Update, 10/23: Qantas has once again opened the floodgates on business and first class saver classic award space, including on routes between the US and Australia and between Europe and Australia where that is unicorn award space.
I’m seeing excellent award space between February and September 2024.
Unfortunately, I’m only seeing the award space with Qantas points and not with partner miles. The award space isn’t showing up for me this time around on AA.com, BA.com, Alaska, or by chatting with AA.
However, you can transfer points from AMEX, Capital One, or Citi to Qantas instantly at a 1:1 ratio.
A380 business class between LA and Sydney is 108.4K points+$172:
A380 first class between LA and Sydney is 162.8K points+$172:
Will you book this award space before it’s gone?
Originally posted on 2/23/23:
Update, 2/23: Qantas’ site is down due to traffic, but this is bookable with partner award miles, such as on BA.com with wide open space from July through December! BA charges 154.5K from Los Angeles to Sydney in business class or 206K in first class each way.
It’s also bookable by calling or chatting with American. AA charges just 80K miles in business class or 110K miles in first class between the US and Australia.
At 7pm ET tonight, Qantas is promising to release tens of thousands of saver award seats on flights to and from Australia. That includes award seats “across all cabins, including Business and First, on the airline’s full international network of more than 30 destinations.” Qantas rarely has business or first class award seats between the US and Australia, so expect people to jump on this as soon as the availability drops.
It’s unclear if that space will only be bookable with Qantas points, or if partners like Alaska and American will also have access to that award space.
You can transfer points from AMEX, Capital One, or Citi instantly to Qantas at a 1:1 ratio. However their rates are not inexpensive and fuel surcharges do apply. Rates are much lower with American and Alaska, and those airlines don’t pass on fuel surcharges.
It’s worth noting that Alaska and American didn’t display the recent Qantas award availability between Dallas and Sydney, though British Airways did. However, I was able to get American to book the Qantas award space by chatting and calling them, at significantly lower rates than BA and Qantas charged.
In other news, Qantas continues their planning for Project Sunrise, which will connect London and NYC with Australia, nonstop for the first time.
The airline has ordered a dozen Airbus A350-1000ULRs that will be able to fly nonstop from Sydney to JFK (9,950 miles) and London (10,573 miles). The airline hopes to start flying those routes by late 2025, followed by nonstop flights to Paris and Frankfurt on the new plane.
All of those flights would surpass the current longest flight in the world, the 18 hours and 50 minute, 9,537 mile trek from JFK to Singapore. I loved my ultra-long haul flight from Newark to Singapore. Back then it was operated on an A340-500 with all business class seating.
But while Singapore’s A350-900ULR that now operates the route only has premium economy (94 seats with a 38″ pitch) and business class (67 lie-flat seats) seating, Qantas will offer economy (140 seats with a 33″ pitch), premium economy (40 seats with a 40″ pitch), business (52 suites), and first class (6 suites) on their A350-1000.
Those are some premium legroom numbers in economy and premium economy, but flying a grueling 20 hours in them won’t be a walk in the park.
The premium cabins look fantastic:
Business class suites:
First class suites:
It’s rather reminiscent of the mock-up A380 suites that I tried out in Toulouse in 2019. Airbus wanted to sell those to airlines, though it seems like Qantas will come closest to that concept.
I just hope that we’ll be able to find some mileage space for those flights when they go on sale!
Will you try to grab any of the award space being released at 7pm?