EXTREMELY RARE: Good Qantas First Class Award Availability

Filed Under: Awards, Qantas

Qantas first class between the US and Australia is one of the toughest awards in the world to snag. In the past I’ve even written a post asking whether Qantas first class award space is a myth. Most airlines have access to Qantas award space ~11 months out, and even when the schedule opens there’s rarely a seat available. Beyond that, it’s rare for Qantas to open up more first class award seats as the departure date approaches, even if the cabin is wide open.

I’ve flown Qantas first class several times, most recently between Sydney and Los Angeles, and found it to be a fairly good product. It’s not my favorite first class product in the world, though it’s undeniably the best first class product available nonstop between the US and Australia.


What is fantastic, however, is their first class lounge in Sydney, which is among my favorite in the world. It’s aesthetically pleasing, has excellent food, and even has a great spa.


Anyway, at the moment Qantas has quite a bit of first class award space available between Australia and the US starting in February 2016. The most availability is on the following routes:

  • Sydney to Dallas
  • Melbourne to Los Angeles

There are a very limited number of dates with availability for two people, and also some dates available in the other direction, though the most space is on eastbound flights.


For example, here’s a snapshot of first class award availability between Melbourne and Los Angeles next February:


Meanwhile here’s a snapshot of first class award availability between Sydney and Dallas (which at the moment is the world’s longest flight, until Emirates takes that title early next year):



In terms of booking this, your best bet is to book through either American AAdvantage or Alaska Mileage Plan:

  • American AAdvantage charges 72,500 miles for one-way first class between Australia and the US, and you can include domestic connections on American or Alaska for no additional miles
  • Alaska Mileage Plan charges 70,000 miles for one-way first class travel between Australia and the US, and you can include domestic connections on Alaska for no additional miles

It’s worth noting that American allows five day award holds, so you can always hold the space now and ticket later (Alaska doesn’t allow free holds, though does allow you to cancel awards without fees until 60 days before departure).


Bottom line

While Qantas first class isn’t the world’s best, as far as I’m concerned, it is by far the best product available between the US and Australia. I don’t remember seeing it this wide open in years now, so I’d suggest taking advantage of this as soon as possible if you’re interested.

Availability won’t last!

So, who’s headed to Australia as a result of this award space?

(Tip of the hat to Canadian Kilometers)

  1. When I try booking with AA, I get this error message:

    The flight you selected is no longer available. Please modify your request.

    Perhaps phantom availability?

  2. I had no problem getting 2 seats on hold for SYD-DFW for the date I wanted and confirmed seat assignments on the QF website; it isn’t phantom availability.

  3. This was actually first posted by me in a facebook group you are a member of. Please credit the actual original source.

  4. While I’m aware it is kind of the long way around, Singapore Airlines (and I’m sure some of the other Middle East Three) do offer awards from the East Coast to the land down under. Just based on reviews (I’m going to fly QF F there and SQ Suites back in 3 months) I’d likely argue that SQ is a better product that QF. However, it is by no means the most direct route (May as well have a bit of Dom and Krug along the way. :-D)

  5. @ Angus — That’s not where I saw it — I saw it on the front page of BoardingArea. I haven’t visited the group you mention today. And if I had seen it there (which I didn’t), wouldn’t crediting a source in a private group be a no-no?

  6. Crediting a source in a private group would be a big no-no but crediting it to CanadianKilometers is even worse. I will be chasing up with him for appropriate credit but I suggest this post be taken down and you remove yourself from the private group.

  7. See plenty of availability on SFO-SYD on 747 as well.

    I assume A380 F is more fun than B747 F, am I correct?

  8. I think we are down to maybe 1 seat on the LAX-MEL flight. And I can’t find much if anything on DFW.

  9. Have always figured those groups existed and had some of the best deals before they broke. Exciting to hear about them in public though.

  10. For us in the dark, is there any particular reason what the fuss is about this private group thing? Or is this some Mason/Illuminati stuff?

  11. For the record, I had been searching SYD-US award inventory every day for the past few months looking to see if AA would open up and I saw the unusual QF F availability (even better) this morning on aa.com, several hours before it was posted here. Perhaps that’s why I was able to snag 2 F seats on the same flight. Virtually the whole month of February was purple (open) for 2 F awards when I looked this morning. Now they are mostly gone, sucked up in only a few hours.

  12. To explain what these vocal drama queens are whining about, I posted this after seeing Canadian Kilometer’s blog post (which is why I tipped the hat to him). As it turns out, apparently a private group on Facebook for Australian frequent flyers (which I was added as a member of) already wrote about it this morning. I don’t check that group often, and certainly didn’t check it today.

    A few vocal members are enraged that I posted about it and “stole” the info from there. I didn’t see the post there. I saw the post on the front page of Boarding Area (God forbid I check the front page of the website on which I blog), and didn’t see any attribution there, so used Canadian Kilometers as the source).

    But apparently I should be nailed to the cross for sharing this availability, because God forbid it has been discussed anywhere on the internet ever. I then went to group (which I’ve never posted in and maybe look at a couple of times per month). High horse Angus requested I leave the group, which I did, voluntarily.

    I have no interest in being a part in a group as unwelcoming as that.

  13. @Angus on the one hand, I understand the desire to keep everything (including award availability??) secret. But on the other, shouldn’t there be more of a culture of sharing the wealth?

  14. Meow?! .. I thought this sort of behaviour only occurred amongst female .. (Referring to Angus comments)

  15. Wow, a little chippy in here. I am grateful for the information you present Ben. Carry on please.

  16. I got one DAL-SYD. Pretty good redemption numbers…what the heck, I can always use a few days in SYD. I do miss my 747-400 out of LAX in first.

  17. Angus, you’re a complete douche and if you’re going to be such a douche to Lucky, then maybe you should stop reading his blog. Who cares who he gave credit to? Does that change anything?

  18. @Luis – well said!!
    @Lucky – I don’t care where the information comes from or who gets credit. I only read a few blogs and this is my favourite. Keep doing what you’re doing and ignore the precious people I see all too often online.

  19. A fluke…I got a couple of seats MEL-LAX in First on February 1without reading about it anywhere…just blind luck that I was hunting for tickets today to return home after the Australian Open.

    I never thought I would be able to book Qantas First with miles.

  20. Yawn. Deals and stellar availability news always make mainstream internet blogs, forums and other websites. It’s only a matter of time. I just wish it weren’t so but no longer bitch about things I cannot control.

  21. “There are a very limited number of dates with availability for two people, and also some dates available in the other direction, though the most space is on westbound flights.”

    Don’t you mean eastbound? As in flights ex-Australia?

  22. Seems to be all gone now… at least, I’m seeing nothing on the AA or the Qantas site.

    Also… Angus: Presumably you’re Australian like me and will understand what I mean when I call you a complete wanker.

  23. Oh no I think they are all gone! I wish there were flights for January instead. I flew return Qantas F to LAX and then AA 321 F to JFK back in July for the first time. It was the very best holiday I have ever had (especially the lounge access) and it sure didn’t hurt to meet and talk to Channing Tatum on the JFK flight since he was sitting in front of me. I would never have known that kind of travel is possible for anyone if it wasn’t for this blog. So thank you @lucky

  24. OH THE DRAMA! Hey Anus…news flash; unless you were the one that released the award availability into the public domain, nobody owes you credit for anything. Go back to being an attention seeking wanker in your little “secret handshake” group. Whew…

  25. I put SYD-DFW on hold while I look into a few logistics. If this was a glitch would I still be able to ticket the flight or will I be SOL?

  26. @ steve — No reason to believe it’s a glitch, you should have no issues ticketing if it’s on hold.

  27. Any chance someone has an F seat on June 27th to swap for June 26th. Don’t even know if that’s possible … Sigh!!!

  28. I was shocked how quickly it ticketed – 3 minutes. Especially considering how I paid the taxes. Long story.

  29. Lucky, the closed group (you asked to be a member of) has an unwritten rule that its members participate in the group by puting their own thoughts out there, or at the very least, making the occasional comment or ‘Like’. As far as I know, as of today, you have been a non-contributor, preferring to just lurk sometimes. There are many groups out there who have thousands of members, with only a very tiny core who contribute in any way.
    That is why this group remains small, vibrant and relevant.

  30. I snagged 2 FC LAX-MEL then could only find one return in Biz…….so those 3 are on hold and I’m counting on you losers to cancel your hold so I can get the other return…..don’t make me come thru the computer and choke you……….

  31. Well this was a fun read through the comments!

    An airline busts-open a “piñata” of award seats for the **public**, and kids like @angus want to grab all the candy before anyone else gets any.

  32. If the group is called Frequent Flyers Australia it is run by a complete wanker who thinks they own everything on the Internet.

    As for availability drying up, that is what happens when this information is put out in public. Airlines kill the availability, people book flights. That’s why some information is released into small circles.

  33. Looks like I was late to the party and SYD-DFW space in F for September has either already dried up or never existed that far out. Already have a MEL-HKG-JFK trip booked on CX in J/F but was going to cancel and get back stateside on QF in F because of the fond memories my girlfriend (and at travel time, wife) has from studying abroad in Australia/NZ and traveling to/from the US and around Australia and NZ on Qantas. We’ve already done TPAC on CX in F but F on the QF A380 would be a really special treat for her. I even had the 4500 Avios MEL-SYD award in Y lined up. Oh well!

  34. Two ways you can still get in on this:

    1. Wait for a new date of availability to open on the AA calendar. I did just that now for September 15 for DFW-SYD.

    2. Wait five days for the many of current holds to release back as people will change their minds.

  35. why didn’t you post my feedback from EP desk that the website shows seats that are not available. yoou are not beening truthful real availabilty

  36. If it was already on BoardingArea why did you bother writing your blog entry on this topic at all? It’s like reading different articles covering the same story in the same newspaper. Be original!

  37. @Fatboy, the point is not to be original, it’s to be usefully informative. I’d say Lucky has achieved that.

  38. @ Fatboy — I appreciate the feedback, but not everyone reads all of Boarding Area. As a matter of fact, most people don’t, and most of my visitors come directly to my site, as opposed to coming through Boarding Area. In other words, Boarding Area isn’t a collective newspaper, but perhaps rather a newspaper shop with lots of newspapers. Some will read all of them, some will read some of them, some will read one of them, some will read none of them.

  39. Hey guys. Yes, B747 F on SFO-SYD doesn’t exist. I didn’t realize that my US domestic leg JFK-SYD was in F was pricing the rest of the trip as F even though SFO-SYD was in J. I actually was able to switch to JFK-LAX-MEL-LAX-JFK.

    If anyone is interested I will be releasing MEL-LAX-JFK on Sep 7th. You can post here or shoot me an email at trogdorc at yahoo

  40. Lucky,
    Thanks for posting details of the deal! And also including relevant photos of availability and qantas cabin.

    Don’t listen to that idiot.

    p.s. I found about the deal from Canadian Kilometers, but thought Lucky did a better job giving details.

  41. @Gordo
    I’m an admin on the group referred to and no it certainly isn’t Frequent Flyers Australia.
    No doubt a bunch of people (sadly not me, haha) had multiple EF and other alerts set up for the gold rush.
    Well done to those that booked. I’ll be hoping to scrape one or two from the lapsed AAdvantage holds.

  42. @lucky – I come directly to your site, multiple times a day, keep up the good work!! Haters gonna hate

  43. Thx for the tip, Lucky! I used to read all of BoardingArea but nowadays only read a select few blogs (mainly the ones who reply back to my comments/questions and the ones who don’t use clickbait titles) so I do appreciate Lucky posting this… Even though I’ll admit I have no plans of going to Australia next spring/summer at the moment. 😉

  44. “To explain what these vocal drama queens are whining about”- seems like such a Nick comment! Made me laugh.

  45. I absolutely *LUV* me some drama, thanks guys!

    Keep up the good work Lucky. Too bad I already have my vacation time for next year planned out. It’s nearly impossible for me to take advantage of “flash” sales like these 🙁

  46. @ Angus and all the haters….. I find it hard to understand the underlying issue. The so called “group” that you remain to want to be kept a secret, loiter on here to gain valuable information to feed back to your minions. Maybe stick to your secret society.

    Lucky, keep up the good work your information is always insightful and helpful. I couldn’t care less if you copied all of your posts. You are honest with your reviews and aren’t influenced in your opinions. Which is why i enjoy your posts.

    Qantas availability is rare as hens teeth. Is there any idea on Virgin Australia Business reward availability East coast to LAX. It appears to non existent at the moment.

  47. I get Lucky’s daily emails and come to his blog directly. I really don’t have time to read through the many travel blogs out there, so I only read 2 on a daily basis. #TeamLucky

    Lucky- Keep up the good work and blog as you do! Thank you for all the info that you post! Sharing is caring 🙂

  48. Anyone know if I can change names on for an award on hold? I figure it is probably a lost cause. I canceled 2 first class awards and only 1 reappeared, anyone have a similar experience?

  49. @gordo. The group is High Flyer Community. Small, tight knit, but as you see, somewhat elitist.

  50. Well at least Lucky didn’t post the US$0.01 fare that occured late last year. Yes it included premium travel 😛

  51. Lucky, you do a great job sharing information in this group. Keep up the good work, and to the people who posted negative comments, please just Grow Up.

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