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Qantas reveals $100m frequent flyer program changes: Expert breaks down value

A points expert has revealed how much value frequent flyer customers can get with the new rewards option.

Qantas has confirmed one of the biggest ever expansions to its frequent flyer scheme, with an expert saying it will solve a common “pain point” for travellers.

From today, customers will have access to more than 20 million more reward seats with the launch of a new type of rewards seat called Classic Plus.

Classic Plus rewards seats will usually require more points than the existing Classic reward seats but will be available across more seats on the Qantas international and domestic network.

Qantas plane
Qantas frequent flyers now have more opportunities to redeem their points for flights. (Source: Getty)

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The Champagne Mile founder and points expert Adele Eliseo told Yahoo Finance the move was good news for consumers who were often frustrated by the lack of flight redemption options.


“The biggest pain point in the Qantas program has been the inability for people to use their points on flight redemptions, particularly long haul flight redemptions overseas,” Eliseo said. “We know the program hasn’t had an overhaul since 2019 so it’s about time.”

The Classic Plus reward seats are linked to commercial fare buckets and will be released as soon as flights go on sale for cash, she explained, however they will cost more than the existing Classic rewards.


“If we look at the value proposition, you’re getting around 1 cent for Economy flights and around 1.5 cents value for Premium Economy, Business and First Class flights,” Eliseo told Yahoo Finance.

“That is quite a bit higher than the 0.6 cent value you get for Points Plus Pay but it’s quite lower than Classic Rewards which can be anywhere from 1 cent up to 6 cents.

“But it’s still probably going to be reasonable value for people who are really frustrated and can’t find other ways to use their points.”

The other silver lining is the flights come with flexibility to upgrade and cheap change and cancellation fees, Eliseo said.

Warning for frequent flyers

Eliseo said the $100 million expansion of the loyalty program did come with “one area of caution” for frequent flyers.

“That money needs to come from somewhere. Could consumers and small business owners see that cost come through? Potentially,” she said.

“We know that a lot of partners are throwing around really high Qantas points bonuses at the moment and it is possible that maybe those bonuses might be scaled back because Qantas partners might need to pay a bit more for points.”

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‘One of the biggest expansions’ in decades

Qantas Group CEO Vanessa Hudson said the new option would open up more value for frequent flyers wanting to use their points on travel.

“It’s one of the biggest expansions we’ve made to the Frequent Flyer program in its 35-year history,” Hudson said.

“The growth and success of Qantas Loyalty is driven by engaged members who earn and redeem points across the frequent flyer program, including with our partners, and that’s why we’re investing in making more seats available to book with points.”

How can I book Classic Plus reward seats?

The new Classic Plus reward seats can be booked from today on Qantas international flights departing Australia for travel from July 1, 2024 exclusively via

The points needed to boost the Classic Plus reward seats will vary like normal airfares, meaning they will be lower during off-peak periods or when booking early, and higher during busy periods. The seats are also eligible for upgrades.

Qantas said the new option would be rolled out across the rest of the airline’s international and domestic network by the end of the year. It will be available across First, Business, Premium Economy and Economy cabins.