Qantas frequent flyers will soon pay significantly less fees for international reward flights, have access to more seats and enjoy more rewards for earning points on the ground as part of the biggest overhaul to the airline’s loyalty program in its 32-year history.
Representing a $25 million investment, the changes will improve how members are recognised and rewarded as well as how they earn and redeem points.
The major initiatives, to be rolled out to members over the next 12 months, include adding more than 1 million extra reward seats available annually on Qantas and new partner airlines.
Qantas Group chief executive Alan Joyce said the changes are about strengthening Qantas frequent flyer programme to keep delivering for its almost 13 million members.
“The Qantas Frequent Flyer program has always been about rewarding customers for their loyalty.
“These changes are about making it easier for members to access those rewards and help to keep them highly engaged, which in turn is good news for our business as a whole,” he explained.
“We know the majority of our members want to use their points to take a dream trip overseas, so we are adding more reward seats including first, business and premium economy, to places like London, Los Angeles, Tokyo and Singapore as well as slashing carrier charges.
“While the points required for business class seats on international and domestic flights will increase slightly, it is the first increase in 15 years and the product has improved a lot in that time.”
The $25 million investment is comprised of making more seats available for frequent flyers as well as the reduction in carrier charges.
Increased engagement in the program is expected to offset this within the first year.
Joyce said the program overhaul would ensure the national carrier’s loyalty program remained one of the most attractive and successful in the world.
“Australians love earning Qantas Points and that momentum has seen us expand our number of retail partners and extend into new areas like financial services and insurance.
“The result is that people have lots of opportunities to earn points, so this overhaul is about making sure they have more opportunities to use them.”
Since its inception in 1987, the frequent flyer program has grown from 50,000 members who could only earn points on travel to almost 13 million members who can earn points with more than 300 partners.
The majority of the points earned across the program are used on travel. Four flight redemptions are made every minute and sixty upgrades are confirmed every hour.