Expert tip: book Emirates A380 flights to NZ under a Qantas flight number

By David Flynn, August 16 2013
Expert tip: book Emirates A380 flights to NZ under a Qantas flight number

Qantas and Emirates are now sharing flights between Australia and New Zealand, adding the popular trans-Tasman route to their international network.

This unlocks a real gem for business travellers: flying across the pond on Emirates Airbus A380 in business class or even first class, instead of making do with a domestic-grade Qantas Boeing 737-800.

Emirates offers daily superjumbo services on the Sydney-Auckland and Melbourne-Auckland routes, with Brisbane-Auckland launching on October 2nd.

At a little over three hours, they're among the world's shortest Airbus A380 flights – but for Emirates, this offers a way to press its flagship A380s into service between trips to and from Dubai rather than spend time sitting on the tarmac.

Trans-Tasman, superjumbo style

The cost of a business class ride across the pond on a conventional Qantas flight or the superjumbo of new alliance chum Emirates is exactly the same: for Sydney-Auckland return that comes in around $1,634 (Business Saver) or $1,934 (Business Flex).

Now take this snap quiz: given that identical price tag, which of the following two seats you rather be in?

a) Qantas' domestic-grade Boeing 737 business class recliner

b) Emirates' international-grade Airbus A380 lie-flat

In case you need further convincing, the Emirates A380 also includes a business class bar and lounge for a bit of sky-high socialising.

Fly Emirates A380 style, earn Qantas points

We've already explained how you can book these great seats on Emirates' Auckland A380 service using Qantas Frequent Flyer points.

If you or your company is footing the bill in dollars rather than points, be sure to book the Emirates flights under their equivalent Qantas flight numbers in order to maximise your haul of frequent flyer points and valuable status credits.

Here's why: Emirates flights earn Qantas Frequent Flyer points at a relatively low partner airline rate of 1 point per mile with a cabin bonus of 25% in business class and 50% in first class.

For flying Sydney-Auckland on Emirates' A380 business class, that means you'd collect 1,345 Qantas points (one way) plus your 25% cabin bonus of 336 points – for a total of 1,681 points.

But if you book the same Emirates flight under its Qantas flight number, through Qantas or a Qantas travel agent, it carries the same weight as if you were flying on one of Qantas' own superjumbos and delivers a full serving of Qantas Frequent Flyer points.

This sees your business class cabin bonus doubled to 50%  so those 1,345 points nudge up to 2,017 points.

More importantly for Qantas Frequent Flyer members, there's also an additional bonus based on your status: 50% for Silver, 75% for Gold and 100% for Platinum.

So if you're carrying a Gold card the tally jumps by a further 1,513 points to reach 3,530 points. That's more than twice the haul you'd have earned if your ticket was booked on the Emirates version of the same flight.

It's also worth noting that Emirates flights booked under their native EK number don't earn any Qantas status credits, so you'll be stalled at your current Qantas Frequent Flyer level.

Book the Emirates A380 as a Qantas flight and you'll collect status credits – in the case of Sydney to Auckland in business class, that's a handy 80 status credits each way.

What are the Qantas flight numbers to look for and book for?

Emirates' Sydney-Auckland A380 flight EK412 carries the Qantas flight number of QF8764, with the return leg EK413 co-marketed as QF8763.

Want to do Melbourne-Auckland in A380 style? The Emirates flight codes of EK406/407 become Qantas' QF8762/8761.

Emirates' forthcoming Brisbane-Auckland service lists as EK434/435 for the Gulf carrier but QF8770/8771 for the Red Roo.

(All four-digit Qantas flight numbers beginning with '8' are actually Emirates flights, but Qantas assigns different flight numbers for the A380's trans-Tasman legs compared to the primary Dubai flights.)

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David Flynn is the Editor-in-Chief of Executive Traveller and a bit of a travel tragic with a weakness for good coffee, shopping and lychee martinis.

16 Aug 2013

Total posts 2

Spoke to QF yeserday and we can't book the QF codeshare in First Class? Can you shed any light on this?

10 Sep 2012

Total posts 149

Book via any high-profile online travel-agent, and the code-share F fares are there in abundance. 

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

10 May 2012

Total posts 137

Hi David, I actually looked into this on the QF website yesterday.  Whilst I was able to see all the EK flights on the outbound leg to NZ (the QF website shows the EK arabic symbol), there did not appear to be any EK flights posted for the return to Australia.  I notice that you also only mention outbound flight numbers.  Does this mean that the A380 can only be flown one-way to NZ and must come back on a QF sub-par aricraft?


14 Jun 2013

Total posts 353

I am very tempted to do an EK A380 to Auckland and back for my next business trip! As long as the flight times suit my schedule why on earth would you pay the same money for QF's 737 vs EK's A380?

Drgmarshall: you can fly the A380 both ways, the flight numbers listed in the article are for both ways.

22 May 2011

Total posts 84

But I recently flew BKK-HKG on Emirates A380 in J class - only cost me AUD$450!


Qantas P1

18 Jan 2012

Total posts 73

Good article. The downfall of EK is that they only fly once per day. From memory, and as usual someone will no doubt correct me, the times are:

AKL-SYD : Departure ~6.30pm (Not a bad time to leave Auckland, means you have a full day in Auckland before arriving in Sydney and being ready for a full day).

SYD-AKL : Departure ~8.30am (Bit of a pain, as you arrive in AKL mid-afternoon and lose most of the day).

This addition is huge. Frequently EK flights are picked up at good rates and 'Business Class Upgrades' are offered a few days prior via email for $150 or so one-way. I've utilised this quite a bit in the past, but worth noting I was Gold with EK.

Interested to see how operatioanl upgrades are handled on this route. As a Gold with EK (now Silver) I often had upgrades at the gate; particularly at public holiday times when demand is high.

I'm also a QF P1 so I wonder if I use my P1 status the upgrades will be as frequent.

You can also redeem QF frequent flyer points for a Partner award via the QF website which will be booked under the EK flight number.

I know this is an old post, but hoping someone might see this. I have a really stupid question... I booked a Business flight from BNE to AKL using my Qantas points.  Do I check in at Qantas or Emirates counter at BNE (I wont do it online). And which lounge do I use?  Emirates or Qantas?

13 Oct 2015

Total posts 1

We need some advise travelling to Tahiti.

Agent booked us on Emirates EK412 to Auckland and connection is with Air Tahiti Nui TN102.

According to the Agent we can check our luggage through to Tahiti, as EK412 is code share with Qantas QF8764. 

Can anybody confirm that this is working? 




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