We have all been there—having a pile of points and miles, but no availability for the flights we want to be on.
Different airlines have different strategies in releasing award space. Some, like British Airways, allocate a minimum number of seats on each flight that is redeemable with points. Others, like American Airlines, seem to take an opposite approach in which finding award space is akin to finding a unicorn.
But what if there is a flight, operated by a massive Airbus A380, on which every single seat is bookable with points?
The Qantas Points Plane
Qantas will be operating a charter flight on October 21, 2019, from Melbourne (MEL) to Tokyo-Narita (NRT). This A380 plane, with a total of 484 seats, will be entirely occupied by those redeeming Qantas points. Yes, that includes every seat from all 14 First Class Suites down to the very last Economy seat. Here is the cost for a one-way ticket:
- Economy: 35,000 Qantas Points + A$182 (~US$127)
- Premium Economy: 54,000 Qantas Points + A$257 (~US$179)
- Business: 72,000 Qantas Points + A$272 (~US$189)
- First: 108,000 Qantas Points + A$272 (~US$189)
Obviously, there are a few catches. The seats are only redeemable with Qantas, so you won’t be able to leverage your American Airlines miles or Alaska miles for the seats.
How To Transfer Points To Qantas
You can transfer your Citi ThankYou points to Qantas in a 1:1 ratio. Capital One (2:1) and Marriott (3:1) are also transfer partners with Qantas. However, a big caveat is that booking opens in just two days, and there is a chance your transfer might not make it in time for the booking.
Additionally, this flight is only operated as a one-way charter, so the A380 isn’t returning for another “points flight.” There will be another “Points Plane” on October 26, though, which will be operated by an A330 and again have every seat available for award redemption.
With how rare Qantas award availability is, this is actually a pretty exciting flight. I flew Qantas First Class on the A380 a few years back, and it was one of the most spacious First Class seats I have ever experienced.
If you are interested, booking starts at 7:00am (Australian EST) on May 16, 2019. For those living in the States, it’s 5:00pm ET on May 15, 2019. I suspect the First Class Suites will go pretty quickly. Make sure you are booking QF 79 when searching for your award!