First fares on Classic awards, what's going on with qantas?

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Shorns

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Hi Guys,

After talking up a first class seat I had on a qantas A380 a year back I promised my fiance i'd get her on a flight with me this year. Now I kinda assumed it'd be relatively easy using FF points on classic awards, just as I had a year ago. Last year I flew ADL/MEL/SIN (so I could fly first on a 380) and booked it in on one ticket.

Looking at what's available now I'm dissapointed. We are fairly flexible with travel dates and were trying to do ADL/MEL/HKG or ADL/SYD/HKG. Now when I try to check availability online I can't find ANY first fares, and even the business ones are frequently only business on the domestic leg (why the hell would you pay for a business fare only to be in economy on the international leg?)

Worse still I'd be happy to give singapore another go but again, no first fares. The business fares show but again are mostly in economy for the international leg.

What's going on? Is this typical now of Classic award availability? I thought airlines jumped at the chance to burn FF points on higher class fares. I spent lots of time earning them now i'm unsure how i'm going to be able to use them! Does anyone have any advice or insight?

Cheers
Sean
 

harvyk

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What's going on? Is this typical now of Classic award availability? I thought airlines jumped at the chance to burn FF points on higher class fares. I spent lots of time earning them now i'm unsure how i'm going to be able to use them! Does anyone have any advice or insight?

They are also keen on getting people to spend actual money on airfares as well. Plus they have been removing F from both routes and aircraft.

You could always do a FASA rather than a classic award, as I have heard of them going cheap so to speak. I've also heard that classic award F fares are pretty difficult to find at the best of times.
 

simongr

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How far ahead are you booking? The seats get released 355 days before the flights and go pretty quick!
 

MrJetset

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I really don't understand these threads. I have managed to book F classic awards +/- 3 days of the travel dates I wanted to LHR, JFK or LAX. Granted, I generally secure them > 8 months out, but only 3 months ago I was able to get SYD-HKG and LAX-SYD requested via the droid on a AONE4 redemption.

A little planning, perseverance, flexibility and a minimum of WP status all combine to increase your chances.

That said, when the Premium agent tells you seats may be released close to the date, and to call closer to departure, this has never, ever occurred for me.
 

Shorns

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I'm sorry you don't understand the point of my post Jock. For the others, simongr: I just spent the last 30 minutes going through the following options: ADL/MEL/SIN ADL/MEL/HKG ADL/SYD/SIN ADL/SYD/HKG. I've looked as far ahead as it will allow me and the best i can do is business. Even trying to drop the domestic leg from adelaide hardly helps. Last year there were options for almost everyday for ADL/MEL/SIN in F. So I don't think my post is that quizical, there seems to be a real change in availability of flights especially in F and i'm wondering if i'm just looking at an unlucky route or if this is across the board.

Harvyk: I agree, from a business model it would seem that qantas would be better at the moment to get cash rather than burn points but surely they must know that only a small percentage of people with points to pend on a F fare would actually pony up the cash for it? I'd be happy to spend 90,000 points on the flight but $8 g's ? no way!
 

docjames

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There can be varied availability depending on start destination. I'd also suggest looking ex-SYD and ex-MEL (rather than just ex-ADL) if you havent done so already.

Multiple reports of people wanting eg. SYD-LAX and seeing no availability, then looking BNE-SYD-LAX and getting seats.
 

medhead

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Are you search for 2 people this year compared to searching for 1 person last year? What dates are you after?


Sent from the Throne
 

MYT105

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I just did a search for SYD-HKG for end of April 2013 and there were some seats for one person travelling but when it was two it dropped down dramatically in the availability and also most were then not direct flights when it was 2 people and well over double the cost in points.
 

drron

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As Medhead said 1 F award can be found but 2 F awards are like hen's teeth.Find a day with 1 classic award seat then try for 2 FASAs-it will cost a little more than the classic but you earn points and SCs to counteract that.
This is what I did for next years trip to JNB.When you subtract the points we will earn 2 FASAs turned out to be less points than 2 classics-but 2 classics weren't available.
 

simongr

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I'm sorry you don't understand the point of my post Jock. For the others, simongr: I just spent the last 30 minutes going through the following options: ADL/MEL/SIN ADL/MEL/HKG ADL/SYD/SIN ADL/SYD/HKG. I've looked as far ahead as it will allow me and the best i can do is business. Even trying to drop the domestic leg from adelaide hardly helps. Last year there were options for almost everyday for ADL/MEL/SIN in F. So I don't think my post is that quizical, there seems to be a real change in availability of flights especially in F and i'm wondering if i'm just looking at an unlucky route or if this is across the board.

Hmm - strange indeed. I just tried to look myself and there is lots of J availability but no J. However most of the J is via another port (and bizarrely the domestic legs are mostly in whY). This was looking at all available dates in June next year.
 

Alanslegal

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What is your status Shorns?

If you are a WP or above, you might be ask the WP desk to help release a F award seat for you. Otherwise, try finding a FASA.

At the end of the day there are hundreds of millions of points out there, and there's only a limited number of F seats per flight. Now you know why it is extremely difficult to secure F award seats and these are snapped up very fast.
 

Maca44

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There can be varied availability depending on start destination. I'd also suggest looking ex-SYD and ex-MEL (rather than just ex-ADL) if you havent done so already.

Multiple reports of people wanting eg. SYD-LAX and seeing no availability, then looking BNE-SYD-LAX and getting seats.

I agree with docjames. Look from flights departing one of the main hubs, then add/pay for the short domestic flight and you might have better luck finding seats, although not sure about 2xF.
 

Shorns

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Yeah I might be running into trouble with 2 x pax although I did look briefly for single seats and was still dissapointed. Unfortunatley i'm a lowly bronze so that won't get me anywhere. I read somewhere that your status might actually affect what seats are shown online? nasty!
 

docjames

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Another one I thought of was to get one J seat and one F seat.
 

Shorns

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Another one I thought of was to get one J seat and one F seat.

Hmmm not sure I like the sounds of that.

The anyseat trick doesn't seem to be much help, for instance on 16th oct syd/sin is available for 90,000 points or as an example 697,000 + $1000 and thats trying for only 1 pax as well. That seems fairly consistent across the board. Hmmm we might have to slum in in J
 

amaroo

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Short notice usually works - I booked two FASA in mid April for early May SYD-SIN-SYD. This is what I learnt:-

Don't bother looking to snag a flight from ADL....in our case I just did an JASA from BNE to connect
SIN F flights appear to only be available mid-week
SYD-SIN seemed to be the best itinerary for F award seats.....saw nothing for the few remaining F ports
Also found seats for SIN-LHR or SIN-SYD were more plentifully
 

mannej

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Don't waste your time on MEL-HKG and back - simple fact of the matter is that there is no first on that route anymore.

First seats are in limited supply compared to the rest of the plane, really first in first served with this.

There are ways that you can set Expert Flyer to alert you when the fare class becomes available.
 

mannej

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Hmmm not sure I like the sounds of that.

The anyseat trick doesn't seem to be much help, for instance on 16th oct syd/sin is available for 90,000 points or as an example 697,000 + $1000 and thats trying for only 1 pax as well. That seems fairly consistent across the board. Hmmm we might have to slum in in J

Look at the thread titled along the lines of getting a JASA at classic rates. That will help point you in the right direction in finding the cheaper ASA's.
 
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