Qantas First Class Awards Wide Open For Months (Even For Four Passengers)

Flying between the U.S. and Australia in business and first class is among the toughest frequent flyer awards out there. Frequently it requires connecting in Asia rather than flying non-stop.

Right now though there’s incredible Qantas first class award availability using Qantas Frequent Flyer miles. While you’ll find a handful of dates between now and the end of June where a couple of seats are available, starting in July and through the end of the year things really open up.

Here’s a look at July award space Dallas Fort-Worth – Sydney for two passengers in first class. Many of these dates actually have 3 and 4 first class seats available. Availability is good throughout summer and fall.

Award space is not showing up on the American, British Airways, Alaska Airlines or Cathay Pacific websites. Frequently you’ll find Qantas award space available on the Qantas and British Airways sites, not the American website, but bookable by American over the phone.

In this case it appears that the space is only bookable by Qantas. Two American agents have told me they do not see the inventory. Perhaps it will become available to partner airlines but at this point you’d need to use Qantas’ own miles for the awards.

Fortunately Qantas is a transfer partner of American Express, Citibank, and Capital One. Unfortunately Qantas long haul premium cabin awards are pricey. Sydney – Dallas one-way in first runs 189,800 Qpoints (and ~ $240 in taxes and fees).

Qantas is the only airline left offering a first class cabin non-stop between the U.S. and Australia, and they only offer it on their Airbus A380 flights.

I flew AAdvantage first class awards Austin – Dallas – Sydney – Dallas – Austin for a cousin’s wedding back in February and March. When the space comes up, it’s always a big deal for me since I have family in the Sydney suburbs. The Sydney first class lounge is always a treat.

Qantas will ring up first class passengers the day prior to departure from Australia to organize a spa booking in advance. You’ll also have the number to call so that porters are waiting outside the terminal to assist with your luggage as you approach. One personal tip: ask what off-menu wines they may have open to pour.

(HT: Don W.)

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 InsideFlyer.com, 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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Comments

  1. Qantas has been withholding First Class availability from American’s Aadvantage members for several months with no indications as to when it might be restored (if ever). Even worse, QF seems to only be dolling out small scraps of Business Class availability.

  2. Other than their First Class Lounges, Qantas First Class is vastly overrated. Even BA First is better these days and that’s not saying much.

  3. @Jose

    You are spot on. We flew it in Nov 2018 and it was the worst F class we had flown. Extremely underwhelmed. Such a Meh product for both hardware and the soft product (foods and service).

    We were served a shrimp as amuse bouche that was drowned in sauce, WITHOUT any utensil to eat it. I asked the FA to give me a fork. My poor husband thought the utensil would come but it never did so he asked the same FA what happened about the utensil – he was told this was supposedly to be eaten by hand… with sauce almost like a soup? Lifting the shrimp with your finger and having the sauce dripping all over the place? Then the main course had 2 kinds of white fish – one was in some kind of sauce the FA could not explain and the other kind was grilled. FA could not say what kind of the “white fish” was, other than it was a “health dish”. The fish was so dry and so tough that you could compare it to your shoe leather…

    The seat design is also a weird one but I would leave it at that.

    We would take the roundable route such as OZ to HKG to US or OZ to BKK to US anyday over the QF F. Sadly the OZ to HKG is extremely hard to find.
    Both CX J and F, as well as TG F, are far better than what the QF F is.

  4. Also need to mention the dreadful redemption rates on QFF,, you’ll need about double the miles that you would have used on AA, and you’re up for the QFF walloping surcharges too.

  5. Historically Qantas has been tighter than a rats @s* when it comes to booking premium cabin awards.But in the shoulder season more likely certainly
    And sadly with Australia literally on fire in a horrific state seats may more likely open up now as seats go unsold/unfilled
    I just cancelled 2 business class seats for next month on Qantas
    The health risks are real significant with air quality being rated 10x worse than Beijing and the most polluted cities in the world with the ongoing fires.If it wasn’t for the black particles in your lungs risk I would be there
    No thanks for now I am going to pass and pray they recover and find a solution to the tragedy asap

  6. I flew QF A380 F 10 years ago and loved it. The seat was very comfortable and well laid out and the tasting menu ex SYD was good. To compare it to BA seems a laughable given the BA seat is basically J class and the food is never great.

  7. Given what is going on in Australia maybe its not the best time to be pushing articles about flying there in first class?

  8. @bill. It’s a great time to support australia by visiting.

    I’m an Aussie based in Chicago and just went back for Christmas. Amazingly found five seats over two nights lax to Syd in qantas first week before Christmas. Qantas is definitely making more seats available recently. (I used Alaska miles)

    I thought the qantas F lounge at lax to be grossly overated. Horrible shower rooms for one.

    But I really liked the Product. Big seat. Great bed. That’s most of what I want. Though the upstairs lounge is basic it’s still fun to sit in. Nice food, small cabin. I prefer it to jal f and lh f (both products everyone raves about). If can book via alaska miles or AA I’d definitely go for it. Def better IMO than a detour on Asiana.

    Thanks for posting Gary. Will get my parents home on that!

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