We’re new to point hacking and going all out to earn enough Qantas FF points to fly two adults Sydney – London return in business sometime between April – Sept 2017. We’d ideally like to fly into Gatwick, which Emirates and now recently Cathay Pacific have flights into – but this isn’t a show stopper.
However, when I search on the Qantas FF website I can’t find any flights at all! I’d heard that availability can be tough to find – but really – this hard?? Is there any easier way of finding reward flight availability? We’re very open to having stopovers for a few days on the way.
If you’re a platinum frequent flyer with qantas you can phone them and they will submit a request for the dates that you want, and usually within about 60 seconds the system will come back with availability. You may need to give a range of dates you are willing to travel. This has worked for me on my last 3 international trips (Japan x2, and USA).
You may be able to do this as a gold or silver frequent flyer too (not totally sure though, as it’s a different call centre) but it’s likely there are less seats available. Even online there is more availability that shows for reward seats for Platinum frequent flyers than even gold.
I’ve always found it hard to find seats for 2 people online – you either have to book 11 months out and even then can be difficult, or just keep checking every day until something pops up – sometimes the routing may be strange too. You can also book it as two separate one way bookings – when you see seats available one way, book them, and then keep searching until the return comes up. If you’re away for a month or more, often the availability will come up one way but not the other, but by the time the return comes up, the original flight there has gone. This may cost a little more in taxes but can work to get the seats you need.
Other option are any seat/points plus pay bookings, but these are way more points (sometimes 5-10 times the points of a classic award) and are very poor value.
Aus to EU and USA award seats are very, very hard to come by as they are very sort after routes.
Your best bet is to redeem once they are released for booking (opens 11-12 months in advance).
Try searching each individual leg or multi-city (flexible dates-will show you in calender view):
SYD-DXB-LGW/LHR (256k QFF return in Business)
SYD-HKG-LHR/LGW (278k QFF return in Business)
SYD-HND-LHR (280k QFF return in Business)
Other way is to open a BA account to search.