Ask Finder: Do Emirates flights count towards my Qantas status?
What are the rules for the number of flights, and which ones count?
You're correct: one of the basic requirements of maintaining any status with Qantas (Platinum One, Platinum, Gold or Silver) is that you take at least four eligible Qantas flights during your membership year. The devil is in the details of which flights count, and which ones don't.
These details really matter. For instance, in Virgin's Velocity scheme, your eligible flights must be on "Virgin metal" – an actual flight operated by Virgin. Codeshare flights with partner airlines don't count, though you can still earn points and status credits for them. The number of flights you need on Virgin also varies depending on the status level you're trying to keep.
Fortunately, Qantas doesn't apply such strict rules. Its own brief summary is that you must take "at least four eligible Qantas, Qantaslink or Jetstar flights in a membership year" to maintain your status level.
Panic! There's no mention of Emirates there, even though Qantas and Emirates do have an ongoing partnership.
But don't panic! If you dig into the full membership conditions, you'll find this:
The travel required in each Membership Year to attain or retain Silver, Gold, Platinum and Platinum One status levels must include a minimum of four Eligible Flight Segments where Qantas, QantasLink or a Jetstar Airline is the Marketing Carrier.
Digging around further reveals that "Marketing Carrier", in Qantas-world, means "the airline whose airline code or number (eg 'QF' for Qantas) is recorded on the ticket". In other words, an Emirates flight will count if it has a QF flight code (such as QF8766) on the ticket. It won't if it has an Emirates code (such as EK412).
The simplest way of ensuring that your Emirates flight qualifies for Qantas status is to book through Qantas's own site, and check that the flight listed has a QF code. As long as that's the case, your flight will count towards your annual total and can potentially help maintain your status. Safe travels!
Ask Finder is a regular column where Finder's expert writers answer your questions. All rates and fees are correct at time of publication and we only give general advice. Got a question for Points Finder? Hit us up on Facebook.