Qantas says it won't scrap chauffeur service for points-based bookings

By David Flynn, January 15 2019

Qantas says it will continue to offer its chauffeur drive service for business class or first class travellers who book their trip with frequent flyer points, despite a decision by partner Emirates to restrict chauffeur rides to paying customers.

A spokeswoman for Qantas tells Australian Business Traveller that "Qantas Frequent Flyer members will continue to have access to the chauffeur service for eligible reward bookings on Qantas operated services and enjoy the same experience as customers who have made commercial bookings."

Qantas introduced its chauffeur service in April 2013 to match the same offering from Emirates as part of the newly-minted Qantas/Emirates alliance, with a free ride offered to premium cabin customers bound for London, Dubai and the USA.

However, over subsequent years this has been scaled back to include only flights to and from London. 

Relatively few international airlines offer a complimentary chauffeur service. While Emirates set the benchmark, competitor Etihad Airways scrapped its own service in July 2017.

David
David

David Flynn

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.

Bob Burgess

Bob Burgess

13 Sep 2016

Total posts 184

Kudos for Qantas for keeping this open to award bookings and upgrades, they are now among the very few airlines in the world to offer a chauffeur service without those exemptions.

Mal

Mal

14 Jun 2013

Total posts 360

Well this is a bit of a surprise, I would have put money on Qantas following in Emirates' footsteps, very pleased to hear they are going to be treating their loyal frequent flyers the same as those making a normal paid booking.

Aidan

Aidan

05 Dec 2018

Total posts 112

Glad to hear this. When flying first by points or cash it should be the same. The experience at the pointy end is everything, to get people back.

It’s not like if you use points for a hotel suite they turn off the hot water... yet.

Good move Qantas

russell

russell

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

04 Nov 2011

Total posts 326

....and its not like the huge fuel fines and charges both Qantas and Emirates charge on award bookings couldn't cover it.

Michael Kao

Michael Kao

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

06 Nov 2014

Total posts 336

What about EK flights booked with QF points?

russell

russell

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

04 Nov 2011

Total posts 326

You will find that is covered under the Emirates announcement.....no longer after March 1st.

Joe

Joe

03 May 2013

Total posts 365

Would never have expected such a positive pax friendly announcement such as this from Qantas in all honesty. Well done Qantas for being customer and not bean counter centric.

deanr

deanr

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

04 May 2015

Total posts 229

To be fair though, Qantas FF levies some of the highest carrier charges on reward bookings compared to most other airlines, pushing the price to around $1,000 for one return business or first class trip to London per passenger (aside the points used), with free transfers only available on London flights and no other routes, despite those hefty fees going right across the Qantas flight network, and couples travelling together most often sharing a car together (so that's $2,000 in fees paid to get a few airport transfers). The bean counters have still won if you ask me!

DY

DY

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

02 May 2017

Total posts 8

I give it 3 months before they realise they're doing something better than someone else and pull the pin

TLH1964

TLH1964

Emirates Airlines - Skywards

19 Jan 2018

Total posts 6

Nice to know QF are looking after their Business & First Class passengers to/from London, but why not elsewhere?! I'm flying with QF in Business Class this weekend from MEL to LA (and then onto Miami with AA), a complimentary car to the airport would have been very handy indeed. I fly twice a year to NCE with Emirates in Business Class (paid flights, not points) and having that complimentary chauffeur service at both ends is truly fabulous! I certainly hope Emirates never scraps it!

born2fish

born2fish

01 Apr 2014

Total posts 50

LAX chauffer drive was short lived due in part to:

(a) Low usage to/from LAX, compared to LHR and DXB, although to/from MEL & SYD bookings were apparently strong.

(b) Many pax ex-Aust were connecting to other onward flights in LAX, and those who terminated in LAX often rented cars themselves anyway.

(c) No competing carrier offered the service on the LAX route.

(d) Given the geographic spread of the LA area, the mileage restrictions and added costs with local chauffer drivers made it either costly for the airline to subsidise, or too expensive for the pax to pay the mileage overage surcharge. The 50 mile limit excluded places out east like San Bernadino and Riverside, or down south to Laguna Beach.

MarkFranzmann

MarkFranzmann

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

10 Jul 2018

Total posts 3

I had an F seat booked for 4/6 using QFF points. As soon as I received the text, I cancelled and purchased J with SQ.

Coming from BNE it is more convenient, and SQ J on the 350 is superior in my opinion.

GeorgeMM

GeorgeMM

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

16 Jan 2019

Total posts 3

Perhaps I’m just unlucky, but over the last 2 years I’ve never found a business or first award flight on QF metal to London (only partner airlines like Emirates or Cathay) so “retaining” this benefit seems a moot point. Is anyone seeing business or first award availability to London on QF metal? Or maybe it’s because I’m only Gold level?

born2fish

born2fish

01 Apr 2014

Total posts 50

Only being Gold might not be helping you with LHR seat availability, especially given Plat and above get earlier access, and now only 1 flight up to LHR on QF metal.

Unless you really want to stick on QF metal, there are often seats on EK (via DXB) / BA (via SIN) / CX (via HKG) or even MU (via PVG).

With a bit of flexibility, you can also often get availability to another secondary UK airport instead of LHR, especially on EK.

athols

athols

27 May 2016

Total posts 5

Has NY chauffeur been dropped? I flew on J on EK metal on QF points to JFK in Oct and received home pick up and destination drop off service. Is it now only London?

Returned via Melbourne to Perth on pts J class but no Chauffeur service on QF metal on return. Thought that a bit strange.

THR

THR

20 Sep 2012

Total posts 58

Not really that strange. You’re comparing two different operating carriers.

EK had a wider range of routes they provided chauffeur drive on (which is being discontinued for award flights from 1 March).

QF only has London.

It always depended on the metal, not the points source.

alex_upgrade77

alex_upgrade77

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

08 Sep 2012

Total posts 244

Given the yield QF make on F and J tickets to London, it's a no brainer if they want to maintain a premium branding. Even for FF passengers who are also some of their most loyal and valuable.

Eagles94

Eagles94

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

02 Jul 2018

Total posts 4

Booked EK Business seats in JFK to DXB and DXB to PER using QF Points , and have been given option to book chauffeur via Qantas site . Trip is in July . So pre-March 1st seems to still be available .

THR

THR

20 Sep 2012

Total posts 58

Obviously.

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