to be one of the features that JAL, Malaysia Airlines and China Eastern are working to support.
Qantas Frequent Flyer members can currently use their points to book reward flights online with Qantas, Jetstar and most other alliance partners including Emirates, American Airlines, British Airways, Cathay Pacific, Finnair, Qatar Airways and Fiji Airways, among others.