Wide Open QantasLink Award Availability to Lord Howe Island

Wide Open QantasLink Award Availability to Lord Howe IslandLocated around 600km off the coast of New South Wales, Lord Howe Island is a terrific and unique holiday destination. As well as great snorkelling and hiking, this idyllic island offers a relaxing place to unwind.

Flights from Sydney, Brisbane and Port Macquarie to Lord Howe Island with QantasLink are usually very expensive. This is why redeeming Qantas points to fly to Lord Howe Island can be such good value.

Unfortunately, award availability to Lord Howe Island is usually very limited. In general, Qantas never releases Classic Flight Reward seats to the island at the initial seat release, 353 days before departure. At best, there is usually just a small smattering of seats available around 1-2 months before departure.

But, until 23 December 2019, Qantas has made every available seat from Sydney to Lord Howe Island redeemable as a Classic Flight Reward, for travel between 15 July and 31 August 2020. There are so many award seats available, in fact, that you could take your whole family on a holiday to Lord Howe Island!

QantasLink award availability from Sydney to Lord Howe Island on the Qantas website

The main catch is that the seats are available in the winter, so it will be quite cold and not ideal weather for swimming.

Classic Flight Reward tickets from Sydney to Lord Howe Island cost 8,000 Qantas points + $86 in taxes and carrier charges, per passenger one-way. (Of this amount, Qantas carrier charges make up $14 and $58.40 is the Lord Howe Island airport charge.) You can book on the Qantas website.

By comparison, return flights from Sydney to Lord Howe Island during the off-peak winter season would cost almost $5,000 for a family of five:

Qantas airfare from Sydney to Lord Howe Island

Flights to Lord Howe Island are operated by 36-seat QantasLink Dash 8-200 aircraft with Economy class seating. QantasLink is the only commercial airline to serve this destination.

If you don’t live in Sydney, you can also connect from elsewhere on the Qantas network using Qantas Frequent Flyer points. For example, flights from Melbourne to Lord Howe Island (via Sydney) cost 12,000 Qantas points + $111 one-way, and are widely available during July and August 2020:

Qantas website screenshot

When travelling to Lord Howe Island, keep in mind that accommodation is limited so you should book this together with your flights. It is also important to purchase travel insurance as flights to and from Lord Howe Island are regularly disrupted by weather events.

QantasLink has not released the same level of award availability on its flights from Brisbane to Lord Howe Island, but there are still some seats available.

Qantas introduced the “points plane” concept, where every seat on a flight is made available to book using Qantas Frequent Flyer points, earlier this year. Back in September, Qantas used this promotion in an attempt to fill seats on low-season Jetstar flights to Japan – but that was a rather poor deal. This deal, though is excellent!

If you’ve been thinking about visiting Lord Howe Island – or even if you hadn’t been until reading this article – now is the time to book!

Join the discussion on the Australian Frequent Flyer forum: Lord Howe Island flights Classic Rewards


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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]