Airlines Guides

How to search and book Qantas award tickets

a teddy bear sitting on a window seat in an airplane

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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

a seat in an airplane

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
  • Citi
  • 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…

Business Class:

  • West Coast of USA: 108,400
  • Dallas: 126,500
  • NYC: 144,600

First Class

  • 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
  • Iberia
    • Amex, Bilt Rewards, Cap1, Chase
  • Japan Airlines
  • Malaysian
  • Qatar Airways
    • Citi

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

a tv on the side of a plane

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.

  1. Select Use Points
  2. Click Flexible Dates
  3. Click Multi-CIty

a screenshot of a flight ticket

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”.

a screenshot of a calendar

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.

a screenshot of a calendar

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

a screenshot of a flight schedule

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.

a screenshot of a computer

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.

a screenshot of a flight schedule

As you can see… the award space isn’t showing up on Alaska’s site

a screenshot of a phone

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?

a seat with a laptop on it

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

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3 Comments

  • suzy March 6, 2023

    I’m just a bit confused . Why am I searching on the partner airlines like AA and American airlines ? Is it because they require less miles ?

  • James February 28, 2023

    Great post. Nice tip about checking the multi city box. I use Qantas for a lot of AA flights. I have booked a domestic flight from TPA to MIA and on a separate ticket a connecting international flight to AXA. There is no terminal change; am I good to proceed to my new gate or do I need to go through TSA again?
    Thanks ZAC

    • Christian February 28, 2023

      Since it’s on separate tickets you need to retrieve your bags then check in again. Also, AA in Miami will want to see your travel documents. When you check in in TPA, ask if anything can be done but you’re probably gonna have to do this the hard way.

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