Per Austrialian Business Traveller, Qantas has announced, effective immediately, that many of its international economy award flights will cost fewer miles. Also, the fees will be reduced on these award flights!
The main reason I’m focusing on this is I think it’s the first…I don’t even know what to call it, provaluation of miles maybe, that I’ve seen from a major carrier in a long time. Every other time an airline has announced it is making changes to its program it’s seemingly always for the worse, tickets costing more miles and many times airlines levying more fees to use those miles (British Airways and their unconscionable fuel surcharges, for example).
As you’ll see on Qantas’s page explaining the changes, flights still cost a large amount of miles compared to the award charts many Americans are used to seeing, but the changes are actually significant, especially on the fees side. Some back-of-an-envelope math looks like the examples they’re using represent a roughly 10% decrease of the miles needed for certain award flights and almost 40% decrease in the fees levied!
Looks like some Qantas flyers are frustrated that the changes only affect certain international economy awards (zones 4-10), but from an industry standpoint this moves the needle quite a bit for me. Qantas looked at the data, realized they could absorb the changes, and made things better for a (however small) subset of their flyers. Compare this to American announcing a drastic increase in the miles needed for award travel, making miles harder to earn for most flyers, and the (unannounced) Shadow Devaluation of disappearing Saver-level award space and calling all of that ‘innovation’ and you can probably see why this is pretty big news.
Let’s hope other airlines follow suit, especially on things like fuel surcharges that may have made sense with oil at USD100+/barrel but no longer make sense (and are highly unethical) with oil at USD35/barrel. Let’s also see Qantas reduce surcharges on all awards, not just economy awards.
What do you think of these changes?