Move aside flights; your Qantas Points can now unlock ‘Classic Rail Rewards’ on premium train travel around Australia, including quintessential locomotives The Ghan, the Indian Pacific and the Great Southern.

Qantas Frequent Flyer is teaming up with Journey Beyond, a premium Australian experiential tourism operator, to offer the ability to earn and use Qantas Points on extended rail expeditions.

It’s the first time that Classic Reward Seats are being offered outside of flights, and will undoubtedly be popular with travellers seeking to explore more of Australia’s backyard.

Here’s everything you need to know about the new partnership with Qantas and Journey Beyond Rail Expeditions.

Use Qantas Points for Classic Rail Rewards in Gold Service

Australia’s premium rail journeys are typically once-in-a-lifetime experiences for many travellers, given the time and expense of the expedition. But now, that journey could be more within reach with Classic Rail Rewards starting from 100,000 Qantas Points per person.

Qantas Classic Rail Reward
You can now book premium rail journeys with Qantas Points.

Starting from today, you can now swap Qantas Points for a Gold Service cabin on selected journeys, which includes a sleeper cabin, private or shared toilet facilities, plus all-inclusive dining and off-train excursions.

Ninety per cent of our members want to use their points for travel so the ability to explore the country by rail is an exciting alternative for frequent flyers and a real drawcard for our program.

Whether members are redeeming points on flights, hotel bookings, holiday packages or now rail travel, we’re always evolving and innovating to meet the needs of our 13 million members and help bring them closer to their next dream trip.

– Olivia Wirth, Qantas Loyalty CEO

How many points do I need for Qantas Classic Rail Rewards?

Here are the Qantas Points required for Classic Rail Rewards on the different trains roaming Australia.

Qantas Points needed for The Ghan

TrainDestinationDurationGold Single Cabin
(1 person)
Gold Twin Cabin
(per person, twin share)
Gold Twin Cabin
(for single private use)
The GhanAdelaide to Darwin
Darwin to Adelaide
3 days, 2 nights185,000 pts200,000 pts360,000 pts
Adelaide to Alice Springs
Alice Springs to Adelaide
2 days, 1 night125,000 pts135,000 pts245,000 pts
Alice Springs to Darwin
Darwin to Alice Springs
2 days, 1 night125,000 pts135,000 pts245,000 pts
Darwin to Adelaide
The Ghan Expedition
4 days, 3 nights285,000 pts300,000 pts540,000 pts

Qantas Points needed for the Indian Pacific

TrainDestinationDurationGold Single Cabin
(1 person)
Gold Twin Cabin
(per person, twin share)
Gold Twin Cabin
(for single private use)
Indian PacificPerth to Sydney
Sydney to Perth
4 days, 3 nights225,000 pts250,000 pts425,000 pts
Adelaide to Perth
Perth to Adelaide
3 days, 2 nights160,000 pts175,000 pts310,000 pts
Adelaide to Sydney
Sydney to Adelaide
2 days, 1 night100,000 pts100,000 pts180,000 pts

Qantas Points needed for the Great Southern

TrainDestinationDurationGold Single Cabin
(1 person)
Gold Twin Cabin
(per person, twin share)
Gold Twin Cabin
(for single private use)
Great SouthernAdelaide to Brisbane3 days, 2 nights180,000 pts200,000 pts350,000 pts
Brisbane to Adelaide4 days, 3 nights210,000 pts230,000 pts420,000 pts

At this stage, The Overland train is not included with Classic Rail Rewards.

For comparison, a one-way Perth to Sydney journey on the Indian Pacific costs $2,899 per person in February 2021, for a Gold Twin cabin. The same journey on a Classic Rail Reward is 250,000 Qantas Points per person.

That gives you a value of 1.16 cents per point, which is not the greatest compared to Business/First Class flight reward seats and upgrades, but it’s not terrible either.

How do I book Qantas Classic Rail Rewards?

It’s easy to book Classic Rail Rewards with Journey Beyond using Qantas Points as the main form of payment.

  1. Head to the Journey Beyond Rail booking page
  2. Enter your journey details, including the desired train, number of guests, departure city and travel month
  3. At the top-right corner of the page, toggle the button for Classic Rail Rewards. Your options will show up
  4. Choose your desired rail journey, taking into account the number of Qantas Points needed
  5. Choose between Gold Twin or Gold Single cabins as needed (Platinum cabins are not available with Classic Rail Rewards)
  6. Select the number of guests in the cabin
  7. Proceed to the checkout, including filling in personal information of all travellers, dietary requirements, your Qantas Frequent Flyer details, and any special requests
  8. Review the Terms and Conditions. Once accepted, scroll down and press the red button that says ‘Use Qantas Points’
  9. You will be redirected to the Qantas website to make the final payment using your points balance
Qantas Journey Beyond Classic Rail Reward selection
It’s easy to find Classic Rail Rewards using the Journey Beyond website.

What is included in Journey Beyond Rail Expedition Gold Service?

Gold Service is the all-inclusive travel class onboard The Ghan, the Indian Pacific and the Great Southern. You’ll get:

  • A cabin that converts into a sleeping berth at night
  • High-quality linen, pillows, doonas and toiletries
  • Access to Outback Explorer Lounge for beverages and socialising
  • All-inclusive food and wine in the Queen Adelaide Restaurant
  • All-inclusive off-train excursions and Outback Experiences
  • 2x 30kg checked luggage allowance per guest
  • (Gold Twin) private compact ensuite with shower and toilet
  • (Gold Single) shared shower/toilet facilities at the end of the carriage

Read more about the Gold Service experience on the Journey Beyond website, including the difference between Single and Twin cabins.

Qantas Journey Beyond Gold Service
Twin cabins are private and transform into sleeping berths at night.

What are the cancellation fees for Qantas Classic Rail Rewards?

For departure dates before 31 March 2021, a more flexible cancellation policy applies:

  • Free changes to travel dates up to 7 days before departure. Call the Journey Beyond Travel Centre on 1800 019 642.
  • Qantas Points used are fully refundable if the booking is cancelled more than 7 days prior to departure. Points may take up to 30 days to credit back.
  • No changes can be made to travel dates within 7 days of departure. You will not receive any refund for cancellations within 7 days of travel. However, this may be waived if you can’t travel as a direct result of government-imposed border closures.

For all other departures from 1 April 2021 onwards, the following change and cancellation policy applies:

  • Qantas Points are refundable if you cancel within 14 days of booking and your travel is more than 45 days away. A 25,000 Qantas Points or A$200 cancellation fee will apply.
  • No refunds are allowed if you book or cancel within 45 days of departure.
  • Changes to travel dates are permitted if you call 1800 019 642 up to 13 days before departure. A fee of A$35 per booking is applicable.

Can I earn Qantas Points on premium rail travel?

As part of the new partnership, Qantas Frequent Flyers can earn 1 Qantas Point per A$1 spent on eligible rail journeys and holiday packages booked online, via phone (1800 091 642) or via their travel agent.

However, this doesn’t apply to Classic Rail Reward bookings. Ensure you enter your Qantas Frequent Flyer number into your train booking before you travel.

Qantas and The Ghan crew
Earn Qantas Points when you travel on The Ghan and other premium trains.

We’re thrilled to partner with Qantas Frequent Flyer and provide people who love to travel with greater value when they choose a premium rail holiday experience.

As the first travel partner to offer Classic Reward Seats outside of flights, with the launch of our ‘Classic Rail’ Rewards, we look forward to growing our partnership with Qantas and sharing the joy of travel with our guests.

– Chris Tallent, Journey Beyond CEO

Summing up

Qantas Frequent Flyer’s tie-up with Journey Beyond Rail Expedition unlocks a brilliant new points-redemption strategy for savvy readers. Premium train travel is another big wishlist item, and now it’s more accessible by those who’ve been steadily accumulating Qantas Points.

At the time of writing, Classic Rail Reward availability on most journeys in 2021 was plentiful, but time will tell whether it gets snapped up quickly or not. Do consider a departure before 31 March 2021 if you want to take advantage of the more-generous cancellation policy.

Featured images courtesy of Qantas and Journey Beyond. Additional content by Daniel Scibberas.

You can now use Qantas Points for premium rail travel across Australia was last modified: December 10th, 2020 by Brandon Loo