Maximise your frequent flyer benefits by learning how the Qantas and Emirates alliance operates.
The 2013 partnership that saw the UAE airline replace British Airways as Qantas’ new BFF has only been strengthened since. The alliance has proven to extend beyond the typical code-share, revenue-share agreement, with Qantas basically rerouting all its major long-haul flights for a Dubai stopover instead of its habitual Singapore layover of old. Apart from an expansion of flight connections and route coverage for both airlines, the seamless integration of their frequent flyer programs has also presented enhanced perks to Emirates Skywards and Qantas Frequent Flyer members. This guide will explain the alliance and how it can benefit you.
What is the Qantas and Emirates alliance?
This is a global alliance between two of the world’s leading airlines to present the largest shared A380 network, award-winning airline services and prestigious airport lounge access wherever you may go. Together, the two airlines fly 14 times a day between Australia and Dubai, adding up to 98 A380 and B777 flights a week that ultimately connect to more than 65 cities in Europe, the Middle East and North Africa. For the frequent flyer, this means a seamless one-stop experience on long-haul flights, as well as the ability to easily book, earn and spend frequent flyer points on Qantas and Emirates flights everywhere. For eligible tier members or ticket holders, this also means access to both airline airport lounges worldwide.
Benefits of the Qantas and Emirates alliance
- Flexibility of earning and redeeming rewards. This essentially means there are more ways to earn and redeem your frequent flyer points, since Qantas frequent flyers are able to earn points and status credits on eligible Emirates flights, as well as spend points redeeming Emirates flights. Conversely, Emirates Skywards members can earn Skywards Miles when flying on Qantas, and also redeem those miles for Qantas flights.
- Reward flights. Booking a reward flight with your Qantas Frequent Flyer or Skywards miles is simple because of the integrated frequent flyer programs. You follow the same process you would to redeem a reward ticket. For example, Qantas frequent flyers can log into their Qantas accounts to redeem Emirates flights and Skywards members can book their Qantas reward tickets online with Emirates.
- Airline lounges. Eligible tier members and First or Business Class ticket holders have access to both airline lounges where possible. For instance, you can enjoy the famed Emirates lounge in Dubai when flying with Qantas if you are travelling in First or Business Class, are an Emirates Skywards Platinum, Gold or Silver member, or a Qantas Platinum One, Platinum or Gold Frequent Flyer member. At the same time, Emirates Skywards Gold members can enjoy Qantas Club Domestic Lounges in Australia, while Skywards Platinum members can enjoy Qantas Domestic Business Lounges in Australia where available.
How do I earn and redeem rewards with either airline?
Earning and redeeming rewards with both airlines works as if they were one as they have successfully integrated their frequent flyer programs online. Whenever you book an eligible flight operated by either airline, you will automatically be credited points for that flight. It’s the way you earn points that differs, which we will cover in the next section under “Limitations”.
Booking a reward flight is also similar. For Qantas frequent flyers, you may log into your Qantas account and use your Qantas Points on an Emirates Classic Flight Reward, or choose Points Plus Pay to top up your points with cash. For Skywards members, you can redeem your Skywards Miles for Qantas-operated flights (QF coded) online with Emirates.
Limitations of the Qantas and Emirates partnership
- Earning Qantas Points on Emirates flights. Qantas Points are earned on all eligible booking classes except Emirates codeshare flights operated by an airline other than Qantas, and Emirates Discount Economy flights booked in V and X class.
- Earning Emirates Skywards Miles on Qantas flights. Emirates Skywards Miles are earned on all eligible Qantas-operated flights with an EK flight code at the regular Skywards program rate awarded to Emirates flights (including Australian domestic add-on flights which form part of a continuous journey). Flights with a QF code earn Miles at a different rate based on distance travelled. Qantas codeshare flights are not eligible.
- Earning Emirates Skywards Miles on Qantas domestic flights. Emirates Skywards Miles can be earned on domestic Qantas flights when they are booked as part of a continuous international journey with Emirates or Qantas, but cannot be earned solely on domestic sectors. In eligible instances, you will earn additional Skywards Miles and Tier Miles for the domestic leg of your journey at a different rate. Please visit the Emirates website for specific rates.
- Earning Qantas Status credits on Emirates flights. You may earn Status credits on Emirates flights only when you have a QF flight number on your ticket.
- Earning Emirates Skyward Tier Miles on Qantas flights. You may only earn Tier Miles on Qantas-operated flights with an EK flight code.
If you happen to frequently visit the Middle East or Europe, this Qantas and Emirates alliance must surely be of some convenience to you. With well-timed one-stop flight connections and luxe airport lounges tailored to help ease your long journey, you may find that reason enough to fly Qantas-Emirates. The ability to chalk up points easily could just be a happy coincidence.
Frequently asked questions
Are there differences in baggage policies between Emirates and Qantas?
In an effort to perpetuate a seamless passenger experience, both airlines work with the same baggage policy. This also applies across all codeshare flights.
Are there additional checked baggage allowances for frequent flyers?
Yes. Members will enjoy the same benefits with additional allowances that are in line with their current membership status and their chosen flight class when travelling.
How can I book a flight using Qantas to go from Australia to Dubai, and then book a flight on Emirates to go from Dubai to Europe?
You can book this as a single trip on either the Qantas website or the Emirates website, depending on your frequent flyer program membership. Alternatively, flights can still be booked over the phone or through your travel agent.
If I book a flight on the Qantas website how will I know which carrier I’ll be flying with?
You will receive a confirmation throughout the booking process alerting you as to which airline you’ll be flying with.
As a Qantas First or Business customer do I have priority check-in in Dubai?
Yes. Emirates will offer access to their dedicated check-in counters at the Dubai International Airport for all Qantas First and Business customers. The same privileges will also be offered to Platinum One, Platinum and Gold Frequent Flyer members.
If I choose to fly with Emirates from Australia to Dubai, can I still use the Qantas lounge at my departing airport in Australia?
Yes, you can. As long as your membership status or cabin class allows for it, you will have access to the lounges for both airlines. It is recommended that you use the lounge of the airline you are flying with only for reasons of convenience and ease of proximity to your flight that day.
As a Qantas Club member do I have access to Emirates lounges worldwide?
Unfortunately Qantas Club members will only have access to the Emirates lounge in the Dubai International Airport when your next onward flight that day has a QF flight number.
As a Qantas Frequent Flyer am I still able to use the Australian domestic lounges if I am connecting from an Emirates international flight?
Yes, you are. Regardless of whether your trip contains flights with both airlines, you may still enjoy Qantas lounge access where your ticket or membership tier permits.
If I am a member of the Emirates Skywards program and I’m travelling on the Qantas domestic network, can I use the Qantas domestic lounges?
Emirates Skywards Gold members are welcome to make use of the Qantas Club domestic lounges, while Emirates Skywards Platinum members can enjoy Qantas Domestic Business Lounges as well as Qantas Club Domestic Lounges in Australia.