Qantas classic reward to Singapore - No business awards available?

ZMan

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I’m trying to book a business classic reward flight return to Singapore from Sydney in mid July and there doesn’t seem to be any available. I can book seats with points but they’re 350k minimum one way which seems outrageous…

I checked out the availability in March / April 2023 and they’re also not available.

Are they not doing classic rewards on business anymore?
 

aspro2

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That's barely two months away, with very high demand for OS travel now. As for next year, I don't know that route well enough from a QF rewards perspective, but school holidays and Easter fall in that period, so it depends on things like that too. And with QF anything else is possible too... :confused:
 

ZMan

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You are months too late. They needed to be booked last year.
So in general classic rewards business get booked a year in advance? I’ve never booked one before…

Good on those who have the confidence and bravery to book them so far in advance with the uncertainty last year with COVID…
 

levelnine

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So in general classic rewards business get booked a year in advance?
Yes. Qantas has been patchy with its release of business class reward tickets since the pandemic, but your best bet is generally the moment they become available. You are competing with tens of thousands of other customers seeking to use the millions of points they have accumulated over the course of the pandemic.
 

drron

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SQ out of BNE have had lots of J saver awards but they are starting to disappear though 3 days ago got 2 in early December.
 

ZMan

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Yes. Qantas has been patchy with its release of business class reward tickets since the pandemic, but your best bet is generally the moment they become available. You are competing with tens of thousands of other customers seeking to use the millions of points they have accumulated over the course of the pandemic.
Thanks for the reply!

I don‘t travel frequently (even before COVID) but I have accumulated 550k plus points.

I’ve read that you can get an economy ticket and upgrade to business using points?
 

downgraded

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I don‘t travel frequently (even before COVID) but I have accumulated 550k plus points.

I’ve read that you can get an economy ticket and upgrade to business using points?
You can. But that is a lottery of availability and your status compared to everyone else who has requested an upgrade.
You have to assume you will travel in the class you book.
 

kookaburra75

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Thanks for the reply!

I don‘t travel frequently (even before COVID) but I have accumulated 550k plus points.

I’ve read that you can get an economy ticket and upgrade to business using points?
You can, but it's not guaranteed. You apply to get an upgrade, and if you're lucky you'll get a text about 24-48 hours before the flight departs letting you know you've been successful. If not, you're down the back.

If you look on ExpertFlyer, you can see how many Business Class seats have been sold, which can give you a clue, but again, in no way a guarantee you'll be successful.
 
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I’ve read that you can get an economy ticket and upgrade to business using points?
That's also a possibility, but remember that it's an upgrade request, meaning there is no guarantee you will be upgraded into business class using points. You will find out on the day of or a couple days before depending on your Qantas Frequent Flyer status. If booking by cash, you'll want to ensure the fare you selected is upgrade eligible (it'll show just below the fare you selected. If using points, so long as you book a classic flight award in Economy you should be able to upgrade too.

In terms of booking strategy to increase your odds of getting upgraded, your best bet is to book a flight with QF that has plenty of available business class seats at the time of booking. As a general rule of thumb days when business people aren't travelling are precisely the best time to book (i.e. Saturdays or a Tuesday or Wednesday)

As for your remark about bravery on those booking - I wouldn't necessarily call it bravery. Many of us are cowards when it comes to booking (myself included) but the airlines made it too tempting for us to book. First, there was tons of availability not just of reward but cash fares too. I booked Sydney to Darwin return on a Jetstar MAX fare (i.e. everything included) for about $320 AUD - a far cry from the ordinary fare. Similarly, with Air Canada's Aeroplan I booked Sydney to Toronto in business class for 160,000 points return. Granted, that flight got cancelled and had to be rebooked over a dozen times, but is a steal considering the amount of flying involved there. Second, the airlines made it easy for us to cancel should things change (a policy that is still enacted somewhat to this day), meaning that we would get our points back or receive a fare voucher should we want to cancel for any reason.

Hope that helps.

-RooFlyer88
 
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So in general classic rewards business get booked a year in advance?
Not one year in advance. About 353 days in advance - ie around 12 days less than a year. Often you will have to make an outbound leg booking first then an inbound leg when those seats are released

The higher frequent flyer status you are the higher you chance of nabbing a classic reward.
 
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Often you will have to make an outbound leg booking first then an inbound leg when those seats are released
^ this has ended up being a real game changer in how I book award travel. A lot of people are tempted to search for return flights on awards but that makes the problem exponentially harder since you must find availability on the outbound and return at the same time. It's much easier to break the problem down segment by segment until you built out the itinerary you want. In addition, award availability gets released at random times and often it's better to book whatever segments you find that have availability and play the rest by ear. For instance, several months ago I had to rebook my trip from Sydney to Toronto on Air Canada for the 14th time. Initially I could find outbound award J saver availability on Aeroplan (for 80,000 points OW) but couldn't find the return. Nevertheless, I booked the outbound segment and a couple weeks later the return segment became available for me to book!

-RooFlyer88
 

jpp42

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It's much easier to break the problem down segment by segment until you built out the itinerary you want.

I've seen people do this sort of thing, where for example it's possible to find availability from Singapore to Europe but not from Australia to Singapore. If you eventually do find availability from Australia to Singapore, or just book a cash fare for that part, is this typically done on separate PNRs, e.g. it's wise to have a day or two stopover to allow you to recover from disruptions since the connection won't be protected? I'm keen to use my points on a business class reward to get to Europe, as are many, but don't really want to do this at the expense of a extra hotels in e.g. Singapore in both directions, reducing the amount of holiday time spent in Europe. I know some people like those stopovers and that's great, but I'd prefer to get to my destination as soon as possibel and recover there. (I'm not against a two-hop itinerary, e.g. [AU]-SIN-DXB-[Europe] or whatever, but don't want long stopovers.)
 
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I've seen people do this sort of thing, where for example it's possible to find availability from Singapore to Europe but not from Australia to Singapore. If you eventually do find availability from Australia to Singapore, or just book a cash fare for that part, is this typically done on separate PNRs, e.g. it's wise to have a day or two stopover to allow you to recover from disruptions since the connection won't be protected? I'm keen to use my points on a business class reward to get to Europe, as are many, but don't really want to do this at the expense of a extra hotels in e.g. Singapore in both directions, reducing the amount of holiday time spent in Europe. I know some people like those stopovers and that's great, but I'd prefer to get to my destination as soon as possibel and recover there. (I'm not against a two-hop itinerary, e.g. [AU]-SIN-DXB-[Europe] or whatever, but don't want long stopovers.)
You're quite right that it's easy to fall into the trap of breaking the itinerary out into small segments taking breaks along the way, costing you more time and money. But surely you would agree that it makes sense to consider the outbound leg (i.e. AU to Europe) instead of looking at booth the outbound and inbound legs at the same time? This is what I am arguing in favour of, look at your outbound options first, then consider your return options rather than trying to look for both at once!

-RooFlyer88
 

jpp42

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But surely you would agree that it makes sense to consider the outbound leg (i.e. AU to Europe) instead of looking at booth the outbound and inbound legs at the same time?

Yes, definitely, and it's what I plan to do as we approach 353 days before our planned trip! (Surely no one else wants to travel in summer 2023, right? no one else read this please haha.)
 

ZMan

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So is it worth using 350k points on part of the return ticket (which costs around 650k in total)?

Or am i better off just paying cash and saving the points?
 
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So is it worth using 350k points on part of the return ticket (which costs around 650k in total)?

Or am i better off just paying cash and saving the points?
That really depends on how much you value QF points. The best way to calculate that is to take the cash fare price you would pay for the price, subtract the taxes and fees you would pay on the classic award booking and divide the total number of points by the cost of the cash fare. Generally, anything over 1 cent per point value is considered good, although I've gotten that value as high as 9 cents on flights to LDH.

Also, if you're paying 350,000 points on a one-way business class ticket to Singapore you are likely paying too much. A classic award business award on QF should set you back 75,000 points + taxes & fees one-way:
Screen Shot 2022-05-16 at 17.17.13.png

-RooFlyer88
 
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So is it worth using 350k points on part of the return ticket (which costs around 650k in total)?

Or am i better off just paying cash and saving the points?
That points cost is not for a classic award - so I would just be paying the $ rather than spending that many points when a classic J reward is only about 75,000 points pp flying MH and 143K if going via Japan.
 

levelnine

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So is it worth using 350k points on part of the return ticket (which costs around 650k in total)?

Or am i better off just paying cash and saving the points?
As a mathematical proposition, you are better off paying cash and saving the points. But that of course relies on you having the cash available to pay business class now and a better option for using the points sometime in the future.
 

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