Qantas wants you to swap frequent flyer points for good deeds

By David Flynn, July 6 2012
Qantas wants you to swap frequent flyer points for good deeds

Qantas is upgrading its partnership with UNICEF to allow frequent flyer points to be donated under the Change for Good programme.

Qantas has raised $25 million for the charity in the past 21 years, when ti first started asking international travellers to dump left-over foreign currency from their pockets and purses into the UNICEF Change for Good envelope on the flight home.

As of September, you'll also be able to donate Qantas Frequent Flyer points to fund UNICEF projects such as vaccinating children against disease, supplying mosquito nets and training teachers.

Qantas hasn't yet detailed how many points any of those typical activities will cost.

The Change for Good program has provided funds for a diverse range of projects including in Macedonia, Thailand and Papua New Guinea, as well as supporting emergency relief following the Boxing Day 2004 Tsunami, the Haiti Earthquake and the food crisis in the Horn of Africa.

“This was born from a simple innovative idea 21 years ago and has grown into real change in the lives of children in some of the poorest corners of the world,” said Anthony Lake Executive Director of UNICEF.

How it all adds up...

The UNICEF partnership involves Qantas staff from all levels of the organisation, according to a Qantas spokeswoman, including over 7,000 international and domestic cabin crew, airport teams, catering, security, freight and even Qantas head office staff who collect additional change from their colleagues.

A further 20 retired Qantas staff volunteer their time to tally the donations at the Change for Good counting house.

Money collected through Change for Good goes towards UNICEF programmes helping children in over 150 countries around the world.

For example, $4.31 buys fifty 5ml auto-disposable syringes, so that 50 children can be safely immunised against disease.

$1.15 represents the cost of an HIV/AIDs rapid diagnostic test kit suitable for children as well as adults. Even a mere 7 cents buys a sachet of oral rehydration salts, which when mixed with salt water helps children combat dehydration and diarrhea.

If you’re not already doing so, Australian Business Traveller suggests you dump some of that foreign shrapnel on the flight back home from each overseas trip.


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.

06 Feb 2012

Total posts 18

I am absolutely against airlines asking people to donate to charity. There are so many worthwhile charities out there that get no publicity and little funding and will always donate to them as oppossed to paying for someone's inflated salary and then a little being left over for charity purposes.


22 Mar 2012

Total posts 200

Yes! Finally, someone who has the same view as I do! Why donate to the most famous and well known charities out there (including some like World Vison and UNICEF) , when there are so many Australian charities that get very little funding but can save or better thousands of Australian lives (eg. not charites like breast cancer, which recives a rediculous amount of funding and publicity, but more things like cervical, prostate, as well as salvos and welfare charities) . Why don't people underestand that you can give your spare change DIRECT to the charity of YOUR CHOICE, rather than, as Jinxy said, going through a shady web of profit, commercialism and charity.

07 Aug 2012

Total posts 1

i disagree with both of you..

This is the ol' 'small poppy syndrome' but you're just applying it to charities? Charities - like anything - become big for a reason. They prove that 'they' are the ones to invest your money in. and they prove they know what to do with funds... Like busineses, charities only grow if they're good as what they do.

The likes of World Vision, UNICEF, Red Cross - all the 'big' ones as you say - the reason they have such broad appeal is because they cover such a broad range of issues. Emergencies, Education, Health, Homelessness, disability. simply by teaming up with a 'big' charity orgs like Qantas ARE giving their consumers choice...

Why wouldnt you choose to give your money to charities that save more lives than any other organisation in the world?

The only thing I can't argue you on is your wanting them to support only Australian-centric charities that save only Australian's lives? Your point is fundamentally raccist, placing more value on the life of an Australian over the life of someone in a 3rd world country? And I choose not to rebutt this raccist, niave point.



22 Mar 2012

Total posts 200

Cool... this was discussed a month ago. The end.


22 Mar 2012

Total posts 200

Also, I never said anything about only donating to Australian charities so your argument is invalid.

But, in my point of view, charites like the Breast Cancer Assoc. get a ridiculous amount of publicity and funding, even though Pancreatic Cancer is the deadliest cancer in Australia by far, In fact you are more likely do die from pancreatic cancer than from a car crash, food for thought indeed, But disturbingly, I have never heard of the pancreatic cancer Australia assoc. So instead I say, why donate to one when you can donate to all through, for example the Cancer council. Red Cross is a good charity too.

'Why wouldnt you choose to give your money to charities that save more lives than any other organisation in the world?" the fundemantal answer to this is: Bettering lives is equal to saving lives, and some things are closer to our hearts than others. You will see me donating directly to the Salvos who better homeless people's lives.

What really agrevates me is when I see people dontating to the Red Nose Day Charity, which fights against SIDS, EVEN THOUGH SIDS only kill up to one hundred babies per year? Arent there more favourable charties that save or better more lives, or is it that just children get a better way of life, Adults need to be there to care for them.


By the way, World Vision most certainly does not help disabilities.

Okay also, I would just like to discuss, not to enslave or debate the point of 'Shouldn't you fix your country before helping others', I know, racist, but it does have some meaning.\

Anyway, the main point of what I said and am saying now is that why would you donate through an airline just because it is convenient than rather donate directly to the charity of your choice.

In case you find many different former European currencies ... the old ones like german mark or maybe spanish peseta or Austrian schilling, irish pound, slovenian tolar, a.s.o. you can still easily exchange or donate to UNICEF with Euromoney24

The airlines are mostly asking for currencies still cirulating, this service is for the old ones, some of them still of use for the charity organisations

Hi Guest, join in the discussion on Qantas wants you to swap frequent flyer points for good deeds