How to use Qantas Points to book Emirates flights

By Brandon Loo, July 26 2018

Want to make your Qantas frequent flyer points fly even further? Here's how you can use them to book a flight with Emirates and travel to scores of destinations via its Dubai hub.

If you're looking to travel with a dash of luxury you'll certainly appreciate the popular business class bar and the shower suites available to first class passengers.

Emirates' Airbus A380 inflight bar: fly high with style

Best of all, complimentary chauffeur transfers are still offered with every Emirates business class and first class booking made with points (except for purely trans-Tasman itineraries).

This is a major benefit which isn’t usually given on reward bookings with other airlines, and will certainly make your journey flow a lot smoother.

For Australian travellers, the main attraction of Emirates’ network will undoubtedly be its forty destinations in Europe – all of which can be reached through one stop in Dubai. These mostly eliminate the need to backtrack from a major hub such as London.

Connections through Dubai to the USA and Africa are also viable options from Australia, particularly if it’s hard to redeem points for more direct routes.

Closer to home, Emirates operates a number of what are called ‘fifth freedom’ flights – direct flights between Australia, New Zealand and Asia which don’t go through Dubai – and can be booked on their own as a one-way or return journey. These include:

  • Sydney to Christchurch and Bangkok
  • Melbourne and Brisbane to Singapore
  • Auckland to Denpasar/Bali

This opens up the possibility of enjoying Emirates’ long-haul aircraft on routes usually served by smaller planes, such as those seen across the Tasman.

Booking Emirates flights with Qantas Points: key routes

Emirates flies from Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Adelaide and Perth to Dubai, before connecting to destinations in Europe, Africa, the USA and beyond.

If you don’t live in one of those five capital cities but are near an airport served by Qantas or QantasLink, you can usually add a connecting flight to one of those cities for no extra points and a minimal increase in taxes.

Here’s a map showing just a few examples of routes from Australia – you can check Emirates’ website for a full list of destinations.

Dubai’s location makes it an ideal transit point between Australia and Europe. Passengers from Adelaide or Perth may also find it easier to fly to New York with Emirates, rather than making two inconvenient stops through an Australian east coast city and then through another hub within the United States.

Booking Emirates flights using Qantas Points: how many points you’ll need

To start planning your next trip, here’s how many Qantas Points you’ll need to book one of Emirates’ direct flights between Australia, New Zealand and Asia. For a return journey, simply double these figures.

Route (one-way)

First Class

Business Class

Economy Class

Sydney ⟷ Christchurch

54,000 Qantas Points

36,000 Qantas Points

18,000 Qantas Points

Sydney ⟷ Bangkok

Melbourne ⟷ Singapore

Brisbane ⟷ Singapore

90,000 Qantas Points

60,000 Qantas Points

28,000 Qantas Points

Auckland ⟷ Denpasar

90,000 Qantas Points

60,000 Qantas Points

28,000 Qantas Points

If you’re just headed one-way to Dubai from Australia, this is what you’ll need.

Route (one-way)

First Class

Business Class

Economy Class

Sydney ⟷ Dubai

Melbourne ⟷ Dubai

Brisbane ⟷ Dubai

144,000 Qantas Points

96,000 Qantas Points

45,000 Qantas Points

Adelaide ⟷ Dubai

126,000 Qantas Points

84,000 Qantas Points

40,000 Qantas Points

Perth ⟷ Dubai

108,000 Qantas Points

72,000 Qantas Points

35,000 Qantas Points

If you’re connecting through Dubai and heading further afield, here’s how many points you’ll require on routes to London or New York. Emirates’ other European destinations will be priced the same or slightly cheaper, depending on the distance from Dubai.

Route (one-way)

First Class

Business Class

Economy Class

Australia (except Perth) ⟷ London


Australia (all cities) ⟷ New York

192,000 Qantas Points

128,000 Qantas Points

60,000 Qantas Points

Perth ⟷ London

168,000 Qantas Points

112,000 Qantas Points

55,000 Qantas Points

The points required for Emirates flights are identical to the amounts required for equivalent Qantas flights, making it marginally better to book with Emirates rather than other Qantas partner airlines such as Cathay Pacific and Qatar Airways.

However, note that Emirates reward bookings attract high carrier charges, just like Qantas. Using Sydney to London as an example, Emirates’ carrier charges range from $287 in economy to $647 in first class for a one-way redemption.

Because it’s extremely difficult to get premium reward availability across the Pacific to the USA, Australia to New York on Emirates is a good option to keep in mind with plenty of business and first class availability through Dubai. It also doesn’t cost any more points than flying to London, although you’ll need to allow for up to seven more hours in the air.

How to book Emirates flights with Qantas Points

Here's a walkthrough for booking an Emirates flight using your Qantas frequent flyer points. This can be a bit tricky, as certain routes (such as Sydney-Dubai-New York) don’t show up by default –  you’ll need to use a multi-city tool to find them.

Log into your Qantas Frequent Flyer account, enter your proposed flight details – in this example it's Melbourne to Singapore in first class – and ensure the ‘Use Points - Classic Flight Rewards only’ button is selected.

It also pays to be flexible when looking for reward seats, so check that box too if you have some leeway in your dates.

A calendar pops up where you can filter the search results down to first class seats only. Luckily, there's already availability on the date specified plus plenty of availability for the whole month.

In fact, there are first class seats available on both Qantas and Emirates for 90,000 points each. If you're working during the day you may find Emirates’ evening departure to be more convenient.

Then it’s as simple as checking the flight details and taxes owing (in this case, $325.58), entering your passenger details and payment details…

… and voilà, your booking is confirmed. You’ll notice in your Manage Booking page, Qantas will also issue you with another booking reference (PNR) to use on Emirates’ website to choose seating and make other requests.

However in practice, either airline booking reference will work fine on Emirates’ website.

Booking Emirates flights with Qantas Points: making multi-city bookings

Because Qantas and Emirates reward flights are priced identically in points, you can seamlessly add domestic connections to your itinerary and access an Emirates flight from any Australian airport served by Qantas, all on the one booking.

This can be particularly useful for regional travellers who use Qantas or QantasLink to connect to major cities, often at hefty prices.

The multi-city tool lets you find and choose flight combinations that might not be automatically presented when you search initially. In this example, the search is on for first class availability on Emirates from Launceston to New York.

It’s not looking good as the calendar reveals there is not a single business or first class seat available on that route for the whole month.


Closer examination reveals that there are no Emirates options at all, as the system is trying to route me eastwards with Qantas, American Airlines and Jetstar in economy.

But I know QantasLink flies to Melbourne, and from there Emirates should have some availability around those dates, so it's time to bring the multi-city tool into play.

Enter each individual flight segment and the dates required. Ensure Classic Flight Rewards is selected again.

Then go through and select each individual flight, depending on what’s available. Launceston to Melbourne is operated by a Dash-8 which only has Economy...

... but from Melbourne, there's an Emirates flight with First Class seats available for Qantas Points (this is on the EK405 Airbus A380 service which travels via Singapore)...

... as does the onwards Emirates flight (another A380) from Dubai to New York.

Once selected, the pricing is confirmed at 192,000 Qantas Points for all three flights from Launceston - the same cost as if I had started my journey from Melbourne, and essentially giving the QantasLink flight for free.

Almost any Emirates route can be booked using your Qantas Points through one of these two methods, and with such a wide network available, it’s easy to see how those Qantas Points can get you to any corner of the globe.

Brandon Loo

Brandon divides his time between Perth and Launceston, with ample hours spent in airport lounges in between. He recently picked up photography and tries to capture the beauty of Tasmanian landscapes, aeroplane cabins and in-flight food, to varying degrees of success.

mviy

mviy

05 May 2016

Total posts 527

Having a shower in First Class on the A380 certainly would be a special experience.

Just be aware that Emirates is not a OneWorld airline so it can’t be included in a OneWorld Round The World award.

346

346

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

10 May 2017

Total posts 87

I find it strange that occasionally award availability shows a follows: say I have searched MEL - AMS (for example) in F

MEL - DXB - F available on EK XX

DXB - AMS - F available on EK XY

So all good there.

Then I search MEL - MAD in F again

MEL - DXB - Your flight from MEL - DXB will be in Business EK XX (ie same as above)

DXB - MAD EK XZ

How is there availability for a particular sector of a flight then not on another when the only difference is final destination?

eminere

eminere

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

25 Sep 2013

Total posts 1133

Might be married segment logic at work. Best to then do a multi-city search.

eminere

eminere

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

25 Sep 2013

Total posts 1133

"Best of all, complimentary chauffeur transfers are still offered with every Emirates business class and first class booking made with points (except for purely trans-Tasman itineraries)."

Chauffeur Drive is also not available on itineraries exclusively between Bangkok and Hong Kong, and between Dubai and Hong Kong is offered to First Class passengers only.

mviy

mviy

05 May 2016

Total posts 527

I suspect most QF members flying to HKG would choose to take a direct QF flight unless they're visiting Europe/Middle East on the same trip.

eminere

eminere

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

25 Sep 2013

Total posts 1133

There are QF members who are based in Hong Kong or Bangkok that could be booking these EK flights to/from their home city.

Lps988

Lps988

20 Jan 2017

Total posts 33

I was about 20 minutes away from hassling the 'community' about this very scenario so thanks very much for the above.

Just a question though, how far in advance would they release reward flights? My wife and I are looking at booking SYD-DXB for June/July next year in business class using our QFF points and having done some preliminary searches there's no availability.

Brandon Loo

Brandon Loo

10 Jul 2018

Total posts 80

The Qantas calendar tool would be useful for this, selecting 'Flexible with dates'.

Using the month view, I can see 2x business class seats SYD-DXB on June 9 and June 11 (19:20 departure via Bangkok), and June 10 (06:00 non-stop flight).

But there's currently nothing else for the rest of the month, which may be due to various reasons including school holidays/peak season travel, haven't been released yet, or snapped up by Skywards members first.

grov

grov

QFF

19 Sep 2013

Total posts 151

Although you can't use an Emirates flight within a OW RTW, you can "tack it on" to a partly-completed RTW itinerary to complete the RTW, often with not that many more points. Where a J RTW was capped at 280k points, using Emirates for the final leg back home only cost us a total of 300k points.

lind26

lind26

24 Apr 2014

Total posts 269

I find it frustrating that Qantas points can’t be used for seat selection on QF marketed flights where the metal is EK

346

346

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

10 May 2017

Total posts 87

I think you can

lind26

lind26

24 Apr 2014

Total posts 269

I've never succeeded, let me know if you find out how.

TimOfMcDowall

TimOfMcDowall

01 Mar 2017

Total posts 1

doing this very thing in 7 weeks time... BNE-PER-DXB-ZRH in J with limo service, was easy enough to book. return is Etihad using Velocity points. Cheaper co-payment with Etihad/VA.

Maxinef1

Maxinef1

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

31 Jan 2014

Total posts 14

I recently flew Emirates Melbourne to Amsterdam in 1st - I was the only passenger in 1st on the Melbourne to Dubai leg - what a treat!!!

Maxinef1

Maxinef1

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

31 Jan 2014

Total posts 14

...using my QF points 😊 Returned from Manchester - no problem with availability, couldn’t find seats into/out of Heathrow or Gatwick

jgb59

jgb59

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

16 Mar 2016

Total posts 35

I managed a one-way multi city business class booking OOL/SYD/BKK on 01 MAY 2018 staying in Bangkok a few days and then BKK/DXB/CDG all on Emirates except the OOL/SYD, got limos in BKK and CDG and an overnight connect at the Le Meridien in DXB. Coming back n about 10 days AMS/DXB/SYD/OOL. The multi city took is great for getting availability but each time and I had the same problem last year is that when you go to finalize and pay the fees it errors as the mutli city tool expects you to stay more than 24 hours at each city but a call to the Qantas call centre always manage to book it without any fee.

FIFO Expat

FIFO Expat

Qantas

15 Jul 2015

Total posts 3

I was wondering if anyone knew how to use QF points to upgrade an EK flight from econ to bus. The Qantas web site does not seem to cater for booking or modifying flights that it does not fly to or can originate from such as AMM. Therefore if I would like to upgrade a EK econ ticket using QF points from MEL to DXB to AMM, does anyone know how this can be done?

Tnx

NB

NB

11 Oct 2017

Total posts 7

I have tried for two years to use my Qantas points to travel from Adelaide to Dubai and have been told (repeatedly) that this is not possible so I have had to travel via Melbourne. I have yet to fully digest the article and replies, so hopefully there has been some change.

grov

grov

QFF

19 Sep 2013

Total posts 151

For lind26: I was able to select our EK seats after booking using Qantas points. Forgotten how, but I think I accessed the EK website for the seats. IIRC, the flight booking had both a QF and EK flight numbers.

lind26

lind26

24 Apr 2014

Total posts 269

Did you book through Qantas, Emirates or a travel agent? I booked through Amex, with QF numbers on all 4 flights. 2 flights are QF metal, 2 flights are EK metal. Qantas website won't allow me to select seats on EK metal using Qantas points. EK website won't allow me to select seats on EK metal using QF points.

DavidSnashall

DavidSnashall

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

28 Sep 2011

Total posts 7

when does EK release their FF seats, how far ahead of the flight date?

blondelinda

blondelinda

04 Oct 2018

Total posts 2

How far ahead are the melb-Dubai-Rome seats put up for sale? Im looking for Sept 19 and comes up blank. Also, will i have more success booking a Mleb-Dubai for business reward and then Dubai - Rome., the shorter leg, in economy?

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