Redeeming Qantas Points for Business Class to the USA

Redeeming points to fly in Business class can be a challenge at the best of times. Reward seats can be very difficult to find. But trying to find award availability on Qantas’ hugely popular flights to the USA can border on the impossible.

One member is hoping to use points to fly two people to Los Angeles in Qantas Business class. Remarkably, they were able to find one Business class seat. But they have not been successful in securing a second reward seat on the same flight.

I’ve been searching for business awards from Melbourne to LAX for next year for 2 seats, and to my absolute delight and surprise, when I logged on to American Advantage this morning, I saw availability for business awards… I immediately called up and indeed there was availability, BUT, only one seat. Do I take this one seat and hope that another one will come up?

Although there is a small chance, our members advise that it is not likely a second Business award seat will be released on the same flight.

It is suggested that our member and their partner travel on two separate flights. But if our member is keen to travel as a pair, another option is to look at alternative routings and airlines. Direct flights across the Pacific are difficult to find using points, but there are other indirect options. Cathay Pacific via Hong Kong is a popular choice. Travelling on Fiji Airways via Nadi, or a combination of airlines via Honolulu are also possibilities. All of these options can be booked using Qantas or American Airlines points.

Do you have to fly together, or can you meet up at LAX? It will be a lot easier to get another single ticket than finding 2 on the same flight on a date that works for you. Maybe one or both of you could fly through HKG on CX?

SYD-NAN-LAX on FJ is also worth considering booking with QF points as well.

Most recommend that our member book the reward seat they have found, despite a second seat not being available. At worst, our member will have to pay for a second Business class ticket. But that may not even be necessary. Another reward seat may become available. This can be difficult to keep track of, but setting up an Expert Flyer alert is one way to be informed if this does happen. One member also suggests booking a second seat in Premium Economy and requesting a Qantas points upgrade. There is a reasonable chance the upgrade will be successful. And if the upgrade doesn’t come through, Premium Economy is a reasonable fall-back option.

One other benefit of award tickets is that there is only a small penalty for cancellation. So if our member changes their mind later, they can cancel the award ticket for just a small fee.

Follow the DISCUSSION.


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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]