Qantas, Australia’s flag carrier, is a great airline for flights between the U.S. and Australia. It has excellent service, a fantastic first class cabin and direct flights to Australia from Los Angeles, San Francisco, New York and Dallas.
The carrier also has an outstanding safety record. It’s consistently ranks among the safest airlines in the world, and, unbelievably, it’s never had a fatality during the jet era.
Qantas is a oneworld member and the only national carrier in Australia that belongs to a major airline alliance. In addition to its 14 oneworld alliance partners, including American Airlines, British Airways and Japan Airlines, Qantas has partnered with Alaska Airlines, Emirates, airberlin, WestJet and more. If you have miles with Qantas’ loyalty program, Frequent Flyer, then you have a lot of redemption options.
There are no co-branded Qantas credit cards available to U.S. residents, but the carrier is a transfer partner with Citi ThankYou Rewards and American Express Membership Rewards. You probably won’t want to transfer your Amex points, though, since it takes two points to equal one Qantas Frequent Flyer point.
When Should You Use Qantas Frequent Flyer Awards?
Qantas uses a distance-based award chart, making it tough to find award sweet spots. One benefit of using the Frequent Flyer program is that you can book flights up to 353 days in advance, instead of the standard of 11 months that most programs allow. Since first class award seats on Qantas between the U.S. and Australia are extremely hard to find, you may want to take advantage of this to snag one.
Another good option for using your Qantas points is to book on partner airline, Emirates. That’s particularly true on certain routes, like domestic flights in Australia and between Europe and Dubai. It’s a great way to experience one of the best first class cabins in the sky without breaking the bank.
Partners Bookable Online:
- American Airlines
- Aer Lingus
- Air Niugini
- Air Vanuatu
- Alaska Airlines
- British Airways
- Cathay Pacific
- China Eastern
- EL AL Airlines
- Fiji Airways
- Japan Airlines
- Jet Airways
- Malaysia Airlines
- Qatar Airways
- Royal Jordanian
- S7 Airlines
- SriLankan Airlines
Partners Only Bookable by Phone:
When to Book by Phone:
- If you cannot complete your itinerary online
- To estimate fuel surcharges on award flights
How to Search for Frequent Flyer Award Seats Online
The search for both cash and reward flights is located on Qantas’ homepage. Enter your flight information and select “use points.” Hit “log in & search flights.”
You’ll be prompted to log into your frequent flyer account before continuing with the search.
If you’re not already a member, click on the “Frequent Flyer” tab at the top of the page and select “discover and join” from the drop down menu.
If there are no flights available on the dates you’ve searched for, you’ll receive an error message.
You’ll also be presented a calendar that shows which dates have availability.
Select the dates you want and hit “continue” at the bottom of the screen.
The next page will show you the flights you can choose from.
If you don’t have enough points, you’ll receive an error message. You won’t be able to proceed with the booking.
How to Confirm and Book Frequent Flyer Award Flights Online
If you do have enough points, you’ll see the total cost after choosing your flights. Hit “continue.”
The next screen shows your complete itinerary and offers you the option to change your flights.
Hit “continue” and you’ll be asked for your billing information to cover the taxes and fees.
Phone Booking Tips
U.S. Phone Number: 1-800-227-4500
Qantas’ website is easy to use and navigate. The carrier has gone through a lot of effort to make it as easy as possible for customers to do everything online. You can book awards on Qantas and partner airlines, book complicated routes with multiple stops and make changes to an existing itinerary via the website.
If you prefer to book by phone, keep in mind that Qantas adds fees. You’ll pay an additional $25 to book domestic flights and $40 for international flights, and making changes to an international itinerary by phone adds another $60 to the standard change fees.
One reason to call is to ask what the fuel surcharges will be on an award ticket. You can’t see that information if you don’t have enough points in your account to complete the booking. If you’re planning to transfer points from your ThankYou Rewards account, it’s worth a call to know ahead of time how much you’ll be paying in taxes and fees.
Important Award Booking Considerations
- Fuel surcharges levied on Qantas and some partner airline flights
- Points plus pay awards available
- Award flights are bookable 353 days in advance
- Booking or changing flights by phone incurs additional fees