It’s not just business class upgrades (or wine, or petrol) you can spend your Qantas Points on. Qantas frequent flyers can now use their Qantas Points to book holidays online (with a range of packages, from Antarctica to Africa) with TripADeal – an Australia-based, online travel agent.
Qantas has bought a 51% stake of TripADeal, which was Australia’s fastest-growing company back in 2016. Though – like the rest of the travel industry – it has faced a difficult couple of years since COVID-19 entered the world, it’s now back on its feet and picking up speed. In fact, as its founders shared with media at Qantas’ head office in Mascot this morning, it just recorded its best month ever.
Now, in a move that both Qantas and TripADeal hope will supercharge TripADeal’s growth, Qantas has partnered with TripADeal, with plans to significantly grow TripADeal’s revenue through a close partnership with Qantas’ loyalty program. To that end, Frequent Flyers can now use Qantas Points for any TripADeal holiday package.
Why did Qantas get into bed with TripADeal? The online packaged holiday booking market is estimated to be worth $13 billion, and is now experiencing an even further boom as people get back to travel, satisfying the pent up demand of the last few years. The e-commerce sector is also pegged to continue growing.
TripADeal offers its customers a lot. It has thousands of direct supplier relationships with hotels, tour operators and other vendors that allow it to offer attractively priced holiday bundles both in Australia and overseas. They have tour guides in over 30 countries.
TripADeal holiday packages range from Japanese ski trips and exploring Antarctica, to South Australian wine tasting tours, Bali beach holidays and African safaris. All these holidays are now able to be booked with Qantas points, regardless of which airline is part of the package. Frequent flyers will also earn three points for every dollar they spend with TripADeal and can also use ‘points plus pay’ to book a holiday with a mix of points and cash (i.e. pay to bring their TripADeal holiday forward if they don’t have enough do book it solely with points).
As Qantas shared in a media release this morning, before COVID, “TripADeal had a yearly growth rate of more than 40% and in the 12 months prior to the pandemic, bookings were in excess of $200 million.” TripADeal’s monthly bookings are now “significantly higher,” Qantas says.
The other shareholders in TripADeal are the founders, Norm Black and Richard Johnston – two entrepreneurs who hatched the plan for TripADeal while travelling – as well as private equity firm BGH Capital, which purchased a stake in TripADeal in 2020.
Qantas’ agreement with TripADeal provides a mechanism for Qantas to acquire the remaining 49% of TripADeal in four years’ time at an agreed multiple of TripADeal’s bookings at the time.
Qantas CEO Alan Joyce said the purchase was: “a great opportunity at the perfect time.” He said that “coming out of the pandemic, people want a holiday experience that is special but also tried and tested, and there is a huge shift to booking online.”
“That’s exactly what TripADeal does. It’s an Aussie success story built on delivering ready-made holidays at very sharp prices, and their level of repeat customers shows how well they do it.”
Mr Joyce added: “We know that the number one thing people want to spend those points on is travel. That’s why the opportunities that TripADeal opens up for our Frequent Flyers will be so positive.”
The partnership comes amid the expansion of Qantas’ loyalty program, with the group continuing to perform strongly across earnings growth and the number of points redemptions and member engagement recorded.
TripADeal currently employs around 100 people in Byron Bay and the Gold Coast, and they have dedicated personnel in over 30 countries to manage customer experience on the ground.
For the specifics of some of the holiday packages available for booking with TripADeal, see below:
- 10 day tour of Japan including Qantas flights, accommodation in Tokyo, Osaka and Gifu plus a tour of Mt Fuji. Packages from 140,000 points + $1399 per person, twin share.
- 9 day package to explore India’s famed Golden Triangle – Agra, Delhi and Jaipur, including Qantas flights, visits to the Taj Mahal and Chandni Chowk Market. Packages from 125,000 points + $1249 per person, twin share.
- 17 day tour of Alaska, Yellowstone & The Rockies including Qantas flights, 7 night Glacier Experience cruise and visits to Yellowstone National Park, Vancouver and the Great Falls in Montana. Packages from 250,000 points + $2499 per person, twin share.
Frequent flyers can also book holiday packages using points only and will earn three points per dollar spent on all TripADeal packages, Qantas notes.