It’s relatively common knowledge on AFF that Qantas releases Classic Flight Reward seats on its own flights from 353 days prior to departure. But unless you have Gold, Platinum or Platinum One status with Qantas Frequent Flyer, you may not get full access to premium cabin awards on Qantas long-haul flights until much later.
For years, Qantas has given priority access to the most sought-after award seats to its Gold, Platinum and Platinum One frequent flyers. Everyone gets access to Classic Flight Rewards in Economy, and Business class seats on domestic and short-haul international flights, from 353 days in advance. Seats come online at midnight GMT, which is equivalent to 10am Brisbane time.
But, until recently, Bronze and Silver frequent flyers have only had access to the remaining Premium Economy, Business and First class award seats on Qantas long-haul flights from 297 days prior to departure.
There is no change to Qantas award seat release times for Bronze frequent flyers, but Qantas has made life a little bit easier for Silver members.
Silver members can now book premium Qantas award seats 323 days in advance
Qantas is now releasing (what’s left of its) premium cabin award seats to Silver frequent flyers 323 days before departure. That’s still a month after Gold, Platinum and Platinum One members get access to these highly sought-after reward seats. But Silver members now have a 27-day head-start over Bronze members.
This is good news if you have Qantas Frequent Flyer Silver status – but not so good for Bronze members as there may now be even fewer seats remaining 297 days before departure.
Interestingly, Silver members aren’t getting access to these seats at midnight GMT (10am Brisbane time), as is the usual convention. Instead, the seats are being released at midnight in the departure airport’s time zone. For example, if you were booking a flight that departs from Singapore, you could expect seats to be released at 2am Brisbane time.
As of today (27 January 2020), Silver members have access to premium Qantas award seats until 15 December 2020. (An easy way to check this is to Google “323 days from today”.)
Qantas award availability seems to have improved overall
As part of the 2019 Qantas Frequent Flyer program overhaul, the airline promised to increase the number of seats available to international destinations in premium cabins. While there is no way to realistically verify this claim, we have noticed that Qantas award availability has been better than usual lately. If you have Gold, Platinum or Platinum One status, you may even be able to pick up some reward seats on long-haul Qantas flights over Christmas right now.
Over recent weeks, we’ve even seen wide open Qantas First class award availability from Sydney to Dallas/Fort Worth.
Summary: When do I have access to premium Qantas award seats on long-haul flights?
At this stage, the current Qantas Classic Flight Reward seat release times are as follows:
- Gold, Platinum & Platinum One members: 353 days before departure
- Silver members: 323 days before departure
- Bronze members: 297 days before departure
This only applies to Premium Economy, Business and First class seats on Qantas long-haul flights. Your Qantas status does not affect award availability on other Qantas flights, nor flights operated by Qantas partner airlines.
Would you like help using your frequent flyer points?
Frequent Flyer Solutions offers a personalised service that’s designed to take the hard work out of redeeming your frequent flyer points!
Award Flight Assist can help you to find the perfect flights using your points. Just let the team know how many points you have and where you would like to go, and they’ll prepare an itinerary for you.