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 and BA Executive Club tier points when flying with Emirates.
The reason for this is that Emirates has a codeshare deal on many routes with Qantas.
Qantas is the only oneworld airline where you earn Avios and BA tier points if you travel on a codeshare flight operated by a non-oneworld airline.
On Monday, Emirates and Qantas announced that they have extended their codeshare deal for another five years – click here to read more. This means that you can continue earning Avios on selected Emirates flights until at least March 2028.
We love Emirates
Emirates is an excellent airline 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 which isn’t very useful unless you earn enough for a long-haul premium cabin redemption. You can redeem for Arsenal VIP football tickets and for easyJet flights and for Heathrow Rewards credit but that is about it.
There is an alternative, though
Qantas has a codeshare deal with Emirates, now extended to March 2028. A large number of Emirates flights also carry Qantas flight codes. Qantas is 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):
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.
How can you book Emirates flights under the Qantas codeshare?
It isn’t easy, unfortunately.
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.
Here is an example itinerary I pulled up. This is Rome to Sydney via Dubai, with all four flights on Emirates aircraft, but carrying a Qantas flight code and therefore earning Avios and British Airways tier points:
If you are trying to book the cheapest non-refundable economy ticket then, to be honest, it is very unlikely you will find it with a QF flight number. Flexible and semi-flexible fares are more likely to be equal in price irrespective of whose flight number is on the ticket.
Expedia and other third party sites may show Emirates flights with Qantas flight numbers but you need to check this carefully before hitting the ‘buy’ button.
Unfortunately, the Qantas website doesn’t list all of the cities covered by the Emirates codeshare. It may be necessary to use a travel agent.
This doesn’t work on all Emirates routes
Not all Emirates flights carry a Qantas flight code.
In their press release on Monday, Emirates and Qantas confirmed that the codeshare covers:
- 38 codeshare destinations in the UK and Europe, including Rome, Zurich and Barcelona
- 55 codeshare destinations in Australia and New Zealand
- 13 codeshare destinations in Africa and the Middle East
- 2 codeshare destinations in Asia
…. although there is no published list that I can find.
Your destination needs to be part of the (unpublished) list of cities above in order for the Emirates flight to be bookable as a Qantas codeshare.
This trick also works on one KLM route to Singapore
Qantas also codeshares 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.