If you’re new to the world of frequent flyer points, it’s quite easy to get confused. Especially so when it’s time to turn those hard-earned points into a flight. For a fair while now, the Qantas website hadn’t been the easiest place to book a Classic Reward flight – but that’s now changed.

Before the rejig, finding Qantas’ best-value reward seats was a multi-step process. You’d have to tick ‘use points’ just to get started. And when, on the results page, you’d have to refine the results to only show Qantas’ Classic Reward flights. Skip that step, and you’d mainly see figures for ‘points plus pay’ instead, which doesn’t have quite the same value.

Fast-forward to today, and ‘points plus pay’ takes a back seat. It’s still there, but it’s not in the way. And in its place, those best-value Classic Reward results take pride of place. Here’s why that makes your next reward flight easier to find and book.

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Qantas puts Classic Reward flights front and centre

Let’s say you’re browsing for a Classic Reward flight on the Qantas website. Ticking the ‘use points’ box really is ‘job done’. When choosing your travel date(s), the tool now highlights – very clearly – the dates with Classic Reward seats available.

Browse for Qantas Classic Reward seats
Just about every day has at least one Classic Reward seat available, although you still can’t distinguish between Qantas and Jetstar here.

Previously, you might have seen a small ribbon in the corner: but you had to know what this meant. Now, it’s very clear. Once you’ve chosen your date, you can still browse through other departure options via the next screen. This function was available before, but you’ll no longer see those inflated ‘points plus pay’ figures here.

Book flights online
The booking ribbon now only shows Classic Reward flight results.

When it comes to choosing your specific flight, there’s also no need to refine the results to remove those ‘points plus pay’ alternatives. You’ll simply see a list of flights, along with the options for booking as a Classic Reward, if available.

Qantas Classic Reward flight search results
Booking a Qantas Classic Reward flight is now clear and easy for everybody.

After that, the process of booking your Qantas Classic Reward flight is the same as before. Click through the process, enter your details, select your seats and complete check-out. Done!

What about ‘points plus pay’?

To reiterate, when booking a Qantas flight, Classic Reward seats provide the best-value option. They offer a fixed redemption price based on availability, where you pay only the taxes, fees and any carrier charges alongside that set booking cost.

‘Points plus pay’, on the other hand, is all about using points towards purchasing a cash fare. This means you can use points to book any seat on any Qantas flight, as long as there’s still a ticket available for sale using dollars. Because of the dynamic nature of fare prices, and the relatively low value assigned to Qantas Points using this method, it’s not usually the best way to spend your points.

For instance, I’ve just browsed for a one-way flight from Sydney to Melbourne. I could have booked the same seat on the same flight in one of three ways:

  • Using cash to buy a ticket for $159 outright.
  • By spending Qantas Points as a Classic Reward. This costs 8,000 points plus $45 in taxes, fees and charges. Compared to the cash fare price, that gives a value of 1.425 cents per Qantas Point redeemed.
  • By selecting the $159 fare, but using the ‘points plus pay’ tool (now found on the final checkout page) to offset the cost. I’d need 26,501 Qantas Points to offset the $159 fare, giving a value of around 0.6 cents per point redeemed.
Using Qantas Points Plus Pay
‘Points plus pay’ is still there if you need it, but only on the payment page.

As you can see, even when paid fare prices are relatively low, you can still get more than two times as much value per Qantas Point by booking a Classic Reward rather than using ‘points plus pay’. Of course, ‘points plus pay’ still has its place. Perhaps you have a very high balance of points but are conserving your cash – and you can’t find any Classic Reward availability. You might prefer to reduce your points balance rather than your bank balance.

It’s great to still have that option, but even better than Qantas’ best-value bookings are now clearer and easier to find.

Also read: Why I happily spend (some of) my points on domestic Economy

Featured photo by Chris Chamberlin. Booking screenshots generated by Point Hacks.

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Qantas makes it easier to find Classic Reward seats was last modified: March 1st, 2024 by Chris Chamberlin