How to use Qantas Frequent Flyer Points for Business Class upgrades

Sally McMullen 2 March 2016


Get more value from your points with these changes to the Qantas Frequent Flyer program.

If you’re travelling on a domestic or international Qantas flight, you can now use your frequent flyer points to upgrade your Classic Flight Rewards seat to Premium Economy and Business Class. As most Qantas Frequent Flyers know, it's hard to find a Premium Economy or Business Class Award Seat. Having the option to use your points to upgrade your flight once it’s booked gives you another chance to fly in style.

This offer is a good option if you need to catch a flight on a specific date because of an event or business trip but there are only Economy seats available for purchase.

How many points do I need to upgrade?

Domestic upgrades

The number of points you’ll need will vary depending on the route. For example, if you have a flexible economy trip from Sydney to Melbourne, you'll need 5,000 Frequent Flyer Points to upgrade to Business Class. The original Class Flight Reward would cost you 8,000 points, so the upgrade flight would cost 13,000 points overall. Given it would cost 16,000 points if you used your points to book a Business Class Flight Reward for this route, the upgrade is better value in this instance.

You can only upgrade to Business Class from Economy on domestic flights. If a domestic Business Class upgrade is available when you request it, you can lock it in immediately. Otherwise, you can be waitlisted and find out closer to departure.

International upgrades

If you had an Classic Flight Reward Economy flight booked for a trip from Sydney to Los Angeles, you'll need 70,000 Qantas Points to upgrade to Premium Economy. Alternatively, you’ll need 100,000 points to upgrade and fly in Business Class for the same route. The Qantas website currently says you’ll need 96,000 points to redeem a Business Class Classic Flight Reward from Sydney to Los Angeles. So if you’re lucky enough to spot one of these seats in your search, you’ll get more value from this than using your points to upgrade.

Which flights can I get upgrades on?

To see how Qantas fare types align with the Qantas Frequent Flyer categories, browse the tables below.

Domestic flights

Fare typeTravel classFrequent Flyer categoryBusiness Class
Classic Flight Reward EconomyEconomyClassic Flight Reward EconomyX
Red e-DealEconomyDiscount EconomyE, G, L, N, O, Q, S, V
FlexEconomyFlexible EconomyB, H, K, M, Y
Classic Flight Reward BusinessBusinessClassic Flight Reward BusinessU
BusinessBusinessBusinessD, I
BusinessBusinessFlexible BusinessC, J

International flights

Fare typeTravel classFrequent Flyer categoryBusiness Class
Classic Flight Reward EconomyEconomyClassic Flight Reward EconomyX
Economy SaleEconomyDiscount EconomyN, O, Q
Economy SaverEconomyEconomyG, K, L, M, S
Economy FlexEconomyFlexible EconomyB, H, Y
Classic Flight Reward Premium EconomyPremium EconomyClassic Flight Reward Premium EconomyZ
Premium Economy SalePremium EconomyFlexible EconomyT
Premium Economy SaverPremium EconomyPremium EconomyR
Premium Economy FlexPremium EconomyFlexible Premium EconomyW
Classic Flight Reward BusinessBusinessClassic Flight Reward BusinessU
Business Sale/SaverBusinessBusinessD, I
Business FlexBusinessFlexible BusinessC, J
Classic Flight Reward FirstFirstClassic Flight Reward FirstP
First Sale/Saver/FlexFirstFirstA, F

Available as of 1 March 2016, Qantas’ latest offer gives members the opportunity to get more value from their points in the air. However, there's one trap to look out for: the combination of points used to secure and upgrade the flight often exceeds how much it would have cost to book a higher status flight with points in the first place. Flight upgrades are also subject to availability, so don’t bank on snagging an upgrade if you missed out on the Classic Award Seat you wanted.

Earn more Qantas Points and compare Qantas Frequent Flyer credit cards

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