How To Search For El Al Awards With Qantas Points; The Trick To Booking From 15 Airports That Aren’t Bookable Online!

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El Al Matmid:

El Al Matmid has long made it a pain to use their miles for award flights. They have a convoluted points system when the rest of the world works on a simple mileage system. They expire everyone’s points 36 months after they are earned, even if you have account activity. They charge hefty fuel surcharges. They have a very buggy and outdated website, which is ironic for the flag carrier of the startup nation.

For a long time, the best way to book award travel on El Al was with American miles. That relationship crumbled in 2014 during the USAirways merger.

Qantas points for El Al flights:

In October 2017 I wrote about how it was technically possible to use Qantas points on El Al, but I noted about the extremely difficult process you had to go through to book them over the phone as they weren’t bookable online.

In January 2018 I wrote about Qantas adding the ability to book El Al economy and business awards online.

In March 2018 I wrote about Qantas adding the ability to book El Al Premium Economy awards online.

The best way to book El Al flights is still with Qantas points. Those points will never expire as long as you have earn or redeem points every 18 months. They don’t charge fuel surcharges for El Al flights. They even book lap children without the standard 10% of a regular fare that most airlines charge, you only need to pay the mandatory taxes.

Qantas transfer partners and bonuses:

You can transfer points from AMEX, Barclays, Capital One, Citi, and Marriott to Qantas.

Currently you can get a 20, 44%, or even higher bonus when you transfer AMEX points to Qantas, making for some incredible bargains for travel on El Al.

You can view how many points you’ll need for an award ticket in the award chart at the bottom of this post.

Searching for El Al award space:

There are a couple of ways to search for El Al award space.

You can login to your El Al Matmid account and search for award tickets on ElAl.com:

All awards on the El Al calendar are saver awards that are bookable by partner airlines like Qantas:

 

You’ll need to click on a date to see exactly which classes of service are available on which flights. If you search for JFK or Newark it will pull up all flights from either airport:

 

Personally though I prefer using ExpertFlyer, which is a paid service. I pay $99.99/year for their premium plan, which allows you to search for and create alerts for awards and even specific seats that open up, making it a helpful award tool for many airlines.

Just click on Awards and upgrades and fill in your airports, dates, airline, and class of service:

 

And then you’ll know exactly how many seats are available. In this case there are 2 business seats, 4 premium economy seats, and at least 9 economy seats:

 

Booking on Qantas.com:

Once you know what’s available you can go to this link and login to a Qantas mileage account to search for award space. If you’re on a mobile device you may need to request a desktop site.

When you get to the award calendar you can check which classes of service to search and then click on go:

 

Click on a date to book a flight:

 

Airports bookable on Qantas.com:

El Al serves 44 airports besides Tel Aviv and this process works great for 29 of those airports. Namely, Amsterdam, Athens, Bangkok, Barcelona, Beijing, Berlin, Brussels, Budapest, Frankfurt, Geneva, Hong Kong, Johannesburg, London/LHR, London/LTN (Search for LHR), Los Angeles, Madrid, Marseilles, Milan, Moscow, Munich, NYC/JFK, NYC/EWR, Paris, Prague, Rome, Toronto, Vienna, Warsaw, and Zurich.

Unfortunately Qantas.com is not able to book El Al award travel from the following 15 airports: Boston, Bucharest, Chicago, Kiev, Larnaca, Las Vegas, Lisbon, Manchester, Miami, Mumbai, Nice, Orlando, San Francisco, Sofia, and Venice.

You could call Qantas, but that’s a pain. 

Luckily there’s another solution and it’s great.

Texting Qantas to book awards:

You can text Qantas and book flights from those cities via SMS in the following locations:

  • US SMS: 1-478-772-6827
  • Australia SMS: 0477-726-827
  • Hong Kong SMS: +852-64507645
  • Singapore SMS: +65-82410824
  • UK SMS: +44-7480785726

DDF member zow writes that he tried calling to book an El Al flight from Boston and was first told that they could only book El Al flights from NYC and LA. He tried to HUCA and was told it would be a 90 minute wait time. Then he decided to go down the SMS route and he told the agent that it’s a known bug that El Al flights don’t show up from Boston to Tel Aviv on Qantas.com. The SMS agent was able to find the flights and he was able to book the award.

I decided to see how the process would work today and here is how my conversation went:

 

As you can tell, at first the agent supplied the same BA option that comes up on Qantas.com when searching for flights from Miami to Tel Aviv.

However after I gave the agent specific flight numbers to check, they were able to locate the requested award space. Of course I already knew that award space existed as I had searched for it beforehand as described in this post.

The quoted miles for the round-trip in business class from Miami to Tel Aviv is 184K, which is exactly what is shown in the chart below. That’s just 127,777 miles with a 44% transfer bonus.

The quoted taxes is 84AUD or about $57. The agent said there would be a 70AUD booking fee (about $50), but offered the good ole’ “one time courtesy” when I said that it wasn’t bookable on Qantas.com.

Alas they are not able to hold awards, so you’ll have to wait for your 44% bonus to show up and hope the award space is still there.

It would be a whole lot easier if Qantas.com would enable El Al award booking from those 15 airports, but this was much better than trying to call Qantas to book!

Things to keep in mind with Qantas points:

  • Note that Qantas.com won’t let you search for same day flights, though you may have better luck over the phone or SMS. Otherwise you’ll want to use El Al Matmid points for same day flights.
  • Qantas allows you to book infant lap children for just the minimal cost of the taxes, while most other airlines charge 10% of the cost of a ticket.
  • You can change a Qantas award for a fee of 5K points or cancel a Qantas award for a fee of 6K points.
  • Qantas only allows you to book award travel for eligible family members. However you can add other people as an additional user on your AMEX card and transfer points to their Qantas account. That process will become more difficult on 9/1 for newly added authorized users.
  • If you’re on a paid El Al flight you can also credit that flight to airlines like Alaska (starting 7/1) or Qantas to earn valuable points for your flight. Just give El Al your Alaska or Qantas mileage number.

Qantas award chart:

 

Sample destinations to/from Tel Aviv:

  • Zone 1: Larnaca
  • Zone 2: Athens, Sofia
  • Zone 3: London, Madrid, Moscow, Paris, Venice, Warsaw, Zurich
  • Zone 4: Mumbai
  • Zone 5: Bangkok, Beijing, Johannesburg
  • Zone 6: Boston, Hong Kong, JFK, Newark, Toronto, Tokyo
  • Zone 7: Chicago, Miami
  • Zone 8: Los Angeles, San Francisco

El Al/Qantas points comparison chart:

Here is a comparison for how many points you’ll need with Qantas (regularly or during a transfer promo period) or with El Al Matmid.

  • You will need to round-up to their nearest 500 points for AMEX transfers to Qantas.
  • The chart below includes rates for round-trip travel, though both programs allow for one-way travel at half of the round-trip rate.
Flying between Tel Aviv and:AMEX/Citi points transferred to Qantas at a 1:1 ratio for a round-trip on El Al::::::::::::::::::::::::AMEX points transferred to Qantas with a 20% bonus for a round-trip on El Al:::::::::::::::::::::AMEX points transferred to Qantas with a 44% bonus for a round-trip on El Al:::::::::::::::::::::AMEX points transferred to El Al points for a round-trip for Executives on El Al, with fuel surcharges:::::::::::::::
NYC winter84K Economy+$57
126K Premium+$57
156K Business+$57
70K Economy
105K Premium
130K Business
58,333 Economy
87.5K Premium
108,333 Business
80K+$300 Economy
140K+$200 Premium
255K+$350 Business
NYC summer84K Economy+$57
126K Premium+$57
156K Business+$57
70K Economy
105K Premium
130K Business
58,333 Economy
87.5K Premium
108,333 Business
88K+$350 Economy
180K+$200 Premium
255K+$350 Business
Boston winter84K Economy+$57
126K Premium+$57
156K Business+$57
70K Economy
105K Premium
130K Business
58,333 Economy
87.5K Premium
108,333 Business
60K+$350 Economy
140K+$200 Premium
212.5K+$300 Business
Boston summer84K Economy+$57
126K Premium+$57
156K Business+$57
70K Economy
105K Premium
130K Business
58,333 Economy
87.5K Premium
108,333 Business
88K+$300 Economy
180K+$200 Premium
212.5K+$300 Business
Chicago winter100K Economy+$57
150K Premium+$57
184K Business+$57
83,333 Economy
125K Premium
153,333 Business
69,444 Economy
104,166 Premium
127,777 Business
80K+$350 Economy
184K+$300 Premium
297.5K+$350 Business
Chicago summer100K Economy+$57
150K Premium+$57
184K Business+$57
83,333 Economy
125K Premium
153,333 Business
69,444 Economy
104,166 Premium
127,777 Business
88K+$350 Economy
200K+$300 Premium
297.5K+$350 Business
Toronto winter84K Economy+$73
126K Premium+$73
156K Business+$73
70K Economy
105K Premium
130K Business
58,333 Economy
87.5K Premium
108,333 Business
80K+$270 Economy
140K+$270 Premium
178.5K+$320 Business
Toronto summer84K Economy+$73
126K Premium+$73
156K Business+$73
70K Economy
105K Premium
130K Business
58,333 Economy
87.5K Premium
108,333 Business
88K+$270 Economy
140K+$170 Premium
178.5K+$320 Business
Miami winter100K Economy+$57
150K Premium+$57
184K Business+$57
83,333 Economy
125K Premium
153,333 Business
69,444 Economy
104,166 Premium
127,777 Business
80K+$350 Economy
184K+$300 Premium
297.5K+$350 Business
Miami summer100K Economy+$57
150K Premium+$57
184K Business+$57
83,333 Economy
125K Premium
153,333 Business
69,444 Economy
104,166 Premium
127,777 Business
88K+$350 Economy
200K+$300 Premium
297.5K+$350 Business
Los Angeles winter112K Economy+$57
168K Premium+$57
208K Business+$57
93,333 Economy
140K Premium
173,333 Business
77,777 Economy
116,666 Premium
144,444 Business
100K+$300 Economy
184K+$350 Premium
297.5K+$450 Business
Los Angeles summer112K Economy+$57
168K Premium+$57
208K Business+$57
93,333 Economy
140K Premium
173,333 Business
77,777 Economy
116,666 Premium
144,444 Business
112K+$350 Economy
220K+$300 Premium
297.5K+$450 Business
San Francisco winter112K Economy+$57
168K Premium+$57
208K Business+$57
93,333 Economy
140K Premium
173,333 Business
77,777 Economy
116,666 Premium
144,444 Business
100K+$300 Economy
184K+$350 Premium
297.5K+$450 Business
San Francisco summer112K Economy+$57
168K Premium+$57
208K Business+$57
93,333 Economy
140K Premium
173,333 Business
77,777 Economy
116,666 Premium
144,444 Business
112K+$350 Economy
200K+$300 Premium
297.5K+$450 Business
London winter40K Economy+$191
60K Premium+$310
76K Business+$310
33,333 Economy
50K Premium
63,333 Business
27,777 Economy
41,666 Premium
52,777 Business
32K+$270 Economy
48K+$425 Premium
93.5K+$455 Business
London summer40K Economy+$191
60K Premium+$310
76K Business+$310
33,333 Economy
50K Premium
63,333 Business
27,777 Economy
41,666 Premium
52,777 Business
40K+$270 Economy
70K+$310 Premium
93.5K+$455 Business
Johannesburg winter70K Economy+$68
130K Business+$68
58,333 Economy
108,333 Business
48,611 Economy
90,277 Business
60K+$260 Economy
178.5K+$160 Business
Johannesburg summer70K Economy+$68
130K Business+$68
58,333 Economy
108,333 Business
48,611 Economy
90,277 Business
70K+$260 Economy
178.5K+$160 Business
Hong Kong winter84K Economy+$77
126K Premium+$77
156K Business+$79
70K Economy
105K Premium
130K Business
58,333 Economy
87.5K Premium
108,333 Business
88K+$210 Economy
140K+$210 Premium
212.5K+$210 Business
Hong Kong summer84K Economy+$77
126K Premium+$77
156K Business+$79
70K Economy
105K Premium
130K Business
58,333 Economy
87.5K Premium
108,333 Business
70K+$330 Economy
180K+$180 Premium
212.5K+$330 Business
Bangkok winter70K Economy+$61
105K Premium+$61
130K Business+$61
58,333 Economy
87.5K Premium
108,333 Business
48,611 Economy
72,916 Premium
90,277 Business
60K+$265 Economy
140K+$315 Premium
212.5K+$285 Business
Bangkok summer70K Economy+$61
105K Premium+$61
130K Business+$61
58,333 Economy
87.5K Premium
108,333 Business
48,611 Economy
72,916 Premium
90,277 Business
70K+$315 Economy
180K+$180 Premium
212.5K+$285 Business

DansDeals will receive compensation if you are approved for a credit card via a link in this post.

Want to earn Qantas points?

AMEX cards with transferable Membership Rewards points to Qantas include:

  • AMEX Blue Business Plus
  • AMEX Platinum Business
    • $595 annual fee, up to 75K points welcome bonus, earn 1.5 points per dollar on $5K+ transactions, $200 in annual airline fee credits, $200 in annual Dell credits, 1 year WeWork Global Office Space, Marriott and Hilton Gold status, 35% points rebate on paid airfare redemptions, Global Entry/Pre-check, AMEX Global lounge collection access.
    • For rates and fees of the AMEX Platinum Business Card, please visit here.
  • AMEX Gold Business Card
    • $295 annual fee, 35K points welcome bonus, 1 year G Suite Basic for 3 users and up to 1 year of ZipRecruiter Standard, earn up to 4 points per dollar.
    • For rates and fees of the AMEX Gold Business Card, please visit here.
  • AMEX Gold Consumer Card
    • $250 annual fee, 40K points welcome bonus, $100 in annual airline fee credits, earn up to 4 points per dollar.
  • AMEX Platinum Consumer Card
    • $550 annual fee, up to 60K points welcome bonus, earn 5 points per dollar on airfare, $200 in annual airline fee credits, up to $200 in annual Uber credit, up to $100 in annual Saks credit, Marriott and Hilton Gold status, Global Entry/Pre-check, AMEX Global lounge collection access.
  • AMEX Everyday Preferred Consumer Card
    • $95 annual fee, up to 20K points welcome bonus, earn between 1.5-4.5 points per dollar everywhere with 30+ monthly transactions.
  • AMEX Everyday Consumer Card
    • No annual fee, up to 15K points welcome bonus, earn between 1.2-2.4 points per dollar everywhere with 20+ monthly transactions.

Barclays doesn’t currently offer any cards to new customers with transferable points. If you have a discontinued Arrival Premier card you can transfer points.

Capital One cards with transferable points to Qantas include:

Citi cards with transferable points to Qantas include:

  • Citi Premier offering 60,000 points for a limited time for spending $4,000 in 3 months, 3 points per dollar on travel and gas, and 2 points per dollar on dining and entertainment. $95 annual fee.
  • Citi Prestige offering 50,000 points for spending $4,000 in 3 months, 5 points per dollar on airfare and dining, and 3 points per dollar on hotels. $495 annual fee.
  • The Citi Rewards+ Card offering 15,000 points for spending $1,000 in 3 months. This card can’t transfer points on its own, but can transfer points if you have one of the Citi cards above. This card automatically rounds up rewards earned on every purchase to the nearest 10 points, meaning you earn 10 points on a $0.50 Amazon balance reload. Earn 2 points on $6K in annual spending at supermarkets, 0% intro APR on purchases and balance transfers for 15 months, and a 10% points rebate when you redeem points, up to a 10K points rebate per year. If you also have a Citi Premier Card you can transfer points into miles or get a 25% added value for paid airfare, plus get a 10% points rebate on transferred or redeemed miles. No annual fee.

Marriott cards with transferable points to Qantas include:

Have you booked El Al award flights using Qantas points online or via SMS?


Get more details on credit card offers and compare to other cards:
 
Click Here To Explore & Compare Credit Cards
 

Leave a Reply

69 Comments On "How To Search For El Al Awards With Qantas Points; The Trick To Booking From 15 Airports That Aren’t Bookable Online!"

All opinions expressed below are user generated and the opinions aren’t provided, reviewed or endorsed by any advertiser or DansDeals.

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Pad18

As always, one word : THANKS !

ns

how do i have my elal flight miles credited to my Qantas account

Momo

Credit Elal flight to airlines like Alaska (starting 7/1) or Qantas to earn valuable points for your flight- How can we find out how much miles will get for each one of these airlines ?

Isaac

Any way to searfc ElAl directly without paying for a Matmid account?

Shaul

Is there any rhyme or reason that you can’t book 15 airports?

Yandmk

“Note that Qantas.com won’t let you search for same day flights, though you may have better luck over the phone or SMS. Otherwise you’ll want to use El Al Matmid points for same day flights.”
El Al website doesn’t either allow booking within 24 hours of the flight. Needs to be done on the phone. (and they charge a fee for the “rushed ticketing”)

Dav

Great clear easy to understand post!

Is EF also showing what kind of points you can book a specific award , Or you need to be educated on your own for that ?

Yelped

I was able to book a same day El Al flight online. Was less than 12 hours before the flight. It wouldn’t let me search for it on Matmid, though.

HY

I transferred points a couple days ago still haven’t received the extra 22% bonus

Ira

Can’t wait for ElAl to fully eliminate all award flights.

h w

can i transfer chase points to quantas

Ari

No.

Levi

I booked 5 RT few weeks ago from mimai to tel Aviv in coach With chase points.
I would really want to cancel and book via Amex points as I have 500,000. I tried to call UR but they are not willing to cancel.
ANY SUGGESTIONS?
THX IN ADVANCE

Levi

I’m sorry I wasn’t explaining myself correctly.
I purchased 5 RT tickets through ultimate rewards was a whopping 585k for coach (I was wishing to go business) .. 2 weeks later Qantas allowes to transfer from Amex with a bonus.
I have 500k points with Amex and would be able to transfer to Qantas inorder to fly business, however chase UR said if I cancel I would get a certificate for one year to fly with elal plus $190 fee. And to top it off the ticket would be eligible only for the person on the ticket.
We only travel every few years so won’t be much use anyway..

ANY SUGGESTIONS OR ADVICE?
THANK YOU

Helen

When you book by paying with Chase UR it’s the same as if you paid cash and unfortunately the rules that apply to that economy fare class applies to you. So whatever they are telling you is what you can do. Unfortunately most coach tickets are quite restrictive so there isn’t much you can do to salvage this. Sorry

genius

How strict is the family rule policy? If i book a friend of mine is there difference between a cousin of mine? whould they ever find out the truth?

Shimmy

Any way I can get the bonus 22% faster?
Would calling or chatting work?
Also is there a bonus for transferring Marriott points as well?
I only have enough for one flight from Amex points, and want to know how many Marriott need to transfer.

Shimmy

My wife’s passport still has her maiden name all the points I have are under married name will that be a problem to book?

Ari

How do you get to the desktop site from a mobile device?

chavie

dan are there reports of getting the 20 percents bonus from qantas after transferring citi ty? and can you transfer 2x i transferred once already from amex and got that extra bonus directly from qantas if i do it again who says ill get it?

Yaakov

On EF, you don’t need to do an award search. The regular availability shows X, P and E space

Leon

Dan
Any idea if first class is bookable through Qantas? ExpertFlyer shows two seats available JFK-TLV on 744 but nothing shows on Qantas. In fact don’t see any first class for LY available on their website anymore

Glushtygiz

Dan u write Tokyo on the examples list but it’s not in either list of online or calling

Glushtygiz

Is it possible to book award for Chicago yet

Glushtygiz

Dan can u pls make a post which says what routes for elal have which planes

Avrum

Dan, do we have to be concerned that Qantas is going to devaluate their miles (specifically towards elal) as now many more people will be buying elal award flights.

reader

i opened a elal matmid acct
still not letting me search a award ticket only a payed ticket

eli

thaks for the thoroughness dans the man

Yitz

Hi Dan,
Are there any other sweet spots that make transferring to Qantas a good move with the bonus even wo flying El Al? Do they have anything good for US Domestic?

Eugene Novikov

Not having any lock booking from ORD. Is there a $25 charge to create an ELAL frequent flyer account so I can search for rewards flights through their website?

noah32

Oh my goodness. Haven’t flown ElAL in years…now I remember why.

The website is awful! Just trying to get a sense of award availability….nothing is intuitive. If you change the selection from cash to award you have to enter in the destinations and dates again! What?
Also when I finally get to what I need I get an error code (please try again later).

Tried a different browser – still not working.

Man I hope I didn’t make a mistake making this transfer…

Ponovezh

How do I transfer amex points to qantas? I don’t see such an offer by the rewards section

passov

do you also use award wallet to manage all you points accounts? and do you have a way to get the premium membership there that tells you when miles are expiring?

Um

Any reports of EF being inaccurate? Just cross referenced a EF search with an AC . AC showing tons of availability and EF showing none

Ex

Interesting. Did you report it to ExpertFlyer?

izzy

thanx dan. I transfered 109,000 and the first bonus came with the transfer and the extra came a day later. i just booked for january. My outgoing is from EWR and the return is to JFK (nothing available the whole week for the same airport both ways) any good ideas how to get from one airport to the other without a few hundred dollars. Im not sure where to park the car

Yaakov

Don’t rip LY for expiring miles 36 months even with activity. SQ does the same.

Rit

Any other destination besides tlv to take advantage from NYC?

Glushtygiz

Dan firstly downloading the app does bypass payment. secondly what’s the general pattern of award availability being open for elal is there a general sweet spot or closer the more open up or farther out the better

dave

how do they verify eligible family members?

Shimmy

I transferred 300k from Marriott I was short some points for a flight I want to take in july,
I got an email it could take 6 weeks to transfer any way to speed it up??
Kinda need it now.
Thanks

me

I transferred over 500 points initially as you suggest to see if I would get an additional points emails from Qantas (which I did not get) but I did get the extra 20% 2 days later. I then transferred over some more miles to use for some tickets and again got the extra 20% 2 days later. So thank you for those tickets. I am thinking of transferring some more points over to do some more miles tickets but is there any kind of limit on the initial 20% from amex and then on the extra 20% that Qantas is giving? Thanks.

Edward Parver

Can you use Qantas points to book on ElAl for a oneway trip? I assume you can but I want to be sure.

Qantas calendar not showing up

Got it once, but now it just brings me to the specific dates I search. How do I get the calendar back?

wpDiscuz