Bubble bonanza: Qantas floods NZ flights with frequent flyer seats

Turn your pile of Qantas Points into a trans-Tasman getaway!

By David Flynn, April 6 2021
Bubble bonanza: Qantas floods NZ flights with frequent flyer seats

Qantas will make every seat on every flight from Australia to New Zealand and back available with frequent flyer points during the first three days of the quarantine-free travel bubble between the two countries.

With today's announcement that the bubble will start on Monday April 19, the airline has confirmed that all Qantas (and Jetstar) flights through to and including Wednesday April 21 will be treated as 'Points Planes' and every seat made available to Qantas Frequent Flyer members at the super-low Classic Flight Reward rates for redeeming points. 

Fly to NZ for just 18,000 points

There's usually only a limited number of Classic Flight Reward seats set aside on any flight, and after those are gone, the number of points needed to book them as what Qantas terms an Any Seat Award jumps dramatically... and because it's based on the cash price of the seat, that number of points can climb higher and higher as seats are sold.

So just how good an opportunity is this? From Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane to the likes Auckland and Christchurch, it means you can snare an economy seat for just 18,000 Qantas Points (plus around $160 in fees and taxes).

Book the same flights using an Any Seat Award starts at around 55,000 points – almost three times the amount needed for a Classic Flight Reward – and it can soar close to 110,000 points.

If you'd prefer to cross the ditch in business class, the Classic Flight Reward costs only 41,500 Qantas Points (and around $160 in fees and taxes) compared to 131,600 to 185,900 Qantas Points under an Any Seat Award.

However, every seat on those first three days' of flights will also be available for purchase at the going rates – so would-be travellers will need to move fast, especially as these NZ flights are now on sale.

"50% more reward seats" to follow

"Our members have been stockpiling points during COVID for exactly these opportunities and we want to help make it easier to get on one of the first international flights," reasons Qantas Loyalty CEO Olivia Wirth.

"That's why every seat on every Qantas and Jetstar flight for the first three days of the travel bubble opening will be Classic Flight Rewards."

After the 72-hour Points Planefest is done, Wirth said she'll add 50% more Classic Reward seats on Qantas’ trans-Tasman flights for the remainder of 2021.

Power up your Qantas Points balance with our roundup of Australia's best Qantas Frequent Flyer credit card sign-up offers, beginning at a hefty 150,000 points


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.

Virgin Australia - Velocity Rewards

21 Feb 2017

Total posts 39

Great news, shut up and take my mon.....points

It seems weird that without Virgin, Jetstar doesn't fly Brisbane to Queenstown. Virgin used to fly up to 8 times a week nonstop in both directions. That's something like 1280 seats a week no longer there. Don't think air nz has put on many/any extra flights, but can anyone confirm this. Qantas only had up to 2 nonstop flights a week previously over this route, if remember correctly.

13 Apr 2020

Total posts 9

I would not consider this a good use of 18,000 points if you're essentially still paying the majority of the ticket through "taxes".  

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

25 Sep 2013

Total posts 1272


no one from BNE wants to fly to Queenstown via SYD, MEL or AKL, CHC, WLG

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

25 Sep 2013

Total posts 1272

Too bad for you I guess.

Thai Airways International - Royal Orchid Plus

15 Jan 2013

Total posts 385

if only i had the points for such a trip.

07 May 2020

Total posts 151

So with the Australia-New Zealand travel bubble now 

expected to pop open by early May,..... Most likely you can delete the "open" in pop open!


02 Apr 2017

Total posts 3

Is the a guide on how the flight voucher would work? For example, I'm thinking of flying somewhere to get the benefit of the DSC but can't commit to any location yet. So can I buy a voucher for say $500 and use that to book for something after 30 march but to fly in the eligible travel period and I still get DSC? Does the voucher have to cover the whole amount for it to qualify?

are there any Jetstar flights to Queenstown available using qantas points ?

Looked in Sept, which is bets time to ski in NZ & couldn't see any.

25 Jan 2012

Total posts 30

Is there any way to use Virgin points through a partner airline to book to NZ? I'm assuming not, but i've got a chunky amount of points to burn that have been building up for a couple of years now..


why not use them on delta flights either within USA, USA to Canada or SYD/LAX  (with VA connecting flights to SYD). Am sure you'll be able to very soon.


11 Jul 2014

Total posts 728

Seem strange VA isn’t joining in and it makes it hard for Velocity FF to stay loyal, I’m hoping Fiji  and the Pacific Islands join in to the bubble.


but will virgin fly to Fiji etc ?

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