Two Important Points Scoring Qantas First Class Awards and American Domestic Connections

One of my cousins in Sydney is getting married. I just put a couple of Dallas – Sydney Qantas A380 first class award seats on hold. There are two points about this award booking that are worth passing along as you think about booking your own award travel using AAdvantage miles.

  1. The seats did not show up at Two first class award seats on each flight did show up on the Qantas and BA websites, and the agent had no problem seeing them when I called. Never rely on for Qantas availability.

    American added support for online booking of Qantas award space six years ago but it’s been glitchy for years showing availability when none is there and failing to show availability that’s offered.

  2. Requesting award space is alive. I was perfectly happy with Dallas – Sydney even if it meant I had to buy space from Austin to Dallas. I didn’t see any award space for that segment.

    Ironic of course that Qantas first is available but nothing in American coach on a route they fly 11 times a day… But I asked the agent to see if we could grab some space to complete the itinerary. It came back confirmed. And this isn’t a last minute booking this is ~ 8 months out.

    Asking American to release award seats used to be a common successful technique and hasn’t worked for me in a long time. I thought it was worth passing on that it worked, so it’s not completely dead.

I’m looking forward to flying the Qantas A380 in first class again.

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 »

More articles by Gary Leff »


  1. Can you please provide the name of the agent. Parker will fire that person so fast it will make your head spin.

  2. I prefer to use the Qantas site over or AA’s crappy site. In fact, Qantas has the best site for searching availability, at least the most user friendly. I recently booked 2 F tickets LAX-MEL, and just like Gary stated, it was not available on usually just shows a domestic connection in F, with the long haul in economy, for the same points!

  3. I flew that route. Fastest 17 hours flight. Ate, slept , ate landed. Service and food are equal or less than many Airlines business class but the seat was great. Can’t beat the non stop overnight flight

  4. flew the route twice on the A380, one in J and the other F but not impressed with the service or the hard products.

  5. I’m trying to find j atm for three of us on qantas (using Alaska miles). Basically impossible. Looks like will be doing Cathay through Hk or united through Houston.

    Same thing as above with the latter. All at least one stop in economy from Ord to iah or lax on a j award for Iah or laxto syd. No ability to latch on a domestic one way?!? Why is that??

  6. This must have started up again recently. recently. I had a very hard time with MCO-MIA to Iberia. First nothing, refused to call more than one agent), then one opened with an 11hour layover. Finally things opened up with just a four hour layoner. It was like pulling teeth each step if the way.

  7. Hi Gary: How many miles did this route take in First? And in Business? Thanks for covering routes from DFW – for those of us in TEXAS (and around) – this is really wonderful when you cover these “DFW Gems” 🙂

  8. Will 1 way show up on the Qantas site? I’ve been searching for months for 1 seat, F, from SYD-DFW, and it ALWAYS shows “no availability.” What am I doing wrong g? (I’m looking for seats 10+ months out.)

  9. Mbh, you need to search the day the flights are released. Once that window passes, good luck finding anything. Do a test run right at the end date of seat release and you’ll see the problem. If you have no status, it’s only worse. Very highly sought after route.

  10. Thanks, Anna. I have tried that, but it seems to hate the “F” from Australia option for whatever reason.
    @Brodie: You like the Qantas site? I find it the most buggy, illogical airline site I’ve tried to use. As just one example, earlier tonight I tried to find one way from SYD to DFW. It would not even let me put “Dallas” in the box–just LAX. I thought the problem was one way, date, award vs. paid, so I changed each of those variables–still just “LAX”. Then, from a separate search page, I tried “award searches”, checked “classic” put in flexible dates, and it showed me all the dates with flights in F available. Then, when I went to look, none were Classic, and all were over 1M miles.
    Back to BA for me.
    I’m starting to despair of ever getting from SYD to DFW on any miles at all –even Qantas!

  11. Did I hear that DFW is going to be phased out … didn’t pay a lot of attention to it though. Maybe that is why you’re having trouble.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *