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How to search and book Qantas award tickets
This past week some of you may have seen that Qantas unleashed a storm of award seats. Now…it was very hit or miss for many of you who searched because it was plagued with IT issues, and the blog-o-sphere was ready to pounce on any smidgen of first class award space that popped its head up. Not only is Qantas quite stingy with releasing award seats between Australia and the US/London, but they don’t make it exactly easy to find the award space if you’re unfamiliar with Qantas. So, let’s break down this and show you how I would go about searching for this award space.
A look at the the old Qantas First Class – you can read the full review here
What programs can you use to book Qantas Award flights?
There are two ways to do this. Booking with Qantas itself, which may have more award space available, and using a partner. Partners may vary in the award space that has been allocated to them by Qantas.
Booking with Qantas
Even if you don’t have Qantas miles, you can populate them from these programs
Award Programs that transfer to Qantas
- American Express
- Capital One
- Marriott ( 60k Marriott = 25k Qantas )
How much does it cost to book Business and First Class using Qantas Miles?
The price varies depending on the distance so…
- West Coast of USA: 108,400
- Dallas: 126,500
- NYC: 144,600
- West Coast of USA: 162,800
- Dallas: 189,800
- NYC: 216,800
Partner programs you can book Qantas flights with
Qantas is a member of One World which means that you can theoretically book with any member program. However…I’ve bolded the programs that actually make it the easiest. If you have Japan Airlines miles they could be very beneficial; however, aside from Marriott, they aren’t partnered with any 1:1 programs and therefore it’s quite difficult to use. Note that all of the following are partners of Marriott.
- Alaska Airlines
- American Airlines
- Bilt Rewards
- British Airways
- Amex, Bilt Rewards, Cap1, Chase
- Cathay Pacific
- Amex, Bilt Rewards, Citi
- Amex, Bilt Rewards, Cap1, Chase
- Japan Airlines
- Qatar Airways
Qantas Business Rates booked via partners
- Alaska Airlines: 55k
- American: 70k
- Cathay Pacific Asia Miles:
- West Coast to Sydney or Brisbane: 75k
- Dallas or East Coast: 90k
- British Airways/Qatar : 154k miles
Qantas First class rates booked via partners
- Alaska Airlines: 70k
- American: 110k
- Cathay Pacific Asia Miles:
- West Coast to Sydney or Brisbane: 115k
- Dallas or East Coast: 130k
- British Airways/Qatar : 206k miles
Qantas Business Class on the A330 – read our review here
Find space: Search on Qantas with these 3 things selected
Ok, now you understand how you can book them. It’s time to locate award space that is available to you.
- Select Use Points
- Click Flexible Dates
- Click Multi-CIty
Populate the calendar function through multi-city + flexible dates
That will then populate this next page with blocks to fill out with multiple destinations. Here’s the secret…you don’t need to fill out multi-spots. You can just fill one, just make sure you click “flexible dates”.
Use the legend to see dates that have availability
I have no idea why they made business class and first class so similar in color – one could have been blue or green or something that is easier to distinguish.
One thing that is very annoying with this calendar function is the inability to select direct flights only, and non mixed cabin. As you can see below, on 10/30/23 there is a direct flight with Qantas. WAHOOOOO – but you’ll quickly realize that this was a lucky find as the calendar will also show business class available on the Mel-Syd-Lax route that only has one leg available in business. This unfortunately results in a lot of falseflags.
You found the space on Qantas! Now time to confirm on a British Airways
Want to use partner miles? Confirm the award space on British Airways
British Airways shows award space that is bookable by pretty much every partner even though you won’t find them when searching on AA or Alaska’s site. Since Qantas may release more award space to those booking with Qantas miles, this is a important step.
If the space is available you should see the following results:
This means that this award space is available to partners and can be booked by the ones mentioned above.
As you can see… the award space isn’t showing up on Alaska’s site
Now you’re ready to book – call these numbers
You won’t find this award space on the partner airlines websites. Call these numbers and book by giving them the exact flight number, date, and routing.
- Alaska Airlines: 1-800-252-7522
- American Airlines: 800-433-7300
Ps…how amazing does the new A350 first class look?
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.
60k Points after $4k spend in 3 months
80k offer in branch currently – I think this should be online soon
Transferrable Chase Ultimate Rewards
Super solid welcome offer.
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.
- 3x on dining
- including eligible delivery services for takeout
- 3x on select streaming services
- 3x on online grocery purchases
- (excluding Target, Walmart and wholesale clubs)
- 5x on all travel purchased through Chase Ultimate Rewards – Chase Travel Portal
- $50 Annual Credit on hotel stays purchased via Ultimate Rewards/Chase Travel
- The begins immediately for new cardmembers and after your account anniversary for existing cardmembers
- 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 Portal and the slew of other benefits remain in tact including primary rental car insurance, purchase protections, etc.
- Points are transferrable to 13 Ultimate Rewards partners
- Redeem in the Chase Travel center for 1.25 cents per point
- No foreign transaction fees
- Suite of Travel and Purchase Coverage
- Primary rental car coverage is my favorite
There is currently an 80k offer after $4k spend in 3 months available in branch, and up to 90k after $6k spend in 6 months. I suspect some version of this will be online soon if you don’t want the hassle of going into a branch.
We keep an up to date spreadsheet that lists the best ever offers: You can find that spreadsheet here.
Historically 60k is a very, very good offer. In 2021, we saw the offer hit an all time high of 100k. Who knows if that will ever come back. .
Cards that earn flexible points and should be used on the bulk of your purchases.
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.