Emirates adds third daily flight to Brisbane from December

How to use Qantas Points for Emirates flights

GUIDE: Using Points
DIFFICULTY: Intermediate
TIME TO READ: 4 minutes
POSTED: May 16, 2017
UPDATED: May 16, 2017
LOYALTY PROGRAMS: Qantas Frequent Flyer

As the largest foreign airline servicing Australia and carrying almost one out of every ten passengers in and out of the country, using your Qantas Points on Emirates flights to New Zealand, Southeast Asia, Dubai and beyond is a great option.

And it isn’t hard – here’s a quick look at the Emirates route network, the kind of pricing to expect, and how to go about researching and booking points availability with ‘EK’.

The Emirates route network and fleet

Emirates have an extensive route network servicing Australia:

FromToFrequency and aircraft
SydneyDubai2x daily on A380
SydneyAuckland1x daily on A380
SydneyChristchurch1x daily on A380
SydneyBangkok1x daily on A380
MelbourneDubai2x daily on A380 and 777; both A380 from 25 March 2018
MelbourneAuckland1x daily on A380
MelbourneSingapore1x daily on A380
BrisbaneDubai1x daily on A380; increases to 2x daily from 1 December 2017 (1x A380 and 1x 777)
BrisbaneAuckland1x daily on A380
BrisbaneSingapore1x daily on 777
PerthDubai2x daily on A380 and 777
AdelaideDubai1x daily on 777

The functionally excellent Emirates route map can be found here.

Note that some Emirates A380 flights in other regions can sometimes operate a configuration without a First Class cabin, cramming in over 550 Economy seats, but that isn’t applicable to flights into and out of Australia.

Emirates First and Business Class products

Emirates First Class is one of the best in the world and there isn’t much difference between the actual seat on the Airbus A380 and Boeing 777 but the latter does lack an onboard shower and bar.

The tradeoff is that there are only eight First Class seats on the 777 compared to almost double that (14) on the A380, so you may receive more attentive service on the older aircraft.

Emirates A380 First Class overview

Business Class is where there is a big difference. The A380 is set up in a 1-2-1 configuration and all beds are lie-flat:

Emirates A380 Business Class overview

whereas the 777 has angled-flat seats in a much more cramped 2-3-2 configuration:

EK419-Emirates-Business-Class-Christchurch-to-Sydney-5.jpg

Emirates Boeing 777 Business Class review

Qantas Points pricing for Emirates flights

Emirates is a key joint venture partner for Qantas so the points pricing for Emirates flights when using Qantas Points is the same as if you were flying with Qantas on the same route.

Of course, Qantas don’t fly many of the routes that Emirates fly – that’s why they are partners – but that pricing is equivalent, unlike many of Qantas’ oneworld airline partners like Cathay Pacific or British Airways, which would be comparatively more expensive.

You’ll need to look at the Qantas Point redemption tables to see the full list of prices – look at the Qantas Classic Flight Reward which is valid for Qantas, Airnorth, Air Vanuatu, American Airlines, Emirates and Fiji Airways flights.

The simpler way to calculate points pricing though is to use Qantas’ own points calculator, which you can find here.

Here are some of the price-points for the key routes mentioned above:

RouteQantas Points Needed - One Way
EconomyBusiness ClassFirst Class
Australia - NZ, e.g. Melbourne - Auckland180003600054000
Australia - Asia, e.g. Sydney - Bangkok280005600084000
East Coast - Dubai4500090000135000
Adelaide - Dubai4000080000120000
Perth - Dubai3500070000105000

With Emirates, it can absolutely make sense (in terms of travel time and routings) to fly beyond Dubai and travel onwards to Europe (definitely), Africa (especially North and Central African countries), South or North America (especially if departing from the Aussie West Coast, or travelling to the US East Coast).

For the longest multi-flight itineraries (over 9,601 miles, up to 15,000 miles) you will spend a maximum of 128,000 Qantas Points in Business Class or 192,000 Qantas Points for Emirates First Class.

So that’s for itineraries (with no stopovers) such as:

  • Sydney – Dubai – New York
  • Melbourne – Dubai – London
  • Perth – Dubai – Rio de Janeiro

Taxes and fees are comparable to what you’d pay for a Qantas flight redemption – so they’re not cheap.

When you shouldn’t use Qantas Points to fly with Emirates

Where you won’t be able to use Qantas Points effectively to fly with Emirates is, of course, where it doesn’t make economical sense to do so in terms of time and points spent. Outside of Bangkok and Singapore to North and Southeast Asian destinations or China, or from the Aussie East Coast to US West Coast, for example.

As a result, if you spot a good deal on a paid Economy fare, that’s probably going to be better value than using points for Economy travel (as it will include the taxes in the price you’re paying). That’s not to say using points for Economy flights is never good value – in some cases, it definitely can if paid fares are high on a particular route or in peak periods.

But this is why we focus our best uses of points on Business and First Class – as paid fares are much, much higher in those cabins, so while you need more points to redeem for them, you’ll get a much higher value cents per point value out of your points – and it’s a much more fun way to travel too, if you can earn and save the points with this in mind.

How to research and book Emirates flights using Qantas Points

All this information is well and good, but you need to be able to act on it and make the purchase. Thankfully, Qantas.com is generally an excellent search tool for Emirates award flights.

I prefer starting by going straight to the Qantas.com multi-city search tool here, regardless of whether I am searching for a multi-city itinerary.

Make sure you check the box to show “Classic Flight Reward cities”, and to “Search Classic Flight Rewards”.
1-qantas-com-show-classic-cities

If you want a flexible date search, check that box too – but this can be annoying if you aren’t actually flexible with your dates, as it adds an extra step to get to the actual flight results.
2-qantas-com-search-classic-awards

On clicking Search, you’ll then be prompted to log in with Qantas Frequent Flyer account credentials, and then you can start seeing flight results. In this example I am looking at Sydney to Dubai in just a few weeks time.

3-qantas-com-emirates-search-results

Flights that begin with the EK airline code, e.g. EK419, are operated by Emirates. Qantas.com also clearly states this, and has a small Emirates logo icon in the results too.

4-qantas-com-emirates-flight

Something you should look at closely, especially when searching for Sydney and Melbourne departures, is the number of stops on the routes returned. This is in small text near the flight details.

5-qantas-com-emirated-flight-one-stop

With Emirates operating flights from Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane to Dubai that also stop in Southeast Asia, if you want to go to Dubai or beyond then those one-stoppers are not desirable – unless you feel like ‘maximising’ your time and fun in Emirates Business or First Class.

From here, if you have enough Qantas Points in your account you can then get a quote for the taxes and fees along with the required points. If you don’t have enough points in your account yet, give Qantas a call to find out and scope out the additional costs so you’re fully prepped.

Summing up

Qantas, to their credit, have made using Qantas Points for Emirates flights very simple and attractively priced compared to their own flights as a key Qantas Frequent Flyer partner.

Targeting your points earn strategies and redemption goals toward Emirates flights to Asia, Europe, New Zealand or even the US is a great way to maximise the return from your Qantas Points.

Have you had any great experiences from using your Qantas Points from Emirates? Let us know in the comments!