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Bon vivants used to book British Airways or Qantas to traverse the globe. Now though, antipodes looking to escape to Europe can do so with (almost) innumerable airlines as Middle Eastern players like Emirates, Qatar and Etihad have come out to play (and in some areas, dominate). 

And that’s not to mention Air China, Cathay Pacific, Singapore Airlines and even Korean Air (whose budget business class is more tempting than you’d think).

In this climate of competition, you might not expect much cooperation. And – on a surface level – you’d be right. But a recent change by Qantas to strengthen its ‘repartee’ with Air France shows that even as they compete airlines are finding more and more ways to work together and boost efficiency. 

As Qantas announced this morning, “Qantas Frequent Flyers can now access reward seats, earn Qantas Points and receive tier benefits across the entire Air France – KLM Royal Dutch Airlines (KLM) network.” This comes as part of a comprehensive new partnership between the airline groups. 

The upshot? Qantas Frequent Flyers will be able to fly to over 60 new destinations across Europe and Africa including Biarritz, France; Dresden, Germany; Calvi, Corsica, France; and Bristol, United Kingdom. All of which sound good… just as soon as Aussie summer comes to an end.

This strengthens an existing 2018 codeshare which Qantas established with Air France and KLM allowing the customers of each airline to connect on flights between Australia and Europe via Singapore and Hong Kong (if you’ve ever flown Qantas to Europe, chances are you’ve found yourself on an Air France jet at some point). And as part of the arrangement customers also benefited from reciprocal lounge access and Qantas Points on Qantas coded flights.

Now though, after today’s announcement, members will also be able to “access reward seats and earn points on all fares across all Air France and KLM marketed flights globally,” and, “Frequent flyers with Gold status or higher will also be able to access tier benefits including priority boarding, priority check-in and extra baggage allowance on any Air France and KLM operated flights.”

Qantas Loyalty CEO Olivia Wirth said Qantas Frequent Flyer was excited to welcome Air France and KLM to the program: “Qantas Frequent Flyer is committed to building strong and strategic partnerships with flagship airlines to improve travel options and benefits for our members.”

“Members will now have access to hundreds of thousands more reward seats in popular destinations including Paris, Amsterdam, Rome, Barcelona and Athens, as well as new destinations across France, Italy and Northern Europe.”

Olivia also said, “Frequent Flyers used 10 billion Qantas Points booking dream trips across Europe last year. We know this partnership will allow our members to explore more of the continent and find reward seats more easily.”

All up, the agreement between Qantas Frequent Flyer, Air France and KLM Flying Blue means members will be able to earn points when they travel on eligible flights across each airline. Members will also be able to redeem Classic Flight Reward seats across Air France and KLM’s economy and business cabins.

That lie flat upgrade could be closer than you think.

So, how do you actually get it? According to The Flying Kangaroo’s announcement, “to earn Qantas Points with Air France or KLM, members simply need to enter their Qantas Frequent Flyer number when booking their next flight” after which “members can redeem available reward seats when they log in and select to ‘use points’ when searching for flights on the Qantas website.”

“Qantas Points are earned on all eligible booking classes, except on Air France and KLM codeshare flights operated by an airline other than Air France, KLM or Qantas.”

Keeping it in the family, and keeping it classy. Now, where’s our champagne?

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