Update: On 10 March 2020, Qantas announced significant cuts to its international route network through to September 2020. This includes suspension of flights and aircraft swaps, including the grounding of a majority of its A380 fleet. Further information can be found in this guide.
For those looking to redeem for International Economy redemptions, this is actually a good news story, with both the points cost and carrier charges having decreased immediately from 20 June 2019. In fact, carrier charges have decreased across the board on international redemptions, from Economy to First.
All other redemptions in International Premium Economy, Business and First will increase in points from 18 September this year. Read on for a summary of the major changes (all figures are quoted for one-way travel) as well as our take at the end.
There won’t be any changes to taxes and carrier charges for domestic flights. However, the points required for these redemptions will increase for business rewards bookings.
|Melbourne to Sydney||Current rates||New rates
|Business||16,000 points + $37||18,400 points + $37|
|Economy||8,000 points + $37||Unchanged|
|Sydney to Perth||Current rates||New rates
|Business||36,000 points + $37||41,500 points + $37|
|Economy||18,000 points + $37||Unchanged|
Trans-Tasman and South Pacific flights
There won’t be any changes to taxes and carrier charges to Trans-Tasman and South Pacific flights either. However, the points needed for Business redemptions will also increase.
|Melbourne to Auckland||Current rates||New rates
|Business||36,000 points + $132||41,500 points + $132|
|Economy||18,000 points + $132||Unchanged|
|Sydney to Fiji||Current rates||New rates
|Business||36,000 points + $107||41,500 points + $107|
|Economy||18,000 points + $107||Unchanged|
These journeys will benefit from reduced carrier charges. Remember, the lower economy rates are already in effect, while the increased premium rates will kick in from 18 September 2019.
In many cases, Qantas’ own ‘carrier charges’ will drop from $1,080 to $700 on a return Business Class redemption, which is a significant improvement.
|Sydney to Denpasar||Current rates||New rates
|Business||50,000 points + $272||57,000 points + $197|
|Economy||20,300 points + $127|
(was 22,500 points + $152)
|Sydney to Singapore||Current rates||New rates
|First||90,000 points + $332||102,600 points + $232|
|Business||60,000 points + $332||68,400 points + $232|
|Premium Economy||45,000 points + $287||51,300 points + $207|
|Economy||25,200 points + $137 |
(was 28,000 points + $167)
|Sydney to Beijing||Current rates||New rates
|Business||72,000 points + $335||82,000 points + $235|
|Economy||31,500 points + $147|
(was 35,000 points + $182)
|Melbourne to Hong Kong||Current rates||New rates
|First||90,000 points + $183||102,600 points + $140|
|Business||60,000 points + $183||68,400 points + $140|
|Economy||25,200 points + $130 |
(was 28,000 points + $160)
|Melbourne to London||Current rates||New rates
|First||192,000 points + $625||216,900 points + $435|
|Business||128,000 points + $625||144,600 points + $435|
|Premium Economy||96,000 points + $445||108,400 points + $315|
|Economy||55,200 points + $225 |
(was 60,000 points + $265)
|Brisbane to Los Angeles||Current rates||New rates
|First||144,000 points + $477||162,800 points + $357|
|Business||96,000 points + $477||108,400 points + $357|
|Premium Economy||72,000 points + $402||81,300 points + $307|
|Economy||41,900 points + $262 |
(was 45,000 points + $202)
These changes are great for anyone looking to redeem for International Economy, as the points and surcharges needed have both dropped effective immediately, except for the shortest of international flights. It is Qantas’ vision to make frequent flyer points more usable for masses who generally tend towards Economy redemptions, especially for international flights.
For long-haul international routes, it is a mixed bag. While it is annoying to have to fork out as much as 49,800 points more for a return First Class trip to London, it is offset somewhat by paying up to $380 less in Qantas’ carrier surcharges.
This guide is a snapshot of the points and taxes changes on Qantas’ most popular routes. To see the changes for all routes, head to Qantas’ page on the new program and use this special calculator which will show you the one-way taxes and points needed.
Qantas have stated that there will be more availability being made for popular routes, such as London, Los Angeles and cities in Asia, with an extra million award seats offered annually. This is made possible by the increase in the points requirement for premium seats, along with the addition of five new international airline partners.
Given how difficult it is to get a Business or First seat on any given date, we hope that Qantas comes through on their word and make the Frequent Flyer program even more accessible to everyone, albeit at a higher points cost.