Good Transpacific Qantas Business Class Award Availability

Qantas is generally one of the stingier airlines out there when it comes to award availability. It’s rare to see them make much first & business class award space available, so anytime I see a few dozen award seats on them I think it’s worth writing about.

Yesterday I wrote about how Qantas will start flying the 787 between Brisbane and Los Angeles (with continuing service to New York) as of September 2018. On top of that, they’ll seasonally fly a 747 a few days a week to supplement the flight, given that downgrading the flight from a 747 to a 787 represents a significant capacity reduction.

At the moment Qantas has a solid amount of business class award availability between Brisbane and Los Angeles on the frequency operated by the 747. I see two business class award seats on most flights between the beginning of September and mid-October that are operated by the 3x weekly 747 service. That’s not a huge range, but given how tough Qantas award seats are to come by, I figured it was worth pointing out.

In general there are two good ways to book Qantas awards:

  • Through American AAdvantage, at the cost of 80,000 miles per person per direction
  • Through Alaska Mileage Plan, at the cost of 55,000 Mileage Plan miles per person, and you’re even allowed a free stopover (meaning you could fly from Los Angeles to Brisbane, have a stopover, and then continue from Brisbane to Perth, for example); this would be a great use of miles if you purchased Alaska miles for just two cents each recently

I suspect this space will be booked up pretty quickly, and sometimes it takes a while for and to update, so if you get an error message on the final page, that’s why. However, I’m actually seeing the “U” class seats available on most of these flights as of now.

Keep in mind that Alaska is selling miles for just over two cents each at the moment, so that’s potentially a heck of an opportunity to score a deal on a Qantas business class ticket.

For a sense of what you can expect in Qantas’ 747 business class, see this post.

Anyone able to take advantage of this great award availability?

(Tip of the hat to Monkey Miles)


  1. @ Shaun – Depends on what’s more important to you—747 immense legroom (but no direct aisle access from window seats) & not at all private or 789 foot cubby and very private (plus direct aisle access for everyone). Unless you’re a huge fan of the old seats, however, it should be a no brainer.

  2. Thanks Lucky…and don’t apologize! Ignore the haters…the rest of us love and appreciate these “good deal” posts.

  3. @Lucky, you’re completely wrong about Qantas and their award availability.

    There are two airline loyalty programs in Australia, massive credit card signup incentives due to the ignorant regulators in the country restricting credit card fees without any understanding and the fact that Australia is an island a very long way from most other countries.

    There’s massive competition for Qantas award seats, and a massive number of people looking to burn their points balance. Domestically, Qantas awards are almost universally available in both Economy and Business and International awards are frequently available but are snapped up very quickly.

    Please correct your post.

  4. @ Chris – I’d like to see some historical data to back up your points. From experience, I’ve found domestic Qantas awards to be uneven at best (after checking multiple times a week for 4 months, finally bought a Virgin Australia ticket to connect to a Qantas award because nonstops were stubbornly never available for any of my possible dates). As for long haul business, regular searching will eventually turn up “unicorn” awards but I’ve seen those seats lingering on for days, even weeks believe it or not, at a time (plus they were true biz not domestic first/long haul coach).

  5. @Chris I think it’s fair to say Lucky is looking at QF international. QF are difficult to get in comparison to other airlines – impossible? No, but not easy. I don’t think Lucky needs to change anything.

    Nor do I think the cc bonuses and fees have any relevance in this equation.


    I was able to book two awards on Alaska last night, one LAX-BNE-MEL and then a return BNE-LAX. I’ll only end up using one of the awards, as the departure from the US is too close to the return date; when I went to adjust the date on one of the awards, all business class awards had been zeroed out, not sure if that was due to people booking (doubt it) or due to QF yanking it, but exactly as you posted, there was a ton of business class availability through early October.

    For those who posted after 21:00 US EDT, the fare went poof a little after 21:00 (e.g., I called Alaska to adjust one of the dates and they saw no awards in biz; I re-did the search and indeed the award space was gone), so if you didn’t see it after that it’s because you were too late, not because the space wasn’t there.

    Thank you again, Ben!

  7. I have been looking at these routes every day lately with no success. I guess you have to sit on the internet to find then or use flightless.

  8. Are those actually real awards ? As I had been looking for QF J awards using AA miles on HKG-SYD and vice versa SYD-HKG, open to any connections like NRT-SYD, SIN-SYD, BKK-SYD, etc, as long as the longer leg is in QF J, AA award search show plenty of award space, but when I click on every one of the available flight then suddenly it said it is not available, calling AA then they also said nothing available, the only award space that seemed real to SYD are BA SIN-SYD, everything on QF are phantom, i had been looking for QF award space since November for 3 months straight and nothing real on AA award search, very frustrating consider there are many more QF daily flights to SYD/MEL/BNE from Asia vs US

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