Qantas unlocks business class reward flights on China Airlines

By Chris Chamberlin, May 15 2019
Qantas unlocks business class reward flights on China Airlines

Qantas Frequent Flyer members can now spend their stash of Qantas Points on reward flights with Taiwan’s China Airlines, covering routes from Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane to Taipei.

A one-way business class flight on any of those routes clocks in at 65,000 Qantas Points one-way (130,000 Qantas Points return), securing your seat at the pointy end of China Airlines’ modern Airbus A350s, or Boeing 777s, as also appear during peak periods with the same business class seat:

AusBT review: China Airlines Airbus A350 business class, Brisbane-Taipei

You’ll begin your journey either at Sydney’s SkyTeam Lounge, Melbourne’s Marhaba Lounge or Brisbane’s Plaza Premium Lounge, with one of China Airlines’ Taipei lounges awaiting at Taoyuan Airport before your flight home.

AusBT review: China Airlines business class lounge, Taipei

Premium economy flight rewards are also available for 52,500 Qantas Points one-way between Australia and Taipei, with an economy class ticket costing 35,000 Qantas Points. As always, flights are subject to taxes, fees and charges quoted at the time of booking.

However, as China Airlines is a SkyTeam member airline, there's no lounge access for Qantas Gold or Platinum frequent flyers (or Qantas Club members) when booked to fly with China Airlines in premium economy or economy on a CI flight number, including on flights reserved using Qantas Points.

Qantas’ partnership within China Airlines also only covers that Australia-Taiwan corridor, so it’s not possible to use Qantas Points to book China Airlines flights further afield such as from Taiwan to London, or even from Brisbane to Auckland: a route that China Airlines also flies.

China Airlines reward flight bookings are now available via the Qantas website, with plenty of reward seats available across the board on most eligible flights:

Qantas Frequent Flyer members have long been able to earn Qantas Points – as well as those all-important status credits – aboard China Airlines flights between Australia and Taipei when their journey was booked as a Qantas QF codeshare journey, although this is the first time that travellers have been able to spend Qantas Points with China Airlines.

That said, passengers who purchase paid China Airlines fares and book their journey under a ‘CI’ flight number (as opposed to a QF codeshare) cannot earn Qantas Points or Qantas status credits.

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

22 Oct 2018

Total posts 5

Can Qantas Platinum have access to the Qantas First Lounge when redeeming China Airlines with Qantas points?

Unfortunately not, as China Airlines is a SkyTeam alliance member, not a Oneworld airline (or a Joint Venture partner of Qantas where an exception has been granted, such as Emirates). Using points to book business class unlocks the lounges listed in the story, however.

The only way to access Qantas lounges prior to China Airlines flights would be to book a paid airfare on a Qantas QF codeshare flight number, but that's not an option when using points.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

21 Mar 2013

Total posts 137

Has there been a change to qantas club lounge access? It has been for all onward flights with a qf/jq flight number in the past.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

21 Mar 2013

Total posts 137

Helps if I read the article properly - Thorough as always Chris!

No dramas, and no change: it's just that these reward flights can only be booked on the CI flight number, not as a QF codeshare, and there's no Qantas lounge access when flying on a CI flight number (but if you use your points to book business class, the ticket itself provides access to the lounges listed above).

American Airlines - AAdvantage

13 Jul 2015

Total posts 243

I noticed this was unlocked last week when I was looking for flights to Tokyo from Aus, and was surprised. Glad to see it's official!

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

18 Aug 2014

Total posts 76

China Air is a far better business class in the A350 than Qantas in any of QF airline fleet by a long shot.

Virgin Australia - Velocity Rewards

28 Jan 2016

Total posts 9

Great. Amazing (and rather ironic) these days how often any other airline EXCEPT Qantas come up as options when trying to use Qantas frequent flyer points to travel in business class. It's great that you get the variety and to sample travel in and often experience (but not always) superior products too.

Can these be used as part of a RTW itinerary that maxes out at the 140/280 k points?

10 Jul 2018

Total posts 118

No it can't – only Qantas and Oneworld partners are allowed, so that means China Airlines, Emirates, and other non-Oneworld airlines can't be included.


Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

17 Mar 2017

Total posts 31

From my own experience, China Airlines business class is a very solid value proposition - offering style, comfort and service. Shame we can’t earn QF points when flying with them onwards from Taipei to Europe and return.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

25 Sep 2013

Total posts 1214

Excellent news.

18 Jan 2019

Total posts 1

This is perfect timing for me. As I haven't used my Qantas Points before, could someone please tell me, if I book a Business Class flight to TPE for certain dates, then need to change dates, is there a penalty/cost? TIA

10 Jul 2018

Total posts 118

There's always a 5,000 point change fee to modify Qantas reward bookings, regardless of which airline is on the ticket.

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