American Airlines, Qantas enhance trans-Pacific partnership

by James Wilkinson

American Airlines and Qantas are rolling out new codeshare flights and significantly improved frequent flyer benefits, including higher earn rates for points and status credits on each other’s networks.

The changes are being implemented following the US Department of Transportation’s (DOT) final approval of Qantas and American Airlines’ joint business.

Qantas customers will benefit from new codeshares across North America with access to more than 50 new routes and almost 30 new destinations, and American customers will enjoy 32 total codeshare routes in Australia.

Qantas Frequent Flyers can now earn up to 3.5 times more Qantas Points on American Airlines flights between Australia and the United States, up to 5 times more Status Credits on American Airlines flights between Australia and the United States, and up to 4 times more Status Credits on American Airlines flights for travel within the United States and Canada.

“Our joint business with American Airlines has allowed us to offer new routes, better flight connections and more benefits for our frequent flyers,” said Qantas International CEO, Tino La Spina.

“Qantas Frequent Flyers will now earn as many points when they travel to the US with American Airlines as they do when they travel with Qantas.

“The US remains one of the most popular destinations on our international network and next year we’ll connect Australia and Chicago with direct flights for the first time, as well as launch flights from Brisbane to San Francisco. The new codeshare routes will provide even greater access for our frequent flyers to onward destinations across American Airlines’ extensive network which will benefit customers travelling for business or holidays.”

American Airlines AAdvantange members can now earn more miles system-wide and elite status more quickly than before on Qantas flights between Australia or New Zealand and the US due to an increase in mileage accrual, elite qualifying miles (EQMS) and elite qualifying dollars (EQDs) for most seat classes.

“Our customers are drawn to the natural beauty and cultural richness Australia and New Zealand offer, so we’re excited to bring them even more frequent flyer benefits and expanded codeshare opportunities for their adventures,” said American Airlines’ President of the AAdvantage program and Vice President of Customer Loyalty and Insights, Bridget Blaise-Shamai.

Qantas has expanded its codeshare with American Airlines with the addition of more than 50 new routes on services from Dallas-Fort Worth (DFW) and Chicago O’Hare (ORD), which adds 28 new codeshare destinations to the Qantas network in the US.

With these new destinations, Qantas has its code on American Airlines services to more than 100 destinations and almost 200 routes in the US.