Frequent flyers sitting on a mountain of Qantas Points should have their finger on the trigger at 11am (Sydney time) today, Friday February 24.
That’s when the airline will unleash thousands of new international ‘reward seats’ which can be booked for the lowest number of points.
Those extra seats will join the existing inventory across all cabins, including great value business class deals and rare A380 First suites, across the airline’s full international network of more than 30 destinations.
“Our frequent flyers have been using their points to book reward seats in record numbers, and demand for seats on international flights is particularly strong” says Qantas Loyalty CEO Olivia Wirth.
“The number of points required to book reward seats hasn’t increased in years, and we’ve been consistently growing the ways that our members can boost their points balance, so these seats represent great value.”
Converting existing seats on flights to ‘reward seats’ means there’s about to be a much better chance of planning your next overseas holiday or business trip without breaking the points bank.
As a quick benchmark, here are the Classic Flight Reward rates for a handful of Qantas destinations from the east coast, based on a one-way flight.
|Fiji||18,000 points||~$106||41,500 points||~$106|
|Tokyo||31,500 points||~$147||82,000 points||~$197|
|Los Angeles||41,900 points||~$208||108,400 points||~$333|
|London||55,200 points||~$230||144,600 points||~$440|
Qantas says the most popular overseas destinations booked with points are London, Singapore, Bali, Tokyo and Los Angeles.
(Singapore, Bangkok and Hong Kong represent a particularly sharp use of points, with Classic Flight Rewards at 25,200 points in economy and 68,400 points in business class.)
International Classic Flight Reward bookings attract a surcharge of assorted taxes and fees, which can range from around $130-$500 depending on your destination and class of travel.
Wirth says this Friday’s flood of seats is an extension of Qantas’ promise to make available 50% more reward seat on international routes until December 2023.
However, these seats won’t all be released at once – instead, the plan is to make available around 25% of Classic Flight Reward inventory across all routes every month, so that more frequent flyers have a chance of snaring a seat.
One reason you should swoop on booking flights with Qantas Points is that while Classic Flight Reward seats are made available for the lowest number of frequent flyer points, there’s typically only a small number of such seats allocated on any given flight.
Once they’re gone, you can still buy any other seat with points but the number of points reflects the actual cash price for each seat, so you’ll end up spending a lot more points – easily three times as many as a Classic Flight Reward booking.
Simply put, more Classic Flight Reward seats being opened up means your ‘points budget’ can stretch a lot further.