Earning points on discounted Europe flights

If you’re thinking of visiting Europe during the peak summer season (June-August 2017), now is a great time to lock in a deal as most of the top tier carriers have kicked off the year with some great value deals. Carriers offering special deals for the second half of this year to Europe include Cathay Pacific, Singapore Airlines, Etihad, Qantas and Qatar.

With all special deals come special conditions, and these include reductions to the points and status credit earn rates on these fares. I’ve put together a quick summary of what you’ll pay and what you’ll earn on return airfares to Europe from Brisbane during the sales promotional period. It’s worth noting that if you credit your Cathay flight to Qantas, you won’t earn any points or credits. In many cases I still think these are worth booking given how much they’re discounted.

 Cathay Pacific's new A350-900 which flies daily from Brisbane to Hong Kong (Source: Cathay Pacific)
Cathay Pacific’s new A350-900 which flies daily from Brisbane to Hong Kong (Source: Cathay Pacific)

Brisbane to London economy return

Airline Sale period Price Program Status Credits Points
Qantas Oct – Nov 2017 $1520 Qantas 165 14,000
Cathay Pacific Mar – Nov 2017 $1198 Asia Miles 40 5,150
Cathay Pacific Mar – Nov 2017 $1198 Qantas 0 0
Singapore Airlines Jul – Sep 2017 $1413 Velocity 140 2,115
Etihad Oct – Nov 2017 $1344 Velocity 140 5,448
Tier Miles Points
Singapore Airlines Jul – Sep 2017 $1413 KrisFlyer 2,115 2,115
Etihad Oct – Nov 2017 $1344 Etihad 5,448 5,448

This table just shows Brisbane, but similar deals exist for all major capital cities in Australia. Qatar flies from all major capital cities except Brisbane. It’s great to see Cathay Pacific and Singapore Airlines offering discounts during the peak season, unlike their rivals. So how do the points stack up?

Earning points

Singapore Airlines offers the least amount of points for their promotional fares, with only a 10% earn rate. Cathay and Etihad are slightly better with a 25% earn rate on their cheapest fares, followed by Qantas who offer roughly 50%. It should be noted however that redemptions on Asia Miles and KrisFlyer are less than Qantas, so this must be taken into consideration.

I’m planning a trip to Europe later this year and am heavily swayed by the Cathay Pacific deals. As a Velocity Platinum and Qantas Bronze member I won’t be eligible for lounge access, but would still love the chance to fly the A350 even in economy and Cathay’s schedule to Europe via Hong Kong is ideal.

Overall it’s great to continue seeing heavily discounted airfares and competition flooding the Australia to Europe sector. Happy booking!

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