Planning European trip with Qantas points, where are the Emirates business or first award seats?

19 replies


Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

Member since 28 Dec 2015

Total posts 13

Dear all,

This is the first time I am seriously looking into redeeming Qantas points for a couple of Emirates award seats to Europe. I am looking 11 months in advance and despite being Platinum there is hardly any business or first class availability. What's going on? I thought at one stage there was reasonable stock with Emirates or perhaps I am mistaken? I am just searching on the Qantas website, should I be doing something else? Many thanks.


Member since 24 Feb 2015

Total posts 62

I have also noticed - can't get anything from Aust to Dubai which is the problem. Plenty from Bali, Singapore, Hong Kong - can grab a cheap economy fare to those locations and do rest of your trip with points onwards from there.


Member since 20 Jan 2017

Total posts 33

You'll most likely have to get a little more creative to get business to Europe with points. My wife and I are off soon to Europe and it took us months to find a reward seat in business all the way through.

The best bet is to try an Asian port first as a stop over then book onward to Dubai and Europe. We tried a number of airports that Qantas flew to (or partnered with) then Emirates for the second/third leg. Whilst it does throw in an extra stop and more time to get there I'm actually quite happy with this strategy as it helps to progressively adjust to the time-zones heading west and it also means you can sample different products if that's your thing.

In the end we tried Tokyo, Hong Kong, Seoul, Singapore, Bangkok until we finally scored Manilla.

Last editedby Chris C. at Jun 14, 2019, 09:41 AM.


Member since 24 Apr 2018

Total posts 14

Dealt with this earlier this year. For reference,we did it 7 months out.

Wound up getting business classic awards:

- melb to tokyo
- osaka to athens via dubai
- oslo to HK via Dubai.
We needed to get to Greece so it works for us.

Getting from Greece to the UK and the UK to Norway: we are just buying cheap economy flights as they are all fairly short and certainly not overnight. We also needed to buy an econ flight back from HK but we splurged on the exit row and the upshot is we preserve some points for the next trip.

Coming and going from Aus is the hard part, yes.


British Airways - Executive Club

Member since 24 Jan 2012

Total posts 87

Do you have any specific destination in Europe in mind? We may be able to offer alternative routing advice if you can share more details.

It's best to be flexible, not just with dates but also carriers. QR, CX and JL have a great product. There is also often good availability with MH, AY and BA this far out.

I often use the AA site to search oneworld redemptions as it seems to find better cross carrier options, and you don't need to log in first. It won't however find EK options.

Last editedby X at Jun 14, 2019, 03:18 PM.


Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

Member since 02 Nov 2014

Total posts 3

A couple of years ago I tried to use Qantas points to book business class to Europe. The only available flight out of Melbourne was on Emirates at 3:30am. After the flight was booked I looked up the aircraft type and discovered that it was an older 777 in which the business class seats were not lie flat. At 3:30 in the morning I was going to want to sleep but I cannot sleep unless the bed is flat. In the end I used additional points to upgrade the Melbourne to Dubai leg to first. There was only one other person in first class.

Your solution might be to book the leg out of Australia in first class.


Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

Member since 04 Nov 2011

Total posts 234

Also when searching try breaking the trip search to Duabi first and then the second flight. Don’t just search Australia to Europe in one hit, this can also open up more options.


Member since 26 Jul 2015

Total posts 1

I am fairly new (last five years ) to points . I have never been able to find a flight that suits me and end up buying Biz class everywhere anyway ,hence why I have so many points I suppose. I am platinum in virgin and qantas. BUT my main gripe is that the lounges are so full now that it is more stressful in the lounge and much quieter on the concourse. So I have started abandoning the lounge and the marginal free snacks and going and sitting in the quiet part of airports. The loyalty programs look like a potentially failing concept. It is a victim of its own success . The airlines make a fortune out of people's points addictions and then strangle the services that are provided. Qantas had to build more lounges for biz and platinum but they are also now full with the large number of fifo flyers earning massive points (good luck to them) I couldn't even get a seat in Perth Biz lounge the other day


Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

Member since 14 Jun 2019

Total posts 1

In the last 12 months we have twice been able to secure business class points flights to Europe out of Hong Kong. You can either grab cheap flights to Hong Kong or else points flights to HK. However as another member has said, you can play around and look at other Asian ports such as Tokyo, Shanghai, Manila, Singapore and KL. We booked one flight about 5 months out and the other about 1 month out so couldn’t get points to HK.

On first flight we flew emirates to Europe and Qatar back to Hk. The second was emirates and Cathay pacific back.
As another member said, the flight route is a bit longer so if you are in a hurry it might not suit.


Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

Member since 28 Dec 2015

Total posts 13

Thank you very much for your suggestions. I was wanting to do Sydney-London, make my own way to Venice and then Venice-Sydney, but it seems like the leg between Sydney - Dubai is the problematic leg. I will look into routing via Asia and see how I go. Thank you!


Member since 23 Oct 2017

Total posts 3

Getting J award seats out of Australia to Europe has become much harder the last couple of years. In the past getting Cathay or Emirates seats was not hard at all. I managed to get 2 J seats SYD - DXB on Emirates and back for July but just happened to be looking at the right minute.

Best advice is to ditch the flying roo and join Krisflyer. If you want proof join the program for free and do some dummy bookings for the dates you want. You still need to book well in advance but there are usually plenty of choices.


Member since 05 Dec 2018

Total posts 94

Had a look today at London flights with my brave qff Bronze shield. Booking 8-9 months out I could find some options. Would be flying into Gatwick or Stanton on some options. Was easiest to find Emirates flights on my search in J.

Breaking up the flights gave me more flexibility as stated by others.


Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

Member since 08 Aug 2016

Total posts 2

The rewards flights are there but it takes a lot of research and creativity to find them. Make sure you have logged into your QFF account as a Platinum member will return different results than a Bronze. Also plan early, as close to the 353 day rule as you can and be prepared adjust your timing and destinations (within your tolerance) to extract the value from your points haul. I've had reasonable success in the past, but you need to keep an open mind to it as well; including a 36hr layover in Shanghai which we took as an opportunity rather than a hinderance. Our last booking for next year is EK F all the way SYD- FCO, retuning CX J MAD-SYD.

Last editedby laspod0 at Jun 15, 2019, 03:51 AM.

Michael Kao

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

Member since 06 Nov 2014

Total posts 163

I had no problem finding 3 EK F tickets in the last 6 months on exactly the date and route I wanted. EK is one of the more generous airline in releasing seats which makes QFF a very useful FFP!


Member since 11 Jul 2018

Total posts 8

I booked 2x first class from Sydney to London Gatwick no issues last year for flights this May.

Keep an eye on when the flights are released and pounce. You’ll work out the release patterns as you continue to search.

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