Uncategorized

Unicorns exist! Just booked 2 Qantas First Class tickets for 70k a piece

a woman sitting in a chair in a plane
courtesy of Qantas.com

We may receive a commission when you use our links. Monkey Miles is part of an affiliate sales network and receives compensation for sending traffic to partner sites, such as CreditCards.com and CardRatings. This relationship may impact how and where links appear on this site. This site does not include all financial companies or all available financial offers. Monkey Miles is also a Senior Advisor to Bilt Rewards. Opinions, reviews, analyses & recommendations are the author’s alone, and have not been reviewed, endorsed or approved by any of these entities.


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?

Qantas First Class Lounge LAX

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

a woman and man sitting at a table with food on them
courtesy of Qantas.com

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.

a screenshot of a video game

We will get to dine together, and I hear the food is quite good.

a flight attendant serving a couple of people
courtesy of qantas.com

Bubbly? They serve a $200 bottle of Pol Roger Sir Winston Churchill Champagne. YES, PLEASE!

a white background with black text

And then when it’s time to sleep off some of that nearly 16 hour flight…

a man sleeping in a bed
courtesy of qantas.com

How did I find the space?

ExpertFlyer

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.

a screenshot of a computer

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)

a screenshot of a calendar

Ultimately, we booked dates that worked for our schedule and paid just 70k +$35 a ticket. B-YAH!


a woman holding a couple of birds

Opinions, reviews, analyses & recommendations are the author’s alone, and have not been reviewed, endorsed or approved by any of these entities.

a blue credit card with blue lines and white text

Learn More

Affiliate LInk

Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card


4.8
4.8/5
The Chase Sapphire Preferred® is a great starter card that earns Premium Ultimate Rewards that can be transferred into over a dozen partners many of which are US based including Hyatt, Southwest, United, IHG, and Marriott.

Welcome Offer

Earn 60,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. 

Annual Fee

$95

Points Earned

Transferrable Chase Ultimate Rewards

  • Earn 60,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening.
    • That’s $750 when you redeem through Chase Travel℠
  • 5x on all travel purchased through Chase Travel℠
  • 3x on dining, including eligible delivery services for takeout & dining out
  • 3x on select streaming services
  • 3x on online grocery purchases
    • (excluding Target, Walmart and wholesale clubs)
  • $50 Annual Chase Travel Hotel Credit via Chase Travel℠
    • The begins immediately for new cardmembers and after your account anniversary for existing cardmembers
  • 2x on all other travel
  • 10% Anniversary Bonus
    • Every year you keep the card, your total spend will yield a 10% points bonus. If you spend $10k in a year, you’ll get 1k bonus points
  • Chase Sapphire Preferred continues to redeem at 1.25c in the Chase Travel℠ and the slew of other benefits remain in tact including Auto Rental Collision Damage Waiver ( primary ), purchase protections, etc.
  • Points are transferrable to 14 Ultimate Rewards partners
  • Redeem in Chase Travel℠ for 1.25 cents per point
  • No foreign transaction fees
  • Suite of Travel and Purchase Coverage
    • Auto Rental Collision Damage Waiver is my favorite
  • Get complimentary access to DashPass which unlocks $0 delivery fees and lower service fees for a minimum of one year when you activate by December 31, 2024
  • $95 Annual Fee

We keep an up to date spreadsheet that lists the best ever offers: You can find that spreadsheet here.

Historically 80k is a very, very good offer and hit in both 2022 and 2023. In 2021, we saw the offer hit an all time high of 100k. Who knows if that will ever come back.

Main Cast: 

Cards that earn flexible points and should be used on the bulk of your purchases.

Supporting Cast:

Cards that earn fixed points in the currency of the airline/hotel and can not be transferred at attractive rates. These cards yield benefits that make it worth keeping, but not necessarily worth putting a lot of your everyday spend on. 

The Chase Sapphire Preferred® is exceptional starter card and offers transferrable Ultimate Rewards, and pairs well with other Chase cards.

If you carry this card alongside Chase’s cashback cards like the Chase Freedom Flex®  and Chase Freedom Unlimited® or the business versions: Ink Business Cash® , Ink Business Unlimited® you can combine the points into Preferred account and transfer into hotel and airline partners

Annual fee is quite low at $95 a year + you get a 10% anniversary bonus on points + $50 hotel credit in Chase travel.

The responses below are not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved, or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser's responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.

18 Comments

  • […] in a cheaper out of pocket cost than just buying the flights outright. For instance, I flew to  Australia in Qantas First Class for 70k miles. That ticket sells for north of $10k easily, and with points…under $1400. Obviously this is […]

  • […] in a cheaper out of pocket cost than just buying the flights outright. For instance, I flew to  Australia in Qantas First Class for 70k miles. That ticket sells for north of $10k easily, and with points…under $1400. Obviously this is […]

  • […] instance, I flew to  Australia in Qantas First Class for 70k miles. That ticket sells for north of $10k easily, and with points…under $1500. Obviously this is […]

  • […] in a cheaper out of pocket cost than just buying the flights outright. For instance, I flew to  Australia in Qantas First Class for 70k miles. That ticket sells for north of $10k easily, and with points…under $1400. Obviously this is […]

  • […] in a cheaper out of pocket cost than just buying the flights outright. For instance, I flew to  Australia in Qantas First Class for 70k miles. That ticket sells for north of $10k easily, and with points…under $1400. Obviously this is […]

  • […] in a cheaper out of pocket cost than just buying the flights outright. For instance, I flew to  Australia in Qantas First Class for 70k miles. That ticket sells for north of $10k easily, and with points…under $1400. Obviously this is […]

  • […] in a cheaper out of pocket cost than just buying the flights outright. For instance, I flew to  Australia in Qantas First Class for 70k miles. That ticket sells for north of $10k easily, and with points…under $1400. Obviously this is […]

  • BothofUs2 February 28, 2018

    Congrats on finding a real needle in the haystack there! We were looking at this a few years ago, trying to get 4 seats ORD-Australia and ultimately wound up in J on CX through HKG traveling July last year. Still a great way to get there and back, albeit longer. Enjoy your trip!

  • SK February 28, 2018

    A true ‘unicorn’ redemption – a great find. Easily the most comfortable way to fly to Australia, but don’t set your hopes too high for the onboard catering out of LAX – it’s generally very ordinary, even in F. I tend to have a good meal in the F lounge, where the food is much better, and then focus on the wine list and snacks on board (which I prefer anyway, given the often-delayed late evening departures). Ex-Australia, the food onboard is much better, and departure times are more conducive to enjoying it as well. Enjoy your flight, and your time in our great southern land.

  • Luke February 28, 2018

    Nice! Do you know how you’ll return yet? What will your strategy for finding return flights be?

    • Miles February 28, 2018

      Luke – right now we don’t have any returns…first choice would be more Qantas =) I’m tracking CX space as they fly the A350 to HKG which I’ve yet to review. Would be nice to do a stopover there and continue on back to the states in F – great deal for only 80k AS. We may end up buying something originating in southeast asia as we plan to head back that way later this year from Europe – Qatar has been publishing some insane fares so if the $ is right we may just jump on that.

  • DJ February 28, 2018

    Congrats- that’s awesome! I’ve been able to find a lot of dates where Qantas makes 1 F seat available, but this is the first I’ve heard of someone actually finding TWO together!

    • Miles February 28, 2018

      So excited…now we just need a ride back =)

  • Sean February 28, 2018

    Your girlfriend had better appreciate this experience 🙂

  • Patrick February 28, 2018

    Oh… April 1. Are you sure that isn’t an April Fools seat?

  • Patrick February 28, 2018

    Well…. were waiting… what are the dates? Mid winter? Summer? Shoulder? 3 years from now? 😉

    • Miles February 28, 2018

      haha – i’m excited. trip is in a couple of months, April 1 was just another day that showed avail…

Leave a Reply to Patrick Cancel reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.