Will this make frequent travelers happier?

Qantas airplane on the tarmac. Qantas is introducing some dynamic pricing in its awards travel.

Can dynamic pricing work for award travel?

If you’ve ever booked a vehicle via a ride-sharing app, you’ve experienced dynamic pricing. Soon, you might end up experiencing it a lot more — with fast food chains, among others, looking into the practice. Given that dynamic pricing is already present in the world of air travel, it’s not too surprising to see it expanding into other elements of the industry — which helps explain why Qantas is now applying some of the same principles to its award travel program.

The program, known as Classic Plus Flight Rewards, will be more widely available than flights in Qantas’s traditional rewards program. The airline’s website notes that the value of Classic Plus travel “[f]luctuates with normal airfares throughout the year.” One other big difference between the two types of award travel: Classic rewards are also available on Jetstar and partner flights as well, while Classic Plus travel can only be redeemed for Qantas flights.

The new program is set to go into effect on international flights on July 1, 2024, with domestic flights within Australia to follow. Qantas acknowledged the similarities between this award travel and its traditional airfares, stating that “[t]he amount of points you need to book this reward seat varies, fluctuating like a commercial fare.”

As The Points Guy’s Ben Smithson observed in an analysis of the new program, the new tier of award travel options seems to have taken a cue from Qantas customers frustrated by a relatively small number of flights available via the Classic program.

“When a Qantas cash fare is on sale and you have many Qantas points to redeem, this could represent a decent deal,” Smithson writes. Given that travel to Australia is not cheap — whether you’re paying with dollars or with points — this begs the question of whether we’ll see that much of an uptick in award travel on Qantas once this goes into effect. But it’s one more thing to consider if you’re planning on heading Down Under in the near future.

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