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Qantas insists its frequent flyer points are still valuable

written by Jake Nelson | September 11, 2023

Victor Pody shot these Qantas aircraft at Sydney Airport.

Qantas has pushed back on reports that its frequent flyer points have been devalued as a Senate committee calls for submissions.

News Corp papers reported last week that Qantas frequent flyer points have dropped in value over the past 30 years, saying the same amount of points that would have bought a first-class return seat to London in 1996 will now buy a coffee machine.

Coalition transport spokesperson Senator Bridget McKenzie said the value of QFF points has been “debased progressively”.

“They also have a significant role in people’s decisions to access airfares and the affordability of airfares,” she said.

“As chair of the committee looking at the affordability of our aviation sector, I would welcome submissions on this issue for the committee to consider over coming weeks.”


In a statement to The Daily Telegraph, the Flying Kangaroo said its frequent flyer customers used 155 billion points last year, with a spokesperson saying they were still valuable.

“We know how much members value the ability to use points for flights, and demand for them is high. That’s why, since international borders reopened, we’ve increased reward seat availability on our international network by 50 per cent,” the spokesperson said.

“One in every 11 passengers carried by Qantas flew on a classic reward seat in the past year, and there are currently more than five million available to book across our network.

“The number of points needed for a classic reward seat hasn’t changed in four years.”

Daniel Sciberras of frequent flyer site Point Hacks pointed out in an interview with Melbourne’s 3AW that the comparison, while “technically accurate”, is being made over a span of three decades and noted that Qantas had made economy reward seats cheaper in 2019 while increasing business and first class reward seat costs.

“The issue I’ve got with that whole article and comparison is that you’re comparing 1996 to 2023, and look, if someone wants to offer me a brand-new car at 1996 prices, I’ll be more than happy to say yeah,” he said.

“Also, you know, there’s inflation there as well. So, the cost of flying today is obviously higher than it was back in 1996, and so the points cost for a lot of reward flights have also gone up as well.”

The Senate last week narrowly voted to launch an inquiry into the ongoing stoush over Qatar Airways as part of a broader examination of airline affordability.

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