Qantas Oneworld Award Not Just for Round-the-World Trips

Qantas premium lounge entry, Brisbane Airport
There are many versatile uses of the Qantas Oneworld Classic Flight Reward beyond just booking a round-the-world trip. Photo: Qantas.

The Oneworld Classic Flight Reward is a very popular Qantas Frequent Flyer redemption, and for good reason. For just 132,400 Qantas points in Economy or 318,000 Qantas points in Business Class (plus taxes), you could fly around the world with up to five stopovers!

But the Qantas Oneworld Classic Flight Reward (sometimes referred to as the “Oneworld Award”) is not really a round-the-world ticket. In fact, it’s a common misconception that this is a “round-the-world award” or that you have to fly around the world with it.

Oneworld does have a paid round-the-world airfare product called the Oneworld Explorer ticket, but this is completely unrelated.

If you want to book a round-the-world trip using your Qantas points, the Oneworld Classic Flight Reward is indeed a great way to do it. However, you can also use this award to get great value when redeeming your Qantas points for lots of other types of trips!

The Oneworld Classic Flight Reward routing rules

As a quick reminder, these are the basic Oneworld Classic Flight Reward rules and requirements:

  • Up to 5 stopovers
  • Up to 16 total flight sectors (including any surface sectors, which count as stopovers)
  • Maximum 1 stopover and up to 2 transits per city
  • You cannot return mid-trip to the country where you started your journey
  • Up to 35,000 miles total distance travelled (including surface sectors)
  • If you don’t end the trip where you started, the distance back to the point of origin is counted
  • Must fly on at least 2 Oneworld airlines other than Qantas (there is no requirement to fly on Qantas, but this is allowed)
  • You may only fly on Oneworld airlines

The following airlines make up the Oneworld alliance:

Oneworld member logos
Oneworld alliance airlines in 2022.

As long as your itinerary meets these rules, it will be classified as a Oneworld Classic Flight Reward and priced accordingly.

The number of Qantas points required depends on the highest class of travel used and the total distance flown, as per the Oneworld Classic Flight Reward table on the Qantas website:

Qantas Oneworld Classic Flight Reward table (from 18 September 2019)
Qantas Oneworld Classic Flight Reward table (from 18 September 2019)

For more details about how this redemption works, see our Qantas Oneworld Classic Flight Reward mega guide.

Using the Oneworld Classic Flight Reward for short multi-stop trips

When using a Oneworld Classic Flight Reward to actually fly around the world, your itinerary would almost certainly fall into Zone 10. But you can also use this type of booking for a shorter trip involving travel on two or more Oneworld airlines, and add up to five stopovers without spending any more points!

For example, it would normally cost 87,600 Qantas Frequent Flyer points + €33.97 (~AU$53) to book a simple return Classic Flight Reward ticket from Helsinki to Barcelona, flying with Finnair.

Sample Qantas Classic Flight Reward itinerary HEL-BCN-HEL
Sample Qantas Classic Flight Reward itinerary.

The distance between Helsinki and Barcelona is 1,635 miles, so this prices as a Zone 3 award on Qantas Frequent Flyer’s regular Partner Classic Flight Reward table. The cost for a one-way Business Classic Reward in Zone 3 on a partner airline such as Finnair is 43,800 Qantas points per passenger. So a return trip costs double that, at 87,600 points.

GCmap HEL-BCN
Map created using Great Circle Mapper.

The prices on the Oneworld Classic Flight Reward table are actually just the cost of a round-trip partner airline Classic Reward booking covering the same distance. But with a Oneworld Classic Flight Reward, you can also add up to five stopovers!

For example, rather than just flying Helsinki-Barcelona-Helsinki, you could stop off in Barcelona and then continue your trip through Europe with additional stops in Madrid, London and Copenhagen, before returning to Barcelona!

Sample Qantas Classic Flight Reward itinerary HEL-BCN-MAD-LIS-CPH-HEL
Sample Qantas Classic Flight Reward itinerary.

In total, this trip covers a distance of 4,394 miles – well within the 4,800-mile limit for a Zone 3 Oneworld Classic Flight Reward.

GCmap HEL-BCN-MAD-LIA-LHR-CPH-HEL
Map created using Great Circle Mapper.

As you can see, the number of Qantas points required to book this multi-stop trip is exactly the same as our basic round-trip booking from Helsinki to Barcelona. The itinerary uses at least two Oneworld airlines (in this case Finnair, Iberia and British Airways) and all other Oneworld Classic Flight Reward requirements are met, so it prices as such.

With this example, you could even just add on a free side-trip from Barcelona to Madrid on Iberia. This would not add any extra Qantas points to the cost of your Helsinki-Barcelona booking!

Admittedly, the taxes on the Oneworld Classic Flight Reward booking shown above are higher. That’s just a result of the ticket having more flights on it and passing through more airports. It’s still a great deal, compared to buying Business Class tickets on each of those flights!

This trick also works for multi-stop trips in Economy Class within the United States, when flying on a combination of American Airlines and Alaska Airlines. Both of these airlines are part of the Oneworld alliance.

Because Alaska Airlines domestic First Class awards are priced incorrectly by Qantas, this trick doesn’t work out to be good value in premium cabins. But it works a treat if you’re happy to book Economy Class.

For example, you could fly from Los Angeles to San Francisco, Portland, Seattle, Boise, Las Vegas and finally back to Los Angeles, with stopovers in every city, for 28,000 Qantas points + USD11.20 (~AU$16) in taxes.

Sample Qantas Classic Flight Reward itinerary LAX-SFO-PDX-SEA-BOI-LAS-LAX
Sample Qantas Classic Flight Reward itinerary.

Combined, the distance of all of these flights adds up to 2,172 miles. This makes it a Oneworld Classic Flight Reward in Zone 2.

GCmap LAX-SFO-PDX-SEA-BOI-LAS-LAX
Map created using Great Circle Mapper.

Without booking this as a Oneworld Classic Flight Reward, it would cost the same amount just to fly with Alaska Airlines from Los Angeles to Portland and back.

If you were to book each of the flights shown above individually, it would cost 58,000 Qantas points.

Circle trips

Another possible use of the Oneworld Classic Flight Reward, rather than flying around the world, is to book a “circle” trip. Here’s an example of a circle itinerary:

Example of a Zone 10 Oneworld Classic Flight Reward routing
Example of a possible Zone 10 Oneworld Classic Flight Reward “circle” routing.

As there is no requirement to fly around the world using the Qantas Oneworld Classic Flight Reward, this is a perfectly valid itinerary.

Booking multiple trips

If you start your trip in Australia, it is unfortunately not possible to return to Australia mid-trip, stop over, then leave Australia again on the same Oneworld Classic Flight Reward ticket. Once you return to Australia, that’s the end of the trip. But there’s nothing stopping you from adding a stopover mid-trip in a nearby country like New Zealand, Indonesia or Singapore. 😉

For example, if you live in Perth, you could add a stopover of several months in the middle of your Oneworld Award ticket in Singapore.

Oneworld Award sample itinerary
Example of a Oneworld Classic Flight Reward routing with an extended stopover in Singapore mid-trip. (Simply book separate positioning flights to Perth, then back to Singapore when you want to start your next trip.)

In the above example, you could use a single Oneworld Classic Flight Reward ticket to fly from Perth to Helsinki, Helsinki to Singapore, Singapore to Vancouver, and finally back from Vancouver to Perth. This Oneworld Award itinerary covers a distance of 32,077 miles.

Then, simply book separate positioning flights to get you from Singapore back to Perth in between trips, and back to Singapore when you’re reading to pick up the rest of your Oneworld Award and start your next overseas trip.

 

To learn more about booking a Oneworld Classic Flight Reward using your Qantas points, check out our mega guide. You can also ask questions and join the discussion about this redemption on AFF’s dedicated Oneworld Award Planning thread.

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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]