Hurry: Great Qantas Business Class Award Space San Francisco – Sydney with American Miles

Qantas has started flying San Francisco – Sydney now that American has picked up a Los Angeles – Sydney flight as a part of the joint venture between the two airlines.

And Qantas has now released some business class award space on the route for two passengers in February, March, and April. (HT: Point Hacks)

The space does not appear bookable at

However it is space that’s bookable by partner airlines. I can book the seats at the British Airways website, for instance. So you’ll need to call American to book the awards. I’m on a flight, but Pizza in Motion confirms he spoke with American telephone agents who do see Qantas award space even though it doesn’t come up on American’s website.

Here’s what shows available in March:

American charges 62,500 miles each way between the US and Australia in business class. They also allow awards to be put on hold for 5 days, whether you have sufficient miles in your account or not (you can always top off by buying miles or transferring them in such as from Starwood).

Qantas awards can usually be booked online, so calling incurs a telephone booking charge. However since these awards do not show up on the website it’s worth asking American to waive the booking fee.

Alaska Airlines actually charges just 55,000 miles each way for this award as well, so if you’re a Mileage Plan member with a good balance you may be in luck as well.

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. Qantas’ own award search is actually the most accurate and shows some sporadic availability for 2 Business Class seats from US to Australia. also confirms the same. But as the post indicates, is definitely not picking up a lot of award space (I’ve been watching for seats in Dec. 2016 and was able to secure DFW-SYD seats in Business). Most are on the 747, but there are definitely some on the 380 flights. (LAX to BNE is also an alternate route showing decent availability)

  2. Gary – How do you get the full month calendar to appear when searching award availability on I’ve searched everywhere on and can’t find the option to view anything other than day by day.

  3. There are also some SYD or MEL to LHR in QF first class scattered about (need to check for these on QF website since AA still shows ghost availability then hit up the AA website)…

    I managed earlier today to book two first class award seats MEL-LHR for a date in June using AA points and just $55 each in charges, and one seat back LHR-MEL in QF first in July (girlfriend heads home) whilst I fly onto YVR on BA first on A380 also on AA points, before using todays’ SFO-SYD release to get back to Australia (the latter booked on QF points since availability not available on AA system).

    Now completed the task of getting my AA account down to 100,000 from over 550,000 on various bookings before the devaluation!

  4. Call AA to book. Agent made the reservation for 2 biz seats to Brisbane and 1 biz seat Melbourne but Qantas would not release those seats to AA. Seats are still available for booking on So there is a reason why doesn’t show those biz seats.

  5. can see the award space but can’t price the award. I think this is a glitch and the business award space is not actually available.

  6. Just booked 2 business class seats from IAD to DFW to SYD in December using AA miles. Seats showed on QF site but did not show on AA site. Was able to book thru AA on telephone.
    Agent insisted she had to charge the telephone booking fee and I could not talk her out of it. Wait for an agent was very long and the seats to SYD were supposedly the only two available, so I did not want to chance it by hanging up and calling again. I’ll try to protest the charge when it posts.

  7. @Allen (1) make sure the reservation actually tickets [some folks had problems], (2) don’t dispute the charge, you don’t want American to cancel the ticket. It’s well worth the fee for the award but you should contact customer service instead

  8. My wife and I made award business reservations (SFO – SYD) using our own individual Advantage accounts (same AA booking agent). My flight was ticketed right away, however my wife’s keeps going back and forth. She does have a locater number for both American and Quantas and did finally receive an E-ticket and ticket number confirming her flight as well as seats. However, when she looks this up on both American and Quantas it’s nowhere to be found. Called both airlines repeatedly and they keep blaming the other… After her E-ticket came through, we starting booking some things that are non-refundable. Do you think she has a ticket? Thoughts?

  9. @Geoff if she has a ticket number, she has a ticket, the agents say they can see the reservation but the confirmation # doesn’t appear when you enter it manually or are you saying it just doesn’t come up in your list of reservations?

  10. Now both my ticket and my wife’s ticket are gone. When I put them in manually, it says we have no reservations. (The miles have been removed from our accounts as of 1/15/16) Both Quantas and AA say they can see the ticket number for her, but since I just realized mine is now also gone I’ll have to check back with them.

  11. @Geoff not sure what you mean by the tickets are gone. You say that Qantas can see the ticket. What does Qantas say about the reservation? If Qantas sees reservation and ticket then things should be fine.

    Do you have copies of the e-ticket/reservations?

    As noted above American can open up seats on their own Los Angeles – Sydney flights if they screwed this up.

  12. Tickets gone – when we sign into our AA accounts, there are no records of any upcoming flights. I do have copies of both e-tickets/reservations. Interesting, when I check my conf# without signing into my AA account, I see that I’m fine. I’m also now fine on Quantas.

    Quantas can see my wife’s reservation, ticket number and seat assignments (so hopefully she’s fine) but nothing comes up on the Quantas site for her.

  13. It doesn’t matter if your online account doesn’t show a reservation. Partner websites often don’t pull up reservations either. All that matters is that the airlines see the reservation and ticket info. If Qantas says you are both ok, and American says you are both ok, then you should be ok.

  14. @Geoff, not that this exactly mirrors your situation, but it seems relatively similar and it might give you hope the reservation will eventually get sorted out:

    During last Friday’s availability bonanza I changed an AA award reservation for SYD-SFO in early March that I had booked last fall when the route was entered into the schedule (which itself was a change from my original MEL-HKG-SFO-SEA routing…). The change was only a day – I wanted to stay in Australia an extra day before coming home.

    From previous experience with AA getting the SYD-SFO ticket issued, I knew it was a slight gamble to disrupt a reservation I had spent so many hours on hold to get cemented, but I went for it anyways.

    The initial call to AA was super easy – I gave the agent the date and flight numbers I wanted to change to, she said, “look at that, they seats are there; you did your homework.” She had the change ticketed within a couple of minutes. I checked my email later that evening, and had an E-ticket confirmation saying the flights (MEL-SYD, SYD-SFO, SFO-SEA) had ticketed.

    “Perfect,” or so I thought. Saturday morning I then received an eTDS Itinerary document, listing the flights but noting that the SYD-SFO leg said “**SERVICE IMMEDIATELY ABOVE NOT YET CONFIRMED**.” My pulse quickened and I logged into my AA and saw that the reservation was completely empty of details with instructions to call Aadvantage. I looked up the locator on, and it showed only MEL-SYD and SFO-SEA.

    I called into AA. The agent said that there was an issue with the partner desk correctly seeing inventory and that they were going through some sort of system update and she told me to check in again after the weekend was over. She volunteered that if indeed the seats had disappeared they could open up space for me on their SYD-LAX flight. I figured I should just relax and enjoy the weekend.

    Finally, last night I checked again and everything was as it should be.

    Fingers crossed that things work out for your reservation.

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