Qantas FF rewards flights

Discussion in 'Flights' started by skichic, Jan 7, 2017.

  1. skichic

    skichic Addicted Member

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    after much credit card juggling I finally now have enough points to get us to either Japan or USA next summer. Ideally I'd like to go over a week before Xmas and stay a month or so. I've been checking every day for rewards flights and there's none available, apart from flights via London or Qatar which cost 3 times the points.

    Am I dreaming to think they will release rewards flights around Xmas? Am I better off using the points as upgrades instead? Any hints on how to snag reward points in December?
     
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  2. MarkGC

    MarkGC Dedicated Member
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    We leave for San Francisco on Monday flying as a family of 6 all on classic rewards. Looking 12 months out we found nothing, but in April the flights were there.

    Also look at different flight options with similar results. Gold Coast vs Brisbane, San Fran vs LA. Sometimes you will end up on the same flight that when you first searched did not appear.
     
  3. skichic

    skichic Addicted Member

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    Yep have been searching Sydney and Melbourne, San Fran, LA, Dallas etc.
     
  4. Harper11

    Harper11 Part of the Furniture
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    Ring them
     
  5. skichic

    skichic Addicted Member

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    Really? I've chatted online and been told they were all sold. Despite them never appearing that I can see. I am only a lowly red card.
     
  6. Legs Akimbo

    Legs Akimbo Part of the Furniture
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    Harper11 is right. The people on the phone are a lot more flexible. What do you have to lose (except a bit of time on hold)?
     
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  7. Harper11

    Harper11 Part of the Furniture
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    Are flights that far out even released yet?
     
  8. cqen2l

    cqen2l Addicted Member
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    • We find they release seats around 11 months out but you can get lucky at anytime. Last month we managed to get 2 1st class seats to New York on Emirates using Q FF points. Coming home is another matter. Looking like paid economy seats.
     
  9. Harper11

    Harper11 Part of the Furniture
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    thats the problem i had in the past could get one leg on points but the return leg not available and buying one way fares often nearly same as return price on sale
     
  10. Charlie

    Charlie Still the most depraved poster here
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    Devilishly clever, those airline people
     
  11. jgm

    jgm Active Member

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    Forget upgrades, they come from the same pool as awards, if there are no award seats available, there are no upgrades available either. Also, for what it's worth, upgrades are prioritised by status, are not available on the lowest priced fares, and usually don't clear until the last minute. Qantas awards are also amongst the worst value in the industry. Most QF awards (especially international) are subject to fuel surcharges. These are generally almost the same as the lowest priced economy fares, so you are really just wasting your points. The best use for Qantas points on their OWN aircraft is for business or first class, but better still is to use them on partners like Cathay.

    Your best bet is to be REALLY flexible both on dates, and routing. If you are prepared to travel by convulted routes and with long stopovers, you can often find something.

    There are a few tricks that can help as well. You can often find cheap positioning flights to Asia, and then use your point to get award flights in the pointy end to Europe or N. America. Also, try different Australian ports (adelaide, Brisbane, Perth or Canberra) can occasionally have availability.
     
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  12. Zimboo

    Zimboo Addicted Member

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    If booking reward flights by phone, you will also be charged an extra 6000 pts per passenger - 'award assistance fee" for international bookings and or 3500 pts per passenger for all other bookings. If you don't want to use points for the phone booking assistance fee, you can choose to be charged $60 per passenger for international or $35 for domestic.
     
  13. Harper11

    Harper11 Part of the Furniture
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    If they get you a seat you otherwise can't it's probably worth it. Free if they don't book anything
     
  14. skichic

    skichic Addicted Member

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    353 days in advance according to their blurb. There are plenty of partner airlines flights available but none on Qantas. The partner ones cost around double the points.
     
  15. robbo mcs

    robbo mcs Dedicated Member
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    Much easier to get awards seats on Sydney to London than Sydney to LAX. Mainly because there are more airlines on the same route you can book on using qantas points, ie usually plenty of seats available on Emirates, Qatar, etc. Also Sydney Japan is easier.

    I am going business class return with my wife to London in April on points, and have booked plenty of other trips. The best tip I can give you is to log on to the site everyday and look and you will work out how things work. For example, not all airlines release seats the same number of days in advance, eg Qatar and Cathay releases before Qantas which release before emirates etc. Also you can work out what time of day they are released. Also, you get to see patterns in terms of which days of the week are busy and which are quiet. I always book the outbound leg on the day those seats come out, without a return ticket, and then hope I can book the return leg when that is released, give or take a day or so. That gives you much better chance than trying to book a return ticket at the same time. It is also much easier to book for a single or couple than a family. Make sure you use the "flexible with dates" option when searching, so it shows you the availability all around that period.

    Unfortunately, around school holidays and Christmas to North America is going to be tough.
     
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  16. skichic

    skichic Addicted Member

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    Cheers Robbo. I'll take USA or Japan, whichever comes out first! I can get Qantas Syd-San Fran up to 4 December. Cathay and Qatar have flights to end of Dec/early Jan. So hopefully, Qantas just haven't released them yet. And yes, just looking one way for now.
     
    #16 skichic, Jan 7, 2017
    Last edited: Jan 7, 2017
  17. gareth_oau

    gareth_oau Old And Crusty
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    we are heading off to Canadia in 2 weeks thanks to qantas FF.

    Per-Syd-LA-Van
    Van, HK, Per

    Total cost was around $700 each in taxes etc
     
    #17 gareth_oau, Jan 7, 2017
    Last edited: Jan 8, 2017
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  18. blutek

    blutek Dedicated Member

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    There's some speculation that Qantas may be phasing their release of business class awards based on status. But don't know about economy.
    Also look at LAX via Nadi (using air FiJi).
     
    #18 blutek, Jan 7, 2017
    Last edited: Jan 7, 2017
  19. Zimboo

    Zimboo Addicted Member

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    That's per person i assume?
    As I paid $350pp in taxes etc using QFF pts to Japan for this Feb.
     
    #19 Zimboo, Jan 7, 2017
    Last edited: Jan 7, 2017
  20. BillyKidd

    BillyKidd Dedicated Member
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    This travel and airport tax is just such bullshit. Standard government rort adding zero value. Jobsworths at work as usual. You could cop $20 but anything above that...no.
     
  21. gareth_oau

    gareth_oau Old And Crusty
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    sorry yes, changed my post to each
     
  22. person s

    person s Old And Crusty
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    same - my spouse does the ff bookings, and she uses exactly that approach
    I was at Sydney airport last week farewelling person a on her US student exchange trip and her Syd-LAX flight was mayhem at check-in
     
  23. jgm

    jgm Active Member

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    It's not so much the taxes that are the issue. Some countries and airports are worse than others (apart from the UK who slug you), but the REAL rip-off is Qantas (and a few others) adding "fuel" surcharges for award bookings. They used to add these in for purchased tickets, but aren't allowed to do that now as they have to publish the FULL cost including taxes and surcharges.
     
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  24. skichic

    skichic Addicted Member

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    Getting closer. There are now AA flights up to 9 December.
     
  25. person s

    person s Old And Crusty
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    yep
    then you can stopover in HK and choose a range of other options for Europe eg Finnair
     
  26. travelislife

    travelislife Dedicated Member
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    Not a government issue. Blame the airlines. The taxes are actually usually quite cheap (though Australian airports are expensive on the world scale due to the 'benefits' we get from privatisation). $100 or so. It is the airlines gouging on fuel surcharges.

    This can be a good reason to use Cathay as they have lower fuel surcharges.
     
  27. travelislife

    travelislife Dedicated Member
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    How many seats you looking for? What class of travel?

    You are actually already a bit late. Cathay release seats at 360 days out. Qantas 353.

    Should book as 2 one way's. Not returns.

    Do all my international travel in business class on points. Just got back from Japan today doing just that! So happy to try and help.
     
  28. travelislife

    travelislife Dedicated Member
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    AA is 330 days.

    Remember also some airline partners won't show on the Qantas search. I.e. JAL. Has to be booked over the phone. Can check availability of seats prior to calling by using the BA site.
     
  29. skichic

    skichic Addicted Member

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    So you look on BA for JAL flights then ring qantas? Perhaps that's why there's nothing after 30/11 to Japan.
     
  30. skichic

    skichic Addicted Member

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    Economy. And I've been checking every day since November and there haven't been any flights.
     
  31. skifree

    skifree Part of the Furniture
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    Not forgetting there is an AI watching and responding to every flight search you do,
     
  32. travelislife

    travelislife Dedicated Member
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    How many seats?
     
  33. travelislife

    travelislife Dedicated Member
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    Yes. The BA search engine will also show other partners the Qantas engine won't.
     
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  34. skichic

    skichic Addicted Member

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    2 or 3 but I've just been searching for availability using 1.
     
  35. skichic

    skichic Addicted Member

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    AA to the 10/12 now. Another week and I should be good.
     
  36. skichic

    skichic Addicted Member

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    OK this is pissing me off. Website shows availability on the day I want, get all the way though to processing and get an error message. Qantas chat person also gets error message and suggests that there is no availability and I should book commercial flights?? Been chatting for an hour now and I'm getting hangry!