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Reminder: Qantas is increasing premium award seat and upgrade prices next month

There’s one month left to lock in the current prices of premium award seats and upgrades using Qantas Points.

As Qantas announced back in June, the points cost of premium economy, business class and first class award seats and upgrades will rise by up to 15% from 18 September 2019. For example, a return business class award from Sydney to London will go from 256,000 to 289,200 points when flying with Qantas or Emirates, and from 278,000 to 318,000 points when flying with other partner airlines like Qatar Airways and Cathay Pacific.

The oneworld award, commonly used for round-the-world trips, will also become more expensive. For business class, the price will rise from 280,000 to 318,000 points. That’s actually not too painful, and still makes this one of the best uses of Qantas Points.

You can view the current and future points cost tables for award seats here and for upgrades here.

To lock in the current prices, you need to book or submit an upgrade request by 17 September at the latest.

One small piece of good news is that Qantas will also reduce the “carrier charges” it levies on premium award seats from 18 September, but this only applies to Qantas flights, not partner flights. For example, a return Qantas business class award from Sydney to London will see the total cash surcharge (comprising taxes, fees and carrier charges) reduced from $1,284 to $904 in business class.

When Qantas announced these changes in June, it tried to lessen the pain by promising 30% more premium award seats will be available to members. That’s going to be tough to verify, but we have seen some positive signs, like the recent releases of extra seats to Singapore and the USA (see here, here and here). Let’s hope more of this happens in the future.

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