With the constantly-changing international travel restrictions at the moment, you’d be forgiven if you wanted to avoid overseas travel right now. But if you still want – or need – to travel to London over the coming year, now could actually be a very good time to book. Award availability is wide open – even in First class!
It’s often difficult to find Qantas award availability to London. But, at the time of writing, award availability on British Airways from Sydney to London (via Singapore) is wide open. You can book a seat in Economy, Premium Economy, Business or First class on many dates using Qantas points.
In fact, you can book seats for multiple passengers on many dates. That includes seats in First class.
If you’re planning to travel before 30 June 2020, Qantas will waive change fees for new bookings made this month. But even if you don’t qualify for Qantas’ change fee waiver, the penalty to change or cancel an international Classic Flight Reward booking is only 5,000 or 6,000 Qantas points, respectively.
Here’s a taste of the availability we’re seeing at the moment on the Qantas website:
If you click through, you’ll see plenty of options on British Airways award availability from Sydney to London if you scroll down on the search results page (Qantas flights are shown at the top by default)…
On some dates, there are also plenty of award flight options to London on other Qantas partner airlines including Cathay Pacific, Qatar Airways, Emirates and Japan Airlines.
You can redeem Qantas Frequent Flyer points to book British Airways award flights on the Qantas website. However, an easier way to find British Airways award availability is to use the Reward Flight Finder website. This site allows you to easily view British Airways award availability on any route across the entire year. It shows award seats that are available to British Airways Executive Club members, so may not be 100% accurate if you’re using Qantas points. But it can give you a very good indication.
Here’s a summary of current British Airways award availability from Sydney to London, and what you can expect to pay in terms of Qantas points, taxes & carrier charges:
|Class of travel||One-way||Return||Availability|
|Economy (World Traveller)||66,200 Qantas points + $435||132,400 Qantas points + $1,081||Many dates until 1 March 2021|
|Premium Economy (World Traveller Plus)||124,800 Qantas points + $435||249,600 Qantas points + $1,271||Many dates in March-June; a few dates from July-November 2020|
|Business (Club World)||159,000 Qantas points + $435||318,000 Qantas points + $1,271||Many dates from March-July 2020; some dates from SYD-LHR in October and December, and many dates in February 2021|
|First Class||227,500 Qantas points + $435||455,000 Qantas points + $1,271||Many dates from April-August 2020; a few dates in October 2020|
Note that British Airways Economy class fares from Sydney to London are currently available from $1305 return (and even lower on some airlines), so redeeming Qantas points to fly in Economy is not worthwhile.
The reason for the higher taxes on round-trip premium cabin bookings to London is the UK Air Passenger Duty. This adds around $175 to the cost of long-haul Economy class flights departing the UK, or $350 for premium cabins. This duty can be avoided by departing Europe from outside of the UK, e.g. in Dublin, Brussels or Paris.
Beware that British Airways charges extra for seat selection in every class of travel except First, unless you have Oneworld status.
Finally, note that the number of Qantas points required for a round-trip award to London is the same as you’d pay to book a Oneworld Classic Flight Reward, which can be used to fly around the world with up to 5 stopovers!
There is some discussion about British Airways flights BA15/16 between Sydney and London on the Australian Frequent Flyer forum: BA Flight 16
Rumour of British Airways coming to Melbourne
A rumour that British Airways is considering launching direct flights to Melbourne was doing the rounds on the internet this week. However, this rumour is untrue and was quickly debunked.
There is some discussion about this on AFF: BA flying to MEL?
Avoid an Asian transit stop en-route to London
If you’re worried about flying to Europe via Asia at the moment, you do always have the option to fly with Qantas via Perth.
Qantas already flies daily from Melbourne to London via Perth. From 20 April until mid-September 2020, Qantas will also re-route its QF1 and QF2 services between Sydney and London via Perth, rather than Singapore. There is currently plenty of award availability on these Qantas flights in Economy class.
Would you like help using your frequent flyer points?
Frequent Flyer Solutions offers a personalised service that’s designed to take the hard work out of redeeming your frequent flyer points!
Award Flight Assist can help you to find the perfect flights using your points. Just let the team know how many points you have and where you would like to go, and they’ll prepare an itinerary for you.