Act Fast: Qantas A380 First Class Award Space Between US And Australia

I’ve written in the past about how Qantas first class between the US and Australia is one of the toughest products to snag using miles.

That’s because Qantas is incredibly stingy with premium cabin award space to begin with, and on top of that most of their partner carriers don’t immediately get access to the award space, given that they only open up their award calendars 331-335 days out. So members of some programs basically have a one month “head start” on the already very limited amount of award space.

Anyway, typically if you scroll through American’s award calendar searching space between Los Angeles and Sydney/Melbourne you won’t find a single date with first class award space.

It’s worth noting that right now Qantas is releasing the most first class award space I’ve ever seen between Los Angeles and Sydney/Melbourne. It might not look impressive compared to the space other airlines release, but by Qantas standards this is a ton.

Virtually all of the space seems to be over the coming months, especially in July and August. And for that matter most dates only have one first class award seat (though I do see a few dates with two seats).

For example, here’s the space between Sydney and Los Angeles in first class for July/August:

Qantas-Award-Space-2

Then here’s the space between Los Angeles and Sydney in first class for July/August:

Qantas-Award-Space-1

Qantas has a phenomenal first class product on their A380s, so if you can make this work in terms of your schedule I’d highly recommend locking it in.

Qantas-First-Class-1
Qantas A380 first class

American charges just 72,500 AAdvantage miles for one-way travel between the US and Australia, while US Airways charges 140,000 Dividend Miles for roundtrip travel between the US and Australia. So while the rates are similar, there are a lot of other program policies to factor in when making your decision.

Act fast, this won’t last!

Qantas-First-Class-2
Qantas A380 first class in bed position

Comments

  1. Going to Australia in December. Used Alaska miles for Cathay. Could not snag First on the outbound but have it on the return. Keep checking every day and assume it will open at some point. But I’m hoping when the 380 award seats open, they might be a tad more generous and enable me to quickly snag 2 award seats to Melbourne. Let’s hope.

  2. This looks amazing if you’re going to go to Australia anyways or simply want to try out QF F. Although note that this is during the southern hemisphere winter.

  3. @ Al — If you search for space through the American website you’ll be given an option to display the space on a calendar, which makes it easier to search.

  4. @ Lucky – I see them now, but they are dwindling with every refresh, and unfortunately nothing for early June, which I need.

    Thanks for the heads up though!

  5. I’m looking at available dates (via AA website) and comparing to BA. I’m not seeing the same availability through Avois as AAdvantage miles unfortunately. 🙁

  6. Ben, any risk of keeping one of these on hold? I’ve booked one but just don’t quite want to ticket it yet as I’m not sure I can take it. That being said, I’m EXP so I probably just should. Any upside or downside either way?

  7. while this is still better than nothing, Australia in July/August isn’t worth it as it’s their winter time. Will be too cold and wet to enjoy their beaches.

  8. I’ve been to Australia several times in July and August and the weather is actually not too bad. Sydney will be cool (not cold) and generally sunny. It’s a great time to visit the Red Centre and Queensland is still warm. There might be a higher chance of rain in some areas, but it should not be a showstopper.

  9. Ha. I was just searching for March availability and both business and coach were comety ghosted for the entire month. Now I know why. Looks like plenty of availability in coach tho!

  10. @ Josh — No real benefit either way. Only downside to ticket is your card will temporarily be charged for the taxes, while the only downside to not ticketing is that you may forget to later ticket it.

  11. I don’t see any availability on aa.com in First for either June, July or August. Am I doing something wrong?

    Sydney is awesome pretty much all year round.

  12. In fact, I don’t see any availability in First for the whole year, out through April 2015.

  13. And even though qantas release very little spaces… When you board, it will be full… Full of staff travel…. And could be the distanced relatives of the baggage handler….

  14. Luckily I booked Qantas first class on the A380 using Alaska miles for July this year. My first ever experience in first class!

  15. I went to Australia at the end of August and weather in Sydney was like Fall in the US. And perfect (sunny, low 80s/22c) in Cairns.

    and no huge crowds! Loved it!

  16. Anyone having a transit experience at MEL? I could secure a F Class Ticket for September to MEL but need to continue with EK to AKL. Transit time in MEL would be approx 1.5 hrs. Might this be sufficent? Not sure if you have to pass security and immigration before boarding the onward flight? Cheers Matthias

  17. @matthias 1.5 hours is plenty on same ticket, should be okay on separate tickets if no checked luggage, tight if separate tickets and checked luggage.

    If no checked luggage then can use international transit at MEL – no need to clear immigration. If you do not have an onward boarding pass then either get it at the lounge (if you have access) or at the gate. MEL doesn’t have a transfer desk in the international terminal.

    If you arrive around the same time as the EK flight which continues on to AKL then expect a longish queue at international transfer, but it moves quickly.

  18. Can you hold an AA award ticket on online? If it’s ticketed online and you cancel later, do you get charged a redeposit fee? I have no status with AA. Thanks

  19. @ Ann — If it’s a partner that’s bookable online then yes, you can hold an award online. The redeposit fee for an American award once ticketed is $150.

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