How to earn Avios and BA 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.

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.

Emirates 777

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 (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.

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

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  1. Godfrey Wardle says:

    We did this in 2016 and it worked perfectly. Our route was LHR-DXB-BNE-SIN-DXB-LHR. All booked on Qantas website selecting flights shown as “operated by Emirates” and entered our BAEC numbers.

    • Daniel says:

      Yes, this works brilliantly and reminds me of one of the great fares about three years ago, thanks to Rob’s tip at the time; Warsaw-Melbourne on Emirates under a QF code for £1,050. That got me my first gold card with a total of six LH sectors via Dubai and Singapore.

      Still makes me smile 🙂

  2. Steven says:

    I know this works because your wife has tried it, but I didn’t think it did because the ba website says you don’t get any if you fly a one world flight on non-one world metal. So what is and what isn’t one world metal to them? Thanks!

    • It’s an exception

    • guesswho2000 says:

      It does say that, for everyone except QF, for which it says:

      Executive Club Members can collect Avios on:
      Flights marketed and operated by Qantas or Qantas Airlines affiliates under the QF designated code.
      Flights marketed by Qantas but operated by Jetstar booked as oneworld fare in L class only.
      Flights marketed by Qantas or Qantas Airlines affiliates and operated by Qantas, a Qantas affiliate, BA, another oneworld carrier, or another third party under a codeshare agreement.

    • Andrew says:

      From the BA website:
      “Executive Club Members can collect Avios on:

      – Flights marketed by Qantas or Qantas Airlines affiliates and operated by Qantas, a Qantas affiliate, BA, another oneworld carrier, or another third party under a codeshare agreement.“

  3. Prins Polo says:

    It works for a number of other non-OW airlines when booked under QF code – e.g. PX (Air Niugini) and FJ (Fiji Airways).

    Those tickets (and the same goes for EK) are often significantly more expensive than the same flight booked directly under the operating carrier’s code.

    • Yes, I flown EK a couple of times to NZ (sadly always down the back due to company rules) Both times I’ve looked to book the identical flights under the Qantas code but the price differential was significant so EK miles it was.

      • Your company policy is economy Y on long (loooooooong) haul ?? Really ??

        • Public sector – you wouldn’t want us wasting your money now would you. 😉

        • Lady London says:

          Erm, how does public sector justify a trip for someone to New Zealand?
          Enquiring minds would like to know 🙂

        • Ricatti says:

          @ Lady London

          Fact-finding mission, exchange of goodwill…

      • Lady London says:

        Fellow flyers have told me that if you have to fly down the back to NZ, EK is one of the 3 best (the others being SQ plus one other that I’ve forgotton). So sounds like you did it as best you could in Y.

        • Would have thought it would be NZ via LAX with their economy bed thingy if that’s still around.

        • In my case it was a university fellowship – with travel booked by university’ s own travel service. Still worth it to be in NZ for a few months.

  4. Qantas also codeshares on some Air France services between Paris and Singapore/Hong Kong that this would work for also

  5. Annabelle says:

    OT -So sorry no bits! Am about to book first return journey for 2-4-1 booking when date opens up at 1am. Should I call US BA number a certain time before that? Unsure if there’s usually a long wait to get to an associate ( like the U.K. office ). Thanks in advance.

    • My brother rang the US number a week or two ago on a Friday night and got through to someone in Warrington (UK) without having to queue. Could have been a day of the week thing though. He had issue with his skype so worth calling a bit before 1am so you can get through and explain what you want to do so they are ready to grab seats.

    • Alex D says:

      I rang the Japan office in February and got straight through to someone in the UK! I also rang the US office a few days ago and got through to the UK instantly! So i wouldn’t worry – Call at 01:01 and you should be first call answered

  6. O/T am I right in thinking that checked baggage is included for avios reward flights on QF? If yes then it’s £155 cash vs 10k avios + £14 – ok but not great value for Avios?

  7. I’m doing exactly this on Wednesday: ARN – DXB free hotel night – MEL – AKL in First on EK/QF, on QF ticket stock and QF flight numbers. Returning the same but via SYD.

    WRT FJ being more expensive on QF codes, I have always found booking such flights via the New Zealand portal of Expedia brings the price down to the same as the FJ price.

  8. Phillip says:

    Unfortunately, you don’t see that many great deals on the QF/EK codeshares these days! Even if EK have a good deal on the QF codeshare is usually a lot more.

    • Yeah because Qantas doesn’t do LHR-DXB any longer. The fares were low on that flight because Australians didn’t want to go via the UAE.

      • They don’t do it? Are you sure? That would be sad. My only “Emirates” flight on this route a couple of years ago was on a Kangaroo branded aircraft

        • Lady London says:

          They stopped. Demand was poor apparently. Now they have a better solution in place.

  9. Robert says:

    I must be missing something, as all the routes described in the article and comments are already flown by BA so therefore isn’t it easier to simply fly with BA? Please advise if there is any regional benefit, as Emirates operates to Dubai from my local airport and would thus save me the ‘Heathrow hassle’ many thanks.

    • Double tier points (560 return) due to the plane change and, erm, it saves you the ‘Heathrow hassle’ if you live in the provinces 🙂

      • …plus a decent wine cellar and Hennessy Paradis 😁

      • Robert says:

        Ah I see, I’ll check it out thanks and hopefully can book a QF flight between NCL and Dubai as I find myself on this route more than LHR nowadays.

      • Lady London says:

        And would you seriously rather sit in BA J than EK J. Seriously?

        • Some people are more sensitive than others about changing aircraft half-way, although if the alternative is changing in Heathrow from a UK domestic then it pretty much balances out.

  10. OT: what happens if I close a platinum account now but prebooked flight in Nov 19?
    Will I still be covered by amex’s travel insurance? Thanks

  11. Just a note that it is no longer possible to earn Alaska miles on normal Air France / KLM flights, unfortunately. It used to be useful for the odd Air France domestic route, but Alaska changed this last year.

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