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Qantas to greet trans-Tasman revival with ‘points planes’

March 29, 2021 Headline News No Comments Email Email

As the start of two-way, quarantine-free, trans-Tasman travel nears, Qantas and Jetstar have confirmed they will offer their frequent flyers uncapped Classic Flight Reward seats for three days after the Tasman “travel bubble” opens – and vaccination against Covid-19 probably won’t be required on the route.

Once the travel bubble start-date is confirmed, thousands of seats across all cabins will be made available for booking as Classic Flight Rewards over the 72-hour travel period. (Customers can also pay for these seats.) When the bubble opens, pent-up demand for trans-Tasman flights will be huge.

Travel across the Tasman probably won’t require vaccination against Covid-19. Qantas has already stated: “There is no suggestion that a vaccine would be required for domestic travel and probably not for countries with which Australia might form a ‘travel bubble’ (e.g. New Zealand).”

Qantas and Jetstar are getting ready for the big trans-Tasman breakthrough, which could even start next month. They will add “significantly more flights between Australia and New Zealand across a number of routes”, flying to all pre-Covid destinations.

In addition to operating the Points Planes, Qantas Frequent Flyer will also add 50% more Classic Reward seats on Qantas’ trans-Tasman flights for the remainder of the year.

Qantas Loyalty chief executive Olivia Wirth said the initiative would reward the program’s Australian and New Zealand members who have continued to build their points balance during the pandemic in anticipation of international travel resuming.

“Our members have been stockpiling points during Covid for exactly these opportunities and we want to help make it easier to get on one of the first international flights,” Wirth said.

“That’s why every seat on every Qantas and Jetstar flight for the first three days of the travel bubble opening will be Classic Flight Rewards.

“For the remainder of the year, there will also be more reward seats available including during peak times like Christmas and school holidays on Qantas’ trans-Tasman flights.

“Eighty per cent of Qantas Frequent Flyers have said they want to use the points they have been stockpiling on travel. This is just one example of how we’ll be making it easier for members to get closer to their next dream trip as borders reopen.”

Points Planes are the latest in a series of initiatives to reward Frequent Flyers who’ve had limited opportunities to use points on travel over the past 12 months. A Qantas statement said these initiative include:

  • More availability: Increased availability of Classic Flight Rewards by up to 50 per cent to the most popular destinations across Australia. This helped drive a 2.5 times increase in flight redemptions to record levels when border restrictions started to ease.
  • Better value on Qantas Hotels: Improved Classic Hotels Rewards giving members more value and choice when they book accommodation with points.
  • Greater flexibility: Waived change and cancellation fees on Flight Rewards to give members more confidence to book with points.
  • Status support: Provided a range of support mechanisms to help members retain their tier including status extensions, Status Credit boosts and the ability to earn them on the ground.

Classic Flight Reward seats across the Tasman start from 18,000 Qantas Points with Qantas and 14,400 with Jetstar plus taxes, fees and carrier charges.

Customers travelling on the Points Planes, or on any Qantas operated flights booked before 30 April 2021 can enjoy added flexibility with unlimited fee free date changes when travelling before 28 February 2022.

Edited by Peter Needham

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