Redeem Qantas points for reward flights: Classic Reward guide

This article was published some time ago and content may be out-of-date.  Airlines are continually changing their loyalty programs. Always double-check with the airline. 

This article was published some time ago and content may be out-of-date.  Airlines are continually changing their loyalty programs. Always double-check with the airline. 

QantasThis is a Redemption Guide

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Overview

This guide shows you how to redeem Qantas points for reward flights with both the Flying Kangaroo and its partners.

‘Classic Rewards’ allow you to use your points for a seat on a Qantas, Emirates, Jetstar or oneworld carrier. Like most frequent flyer programs, Qantas reserve only a limited amount of reward space on each flight. On the plus side, Classic Reward bookings are cheap and easy to change. So, if you find a nice redemption, book it ASAP!

Qantas reward flights offer exceptional value, especially in Business, but availability is an issue for popular international routes. However, if you follow our tips – like search methodsflexibility and recommended hub positioning – you’ll be well on your way to securing some outstanding value.

Qantas also offers the oneworld reward, allowing you to build a 16 flight, 5 stopover, 35,000-mile itinerary for just 140,000 points in Economy and 280,000 in Business. If you’re planning a large itinerary, it’s easily one of the best Qantas redemption opportunities. Launch our oneworld MEGAguide for a full walk-through.

Read up on the best uses of Qantas points in our separate guide.

Guide contents

Best Use of Qantas Points

We rank the best value Qantas Frequent Flyer redemption opportunities.

Round The World Reward

The Qantas oneworld® reward offers 16 flight sectors and 35,000 miles in one itinerary. All this for just 140,000 Points in Economy or 280,000 in Business, which is outstanding value!

Qantas Upgrades

Upgrade your existing, fully-paid Qantas seat to a higher cabin-class, like Business.

Redeem Qantas points on over 20 partner airlines

A major strength of the Qantas Frequent Flyer program is its breadth of international partner airlines, which you can redeem Classic Reward seats on. In some cases, partner airline redemptions offer more value due to lower tax co-payments and higher availability.

We’ve listed the eligible Qantas partners below, with a summary of where you can search and book, the points rate you’ll pay, along with a note about tax co-payments required for each carrier. If viewing on mobile, click on each row (+ icon) to learn more.

Searching for Qantas reward seats

You can search for Classic Rewards directly on the Qantas website for Qantas, Jetstar and its major partners. However, several oneworld partners do not appear. To search for these, you’ll need to use a oneworld carrier website like British Airways. Learn more here.

Searching for reward seats is definitely a fine art, but it’s far from impossible. To refine your skills, we strongly recommend completing as many example searches as you can. The more you experiment with the search methods and tips mentioned in this guide, the more value you’ll be able to land!

Method 1: Qantas.com (Qantas & major partners)

You can search and book Classic Reward seats directly on the Qantas website for Qantas, Jetstar some of its major partners (Emirates, American Airlines, Cathay Pacific, British Airways, Fiji Airways, Qatar Airways, Finnair, Iberia, LATAM and Malaysia Airlines).

Rewards begin to appear online 353 days in advance (learn more about availability and when to search here). However, seats do appear closer to planned departure dates (especially those from partner airlines) – so keep searching and stay flexible! Like Velocity, seats are easier to obtain on domestic and short-haul international flights. Unfortunately, there’s much less-availability on high-demand international routes like the UK and US. If you find good availability to these destinations, book them! Learn more here.

Use the Multi-City tool to find more flight sectors

The Qantas Classic Rewards search is one of the better reward flight search engines we’ve come across, but we find it’s better to use the Multi-City search (even if you’re not looking at multi-city bookings). Make sure to check ‘Use points – Classic Rewards only’.

Add your travel information, cabin-class and dates and press the ‘Search’ button (you’ll be prompted to log in with your Frequent Flyer details).

The Multi-City tool allows you to search for each Flight Sector (a flight with a unique flight number) individually, which allows you to find more availability than the standard Qantas search. For example, if you’re looking for a Cathay Pacific flight to Europe that you know has a layover in Hong Kong, try looking for the Australia – Hong Kong leg first (Flight 1), before searching for the Hong Kong – Europe sector (Flight 2).

If you book with the Multi-City tool, simply ensure your flights connect within 24 hours of one another so that you’re charged for the sum of all flight sectors. If your transfer exceeds 24 hours it will be treated as a ‘stopover’ and each flight sector will be calculated individually – meaning you’ll be up for more Qantas Points.

For flights back, simply add a flight leg and populate your return travel. In our example below, we’re searching for a Melbourne to Los Angeles reward seat in Business Class, which offers outstanding redemption value.

The Multi-City search is a good option as it allows you to view availability at-a-glance, subject to cabin class filters for a month at a time. In our example, we’ve selected only Business reward seats (see month-long availability for both our flight out and flight back below). Once we’re happy with dates, we’ll select them and click ‘continue’.

Qantas will then display available flights for each day on one page (see image below). In our example, we’ve found an acceptable flight out and flight back. Once you’ve selected all flight sectors from your Multi-City search (in this case, two), the Qantas point cost will display at the bottom of the page.

Hovering over each flight number displays detailed information about each sector.

With all flights selected, the points requirement is displayed at the bottom of the page. In our example, this is 192,000 points. Click ‘continue’ to view taxes and fees on the next page along with the booking confirmation steps.

  • Flight 1 – Melbourne to Los Angeles Qantas Business Classic Reward seat  = 96,000 Qantas points (+$450 in taxes)
  • Flight 2 – Los Angeles to Melbourne Qantas Business Classic Reward seat = 96,000 Qantas points (+$450 in taxes)

Method 2: A oneworld partner website like British Airways (oneworld partners)

You can search and book Classic Rewards directly on the Qantas website for Qantas, Jetstar, Emirates, American Airlines, Cathay Pacific, British Airways, Fiji Airways, Qatar Airways, Finnair, Iberia, LATAM and Malaysia Airlines. However, for all other oneworld partners, you’ll need to go to a different source, one of which is British Airways. This is handy, as sometimes even major partner flights aren’t listed on the Qantas website. This search method has its full guide over here.

Once you’ve located your oneworld partner reward, write down the flight information and contact the Qantas call centre to book.

Method 3: The Qantas call centre (all partners)

You can book all flight rewards (Qantas, Jetstar and partner airlines) via the Qantas call centre (phone 13 11 31 and choose option 1). Bookings attract a ‘Reward Assistance Fee’ (3,500 points or $40 for Domestic and 6,000 points or $70 for International). However, depending on the operator, this may be waived if you are booking a seat from a partner airline that’s not available on the Qantas website (as in this case, the only option you have to book in via the call centre).

Qantas waive the fee for bookings in Business and First Class.

Qantas call centre staff are usually quite helpful in assisting with availability, although you’re going to have much more success if you’ve performed your own searches via the methods listed above. Sometimes they may actually see more in their system than on the website – it doesn’t cost anything to ask!

Availability

Like Velocity, Qantas set aside a limited number of reward seats on each Qantas operated flight. These are generally made available at release periods. Likewise, Qantas partners make a set number of their own seats available to Qantas on their own release dates.

Domestic availability

Domestic availability is generally quite good for both Economy and Business Rewards, with significant inventory available.

Learn more about availability in detail for domestic rewards in our redemption examples section.

International availability

International options departing Australia, on the other hand, can be more difficult to secure. The general rule is that availability for all International travel in Economy is very good. If you’d like to sit up the front of the plane, you’ll have more success with short-haul Asian and New Zealand flights, while popular long-haul destinations like the UK and US offer limited Business Class and Premium Economy seats. Availability obviously drops further if you want to book multiple seats together.

International flights fare better departing overseas destinations, due to much better availability. There are actually some great ‘sweet-spots’ from Asian destinations, like Hong Kong, to the US and Europe on Qantas partner Cathay Pacific. Cathay also charges much less in tax co-payments due to the local laws restricting Hong Kong-based airlines from charging large surcharges. Many of these feature in our ‘best use of Qantas points’ guide and on the Asian REWARD RANKER. This option is now more lucrative than ever, with huge competition on Australia – Hong Kong flights seeing frequent fares on full-service airlines at under $500 return!

It’s important that you understand reward seat release patterns for both Qantas and its partner airlines. Although this isn’t really required for Economy, it’s definitely applicable for high demand redemptions, like the flights we’ve mentioned above in premium cabins. Try searching on/from the relevant release dates, as popular seats are snapped up within days.

Note that high demand International rewards are exclusively available to members with Gold status or higher. If these have not been secured by Gold or Platinum members, they are later released to all other members around the 300-310-day mark. This is a big tip for Silver and Bronze status holders.

Although rewards are made available at the release periods below, it doesn’t mean more seats don’t pop up closer to their scheduled departure. For various reasons (cancellations, unsold inventory etc.) airlines release more space – so keep searching!

Qantas operated reward seats come online from 10am AEST daily, so log on early and get in first!

We’ve summarised both Qantas and their popular partner’s release dates below. Each release period is listed as ‘days in advance’ of scheduled departure. Note, this is a guide only. For Qantas release dates, click on each row (+) for comments on what flights/ seats are available in each period.

Learn more in our tips section.

Status priority

Qantas has now begun giving Qantas operated reward seat priority to members with Gold and Platinum status. It appears the new priority system focuses on premium cabin fares (Business Class) on high demand flights (like the UK and US). Consequently, these seats are now even harder to redeem if you’re on the base status level (Economy availability remains good). Partner airline rewards seem to be unaffected.

Priority comes in the form of reduced reward seats displaying in search results on the Qantas website and in availability queries to the Qantas call centre. For example, where rewards would previously be available at the 353-day mark, they can now only be snapped up by Gold and Platinum members.

If these seats aren’t secured, they are later released to all other members around the 300-310-day mark.

There’s one workaround here. If a family member of yours has Qantas Gold or Platinum status, you can transfer your points and have them book a reward on your behalf (rewards can be booked in anyone’s name).

Point cost rates

Qantas has three rates depending on which airline operates the reward seat’s flight. Our examples are split into these three rates. These rates display in Classic Reward search results on the Qantas website, or requested via the Qantas call centre.

Note, a Classic Reward cost is calculated on the full ‘trip’s’ distance. A trip includes a series of one or more consecutive flight sectors within your Itinerary. When you ‘break’ the trip with a stopover (a stopover is any layover greater than 24 hours) or change to another partner airline, each of your flights will be treated as different trips, thus get more expensive. Also, Qantas classifies a trip subject to the highest sector’s cabin class (for example, if only one sector is Business and the rest are Economy, you’ll pay for the entire trip at the Business Class rate). This is different from securing two trips in different classes on the one booking, such as a flight out in Business and a flight back in Economy, which is possible.

In most of our summary tables, we focus only on Qantas and its partner airline redemption examples. Jetstar flights receive a 10-20% discount to the Qantas rate.

Qantas Rate
Partner Rate
Jetstar Rate
Qantas Rate

Qantas, Airnorth, Fiji Airways, Air Vanuatu, American Airlines, Emirates, Jetstar

The main Classic Flight Reward points rate, which is better than the partner rate below.

Partner Rate

Aer Lingus, Air Niugini, Alaska Airlines, British Airways, Cathay Pacific Airways, China Eastern, DragonairEl Al, Finnair, Iberia, Japan Airlines, Jet Airways, LAN, Malaysia Airlines, Qatar Airways, Royal Jordanian, S7 Airlines, SriLankan Airlines and TAM Linhas Aéreas.

The point rate for Classic Rewards when travelling on all other airlines not covered in the two rows above (the Qantas or Jetstar rates).

Jetstar Rate

Jetstar (JQ), Jetstar Asia (3K), Jetstar Japan (GK) and Jetstar Pacific (BL).

The point rate for Classic Rewards when travelling on Jetstar Domestic and International flights. The Qantas rate applies for Jetstar/Qantas mixed bookings with one of more Qantas operated flight.

Airline-imposed fees

As per other frequent flyer programs, Qantas require a cash co-payment on all redemptions. These fees are made up of airline imposed fees (like fuel surcharges), along with government duties and airport taxes. The first, which is the focus of this section, is easily avoidable by choosing the right airline. The second two, which are relevant for long-haul itineraries, are only avoidable by switching your routing via/to a recommended international hub.

We’ve outlined some general comments on each airline’s imposed fees below.

As a rule, Qantas (International flights only), British Airways, Qatar Airways and Finnair, are known for their high airline-imposed fees. In these cases, you’ll be better off booking with a partner that will add a lower co-payment to your booking. If you are searching via a Qantas search engine, the co-payment will be displayed next to the Qantas points cost. If you’re using the Multi-City too (see the searching process above), the cash tax rate will display once you click through to the summary page.

As a comparison, Velocity stacks up well against Qantas operated rewards. Airline-imposed fees are low on both Virgin Australia flights and their main partners, including Delta and Singapore Airlines.

Qantas

For example, Qantas charges taxes of ~$900 on their own flights in Business from Sydney to Los Angeles (192,000 Points), while taxes on Qantas partner Fiji Airways will set you back approximately $250 (Fiji Airways falls under the Qantas points rate – also 192,000 Points).

Qantas’ domestic reward seat taxes are more reasonable.

Partner airlines

This table provides some general comments on Qantas international partner tax co-payments. They’re definitely worth considering as an alternative to the high taxes uncured on Qantas operated flights. For example, even though Cathay Pacific flights will set you back slightly more in points, you’ll save by forking out much less in taxes.

Alternatively, you can use Google’s ITA Matrix. This tool is helpful to determine co-payments required for Qantas partner reward seats, especially when they aren’t searchable on the Qantas website. The most important airline-imposed fee to look out for (avoid) are airlines’ YQ surcharges (YQ stands for fuel surcharge).

Reward seat redemption value

To determine the value of a Qantas reward seat, we refer to its redemption value. Learn more about point redemption values in this guide.  To provide a redemption value estimate, we calculate a reward’s ‘Guide Redemption Value’ (GRV). Remember, you may place more or less value on a particular flight that our GRV (e.g. you only value a Business Class seat at around half of the asking price).

To calculate our GRV in Economy, we use the middle Qantas Economy fare. This is done to reflect the flexibility offered in Qantas reward bookings. In Business, we simply take the cheapest Discount Business fare.

Generally, Business Class reward seats (2.5-6c/point) come out well ahead of Economy (1-2c/point).

Value hunters should be across the holy-grail of Qantas redemptions, the oneworld reward, which presents GRV’s of up to 4c/point in Economy (significantly higher than most Economy redemptions) and over 5c/point in Business. You’re going to struggle to find that kind of value elsewhere!

Redeem lie-flat Qantas Business Class Reward Seats on selected Australian east to west coast flights at a Guide Redemption earn rate of over 5.0c/ point.

Read up on the best uses of Qantas points in our separate guide.

Classic reward examples: cost, value & availability

In this section, we’ve published a selection of popular Australian domestic and international flights to compare their point costs. Both Qantas and partner airline fares are included in the international examples. These tables also summarise required tax co-paymentsGuide Redemption Values, and availability. All comments are for informational purposes and should be used as a guide only.

Domestic Economy (one-way)

Domestic reward seats can offer some great value. Availability is generally good, however, it is weaker during peak hours (like weekday peak-hour travel times). Like Virgin, ultra-high demand dates positioned around major events can also suffer from ‘black-outs’.

It’s important to consider reward seat flexibility when valuing a particular booking. If you need to change or cancel your flight, you’ll be in a better position with a reward booking than the cheapest Qantas fare (this is why we value Qantas Economy redemptions between their cheapest and Flex fares). For example, domestic rewards cost just 5,000 points to change or cancel versus $99 to on a Qantas sale fare (cash refunds aren’t even permitted, with the fare value returned as credit to use with 12 months).

Click on each row (+) to view more information including availability, each reward’s best search method, the GRV, estimated cash fare and a comment on each flight’s redemption availability.

Domestic Business (one-way)

Business redemptions for long domestic flights (east-west coast), utilising the Airbus A330, are one of the best ways to use your Qantas points. The redemption option offers GRV’s in excess of 5c/point in the new lie-flat Business Class suites.

Click on each row (+) to view more information including availability, each reward’s best search method, the GRV, estimated cash fare and a comment on each flight’s redemption availability.

International Economy (dep. Syd/Mel/Bris, return)

International Economy flights can be a good redemption option, but you need to assess the value carefully. Watch for high taxes, especially with Qantas and British Airways operated flights. This can really dampen international Economy rewards. Likewise, with Qantas and other airlines frequently discount Economy fares on popular international flights, so it may be better to pay for a cash ticket.

That said, international Economy redemptions offer good value through great change and cancellation flexibility. This rivals the more expensive Flexible Economy cash fare.

Click on each row (+) to view more information including availability, each reward’s best search method, the GRV, estimated cash fare and a comment on each flight’s redemption availability.

For simplicity, our international examples depart the Australian east coast. Example flights are round-trips.

* In this example we source the ‘fare’ (cash price used to calculate the ‘Guide Redemption Value’) from flights departing Melbourne (this should be interpreted as a guide only, however prices are quite similar from Sydney and Brisbane).

International Business (dep. Syd/Mel/Bris, return)

International Business redemptions are one of the best ways to use your Qantas points.

Qantas international availability trumps Velocity due to its large partner network. Likewise, on the two Virgin Australia routes that go head-to-head with Qantas, Los Angeles and Hong Kong, you’re more likely to find a reward with the Flying Kangaroo. Remember, with international Business, knowing when to search is critical.

Click on each row (+) to view more information including availability, each reward’s best search method, the GRV, estimated cash fare and a comment on each flight’s redemption availability.

For simplicity, our international example flights depart the Australian east coast. Example flights are round-trips.

* In this example we source the ‘fare’ (cash price used to calculate the ‘Guide Redemption Value’) from flights departing Melbourne (this should be interpreted as a guide only, however prices are quite similar from Sydney and Brisbane).

Qantas Round The World reward

Qantas also offers the oneworld reward, allowing you to build a 16 flight, 5 stopover, 35,000-mile itinerary for just 140,000 points in Economy and 280,000 in Business. If you’re planning a large itinerary, it’s easily one of the best Qantas redemption opportunities. Launch our oneworld MEGAguide for a full walk-through.

Our Qantas reward seat ‘value’ examples

Learn more about ‘sweet-spot’ redemptions in our best use of Qantas points guide or launch the REWARD RANKER for a consolidated summary of the most valuable rewards across both Qantas Frequent Flyer and Virgin’s Velocity.

Tips for securing Qantas reward seats

In the next section, we’ll look at some tips for redeeming Qantas Classic Rewards.

Be Flexible

As with most frequent flyer programs, the number one rule for securing a valuable reward seat redemption is to be flexible.

Travel plans
Book ahead
Search hard
Travel plans

Be flexible with travel dates (or even location if you’re holidaying). Search for different cities or airports at your destination.

Book ahead

Qantas operated reward seats come online 353 days before scheduled departure, so be ready from at 10.00am AEST on this day! Learn more here. Partner reward seats have their own release periods. Another benefit of Qantas rewards is that you actually have quite a bit of flexibility, with changes and cancellations significantly cheaper than a Discount Economy booking.

Search hard

The 353 day rule doesn’t always apply. Many reward seats come online a lot later (even days before a departure date). Search regularly and you may find yourself a great opportunity!

Try different start and end points

Changing your itinerary’s start or endpoints can really enhance your reward seat options. We’ve listed some popular examples below.

Australia
Europe/ UK
Asia
US
Australia

Try searching for popular international rewards via another Australian departure city. Cities like Sydney and Melbourne can be very competitive departure ports, so look at alternatives. Simply arrange your own travel to the starting destination.

Europe/ UK

Travelling to London? Qantas Classic Rewards to continental European cities can offer considerably more availability than popular destinations like London Heathrow. You’ll gain the added benefit of saving on taxes due to Heathrow’s very high airport departure charges, which are passed on by the airlines. Once you touch down in Europe, it’s both cheap and easy to find a connecting flight on low-cost carriers to your end destination (like London). You may even be able to jag a cheap low-cost Business flight to London that could bolster your status credit balance nicely.

Asia

Flights departing Asia also have more availability (for example Singapore or Hong Kong). Simply arrange paid travel on a discount carrier to Asia and book a reward seat to London (which will be much easier to secure than a direct long-haul flight).

US

Similar rules apply to the US. Remember to search for multiple destinations including Los Angeles, Dallas and New York to widen your options! Simply search for a final Flight Sector to your final destination in the US using the Multi-City Tool or arrange paid travel on a low-cost carrier.

Search for each flight sector individually

If you’re searching for rewards that require a transit stop, search for each flight sector individually to locate more availability. The Qantas Multi City tool is a great option.

By searching for each leg individually, you’re not tied down to the automated routes and ‘married-sectors’ generated by the airlines. More often than not, you’ll find more availability if you piece together your own itinerary.

For example, looking for a Cathay Pacific flight to London from Sydney? Try searching for the Sydney – Hong Kong leg first (Flight 1), before searching for the Hong Kong – London flight sector (Flight 2). Simply position your departing flight within 24 hours to ensure you are charged the sum of all flight sectors in Qantas points. If your layover is greater than 24 hours it will count as a ‘stopover’ and each flight sector will sum individually – meaning it’ll cost you more.

Recommended international partner airlines

You can redeem reward seats on over 20 Qantas partner airlines.  Partner carrier availability is usually harder to search for and locate, however, if you contact the Qantas call centre directly and ask about availability around your planned dates, they may be able to find something for you that’s not listed on their website. They’re available by phoning 13 11 31 (choose option 1).

Learn more on the carriers to stick with when flying to/from each region below. As a rule, Qantas and British Airways flights should be avoided due to high airline-imposed co-payments.

We’ve also included our current table on each airline’s tax co-payments.

Asia
Europe
America/Canada
South America
Asia

We absolutely love Cathay Pacific. The popular airline, in addition to it’s Hong Kong hub, should definitely feature heavily in your travel plans. This is especially the case if planning an Asian trip or travelling to Europe via Asia. Cathay Pacific offers a renowned Business Class product and its Hong Kong Lounge is up there with the best.

Cathay availability departing Hong Kong is generally pretty good. Further to this, the carrier typically releases more seats about a week from scheduled departure. This won’t suit everyone, but if you’re travelling on short notice, it may be a good option.

Japan Airlines and its Tokyo hub can also be a good option.

Europe

Cathay Pacific is also a good option to continental European destinations, especially for flights starting in their Hong Kong hub (a big tip to save on taxes and bolster availability it to plan separate travel on a low-cost carrier to Hong Kong, before commencing your reward travel).

Qantas prefered partner, Emirates, can also be a good option, however, their fees and taxes can start to creep up. As always, be strategic about your European/UK hubs. Learn more here.

America/Canada

American Airlines is recommended for flights to the US, however, availability can be limited. Tax co-payments are generally quite reasonable.

Fiji Airways is another option for US Business Class travel, with lie-flat beds available on their Syd/Mel/Bris – Los Angeles flights at the base Qantas Rate. Availability and the tax co-payment are must better than the Qantas operated alternative.

South America

We recommend Latam for Latin American routing. Its major hub is Santiago, but Sao Paulo and Lima are also serviced well. Latam offers a good schedule to Auckland, Sydney and Melbourne. Latam tax co-payments are quite low – definitely the better option over Qantas for flights back to Australia. It’s a full-service airline with a competitive lie-flat Business cabin.


Cathay Pacific’s world-class Business suite.


Start your reward international itinerary via a recommended hub like Hong Kong

It’s handy to know what transit hubs to stick with, along with the regions and airports to avoid (or how to be smart about your itinerary planning) when booking Qantas reward seats. We provide some comments on some notable regions, and how to get around any high taxes, below.

To summarise, commencing your reward flight in a low taxing Asian hub, along with avoiding some European regions, are great ways to avoid damaging government taxes and airport fees.

For example, international rewards in premium cabins departing Australia can be tough to find, especially to high-demand locations like the US and Europe. And, if you’re booking a Qantas operated reward seat, the taxes are very expensive. If you want to book a Business reward seat (and who doesn’t, given their amazing redemption value) look at starting your international reward trip in Hong Kong due to much better availability. Key Qantas partner Cathay Pacific also charges much less in tax due to the local laws restricting Hong Kong-based airlines from charging large surcharges. Many of these feature in our ‘best use of Qantas points’ guide and on the Asian REWARD RANKER. This option is now more lucrative than ever, with huge competition on Australia – Hong Kong flights seeing frequent fares on full-service airlines at under $500 return! When you consider the taxes you’ll save when booking a Cathay Pacific flight, booking a cash ‘positioning’ fare to Hong Kong is something worth thinking about!

Click on each region in the table below to find out more.

Asia
UK
Europe
Asia

Hong Kong and Japan are great Asian hubs as the local law prohibits airlines from passing on any type of surcharge. However, this only applies to flights departing Hong Kong and Japan. So, a good option for Aussie travellers is to find your own way to Asia (via a separate reward or on one of many budget airlines) to connect your travel on to Europe or another destination. Cathay Pacific (Hong Kong hub) and Japan Airlines (Tokyo) are great Qantas reward seat redemption options.

UK

All departures from UK based airports are charged an Air Passenger Duty. This makes up a significant part of each airline’s co-payment that you’ll pay when flying out of UK airports. The tax is obscenely large if you’re in a premium cabin, like Business. The higher taxes are not charged for transit flights.

There are a couple of workarounds for this one. The first, to plan your departure (or arrival and departure) to/ from an alternative low-charge European city, like Dublin or a Nordic city. You’ll find your total tax co-payment will be significantly lower. Simply book a low-cost connecting flight to/from the UK!

Europe

Scandinavia, Ireland and to a lesser extent Italy (Rome) are low-tax airports. These can be great options for European entry/ exit points. French airports can be expensive options.

Book ASAP – Changes are cheap

Qantas Classic Rewards come with more flexibility than a Discount Economy cash ticket. Qantas charge 5,000 points for changes (date/destination) or 6,000 points for cancellations (when made 24 hours before departure). Cancellations result in your points being redeposited back into your account.

With this in mind, a reward booking is very flexible against the cheapest Qantas fare types. Reward seats are more in line with the mid-point Economy fare, which is why we calculate our GRV as such.

For example, Qantas charge up to a whopping $500 to fully refund a Discount Economy ticket to the UK or Europe (versus just 6,000 points, or about $60, to cancel your reward seat). See more in our change and cancellation comparison table below. Click on each row (+) for Discount Economy fare and reward seat’s conditions.

So, if you find a great international reward, book it ASAP!

Changes can be made online or via the Qantas call centre.

Flight time & Date
Route changes
Cancellations
Flight time & Date

Yes. Must be requested at least 24 hours prior to scheduled departure of each sector. 5,000 points (or $50) per guest per booking. Fare differences payable.

Route changes

Route changes are allowed subject to availability and cost differences. Must be requested at least 24 hours prior to scheduled departure of each sector. 5,000 points (or $50) per guest per booking. Fare differences payable.

Cancellations

Cancellations are allowed. Must be requested at least 24 hours prior to scheduled departure of each sector. 6,000 points (or $60) per guest per booking. Fare differences payable

Contact the Qantas call centre for availability help

Depending on the agent that answers your call, the Qantas call centre can be a great resource for reward seat availability. Sometimes they may actually see more in their system than on the website – it doesn’t cost anything to ask! It always helps if you’ve done your research, however. Read more about our search methods above. They’re available by phoning 13 11 31 (choose option 1).

Redeem your points in Cathay Pacific’s top-tier Business Class


Other conditions to be aware about

Infant (no seat)
Points earn
Baggage
Section
Infant (no seat)

No ticket cost is charged. Taxes will be required to be pair.

Points earn

Reward seat bookings do not earn points or status credits.

Baggage

Reward seats include complimentary checked baggage.

 

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