How to Redeem Qantas Points for China Eastern Flights

How to Redeem Qantas Points for China Eastern FlightsIt’s now possible to book China Eastern award flights on the Qantas website! This is great news for Qantas Frequent Flyer members because China Eastern has excellent award availability, including in Business and First class. Almost every China Eastern flight to or from Australia has two Business class reward seats available.

China Eastern may be a lesser-known Qantas partner airline, but this airline could be a very useful option if you’re travelling to northern Asia, Europe or North America.

Where does China Eastern fly?

Out of Australia, China Eastern flies from Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane to Shanghai. You can also redeem Qantas points for China Eastern flights from Sydney to Nanjing, Hangzhou, Wuhan and Kunming.

China Eastern is based in Shanghai. From there you can fly onwards to almost anywhere in China, as well as many other destinations in northern Asia. If you’re travelling to Europe, you can transit through Shanghai en-route to London, Paris, Rome, Frankfurt or Moscow. And in North America, China Eastern flies to New York, Vancouver, Toronto, Los Angeles, San Francisco and Honolulu.

Read more about the Qantas-China Eastern partnership: Benefits for Qantas Frequent Flyers on China Eastern

How many Qantas points do I need to book a China Eastern flight?

The cost varies by the flight’s distance and class of travel. A one-way flight from Sydney or Melbourne to Shanghai would cost 42,000 Qantas points in Economy or 78,000 points for Business, plus around $170 in taxes. Brisbane-Shanghai is a little cheaper at 35,000 or 65,000 Qantas points for Economy or Business, respectively.

If you’re travelling all the way to Europe or North America, it would cost 75,000 Qantas points for Economy or 139,000 points for Business class. On the other end of the spectrum, a short domestic flight such as Beijing-Xi’an costs just 10,000 or 18,000 Qantas points for Economy or Business, respectively.

Unfortunately, China Eastern does impose fuel surcharges, although these are lower than Qantas’ own carrier charges on most long-haul routes. These are passed on when redeeming Qantas points for China Eastern reward flights.

How to find China Eastern award availability

You can now search and book China Eastern reward flights on the Qantas website. (This is much easier than the previous method of searching on a SkyTeam partner airline website and calling up to book!)

If you’re searching for award flights from Australia to northern Asia – or Vancouver, San Francisco or Toronto – China Eastern seats should automatically appear in your search.

Screenshot from Qantas website
Screenshot from Qantas website

But if you wish to fly to Europe – or certain North American destinations like New York – you’ll need to make use of Qantas’ multi-city booking tool. The flights will come up if you break the search into two segments via China:

Qantas website screenshot. These flights cost 139,000 Qantas points + USD128.63 ($168)
Qantas website screenshot. These flights cost 139,000 Qantas points + ~$168

The good news is that China Eastern, just like many SkyTeam airlines, has superb award availability! Most China Eastern flights have two Business class award seats available, and some even have multiple First class reward seats. In this example, there is First class availability from Toronto to Sydney just days before Christmas:

Qantas website screenshot. These flights cost 203,000 Qantas points + $209
Qantas website screenshot. These flights cost 203,000 Qantas points + ~$209

Use the Delta website to find award availability

Although you can find China Eastern award availability on the Qantas website, you may find it quicker to use the Delta website. As China Eastern is a SkyTeam partner of Delta, award availability is shown on Delta’s website. A Delta Skymiles is not required to be able to search.

The Delta website lets you search for flights up to 5 weeks at a time, and you can filter results so that only non-stop flights are shown. On routes where China Eastern is the only Delta partner flying – such as Cairns-Shanghai – this means only direct China Eastern flights with availability will be displayed. To search for Business seats, select “Delta One” as the class of travel. Otherwise, select “Main Cabin” for Economy award availability.

If a seat shows as available on Delta’s website, you should then be able to book the same seat on the Qantas website.

Find China Eastern award availability on the Delta website
Find China Eastern award availability on the Delta website

Stopover in Shanghai

Don’t forget that Australians are eligible for China’s Transit Without Visa (TWOV) program to transit through China for up to 6 days without a visa. Why not add a stopover in Shanghai en-route to your final destination?

Join the discussion on the Australian Frequent Flyer forum: MU awards now showing on QF website


Would you like help using your Qantas 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.

Click here to learn more about Award Flight Assist.


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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]