Qantas is touting Classic Plus Rewards as a new way to add ‘more than 20 million’ points-based seats for redemption. In most cases, you’ll need many more points than a standard reward seat – in exchange for greater availability. But there are also cases where Classic Plus can be cheaper than standard rewards, which opens up interesting opportunities.

Value proposition aside, this guide provides a neutral overview of Classic Plus Rewards’ mechanics, so you’ll be equipped to take advantage of this new pathway.

Part 1: fare pricing

The points needed are based on available fare classes

Qantas tells us that Classic Plus Rewards are mapped to a range of commercial fare classes. If those particular fare buckets are on sale, we expect a Classic Plus Reward will be available. Seats become available from 353 days before departure with equal access by all members.

From our searches, it appears Classic Plus maps to some of these Qantas fare classes (the list is not exhaustive):

  • First: A
  • Business: D, I
  • Premium Economy: R, T
  • Economy: N, S

The Qantas website defaults to the lowest price reward available. If a commercial sale fare ends up being cheaper in points with Classic Plus than a standard reward seat, the Classic Plus will show up instead.

On the rare occasion you want the standard Classic Reward fare rather than a cheaper Classic Plus fare (perhaps to combine with another similar fare), you may need to call Qantas to book it.

The Qantas website has been programmed to show the lowest reward fare.

Classic Plus is not available on codeshare, charter and partner airline flights.

Book return rather than one-way for international flights

International return fares tend to be cheaper per sector than one-way fares. Therefore, Classic Plus will offer better value when you search for a return trip.

Classic Plus is combinable with Classic Flight Reward fares. If you mix and match, you can enjoy the benefits of a single booking, including luggage being checked through.

Classic Plus fares are priced separately from standard rewards

But note that if you combine a Classic Plus and a Classic Flight Reward fare, the two sector amounts will be added up for the final price. You aren’t able to take advantage of a lower single price for connecting flights, even if both airlines are on the same Classic Flight Reward Table.

This isn’t a problem for a return journey as the return sector is charged separately from the outbound anyway. But you can still access return Classic Plus pricing by combining it with a Classic Flight Reward sector in the other direction.

What about the popular Oneworld Flight Reward, which allows you to fly around the world in Business Class for 318,000 Qantas Points + fees and taxes? Unfortunately, Classic Plus flights are not included in that capped pricing.

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Part 2: upgrades and Status Credits

Classic Plus upgrades will be considered before Classic Flight upgrades

If you’re hoping to nab an upgrade to Premium Economy, Business or First Class, those with Classic Plus bookings will be prioritised over passengers with Classic Flight Rewards bookings. This might give you the edge you need to snap up the remaining seats first.

Both reward seat types are still considered after passengers with cash bookings, though.

Economy Sale Classic Plus will be upgradeable

Usually, a Qantas international Economy Sale fare can’t be upgraded with points. But if you book one with Classic Plus (which should be reasonably priced, given that it’s a sale fare), you can request an upgrade to Premium Economy or Business Class.

Upgrades from Qantas Economy Sale Classic Plus will be possible.

Business Classic Plus will be upgradeable to First

Another new perk for Business Classic Plus bookings is that they’ll be able to be upgraded to First Class. The status quo is that standard Business Classic Flight Reward bookings can’t be upgraded to First.

We’ll update this guide with the points needed to upgrade from Business Classic Plus once that information is released in May.

Points Club members earn limited Status Credits

As before, Points Club (and Points Club Plus) members will still earn a limited number of Status Credits on Classic Plus flights. However, no one will earn Qantas Points on the fare.

Part 3: changes and cancellations

Change and cancellation fees remain the same

As with standard Classic Flight Reward bookings, you’ll need to pony up 5,000 points per person for changes and 6,000 points per person for cancellations with Classic Plus.

This is generally a good outcome as commercial fare policies tend to be stricter.

Classic Plus change and cancellation rules remain the same… mostly.

Fare differences will be charged in cash

Booked a Classic Plus Reward and need to change it later? A new rule that isn’t immediately obvious is that any fare difference will be charged in cash. However, the 5,000-point change fee will continue to be charged in points.

Summing up

While it’s early days, we don’t see Point Hacks readers using Classic Plus Rewards regularly. This is simply because the hunt is still on for Classic Flight Rewards, which usually offer better value.

But there can be some situations where Classic Plus makes sense. For example, if the fare is on sale and cheaper than a Classic Reward or if you want to take advantage of a lenient cancellation policy, then you might book a Classic Plus fare. It also doesn’t hurt to have greater upgrade priority over standard reward seats.

There might also be cases where booking a Classic Plus reward is your best option to then connect to a different reward that ultimately gives you a decent return on your points when averaged.

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Featured image by Brandon Loo, who travelled to Sydney at Point Hacks’ expense and attended a media briefing as a guest of Qantas.

The Ultimate Guide to Qantas Classic Plus Flight Rewards was last modified: June 29th, 2024 by Brandon Loo