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The Best QF Status Run Options wiki page provides a general overview of Qantas Frequent Flyer status run options so discussion can flow more easily in the thread. This wiki was created to help members who are seeking to gain status quickly, but do not know the best way to go about it.
If you are already planning to be in the United States, the options for earning status there are considered by many to be the cheapest. However, if you are based in Australia you need to get yourself over there first, potentially adding significant cost. Some good threads to start your research in:
From July 2015 changes to status credit earn mean that flights over 750 miles in First continue to earn generously, however those flights under 750 miles drop to just 40 status credits.
In September 2016 there was a rumour that domestic First in the United States would soon book into Business fare codes instead of First fare codes, thereby diminishing the status credit earn by a third.
Any Seat Awards
For a period of time, it was possible to book an Any Seat Award at the value of a Classic Award, providing a significant saving in points, while still earning points and status credits. While it is still possible to use points to book Any Seat Awards, the value is no longer there. These can be booked as "Points + Pay". See this thread for a recap on how it was done.
Cathay Options in Asia
While "Simpler and Fairer" brought about a reduction in earn on Cathay Pacific services, there is still value to be had booking with them from Taipei or Columbo. As with status runs in the United States, this will require you to get yourself to these starting locations first, but so long as you book your next holiday immediately following your last flight, including stopovers, the prices can be ridiculously good value.
If you are short on status credits by only a small amount, waiting for a domestic QantasLink sale can sometimes yield good value for a day of your time. A common example has been Brisbane - Rockhampton - Mackay - Rockhampton - Brisbane. If you split the flights up into 4 separate flight numbers this could earn 40 status credits and 3200 points for a sale ticket.
Taking it a step further, purchasing a comfort seat is ordinarily something you would do if you needed more space on the plane. However what most don not realise is that the extra seat not only doesn't include taxes (as the first ticket does), but also earns points and status credits like the first seat. Adding a comfort seat to a flight with higher than normal taxes can sometimes cost only 50% more, but double your value.
A Weekend in New Zealand
In the past it was possible to purchase a cheap Business class return to New Zealand on LAN, however prices have risen. It is still good value, just not as great as previously, and does require a very early start on the return leg from Auckland. A SYD-AKL-SYD round trip on LAN will earn 80 SCs.
Emirates also provides some good status run options from time to time, when they offer sales on flights from New Zealand. Available routes include Auckland-Sydney/Melbourne/Brisbame and Christchurch/Sydney. Business class regularly costs under NZD600 and earns 80 status credits, while First class can cost less than NZD900 and yields 120 status credits when booked as a Qantas codesahre with a "QF" flight number. Note that this only works for bookings originating in New Zealand.
Adding a Plus Bundle to a Jetstar flight gives you status credits and points, so adding one to a cheap Jetstar fare can give very good value. International Jetstar flights also earn at the Economy rate, while domestic Jetstar flights earn at the discount economy rate, so choosing an international flight on sale and adding a Plus Bundle can be good value too. Jetstar sometimes emails passengers a week or so out from a flight offering upgrades to Business, both with and without points/SC earn. The cost of an upgrade with business points/SC appears to be approx $400 to HNL and $250-300 to Asian destinations. Jetstar previously also offered airport upgrades that sometimes results in points/SC earn (appeared to depend on how it was processed)
JAL Class J
Japan Airlines offers domestic upgrades to Business and First for as low as Â¥1,000 (about $10). However since Simpler and Fairer, domestic Business now earns at an Economy or Flexible Economy status credit rate (depending on the fare), significantly cutting off the value.
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