Finding Qantas Classic Reward Flights: Tips and Tricks

Finding Qantas Classic Reward Flights: Tips and TricksThis week an AFF member requests help with a problem that’s unfortunately all too common. matie000 has more than two million Qantas Frequent Flyer points, but finds they are never able to redeem their Qantas points for the flights they want.

Finding Qantas Classic Reward flights can be difficult, especially during peak periods such as school holidays. But as someone who can only travel during school holidays, flying off-peak is not an option for this member. Luckily, the AFF community has plenty of useful advice to share!

I have well over 2,000,000 QFF points that I have been trying for years to use, but there are never any seats available for when I want to travel. I know what the issue is: I can only travel during peak periods, and because I fly only Business or Premium Economy with paid tickets, I refuse to go Economy on an award ticket. Occasionally I can find a ticket on CX via HK to Europe, but rarely.

The first tip given by our members is to plan well in advance. More award seats are available when they are first released by the airline around a year in advance. The exact time at which Qantas Classic Reward seats are released will depend on the operating airline. For Qantas-operated flights, seats are released at 10am (Brisbane time), 353 days in advance.

The best seats are usually reserved in the initial release for top-tier frequent flyers. If you have Bronze or Silver status – like most Qantas Frequent Flyer members – try searching for Qantas award flights 297 days in advance.

Also keep in mind that the Qantas website does not show all available flights. When searching for long-haul flights, you might find more options by breaking up the searching and experimenting with Qantas’ multi-city booking tool. Additionally, the Qantas website does not show flights on some partner airlines – even if they are available. You would need to call Qantas to book Classic Reward seats on Japan Airlines, China Eastern or Jet Airways.

QF doesn’t make finding seats easy. But they are usually there, somewhere. Either on QF flights, or Emirates or Cathay. Cathay is best searched Australia to Hing kong, and then hong-kong to Europe separately… you can do this a multi-city booking so it’s still all on the one ticket and the same number of points. Other partners simply aren’t on line… you need to search using the British Airways tool (free, but you need an account with a UK address), or the Japan Airlines tool (free, no account restrictions).

Last year looking to come back from Europe there was nothing on the QF site ‘dates not available’, but searching found a combination of Finnair and Emirates via SIN. And that was for two seats. Booked via the call centre.

If you happen to hold Qantas Platinum status, you can request the release of extra reward seats for Qantas-operated flights.

If you’re still having trouble finding reward seats, our sister website Frequent Flyer Solutions does offer an Award Flight Assist service.

Our members advise that, while finding award availability is not always easy, it pays to persevere. Flights are often available if you look hard enough.

I’d also say that redeeming flights is NOT a 5 minute job. It’s extremely unlikely that you’d just log on and book something that you really wanted.

I am with Dr Ralph, my +1 and daughter have redeemed in excess of 2-3M points over the past 2-3 years for travel in J and F to the US, Canada, Japan, Middle East, China, Korea, Hong Kong, China and Singapore.

Join the discussion on the Australian Frequent Flyer forum: Help! I have over 2 million Qantas Points I can never seem to use!


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Matt Graham
The editor of Australian Frequent Flyer, Matt's passion for travel has taken him to over 60 countries… with the help of frequent flyer points, of course!
Matt's favourite destinations (so far) are Germany, Brazil, New Zealand & Kazakhstan. His interests include economics, aviation & foreign languages, and he has a soft spot for good food and red wine.

You can contact Matt at [email protected]