It makes the Qantas bottom line look good – but is the Qantas/Emirates partnership winning points with the right people? According to at least one member of the Australian Frequent Flyer Gazette, the alliance has failed to deliver on its promises of improved service and choice for flyers. Successive reductions in benefits for Qantas customers flying Emirates are just part of a long list of complaints the Gazette reports in a story headlined Qantas and Emirates in an Unhappy Marriage?
“Our members particularly lament the loss of many Qantas international flights. Flights to Europe from Brisbane, Perth and Adelaide were taken over by Emirates when the alliance began. But Emirates does not allow Qantas flyers to upgrade using their points; nor does it offer Premium Economy. Some members also miss the Singapore stopover en-route to Europe, which was replaced with Dubai, the story says. “Numerous members also feel that the initial benefits of the alliance, now into its fourth year, have been gradually whittled away over recent years. Qantas has already abolished lounge access for Qantas Club members flying on an Emirates flight number. Just a few weeks ago, Qantas also removed the ability to earn points or status credits on some Emirates fares.” Not all members were critical. “In particular, our members have benefited from one-stop flights to many European and African destinations, and access to reward flights on Emirates’ vast global network, the spokesman adds. My first experience with what I thought was the alliance was nothing short of a disaster. I booked a flight to Bangkok via Singapore on the Emirates site. All flights had Emirates codes but I did see a line saying that Jetstar operated the Singapore Bangkok leg. That’s Qantas I thought. I was wrong. After meetings in Singapore I headed to the Emirates lounge (I carry a gold card) only to be told to go jump by the lounge manager. We don’t support Jetstar here he sneered. Coming home was worse – best described as every traveller’s nightmare. I arrived from Siam Reap luckily with plenty of time to spare because when I went to the Emirates transfer desk I was told to come back in 30 minutes. I returned to be told that not only could they not ticket the flight home – for me to get the Jetstar sector I had to go out of the airport and back up to the departures hall and go through waiting lines and immigration at one of the busiest airports in the world.. It took hours – just as well I had left plenty of time. Never again – and that is what Emirates should be saying to Jetstar. Never again.
Written by Ian McIntosh