Optus, Qantas in Frequent Flyer team-up

Summary:Optus customers will soon be able to earn Qantas Frequent Flyer points from their consumer and business accounts and services after a new partnership was announced today between the airline and the number two telco.

Optus customers will soon be able to earn Qantas Frequent Flyer points from their consumer and business accounts and services after a new partnership was announced today between the airline and the number two telco.

Qantas Kangaroo

(Qantas B737-800 VH-VXU image by Andy Mitchell, CC BY SA 2.0)

The partnership announced by Qantas chief Alan Joyce is part of an extensive overhaul of the Frequent Flyer program.

Optus CEO Paul O'Sullivan said today that the telco's integration into the Frequent Flyer program is about rewarding customers.

"With this new and exciting alliance, Optus will be able to further reward and thank its consumer and small business customers for making Optus their number one choice for telco services," he said.

"Our aim is to provide customers with greater choice and a better experience by enabling them to earn points towards a huge range of rewards."

Optus and Qantas refused to provide a specific date when customers would be able to earn points or provide details on how they could, indicating only that the rewards would kick in within the second half of 2011. Customers can register their interest on Optus' website.

Simon Hickey, CEO of Qantas Frequent Flyer, told ZDNet Australia that Qantas will work with Optus following today's announcement to implement software that facilitates the communication of customer records between the two companies in order to correctly apply and update Frequent Flyer points.

"What you have to do is work out how we identify Frequent Flyer members and how we allocate your number against your customer code, and create a file which can be put across Qantas Frequent Flyer so we can update member records," he said.

"We also need to implement a follow-up ability so we can track if anything goes wrong," he said.

Michael Smith, Optus' managing director of Consumer, said that the new deal will see Qantas add Optus products and services to its redemption catalogue.

Also included in the Frequent Flyer overhaul are improvements to Qantas' SMS notification system. Qantas Frequent Flyers will now be able to get confirmation of seat and class upgrades paid for with points via SMS, a service previously unavailable.

Other program overhauls include faster points earning rates on Jetstar flights and a new, elite flyer class called "Platinum One".

Topics: Telcos, Optus, Travel Tech

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A fresh recruit onto the tech journalism battlefield, Luke Hopewell is eager to see some action. After a tour of duty in the belly of the Telstra beast, he is keen to report big stories on the enterprise beat. Drawing on past experience in radio, print and magazine, he plans to ask all the tough questions you want answered.

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