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Business-class seats on points just became pricier at Qantas

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Swapping those hard-earned air miles for a business-class seat has become even harder at Qantas.

[SYDNEY] Swapping those hard-earned air miles for a business-class seat has become even harder at Qantas.

The number of points needed for a seat at the front of the plane on a domestic or international flight will jump as much as 15 per cent in September, Qantas Airways Ltd said in a statement on Thursday. Points required for an upgrade from economy will increase as much as 9 per cent.

The hike raises the price of the ultimate - and often elusive - reward for many frequent flyers: business-class travel on private vacations. Qantas says it's the first such increase in 15 years and premium travel has improved significantly in that time.

The change is one of several at Qantas's loyalty business that are designed to address the main gripes of the programme's almost 13 million members: a lack of seats to exchange for points, and the additional costs associated with booking an international flight with points.

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The Australian airline said it will add more than one million extra reward seats a year on Qantas and new partner airlines. It's also cutting the number of points required for international economy seats by as much as 10 per cent, and reducing so-called carrier charges as much as 50 per cent on international bookings made with points.

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