Qantas has announced some major shake ups to its frequent flyer program. With more than 16 million members, many Aussie travellers will find themselves affected by the new changed. Here’s how to use it for your next cruise.

The airline has said that with its rethought scheme, it will be “easier to travel to places like London, Tokyo, New York and Singapore with Qantas Points, even during peak times”.

The changes may prove slightly confusing, so Cruise Passenger has put together everything you need to know, as well as a guide of how many points it’ll set you back to use your points towards heading to your next cruise destination. 

The new type of reward seats of available: Classic plus

Previously flights had a fixed number of rewards seats available, a total of five million per year across all of Qantas’ flights. This number is now substantially bigger, with an extra 20 million being added.

However, it’s not all that simple. A new category of rewards seats is being created, Classic Plus, to join the already existing Classic Rewards seats. Classic Plus seats will have much more availability. But unlike Classic Rewards seats, they won’t have a fixed price, they will vary based on the fare of the flight.

Furthermore, they will generally be more expensive than Classic Reward Seats. 

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The key takeaway

  • The key thing to takeaway from Qantas’s new points system is that there will be more opportunities to use your points, however, it will cost you more.
  • Essentially, a dilemma for frequent flyers has been they might have points to spend, but the right flight dates aren’t available for them to use their frequent flyer points on. Classic Plus offers more available flight dates to fly with reward points, however, you’ll need to use more points than with Classic Rewards.
  • For example, if you look at the cruise destination examples below, if you want to go to Rome with your rewards points this July, it wouldn’t be possible. However, with Classic Plus, you can put forward a few extra points than normal, but find a seat in more possible dates.

What else to know about Classic Plus 

  • Classic Plus can only be used on Qantas flights, unlike Classic Rewards which can be used on some partner airlines as well.
  • Classic Plus seats are less bang for your buck. Classic Plus seats offer worse value for your points that Classic Reward bookings. However, Classic Plus seats offer better value than Qantas’s previous points + pay system..
  • Upgrades are possible with Classic Plus. Qantas has confirmed that Classic Plus business class bookings can be upgraded to first class, which can’t be done with Classic Reward seats. 

Ready to cruise?

Here’s how many points it’ll set you back with both Classic Plus and Rewards Classic to get to some key cruise destinations.

Sydney to London

For a one-way flight from Sydney to London on July 3, it’ll set you back 186,700 points + $251 for a Classic Plut Seat, or 501,300 points + $636 for business class. The nearest Classic Rewards flight is on June 26, and will set you back 76,500 + $524.

Want to cruise in Japan?

Sydney to Auckland 

To fly one-way from Sydney to Auckland on October 4 with Classic Plus is 22,700 points + $175, or 60,800 points plus $132 for business class. On the same day you could snag a rewards seat for 14,400 points plus $175. 

Sydney to Tokyo 

On July 3, you can fly one way with Classic Plus to Tokyo for 94,000 points + $156, or business class from 272,500 points plus $311. To go with Classic Rewards is just 31,500 + $149.

Sydney to Rome

To go from Sydney to Rome on July 4 is 200,530 points + $241 dollars. Or if you prefer to fly business, then 483,500 points + $626 extra. 

This is a great example of why the new system can be beneficial, as there are no other options for rewards seat in the entire month, the nearest is May 21, for 66,200 + $474. 

Sydney to Singapore 

From Sydney to Singapore with Classic Plus on December 3, in the heart of the cruise season, is 65,900 points + $216, or for business, 194,000 points + $311. The nearest Rewards option is December 1, for 25,200 + $136.