Exclusive Qantas Boeing 747 farewell flights for frequent flyers?

By David Flynn, June 25 2019

The clock is ticking down towards retirement of Qantas' Boeing 747 fleet in 2020, but the airline is planning to treat frequent flyers with a series of exclusive 'Points Plane' flights on the iconic jumbo.

Inspired by the success of the Airbus A380 Points Plane initiative, Australian Business Traveller understands that a similar treatment will be extended to the 'Queen of the Skies'.

The Qantas Boeing 747s will enjoy quite a victory lap towards the end of 2020

These farewell flights for the Boeing 747 would see every seat from tip to tail reserved for frequent flyers to book with their points.

Qantas has been steadily phasing out its historic Boeing 747 fleet in favour of the advanced and fuel-efficient Boeing 787, with a second wave of factory-fresh Boeing 787s seeing the jumbo's staged retirement by the end of 2020 as Qantas celebrates its 100th anniversary.

The stalwart Boeing 747 of Sydney-San Francisco will be replaced by a Dreamliner in December 2019; Qantas is also considering the Boeing 787 for the long jumbo flights to Johannesburg and Santiago, while an Airbus A380 superjumbo could be earmarked for Sydney-Tokyo.

Qantas began flying the Boeing 747 in 1971, with early models sporting a rather groovy lounge on the upper deck.

Dubbed the Captain Cook lounge, the 15-seat lounge managed to combine a nautical theme honouring the nation's foremost European discoverer with a then-chic colour scheme of orange, checks and woodgrains.

Read more: The fabulous bars, lounges and restaurants of the Boeing 747

David
David

David Flynn

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.

Greg84

Greg84

03 Nov 2014

Total posts 87

I also hope to be able to fly on one of these if they do in fact make the flights available!

WeeGee

WeeGee

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

08 May 2019

Total posts 2

It'll be a shame when they've all gone.

From the passenger's perspective, I don't think that the 787 is a good replacement for it at all. I don't suffer from claustrophobia, but after a 12 hr flight on a 787, I couldn't wait to get off the aircraft. It'd be even worse after a PER-LHR or longer flight.

oliverfreeman

oliverfreeman

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

20 Dec 2017

Total posts 6

I hope that they make these flights available to the general public as well. I am not a QF FF so it would be great to be able to get on one of these

Madhatter49

Madhatter49

Virgin Australia - Velocity Rewards

11 Dec 2016

Total posts 38

If you're not a qff member, then you can just book a normal flight that they're still daily scheduled on.

As the points plane is for qff members who often have a large amount of points to burn.

Not being a member means you can't have any points so won't be able to book a flight. Rather simple.

If you're a member of a Qantas partner airline though, you might be able to transfer some points to a new qff account that you can create? Membership is effectively free. There is supposed to be a joining fee, but I don't think anyone generally pays that considering there's so many ways around the fee.

dm12

dm12

08 Feb 2018

Total posts 36

hope they extend the 744 on the Honolulu run until next April!

AT

AT

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

14 Sep 2012

Total posts 244

As I watch Sydney go to so much trouble to bring trams back after they dismantled what was the world's largest tram network in the 1960's, I wonder if future generations will regret the end of the 747 in 2020's?

TheBigM

TheBigM

07 Mar 2017

Total posts 32

Well, the A380 was the natural successor, which will continue to operate.

Carrots

Carrots

Virgin Australia - Velocity Rewards

06 Oct 2017

Total posts 28

Wouldn't it be grand if Qantas bean counters allowed the marketing department to re paint one of the final ol'gals in the livery of the first QF 747 as a tribute for her swansong.

Pegasus

Pegasus

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

26 Jun 2012

Total posts 45

I was often on the LAX-BNE route. Upper deck, window seat, exit row. It was heaven. I'll miss the old girls.

mspcooper

mspcooper

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

09 May 2013

Total posts 107

When you leave these aircraft and walk past it on the way to immigration (usually in BNE or LAX for me) where you usually get to see the size of the aircraft from front, the 2-3 seconds that you are in awe is unbeatable!

Colesmore

Colesmore

11 Apr 2018

Total posts 3

Qantas are repositioning the 747s for Antarctic journeys (I believe) on certain dates on triangle routes later in the year, so an economy or business reward flight could be snaffled on those as well - as a Silver I was able to see availability. Might work for those with not as much time to give, but of course there's never a guarantee the dates etc. won't change or have an AC swap.

chips

chips

16 Dec 2013

Total posts 2

In the early 70s two Qantas work mates and I stood underneath the first 747-100 to visit Melbourne Tullamarine Airport it was operated by Pan-Am you can imagine what that moment felt like as the biggest planes we had seen were DC8-65F but the 747 was huge very majestic . I amongst many will feel sad to see them go ..Peter WA

Geoff Bell

Geoff Bell

16 Jan 2019

Total posts 1

Have never had the opportunity to fly Qantas 747 although did TLV to LHR on an EL AL aircraft.

iM

iM

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

27 Jul 2016

Total posts 49

I'd certainly be in on that!

SeaVisionBurma

SeaVisionBurma

Thai Airways International - Royal Orchid Plus

13 Jan 2017

Total posts 33

Tip for if this happens... Assume that inside economy seats for a special farewell award flight would be cheaper than premium/window seats
Find a friend to do the farewell flight with, book one premium and one cheapie, then swap half way

Marksgreen

Marksgreen

07 Jul 2019

Total posts 2

I’ve been lucky enough to have been on the upper deck twice and even got in one of the old first class seats - right at the very front downstairs. There’s something so majestic with the 747 that just can’t be beat. That said, I’ve also done the PER -LHR and that was incredible. Comfier seat and the humidity and pressure does make a difference. I feel very spoiled to have had all of these experiences. They’re all great!

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