Economy

More cancellations as Qantas announces loyalty program shake-up

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Flights will be cancelled today as Qantas announces a shake up of its frequent flyer program – and the prospect of further route cuts, even higher fares and the grounding of more aircraft is on the cards if costs of fuel continue to rise.

Flights will be cancelled today as Qantas announces a shake up of its frequent flyer program – and the prospect of further route cuts, even higher fares and the grounding of more aircraft is on the cards if costs of fuel continue to rise.

Yesterday Qantas announced that its five million members will be able to redeem any seat on any flight. But there is a catch. Travellers must use more reward points. Travellers will be allowed to pay for seats using a combination of points and credit card. They can also use points to pay for international taxes and other charges.

Qantas says the number of seats available under the original scheme will not be reduced because of the addition of more flexible rewards.

Qantas wants to improve the frequent flyer scheme so it is more attractive, stand alone, to prospective buyers. Chief executive Geoff Dixon recently announced the board would vote on an initial public offering of the frequent flyer business.

Meanwhile 19 flights will be cancelled from major cities today with more cancellations expected tomorrow. The engineering union, the Australian Licensed Aircraft Engineers Association, will meet with Qantas management today to discuss the ongoing industrial dispute over pay.

Dixon also says that measures taken by the airline in recent weeks that include reducing flights to Japan and South-East Asia and retiring older and less fuel-efficient aircraft, are indicative of future steps the airline might have to take. 

 

Read more on Qantas and business travel

 

See Rethink your travel budget

 

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