Frequent Flyers set to fly higher with new upgrade process

Sydney | Published on 18th July 2012 at 2:50

Qantas Frequent Flyer will today launch a range of new enhancements to its upgrade process to smooth the way for members seeking to use their points to upgrade on flights.

It follows a trial launched in May by Qantas Frequent Flyer to process upgrades closer to the time of departure for international flights.

Prior to the trial, upgrades for international flights were processed up until several hours prior to departure. Under the new system the process will work right up to the gate which means passengers have more chance of securing their upgrade seat.

Chief Executive Qantas Loyalty Lesley Grant said, “This is a terrific enhancement to the program for our 8.6 million members, as it provides additional access to upgrade seats and more opportunities for them to use their points to enjoy a more premium flying experience.”

Lesley Grant continued, “We made the decision to invest in the technology following feedback from our members who told us it is a source of frustration when their upgrade request is denied only to find there are empty seats on the aircraft when they boarded due to booked passengers “no-showing” or missing connections. We completely agreed and have engaged a new system that enables us to reallocate seats right up until the final boarding call to ensure we can “surprise and delight” members rather than disappoint”.

From today, the three key changes are:

(1) International upgrades
When members lodge an upgrade request online, they can opt in to be eligible for an upgrade at the airport. A member may be notified at check-in or at the departure gate if their request was unable to be confirmed prior.

(2) Domestic upgrades
Under the current process, if a domestic upgrade is not confirmed when requested, members have to return to to request again in the hope more seats may have come available. From today, if the upgrade request is unable to be confirmed, members will be given the option to register for an upgrade so the system will automatically allocate them a seat subject to availability and notify them by SMS.

(3) Partial Flight upgrades
Up until now, members have only been able to request an upgrade for the entire flight (e.g. Sydney-Singapore-London) which meant if a seat on one sector is not available, the upgrade was denied. Members can now opt in for a partial upgrade if a seat is available on one of the sectors.

“We operate in an increasingly competitive market and while Qantas Frequent Flyer is the premier program in terms of offering extensive opportunities to earn and redeem points across a wide range of partners, goods and services, we remain firmly focussed on ensuring the program and its offering continues to evolve and innovate,” finished Lesley Grant.

About Qantas Frequent Flyer:
*The Qantas Frequent Flyer program was launched in 1987 and today has 8.6 million members
*The program has more than 500 partners, including airlines, hotels, financial institutions and retailers
*Over 3.4 million Award flights were redeemed by members last year
*The online Qantas Frequent Flyer Store offers more than 2,500 products