Qantas flying to San Francisco, American flying to Sydney

Flights across the Pacific are set to get a shake-up. From December, American Airlines will begin flying between Sydney and Los Angeles daily. To coincide with the launch, Qantas will itself launch a new route from Sydney to San Francisco. The airlines, who are already close partners, will collaborate and codeshare on each others’ flights to offer more choice to customers.

In order to offer six times weekly flights to San Francisco, Qantas will cut back on some flights to Los Angeles. Four Qantas Boeing 747 flights between Sydney and Los Angeles and one Boeing 747 flight from Melbourne to LA per week will go. However the daily A380 flights between Sydney, Melbourne and Los Angeles, as well as flights between Brisbane-Los Angeles, Sydney-Dallas, Sydney-Vancouver and Los Angeles-New York remain unaffected. American Airlines’ new Boeing 777 will fill the gap in the Sydney-Los Angeles schedules, leading to an overall increase in capacity.

Qantas used to fly to San Francisco until they dropped the route in favour of Dallas/Fort Worth in 2011. Since then United has had a monopoly but this will change when Qantas return, flying refurbished Boeing 747 aircraft. American Airlines has not flown to Australia since the 1990s. But when they return they’ll be bringing with them their flagship Boeing 777-300 product, which features economy, business and first class onto the route.

The announcement has certainly caused a lot of excitement amongst our members.

So many People within Qantas ( both on the ground & in the air) will be over-joyed with this announcement of QF back to SFO, a destination deep in history for the flying Kangaroo! And I haven’t even scratched the surface with how many loyal & new Customers QF will now capture off its rival. Move over United!

Many are looking at the possibility of greater reward seat availability for frequent flyer redemptions, particularly in business and first class, on the new services. Others are even looking towards American Airlines’ frequent flyer program AAdvantage as a realistic alternative to Qantas. AAdvantage points can be earned and used to fly on Qantas, and customers with elite AA status will have their status recognised on all oneworld airlines – including Qantas. The main catch has previously been the requirement to fly four American Airlines flights per year in order to maintain AAdvantage status. But with American now flying directly to Australia, this might make things a bit easier.

It’s also now that much easier to rack up the minimum four AA segments to requalify for status.

After the launch, Qantas will fly to six destinations in the USA and Canada. With Qantas’ international fleet now running at near full capacity and speculation that Qantas is eyeing off Boeing 787 aircraft, some members predict that an announcement of Dreamliner orders is just around the corner.

Perhaps this is a trigger point for getting some 787 or some new birds?

The first flights will take-off just in time for Christmas. Join the discussion HERE.


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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]