Qantas now has ‘millions’ of seats to book with frequent flyer points

Get clicking and get booking as Qantas rolls out extra Classic Flight Reward seats across domestic and international routes.

By David Flynn, October 18 2021
Qantas now has ‘millions’ of seats to book with frequent flyer points

Qantas is unleashing a flood of seats which can be be booked using frequent flyers points at the airline's lowest rates, covering domestic and international flights over the coming 12 months.

It's a rare chance to turn your pile of Qantas Points – a stash that's probably been steadily growing throughout the pandemic, thanks to strategic use of a Qantas-partnered credit card – into your pick of seats on that long-awaited holiday.

Qantas says it will unlock "up to 50% more reward seat availability on Qantas international, trans-Tasman and popular domestic routes until the end of 2022" from 7am Tuesday October 19, with those seats falling into the Classic Flight Reward category.

Why now’s the time to book with points

One reason that now is when 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.

More Classic Flight Reward seats being opened up means your 'point budget' can stretch a lot further.

Also in your favour: in pre-pandemic times, when everyone was flying everywhere, savvy travellers would snap up those limited Classic Flight Reward seats almost a year in advance.

But the game's now changed, and the halting restart of overseas travel combined with the availability of extra Classic Flight Reward seats means there's also a better chance of snaring two, three or even four seats on the same flight, if you're travelling with your partner or your family.

Qantas says it has "millions of seats available across international and domestic routes to be booked with points."

As a quick benchmark, here are the Classic Flight Reward rates for a number of Qantas destinations from Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane, based on a one-way flight.

  Economy Premium Business
New Zealand, Fiji 18,000 points  31,000 points  41,500 points
Singapore, Hong Kong, Bangkok  25,200 points  51,300 points  68,400 points
Honolulu  31,500 points  61,500 points  82,000 points
Los Angeles, Vancouver  41,900 points  81,300 points  108,400 points
London  55,200 points  108,400 points  144,600 points

Not shown above is first class on the Qantas Airbus A380s, which will return to the Sydney-Los Angeles route from July 1, 2022 – one of these superjumbo suites will set you back 162,800 Qantas Points.

International Classic Flight Reward bookings also attract a surcharge of assorted taxes and fees, which can range from around $130-$500 depending on your destination and class of travel.

Qantas flights to Fiji, Singapore, Honolulu, Tokyo and Canada are currently slated to resume from December 18, with other destinations such as San Francisco, Bangkok, Bali, Hong Kong, Manila, Johannesburg and Dallas expected to return by April 2022.

The airline has also scheduled flights between Australia and New Zealand to restart from mid-December 2021.

Domestic deals and ‘Points Planes’

Of course, you can go all out and book your calendar full of domestic flights as well – a quick Sydney-Melbourne or Sydney-Brisbane hop lands at 8,000 Qantas Points in economy or 18,400 points in business class, with east-west flights at 18,000 points in economy and 41,500 points in business class.

Qantas also intends to launch more 'Points Planes' flights, where every seat in every cabin on a specific flight is available to book at the same low Classic Flight Reward rates.

These will operate on a series of popular domestic and international routes as "our way of thanking our frequent flyers for their ongoing loyalty," says Qantas Loyalty CEO Olivia Wirth.

Wirth says that Qantas Frequent Flyer members quickly splurged almost two billion points booking international flights in the first two weeks of those going on sale.

Qantas is waiving all fees to change or cancel international Classic Flight Reward seat bookings for travel until 31 December 2022, provided the booking is made by 28 February 2022.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

24 Jul 2017

Total posts 1

Any idea when Qantas will release Classic Reward Seats from flights into Australia - eg: LHR - DRW?

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

08 Jun 2018

Total posts 13

Little availability to London in Business Class for Classic Rewards in the first half of next year: the few are with Cathay Pacific. Easter (or, more broadly April) in Paris still available with Cathay in B/C. I booked two classic reward seats 2 months ago when availability to Paris was plentiful in B/C with Cathay, Emirates, and Qatar (although the latter imposes very high charges). However, most of these seemed to have disappeared.

SMM
SMM

01 Feb 2013

Total posts 20

I spoke to the QF VIP team who were inundated with upset P1 flyers. All the extra seats are economy only!!!!!!

I think a lot of P1s are just flexing their call centre muscle because it's obvious from comments here and people I've seen on Facebook groups etc that there were plenty of seats outside of economy up for grabs, they probably just went first because they're the ones people wanted, and no doubt there were more economy reward seats too just because economy has a higher % share of the plane, so even if Qantas just added X% more seats equally across every cabin there will be a bunch more in business, a handful more in premium economy and a lot more in economy.

QFF

12 Apr 2013

Total posts 1447

Indeed - no availability in BC MEL-SIN-MEL either for as far as OCT. I managed to secure 2 seats MEL-BNE-SIN few months ago and since then checking my dates daily in hope to have direct fly. Flying to HKG or Japan is MUCH easier because CX and JL very good in releasing seats, but QANTAS lying to us as always and saying that they release bunch of seats, but in reality all those seats are economy and it always was easy enough to book economy should one be silly enough to burn hard earned points into cattle class.

05 Mar 2015

Total posts 361

Looks like you had to be quick for this one, I saw this story at 6am so was ready at 6.59am! Got business class to LA, Singapore and Bangkok. Couldn't see anything for London in business. My brother was after Honolulu but only economy was available, where the cost of taxes etc make this far from the best use of points.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

12 Nov 2017

Total posts 1

Got QF2 back from London 2 x J, does anyone know if QF are doing cash refunds for cancellations not credits? I have a prior booking to cancel...

Qantas will do a cash refund for a prior booking but it takes 8-12 weeks apparently and they will try to have you convert it to travel credit and will offer incentives such as 10% extra value or, and this is better, double points or even double status credits. Unless you really need the money I would take an 'enhanced' travel credit, try to get the 10% PLUS double points or double status credits, and use this for future bookings.

gsx
gsx

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

14 Aug 2015

Total posts 35

Does anyone know how to view the old classic award seat availability where you could see mont at a time and what classes are available ?

The current booking process seems to be odd where you search for the dates and class you want and click the classic rewards button then it just gives you economy and no ability to look for other classes..  what am I missing in this new process? 

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

25 Oct 2019

Total posts 16

Annoyingly they seem to have removed it from the Australian Website.

If you book flights on the US website and leaving from America and click flexible with dates the chart comes up.

25 Jun 2021

Total posts 19

I noticed that also, you cant see all class's anymore which is very frustrating. 

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

25 Oct 2019

Total posts 16

Yes you can, select the classic awards box and it will show all available classes on the day you select, just can't see for the month 

12 Sep 2014

Total posts 7

Which is not easy - the old system was so much better where you could see at a glance what was available on each day of the month. I will call them which sort of defeats the purpose of doing things online.

31 Mar 2014

Total posts 3

‘Qantas now has millions of seats to book with frequent flyer points’ - that may well be the case for economy, however on the same day as this article was published, there were zero classic awards seats in either Premium Economy or Business to or from London to Sydney, and that was with application of Platinum One benefits. The Headline for this article is misleading. 

Nonsense, I got Sydney-London return in business class form April 2022 and several people commenting here also got London business class.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

25 Sep 2017

Total posts 3

As of today (20 Oct) there is zero availability in J to LAX or LHR....am looking from March to May 

I am either too late, or Qantas aren't showing all availability. Perhaps I'll spend all my accrued QF points on a new TV!

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

16 Oct 2016

Total posts 22

I tried to book a Classic reward ticket from SIN to SYD in Business Class only yesterday and was quoted 132,000 miles.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

27 Jun 2013

Total posts 19

Did a lot of searching for Europe next year on a multi-city itinerary, and whilst I could generally find seats as required (being very flexible with dates/carriers), it would not let me get back to AUS! That last leg back home saw the system return error messages, no matter what I tried. Perhaps because I was trying to find a flight direct into my hometown BNE?? Appears that travel in general is not yet lined up for AUS - I think I'll be waiting until I see what is happening/confirmed before actually committing to a trip

20 Oct 2015

Total posts 224

FYI, there are now first class classic award seats on the Qantas A380 to LAX on several days across July, reportedly also a lot of business class award seats, so much for people saying this was only economy seats.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

21 Jul 2018

Total posts 17

I tested a J rewards booking BNE-YTO for Aprill 22 and was quoted 139,000 points with Emirates via Dubai totaling over 40 hours travel .... bit long for me but at least there WAS availability.    Canada 2022 Here I Come!!!


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