(EXPIRED) Business class awards to Australia: Great Nov/Dec availability


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Update: If the US call center is not able to see this space, try called the Australian call center. They were able to see this space when I called two times. Readers are reporting that Alaska is not seeing the space, so it may not be bookable with Alaska miles.

Qantas airlines has very good business class award availability for travel from San Francisco to Melbourne (and to a lesser extent Sydney) during November and December 2018 — peak Australian summer dates. Availability is only wide open on flights to Australia — though the good news is that if you book with American or Alaska miles, you should be able to adjust dates if you can find return availability with someone else.

J.M. Hoffman took this photo of the Iconic Flinders Street Station during winter — imagine how nice it’ll be to visit during Australia’s summer season.

The Deal

  • Open availability for at least 2 passengers in business class on Qantas between San Francisco and Melbourne/Sydney during November/December 2018
  • Should be bookable with American Airlines and Alaska Airlines miles, though search Qantas (or ExpertFlyer) for availability as it is not all showing up on aa.com and alaskaair.com

Quick Thoughts

As noted above, these seats should be bookable with AA miles and Alaska Airlines miles, but for some reason they are not all showing up on the American or Alaska Airlines websites. If you don’t have a subscription to a site like Expert Flyer to check for award space, you can search at Qantas.com (though note you’ll have to make a frequent flyer account and be logged in to search). Here is a look at availability in late November through December between San Francisco and Melbourne for 2 travelers in business class.

And here’s a look at availability to Sydney:

These awards would cost 80,000 miles one-way with American Airlines or 55,000 miles one-way with Alaska Airlines — and either airline would include positioning flights to San Francisco from your home airport (though note that if you book with Alaska miles, you could only use Alaska/Virgin flights to position to San Francisco; with American miles you could use AA or Alaska flights).

A major advantage to booking with Alaska Mileage Plan is that you could even do a stopover on a one-way award — meaning that you could fly from San Francisco to either Melbourne or Sydney and stop over in that city before continuing on to another city in Australia if you find availability. Considering the size of Australia, being able to stop in Melbourne or Sydney for a few days and then also add on a flight to Perth or Cairns or some other part of Australia is a great deal for 55,000 miles.

The catch is that you’ll need to call to book these are most of the flights are not showing up online, but you should be able to book them over the phone with an AA or Alaska agent.

Birds Guard Federation Square in Downtown Melbourne

Bottom line

We don’t often see such open availability in Qantas business class to Australia. Unfortunately, return flights are few and far between, but if you’re interested in going to Australia, it might make sense to book one of these flights now as you’ll have 9 or 10 months to search for your return leg. Since both airlines have pretty flexible change fees (none for American as long as your origin and destination remain the same and you fly within 12 months of the date of ticketing; none for Alaska as long as you change more than 60 days in advance), the risk level is relatively low.

H/T: Mile Value

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All I saw for AUS-SYD or MEL was AA F class to LAX of SFO then Y on QF for the 15 hour flight. That my friend is deceptive and sucks big time! I’ve also noticed that AA does this on other routes also. The positioning domestic flight is F and the international long haul is Y and the points fare is J! How does that compute Mr. Reyes?


Tried AUS call center. No dice for anything I saw on QF. If BA doesn’t show it then it’s phantom space or for QF miles only.

Lots of dates show award space on QF but BA and EF show nothing.


I saw availability on the Qantas site and called the AA center in Australia. They couldn’t see it. Should I try gain with a different agent?

Jay Miles

Such a click bait article, Nick.

Aside from CX, have you ever been able to book an AS award on Qantas that didn’t show up on their website? You’re clearly not new around these parts, the answer is no.

Please do your due diligence and inform readers that these are mostly NOT bookable award space.

Such a shame to see the Frequent Miler’s post quality shoot down with posts like this.


Just called, no dice, like others. Bummer. AA says they cannot see them. Showing on Qantas though.


I see on Qantas that 12/26 has availability in Biz for 2 passengers SFO-MEL.

However, when I call Alaska, they do not see that award space and says it cannot be booked with Alaska Miles.


When Qantas first opened up space a few months ago from SFO to MEL it wasn’t available on AA website. However, 2 days later it was. I booked mine on AA after it appeared but it went FAST. I’d say check AA as often as you can. It may show up


It’s limited to QFF redemptions only. They have implemented POS control similar to LH.

Many QFFs in AUS have been complaining about non availability of U class.

QF redemption rates are much higher, and they charge an artificial YQ even though there’s no YQ on revenue tickets. They do not want massive OW/AS redemptions that are much more accessible (a QFF redemption to west coast is 96,000 points with connections pricing additively) to drain up inventory and lose YQ revenue (AA and AS don’t charge it, even if charged it doesn’t get interlined to QF).

So this is a compromising solution. I just hope they don’t go the Air NZ route which categorically denies business class awards to partners.


Looks like BA doesn’t show anything either. Phantom.


Neither can Alaska. Probably limited to Qantas members or phantom?


AA claims they cannot find the QF award flights even though it shows up on Qantas and ExpertFlyer.