Maximise your Avios, air miles and hotel points

How to earn Avios and British Airways tier points when flying Emirates and one niche KLM route

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We spent most of yesterday travelling back to London from holiday, so with time tight I thought I’d roll out one of our older ‘how to’ articles that won’t be familiar to new HfP readers.

One of the ‘things you didn’t know you didn’t know’ about frequent flyer miles is that it is possible to earn British Airways Avios points and tier points when flying with Emirates.

Emirates is an excellent choice for long-haul travel, especially in premium cabins on the A380 routes and especially if you live in the regions and would otherwise need to connect at Heathrow.  Here is my review of Emirates A380 First Class, here is my review of the brand new Boeing 777-300ER ‘fully enclosed’ Emirates First Class and here is my review of Emirates A380 Business Class.

Emirates 777

One downside is Emirates Skywards.  It is a pretty feeble loyalty scheme with low earning rates and high redemption rates.  You can redeem for Arsenal VIP football tickets and for easyJet flights and for Heathrow Rewards credit but that is about it.

One alternative is crediting Emirates flights to Alaska Airlines as the two are partners.  Alaska is also a British Airways partner so you could redeem the miles for BA flights.  If you didn’t have enough, you could credit a few BA flights to Alaska to top up your account.

There is an alternative, though.

Qantas signed a major tie-up with Emirates six years ago.  A large number of Emirates flights now carry Qantas flight codes.  Qantas is also a member of the oneworld alliance alongside British Airways.

As long as your Emirates flight is booked under a Qantas (QF) flight number and not an Emirates (EK) flight number, you will receive Avios points when you fly.

I got my wife to try this out back in 2015.  She had to fly to Singapore for a conference and got herself routed London – Dubai – Singapore – Dubai – London.

This is what posted on ba.com (click to enlarge):

Earning Avios when flying Emirates

As you can see, full long-haul tier points – 560 tier points for the return trip – and Avios were received.  Whilst it states that all four flights were ‘operated by Qantas’, this is not the case.  Three were on Emirates with only QF1 being on a Qantas aircraft.

To book an Emirates flight under the Qantas flight numbers, you should use the Qantas website to book.  Flights may be cheaper, the same or more expensive than booking via the Emirates site – it varies by service – so be careful.

Expedia and other third party sites may also show Emirates flights with Qantas flight numbers but you need to check this carefully before hitting the ‘buy’ button.

Not all Emirates routes carry a Qantas flight code unfortunately, but you should be OK to most places in Asia.  For corporate bookings, you need to carefully explain to your travel booking company what you want to do.

This trick also works on one KLM route to Singapore

From last October, Qantas has been codesharing with KLM on its flights from Amsterdam to Singapore.  In return, KLM has added its flight codes to Qantas services from Singapore to Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane and Perth.

If you book Amsterdam to Singapore on KLM, but using the Qantas flight code, you can credit it to British Airways Executive Club and earn tier points and Avios.  Weird but true.


how to earn avios from credit cards

How to earn Avios from UK credit cards (June 2021)

As a reminder, there are various ways of earning Avios from UK credit cards.  Many cards also have generous sign-up bonuses!

There are two official British Airways American Express cards:

British Airways American Express card

British Airways American Express

5,000 Avios for signing up, no annual fee and a companion voucher for spending £20,000 Read our full review

BA Premium Plus American Express card BAPP

British Airways American Express Premium Plus

25,000 Avios and the UK’s most valuable credit card perk – the 2-4-1 companion voucher Read our full review

You can also get generous sign-up bonuses by applying for American Express cards which earn Membership Rewards points, such as:

Nectar American Express

American Express Preferred Rewards Gold

Your best beginner’s card – 20,000 points, FREE for a year & two airport lounge passes Read our full review

American Express Platinum card Amex

The Platinum Card from American Express

30,000 points and an unbeatable set of travel benefits – for a fee Read our full review

We also recommend Capital On Tap for limited companies. You earn 1 Avios per £1 which is impressive for a Visa card:

Capital On Tap Business Rewards Visa

The most generous Avios Visa or Mastercard for a limited company Read our full review

Click here to read our detailed summary of all UK credit cards which earn Avios. This includes both personal and small business cards.

(Want to earn more Avios?  Click here to visit our home page for our latest articles on earning and spending your Avios points and click here to see how to earn more Avios this month from offers and promotions.)

Comments (72)

  • Ben says:

    Do any of Emirates’ Stansted flights carry a Qantas flight number?

    • Tilly says:

      I’d be interested in this too. Nice and convenient for me if we can fly to Asia from Stansted.

    • Memesweeper says:

      I checked last week and they did not … maybe soon, maybe never…

  • Isabel Friedlander says:

    I tried booking an Emirates flight to Sydney on the Qantas code and was told I’d have to pay the Qantas fare rather than the lower Emirates one. Perhaps there is a way around this?

    • Rob says:

      No. The lowest fares are generally only available via Emirates, in the same way that BA codeshare flights are generally cheaper if booked directly with the actual operator. Semi-flex or flexible tickets should be the same or very close.

  • Denise says:

    Rob, for clarity to credit my BA executive club account do I book the Qantas flight code Amsterdam to Singapore direct with KLM or with Qantas?

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