If you’re looking to spend the summer months in the best of Australia’s coastal towns and islands, then Qantas has you covered. The Red Roo’s latest Points Plane is the biggest ever in terms of total seats, though it’s limited to a handful of domestic and regional flights.

We’d love to see a huge international Points Plane release in 2023. But for now, pack those passports away and bring out the sunscreen – Broome, Gold Coast, Hamilton Island and more await.

Qantas coastal destinations Points Planes [2022]

Book from: 11:00 am 29 November 2022 to 10:59 am 2 December 2022

Take the whole family with more than 225,000 Economy and Business reward seats available over six weeks of travel dates in January and February 2023.

  • Book from 11:00 am on Tuesday 29 November until 11:00 am on Friday 2 December 2022.
  • Travel from 9-22 January 2023 and all of February 2023.

You can book a seat on the Points Plane between:

  • Sydney: and Byron Bay, Hamilton Island, Merimbula, Townsville and the Gold Coast.
  • Melbourne: and Hamilton Island, Merimbula, Townsville, Devonport, Burnie and the Gold Coast.
  • Brisbane: and Whitsunday Coast, Hamilton Island, Townsville.
  • Adelaide: and Townsville, Kangaroo Island, Mount Gambier, Whyalla, Port Lincoln and the Gold Coast.
  • Perth: and Broome.

Each of these routes only requires 8,000-18,000 Qantas Points per person in Economy, or 18,400-41,500 Qantas Points per person in Business. Taxes, fees and carrier charges also apply.

Also read: Experience Kangaroo Island with Qantas Points →

Example reward seat availability on Brisbane to Hamilton Island.

Is it worth using points for this Points Plane?

Bear in mind that from a pure numbers perspective, it doesn’t always make sense to book Economy reward seats if the Economy fare is on sale. In the example above, you’d only get 1.28 cents per point worth of value, given the Economy Red e-Deal fare is on sale.

We value Qantas Points at 1.90 cents each, for reference. Still, if you have lots of points and would rather use them on Economy flights to save on cash, you should do so.

In Business Class, it’s a significantly higher 2.94 cents per point based on that fare. It could be worth forking out for a Business reward as you’ll get a boosted 2x 32kg baggage allowance – useful for checking in a surfboard or other sporting equipment for your holiday. Plus there’s lounge access and (usually) a hot meal onboard.

How do I book a reward seat on a Points Plane?

  1. Log in to your Qantas Frequent Flyer account.
  2. Perform a search for your desired dates, ensuring they match the Points Planes dates.
  3. Ensure that the Use points option is selected.
  4. Choose your flights, looking for Classic Reward seats.
  5. Complete the checkout and make a payment to reserve the seats.

Tips for securing that Points Plane booking early

  1. Make sure you have the required Qantas Points in your account. If you don’t, a family transfer, buying some Qantas Wine or topping up your account are the quickest ways to boost your balance.
  2. Be logged into your Qantas Frequent Flyer account on the Qantas website on the day the seats are released.
  3. Have the search details all ready to go.
  4. Ensure you select the correct flight number.
  5. Skip selecting seats and special meals – you can do that later in Manage Your Booking.
  6. Complete your payment quickly.

See our beginner’s guide on how to book reward seats with Qantas Points for more information.

Further information on the Points Plane series is below.

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What is a Points Plane?

A Points Plane is a flight operated by Qantas or Jetstar where every available seat is bookable with points. Here’s how the airline describes the initiative:

The Qantas Points Plane is a flight exclusively reserved for Qantas Frequent Flyers, where every single seat, from First Class to Economy, is a Classic Flight Reward and can only be booked with Qantas Points.

– Qantas spokesperson

That might have been the case before, but now, you can also still buy cash fares on most Points Planes. Since launching this initiative in May 2019, Qantas Frequent Flyer has run numerous Points Planes across many destinations, including Tokyo and Los Angeles.

Three planes Qantas Planes at tarmac | Point Hacks
A blast from the past: Qantas’ Boeing 747s used to be the big ticket to international travel.

Tickets are sold on a first-come, first-served basis, with no preference given to those with elite status. Note these bonus reward seats are not usually available for booking through partner programs such as Cathay Pacific Asia Miles or Alaska Airlines Mileage Plan.

Why has Qantas launched the Points Plane initiative?

Qantas Frequent Flyer doesn’t often release many Classic Flight Reward seats on popular flights. Points Planes are one solution to this, by making it easy to book certain flights.

Previous Points Planes have included the return leg of one-way charters, aircraft retirement flights, and the launch of new international routes during the pandemic.

Where have previous Points Planes gone?

Interested in a bit of light trivia? Here are the details of previous Qantas Points Planes.

RouteOffer DateNotes
October 2019
October 2019
Airbus A380
Airbus A330
Sydney-Los AngelesOctober 2019Boeing 747 (retirement flight)
Australia-JapanNov-Dec 2019Jetstar flights
Domestic (NT)Feb-Mar 2020Flights to Darwin, Alice Springs, Uluru
Lord Howe IslandMid 2020
New ZealandApril 2021Celebrating Trans-Tasman bubble
London, Los AngelesNovember 2021Celebrating international travel
PerthMarch 2022Celebrating WA border opening
New ZealandApril 2022Celebrating NZ borders opening (again)
Domestic (AU)May 2022Wide range of destinations
NouméaJuly 2022Travel from August to November 2022
JapanOctober 2022One date with Business availability, many more with Economy
Hong KongOctober 2022A single Points Plane departure with every seat in every cabin unlocked
Domestic (AU)November 2022Wide range of coastal destinations

Summing up

The Points Plane initiative is beneficial for members, who sometimes find it hard to find reward seat availability. It also fills a plane with passengers, when the plane may have otherwise gone empty. Of course, you have to be flexible to match the dates of the Points Planes.

In more recent times, it’s also a way to celebrate significant milestones while flying during the pandemic. From international travel resuming to WA re-opening its border, Points Planes are there to kick off a new phase of travel.

Feature image courtesy of Qantas.

Qantas launches Points Planes to Australia’s coastal gems was last modified: August 25th, 2023 by Brandon Loo