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QFF - Easy to Earn, but So Hard to Use!

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mileagemax

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May 11, 2006
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I did it again. Earned enough points to fly somewhere in Asia. Feels good, until you try and find an award flight. Looking into next year there are many months with absolutely no Business Class award seats.

It is so frustrating!

After last year's nightmare to redeem, I vowed not to bother with QFF. However, with all the credit card spend, promotional bonus, etc. the points have mounted up again.

Drives me mad. It really is a con.

Is there any easier but worthwhile way to use them up?
 
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aus_flyer

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Feb 15, 2005
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How far ahead are you looking, and for how many seats?

I'm amazed you can't find anything at all
 

one9

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Some thoughts:

1. Try doing a search for a flight to your destination departing in a few days time (or a weeks time). Sometimes you will notice more seats being released at the last minute (especially Cathay Pacific).

2. If the asian destination you want to go has no seats, try a destination close to the destination. For example it is much easier to redeem a seat to Singapore, as Singapore has a lot of Qantas flights. Hong Kong usually is OK because of Cathay Pacific. Bangkok is harder because fewer flights. and so on. (of course you then need a seperate flight from the close by place to your intended destination).
 

Febs

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mileagemax said:
Drives me mad. It really is a con.
Guessing this is a business class-only thing?
I've always been amazed at how many Y seats are available. No matter what destination or date I pick, I'm always given the option of several flights on the exact date I want.

Cheers,
- Febs.
 

one9

Active Member
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Sep 14, 2005
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I agree with the original poster - some destinations are virtually impossible to redeem, regardless of class.

If you have enough points, then it makes it easier if you don't care whether you redeem economy, business or first. This way there is more selection.
 

serfty

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It's a fact that on almost all Qantas flights, Business class awards seats are available at some stage. This is certainly the case when you are looking the maximum 355 days in advance.

For example, SYD-LAX-SYD has been declared difficult to get for J awards; at the moment you can book flights up until September 8th 2007.

On September 5th, QF11 has at least 2 seats available in Business (U) and 2 in First (Z); also on that day QF25 (via MEL) and QF175 (via BNE) have at least two Business (U) seats.
 
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simongr

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serfty said:
On September 5th, QF11 has at least 2 seats available in Business (U) and 2 in First (Z); also on that day QF25 (via MEL) and QF175 (via BNE) have at least two Business (U) seats.
Is that info from the expertflyer.com fare buckets info? Is that worth the increase in subscription rate?
 

serfty

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simongr said:
Is that info from the expertflyer.com fare buckets info? Is that worth the increase in subscription rate?
No; Expertflyer returned no flights for that date :confused: (I mean NONE, not simply no availability in the fare buckets, just no flights at all ... maybe too far ahead for it).

I did it by simply initiating a Qantas.com online Award booking for 2 PAX and checking the offered flights. This process is sometimes called "making a Dummy Booking".
 

mileagemax

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I have been looking at SIN, BKK or HKG up until May next year from either SYD or MEL.

Business Class seats seem to be much harder to find than Economy.

Haven't seen any BA or CX flights offered. They should appear in Award Bookings right? Or do I need to call to check availability on them?

And I agree that if you are booking 355 days in advance you can probably get the one or two seats available, but it is just not feasible for me to plan that far ahead.

I really think Qantas could improve the search functionality on Award Bookings. It takes a very long time to check at the moment. Perhaps they don't want to reveal the real picture that there are hardly any seats available.

I compare this experience to redeeming miles with SQ or TG, which were a breeze... any date I picked, and I could get it.
 
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JohnK

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Mar 22, 2005
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mileagemax said:
I have been looking at SIN, BKK or HKG up until May next year from either SYD or MEL.

Business Class seats seem to be much harder to find than Economy.
I have been looking at business class seat availability for 1 person return SYD-SIN in April and there is adequate availability. Just need to be a little flexible with dates. I have found availability departing 5th April, on BA, and returning 19th April, on QF via BNE. There are other dates available.
 

jasonja3

Member
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Sep 12, 2005
Messages
368
mileagemax said:
I did it again. Earned enough points to fly somewhere in Asia. Feels good, until you try and find an award flight. Looking into next year there are many months with absolutely no Business Class award seats.

It is so frustrating!

After last year's nightmare to redeem, I vowed not to bother with QFF. However, with all the credit card spend, promotional bonus, etc. the points have mounted up again.

Drives me mad. It really is a con.

Is there any easier but worthwhile way to use them up?
It might be a little late now if you have already transferred you CC points, but for this reason I do not transfer the points from my CC until I know the availability is there, this way I can choose a few different options, other than QF.

I looked and looked for ages for SYD-NRT-SYD in J for two seats, and it was absolutely impossible unless I travelled on three sectors, so I transferred some points to VS (with the 20% bonus) where you can book on many airlines such as SIA, Air NZ, MH........

AFAIK, AMEX can be transferred to QF, VS and Asia Miles. I am sure there would be others.
 

serfty

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jasonja3 said:
... where you can book on many airlines such as SIA, Air NZ, MH........

AFAIK, AMEX can be transferred to QF, VS and Asia Miles. I am sure there would be others.
This depends upon the Amex MR reward program you are in. There are the three main ones for Australians: Ascent, Choices or Spirit.

Transferring to airlines other than QF only works with Ascent (VA has been recently added to this for Oz Amex's.)

Note that with Ascent, only VA and QF are 1 for 1; Malaysia Airlines Enrich, Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer, Cathay Pacific Asia Miles & Thai Airways International Royal Orchid Plus are all 2 Amex points for 1 Airline Mile.
 

jasonja3

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Sep 12, 2005
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serfty said:
Note that with Ascent, only VA and QF are 1 for 1; Malaysia Airlines Enrich, Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer, Cathay Pacific Asia Miles & Thai Airways International Royal Orchid Plus are all 2 Amex points for 1 Airline Mile.
Thanks Ross, I had forgotten about the different programs.

However, if you book for example SYD-KUL-SYD in J through VS on MH it is 110,00 Flying club points (not including the 20% bonus), and if you book through MH, it is 75000 Enrich points which if transfered though AMEX will cost 150,000 points.

Air NZ (through VS) SYD-LAX-SYD in J is 125,000 Flying club points vs 192,000 QFF points.
 

serfty

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Indeed, when you do get the opportunity to burn QFF points they disappear at a very rapid rate ... :-|
 
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