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GoPro is ready. This is gonna be an epic trip report.
At just 70k miles and $35, Qantas First Class is one of the single best redemptions you can make with Alaska Miles. The problem is finding availability…it’s virtually impossible. Qantas releases some seats when the schedule opens, but other that that, there isn’t really any way, with certainty, to plan for availability. You can’t even rely on last minute space. Unlike Cathay, JAL, or Lufthansa, who regularly release seats within 14 days, Qantas does not institute this practice, and instead will fly the cabin empty, or just partially full. As luck would have it, my first trip down under will start in Qantas First Class with my girlfriend, and I couldn’t be more excited.
What will the experience be like?
It’ll start in the Qantas First Class lounge at LAX where they have sit down dining, great champagne, and amazing food. You can read my review by clicking above.
The onboard experience.
Then the onboard experience on the A380. 14 seats. 1-1-1 configuration. 15 hours and 50 mins of first class indulgence. I selected two window seats: 1A and 2A
Alaska gives you your Qantas record locator as well, so I headed on over and selected our seats. Completely empty cabin. Much like Cathay Pacific, the A line has its own aisle. Where as the K line shares the aisle with the F line.
We will get to dine together, and I hear the food is quite good.
Bubbly? They serve a $200 bottle of Pol Roger Sir Winston Churchill Champagne. YES, PLEASE!
And then when it’s time to sleep off some of that nearly 16 hour flight…
How did I find the space?
One easy way to do it is to set alerts on ExpertFlyer. Expertflyer is a great resource for travel aficionados and I use it daily in my award booking service. Below is an example of how alerts work, and when they become available, an email is sent to you notifying you.
The only problem with this situation is that Alaska doesn’t have access to ALL partner award avail. So this may prompt you that seats are available, but those seats may not be specifically available to Alaska. So I also searched using Alaska’s own search engine.
Searching with Alaska
The easiest way to search is using Calendar view. The more you search the savvier you’ll become with pricing, and you’ll be able to pinpoint the dates that correspond to airline that has availability. Since we know that 70k is the one way price for First Class on Qantas, that’s what we are looking to find. See all those 225k…that’s Emirates ( and most dates…it’s not even First Class the whole journey)
Ultimately, we booked dates that worked for our schedule and paid just 70k +$35 a ticket. B-YAH!
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