With Qantas cosying up to American Airlines through the duo’s latest joint venture partnership, one question on the minds of business travellers is whether they’ll be able to use their Qantas points to upgrade to business class or even first class on American Airlines flights between Sydney and Los Angeles.
Qantas Frequent Flyer members headed to the US can currently book a points-based upgrade only the Qantas-operated Airbus A380 or Boeing 747 flights.
But that could change, with Qantas Group CEO Alan Joyce telling Australian Business Traveller at a joint Qantas/American Airlines briefing that he is “absolutely looking at that (upgrades on American Airlines flights)”.
Qantas International CEO Gareth Evans had more to say: “We’ll continue to investigate all of these opportunities to better align the product offering (between Qantas and American), so when American Airlines passengers travel on Qantas and vice versa, they'll have the same experience.”
American’s own Senior Vice President for International Strategic Alliances, Kurt Stache, continued by highlighting that “these policies evolve over time, so we'll start with this one (being no reciprocal frequent flyer upgrades), and go from there.”
Traditionally, Qantas Frequent Flyer members have been unable to use their points to upgrade on any Qantas partner airlines, including Emirates, China Eastern and the vast array of Oneworld members.
That policy was relaxed slightly in April 2015 with passengers on LAN’s daily Sydney-Auckland-Santiago flights allowed to use Qantas Points to upgrade from economy to business class provided they booked on a Qantas QF codeshare flight number, although not on LAN’s own LA flight numbers.
Qantas Frequent Flyer members can continue to earn frequent flyer points and status credits when travelling with American Airlines, or with Qantas when booked on an AA flight number, and can still use their points to book Classic Reward flights with American Airlines.
- How to book American's Sydney-LAX flights with frequent flyer points
- Qantas business class upgrade guide
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