“The consumer really just wanted more classic reward availability” – customers underwhelmed by Qantas FF shakeup

Los Angeles, USA - November 3, 2011: A Qantas Airbus A380 at LAX.

Qantas made headlines earlier this week when it announced one of the biggest expansions ever in its frequent flyer loyalty program with the introduction of Classic Plus Flight Rewards, but some customers are underwhelmed.

The ‘Classic Plus Flight Rewards’ is a new way for members to use their Qantas Points to book flights making travel to destinations like London, Tokyo, New York and Singapore easier to score, even in peak periods.

The move was made in response to significant criticism that there are too few Classic rewards seats.

Andrew Glance, the CEO of Qantas Loyalty said at the time “The widespread availability of Classic Plus means that frequent flyers have more options to fly where they want, when they want and more often, using their points.”

While the expansion of Classic Plus Flight Rewards adds more seats they will cost more points to book.

On social media, Qantas customers seemed less than satisfied with the expansion of the loyalty program.

“I think the feedback in this comment section shows what people think… which is most are pretty dissatisfied by this offering – and not just here, but across multiple forums. I’d love to hear an opinion otherwise to help change my mind. It just looks like a repackaged way to devalue points and line pockets, when the consumer really just wanted more classic reward availability,” one customer commented on Instagram,  getting tens of likes.

“This is just a way for Qantas to try and reduce the liability of points on its books. Do not book these flights people and demand more classic rewards from Qantas by switching to Virgin,” another said.

The increase in points required to book the new seats proved to be a point of contention with one customer saying: “the required points for a Classic Plus Reward flights are almost double compared to a Classic Reward! It looks like “Points Plus Pay” rebranded as Classic Plus Reward !!!”

Another consumer claimed the increased price point devalued their points.

“As a platinum flyer, I have watched my points accumulate due to diminished classic reward seat availability and now you want to gobble up my points for very little in return. You haven’t listened to your members at all”.

The news comes at a time when Qantas’ brand value is still recovering from a slew of controversies, including an ACCC investigation that Qantas was selling tickets on cancelled flights and a high court ruling that it had illegally sacked nearly 1700 ground workers during the pandemic.

Earlier this month a Brand Finance report moved Qantas down its global airline brand rankings after estimating that the last 12 months have decreased the national carrier’s brand value by $384m. The report moved Qantas to 21st place, from 16th last year.





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