American Airlines and Qantas improve mileage earnings, further expand codeshare

American Airlines and Qantas are moving quickly to utilize their
new joint-venture agreement — which received
tentative approval in early June
and
final approval on July 19
.


Executives from both airlines met last week
to iron out details
of how the new joint venture would work. Now, the two airlines are
announcing improvements to mileage earnings and new codeshare
routes.

Improved mileage and elite earnings

There’s some great news in this announcement for those looking
to (re-)earn elite
status on American Airlines
. Effective for flights starting
Oct. 1, 2019, American Airlines has improved the award mileage and
elite earning rates for some Qantas booking classes. And it’s all
good news; there are no downward adjustments, only
improvements.

There are now two different earning charts for
“Qantas-marketed” flights — meaning flights booked with a
Qantas flight number — being credited to AAdvantage. The first
chart is for flights between North America (except Hawaii) and
Australia or New Zealand:

The second chart is for flights not protected by the joint
venture between the two airlines. The good news here is that AA
improved Elite Qualifying Mileage earnings on almost all flight
fare codes. However, the EQD earning rate and the cabin bonuses are
the same as before.

With these changes in place, you’ll now earn the same number
of Elite Qualifying Miles (EQM) whether you book the flight with
American Airlines or Qantas flight numbers: 1x for economy, 1.5x
for premium economy, 2x for business/first class (non-full fare)
and 3x for full-fare business/first class.

Business/first class changes

Many of the improvements on the U.S.-Australia/New Zealand chart
are for Qantas business- and first-class booking codes. The numbers
bolded below indicate improvements:

Class of Service Code Base
(old)
Base
(new)
Cabin bonus
(old)
Cain bonus
(new)
EQM
(old)
EQM
(new)
EQD
(old)
EQD
(new)
First F 100% 100% 50% 200% 1.5 3 30% 60%
First A 100% 100% 50% 100% 1.5 2 30% 60%
Business J 100% 100% 25% 125% 1.5 3 25% 45%
Business C 100% 100% 25% 125% 1.5 2 25% 45%
Business D 100% 100% 25% 50% 1.5 2 25% 30%
Business I 100% 100% 25% 25% 1.5 2 25% 25%

*Note that these earning rates are for Qantas-marketed flights
between Australia or New Zealand and North America (excluding
Hawaii).

As you can see in the chart above, the Elite Qualifying Mile
(EQM) rate for all first- and business-class fares have been
increased from 1.5x to 3x for full-fare and 2x for so-called
discount business fares. The Elite Qualifying Dollar (EQD) and
class of service bonus is increasing for all fares except the
cheapest-bucket “I” business class fare.

Economy changes

In addition, all Qantas economy fares will now earn 1 Elite
Qualifying Mile per direct mile flown. Before these changes, Qantas
economy fares would only earn 0.5x EQM. That’s great news for
those looking to take advantage of a cheap Qantas economy deal to
Australia as you’ll be able to earn elite status faster.

While most of the other earning rates are staying the same,
there’s one exception: the earnings for S-fare economy tickets is
being increased from a base mileage earning rate of 25% to a base
of 50% of flight miles. The Elite Qualifying Dollar (EQD) rate is
also getting doubled from 5% to 10% of flight miles for these
S-fare tickets.

Change to Qantas earning charts

Qantas has also
improved its mileage- and elite-earning charts
for American
Airlines-marketed flights. As you can see in the chart, the Qantas
Points and status credit earnings for flights with an AA flight
number have been increased across the board:

New codeshare flights

American Airlines and Qantas are also expanding their codeshare
partnership. This allows travelers a choice between booking flights
as an American Airlines flight number or Qantas flight number on
even more routes.

The five Qantas-operated transpacific flights are included in
the codeshare expansion:

  • Los Angeles (LAX) to Sydney (SYD)
  • Dallas-Fort Worth (DFW) to Sydney (SYD)
  • San Francisco (SFO) to Melbourne (MEL)
  • San Francisco (SFO) to Brisbane (BNE)
  • Chicago (ORD) to Brisbane (BNE)

Image
generated using Great Circle Mapper.

In addition, Qantas is expanding its codeshare on more than 50
city pairs from Dallas/Fort Worth (DFW)
and Chicago
O’Hare (ORD)
. This expansion adds 28 new destinations to
Qantas’ U.S. network, increasing the number of U.S. destinations
bookable with a Qantas flight number to more than 100.

With the mileage-earning improvements noted above, it isn’t as
critical as before for AAdvantage members to book an AA-marketed
flight. Whether you book the flight with an AA flight number or
Qantas flight number, you’ll now earn the same number of Elite
Qualifying Miles (EQMs).

However, award mileage and Elite Qualifying Dollar (EQD)
earnings are going to differ between the two ways of booking. So,
make sure to check your mileage earnings for booking AA flight
numbers and Qantas flight numbers when deciding which airline to
book through.

Featured photo by Bloomberg via Getty Images.

Source: FS – All-Travel destinations-News2
American Airlines and Qantas improve mileage earnings, further expand codeshare