Amazing Award Space For 4: QSuites And Non-Stop Australia Throughout 2021

We don’t know exactly when international borders will re-open, or when it’ll make sense to travel to any given spot. But booking award travel now for 2021 makes all the sense in the world, since mileage tickets are flexible and it’s possible to cancel and get your miles back if you need to.

Right now there are some great opportunities to use your miles for the whole family on Qatar Airways QSuites from San Francisco to travel to the Mideast, Africa, or region around India as well as to travel on the new Qantas Chicago – Brisbane flight. Space is generally available throughout 2021, and by the second half of the year we could be past the current unpleasantness. (HT: Robb)

West Coast QSuites For The Whole Family

Throughout 2021 there’s great business class award availability from San Francisco to Doha for four passengers flying Qatar Airways QSuites, one of the two best business class products in the world. Doha is a useful connecting point to parts of Africa as well as India and the Maldives.

You can book non-stops to Doha, India or the Maldives for 70,000 AAdvantage miles each way. What’s fantastic here is to find the West Coast award space and when you travel with four people, dividers between four seats come down and you all share an enclosed space together.

Doha is currently closed to most travelers. Their guest worker communities may have hit herd immunity with two-thirds of those populations having had the virus. Qatar has the highest per capita confirmed cases in the world, but relatively few deaths as the virus ran through a younger population. The airport, though, remains open to international transit.

Availability runs throughout 2021 until end of schedule. So you can book out as far as September. The world is likely to look very different, and much closer to normal I think, by then. It could be a great time to book a post-Covid celebratory holiday. And of course using miles, and redemption fee waivers, you can cancel with little penalty.

Non-Stop Qantas Business Class Award Space

Also throughout 2021 there’s great Qantas business class award space on the new Chicago – Brisbane non-stop flight for four passengers. First, here’s availability on the route for two:

Four doesn’t offer as much space but availability is consistently there each month.

Historically U.S. – Australia non-stop is one of the toughest awards, although space into Brisbane is a bit easier to come by. Flying non-stop from Chicago makes the East Coast an easy connection.

Alaska Airlines charges just 55,000 miles each way between the U.S. and Australia. American AAdvantage charges 80,000 miles.

Brisbane Skyline, Credit: Kgbo via Wikimedia Commons

I happen to keep my eye on Brisbane flights because while I have family in Sydney I’ve also got family living in a beach town where Brisbane is the closest international airport. It’s not clear at what point in 2021 Australia’s international borders may widely re-open. It seems likely to be the second half of the year but could be later in the second half. I may book a couple of these for fall, because it’ll give me a family visit to look forward to.

About Gary Leff

Gary Leff is one of the foremost experts in the field of miles, points, and frequent business travel - a topic he has covered since 2002. Co-founder of frequent flyer community, emcee of the Freddie Awards, and named one of the "World's Top Travel Experts" by Conde' Nast Traveler (2010-Present) Gary has been a guest on most major news media, profiled in several top print publications, and published broadly on the topic of consumer loyalty. More About Gary »

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  1. Beware of phantom availability. I have seen QR space show up on AA recently, but often not really bookable.

  2. Unfortunately Australian authorities have already begun to indicate that its borders are unlikely to open until — at earliest — late 2021. I would say that the over/under wager is now Jan. 1, 2022. What’s left of Australia after they reopen – GDP fell 7% in last 3 months – and the police state that has already been created in Victoria, plus the fact that they have built minimal herd immunity and a vaccine that (if it exists) is shooting for only 50% efficacy, makes me wonder if I would want to be there when it reopens anyway. Very sad situation.

  3. What’s up with your ORD-BNE screenshots? Sep 5 2021 is a Sunday and I’m not seeing any of this availability on

  4. Australian media is reporting that 14 day mandatory quarantine for arrivals from Europe and North American will continue until some time into 2022 with only Covid safe areas being examined for quarantine free entry in 2021.

  5. Not sure what’s going on, but your ORD-BNE screenshots are messed up. They are off a day and there’s no availability.

  6. Only to arrive and pay $4000 for the mandatory 14 day quarantine in a select hotel chosen by the government.

  7. Sailing Nandji on YouTube just made a video on how it would cost them over $15000 to return home and can’t afford it. They are stuck in Malaysia since lockdown and wife is pregnant. Great seeing space available however it’s not practical.

  8. Love BNE, Sun Coast and Gold Coast. Seems like a good gamble if you don’t mind having a lot of miles stuck in Qatar or Alaska. I don’t think it will take until 2022 to get a vaccine widely distributed in Australia, or perhaps a pre-flight COVID testing. The bigger problem are the harsh quarantines, lockdowns and police beatings.

  9. If you are traveling from the U.S., unless the vaccine is a miracle cure that virtually eliminates the threat of community transmission of COVID, then I think it is time wasted to book any tickets to AU before Dec 2021. And that is being optimistic. More likely AU will open up to non quarantined US travel sometime in 2022.. Even with that, using mikes right now only makes sense if you are currently sitting on a stash in an airline account. If it means moving miles from other sources such as a CC then this maneuver could backfire if remaining border restrictions means there is no practical way to go. You could easily wind up with those miles stranded with a particular airline. That lessens there value considerably as you cannot reconvert into the original currency. Also, if the pandemic drags on who knows which airlines will remain viable. Very bad idea IMO.

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