Air France-KLM and Qantas launched a codeshare agreement as of mid-2018, allowing customers to travel between Australia and Europe via Hong Kong and Singapore.
Now the companies have taken cooperation to the next level, which is pretty exciting.
New Air France & Qantas Frequent Flyer Partnership
Up until now it has only been possible to earn points on codeshare flights, while the airlines are now introducing a comprehensive partnership.
With this new partnership, Air France-KLM Flying Blue and Qantas Frequent Flyer will offer mileage earning and redemption opportunities across all flights.
To me the most interesting aspect of this is the ability to redeem points between the two programs, given the ways you can earn these points through transferable points currencies. Here in the US:
- Air France-KLM Flying Blue is transfer partners with Amex Membership Rewards, Capital One, Chase Ultimate Rewards, and Citi ThankYou, and we often see transfer bonuses
- Qantas Frequent Flyer is transfer partners with Amex Membership Rewards, Capital One, and Citi ThankYou, and we also see transfer bonuses fairly often
My initial instinct is that there might be some mild arbitrage opportunities here, but for the most part I don’t think this is a game changer for someone with transferrable points.
Redeeming Qantas Points On Air France-KLM
As mentioned above, Qantas Frequent Flyer is transfer partners with Amex Membership Rewards, Capital One, and Citi ThankYou. Their partner award chart looks as follows:
Those prices are not attractive at all. Not only that, but:
- Qantas adds carrier imposed surcharges to award tickets
- Air France-KLM only makes a subset of their award seats available to partners, so you’ll always find the most availability directly through Flying Blue; nowadays partner availability is really bad
Regardless, 75,000 Flying Blue miles for a US East Coast to Paris ticket with carrier imposed surcharges on top of that is hardly a reason to book through Qantas compared to booking directly through Air France-KLM.
Redeem for Air France A350 business class
Redeeming Air France-KLM Miles On Qantas
Air France-KLM Flying Blue is transfer partners with Amex Membership Rewards, Capital One, Chase Ultimate Rewards, and Citi ThankYou, so there are lots of ways to earn those miles.
Flying Blue doesn’t have an award chart, but rather has dynamic pricing. On the plus side, they are at least pretty consistent with partner pricing.
Prices look very high, though. For example, a one-way business class ticket from Melbourne to Sydney runs 34,000 Flying Blue miles.
Meanwhile a one-way business class ticket from Brisbane to Los Angeles costs 144,000 miles. Ouch!
Redeem for Qantas 787 business class
Ultimately it’s nice to see airlines add more partner redemption opportunities. I’d say this could be valuable for those collecting points in either program, but there aren’t many opportunities beyond that.
If you want to redeem on Air France-KLM you’re much better off booking through Flying Blue, given how much more award space they make available to their own members. If you want to redeem on Qantas you’re much better off booking through Alaska Mileage Plan or American AAdvantage.
Does anyone see any good opportunities through this partnership that I’m missing?