We’ve updated this Qantas round-the-world guide for 2021 with the addition of Alaska Airlines and Royal Air Maroc in oneworld. Please note that with current international travel restrictions, you will unlikely be able to book a round-the-trip award, for now. This guide remains updated for future reference.
The majority of Qantas Frequent Flyers would usually use their points to redeem reward seats for simple one-way or return tickets to Europe, the US, Asia or domestically.
However, there is a great value points redemption that allows for up to 15 flights with Qantas and oneworld partner airlines — the oneworld Classic Flight Reward — which can be used for up to 35,000 miles of travel, in Economy, Premium Economy, Business or First Class.
In this guide, we outline how Qantas oneworld Classic Rewards work as a great way to maximise the value of your Qantas Points for round-the-world (RTW) trips.
Do note that these awards do not technically have to go around the world, but this is the most common use for them. We also have a supplementary guide specifically for travellers in Perth and Adelaide, as well as an RTW guide using KrisFlyer miles.
What is a Qantas oneworld Classic Flight Reward?
Qantas Frequent Flyer has four different points tables for different flights:
- Qantas Classic Flight Rewards: the cheapest price table for Qantas and its preferred partners of Air Vanuatu, American Airlines, Emirates and Fiji Airways
- Jetstar Classic Flight Rewards: for Jetstar flights only; this is 20% less than the Qantas Classic price
- Partner Classic Flight Rewards: for travel on one and only one of Qantas oneworld or partner airlines (excluding preferred partners)
- oneworld Classic Flight Rewards: for itineraries including two or more oneworld airlines; the focus of this guide.
What’s special about the oneworld Classic Flight Reward table (the last one) is that it covers travel up to 35,000 miles, on a mix of oneworld airlines of your choosing. This means you can essentially mix and match flights to enjoy a journey around the world!
There are some other rules to take note of:
- You must include at least two other oneworld airlines other than Qantas, and not include any non-oneworld airlines
- Up to 16 segments of travel are allowed, including transits under 24 hours and surface segments (where you make your own way between two cities by alternative transport).
- You can have up to 5 stopovers (where you stop for more than 24 hours – these are the main cities you wish to visit).
- You can only stopover in each city once and transit through each city twice on one booking
- After your first flight, you have 12 months to complete the whole itinerary
- You can travel up to 35,000 miles all up, including surface sectors and transits.
- You may finish your itinerary in a different city to the one you started from, but the distance between the two cities will be taken into account in the final distance calculation (i.e. as a surface sector).
- The whole itinerary will be priced based on the highest cabin in the whole itinerary.
Why does a Qantas oneworld redemption represent good value for travel around the world?
A round-the-world itinerary booked as an oneworld Classic Flight Reward is one of the best ways to maximise the value of your Qantas Points.
The RTW ticket allows you to explore the world and stopover in up to five cities over a 12-month period, provided there is reward seat availability and the total distance is kept under 35,000 miles.
If you bought an RTW ticket with cash, retail fares usually start from $3,000 in Economy, $11,000 in Business and upwards of $20,000 in First. But with Qantas Points, you need 318,000 points for Business Class, plus taxes. In First Class, it’s 455,000 Qantas Points plus taxes.
We know that RTW Business Class itineraries are very popular with couples and with this guide, some of our readers have saved between $20,000-$35,000 in out-of-pocket costs.
With this award, you can choose from over 1,000 destinations in more than 150 countries covered by the oneworld alliance:
- Alaska Airlines
- American Airlines
- British Airways
- Cathay Pacific
- Japan Airlines
- Malaysia Airlines
- Qatar Airways
- Royal Air Maroc
- Royal Jordanian
- S7 Airlines
- Sri Lankan Airlines
Emirates is not part of the oneworld alliance and, therefore, cannot be included in this itinerary. The same goes with other Qantas non-oneworld partners, such as China Eastern Airlines.
Benefits of Alaska Airlines joining oneworld
Alaska Airlines joining oneworld in April 2021 opens up even more possibilities when we’re finally able to travel to the US. Although American Airlines already has a strong presence in the States, Alaska Airlines is more of a niche carrier servicing the west coast.
- More destinations: From its base in Seattle, Alaska Airlines has a strong US west coast network including destinations as far as Hawaii, plus numerous towns and cities up north in Canada and Alaska.
- More lounges: Alaska Lounges are in Seattle (Concourses C, D and N), Los Angeles, New York JFK, Portland and Anchorage. San Francisco will also be home to an Alaska Airlines lounge soon.
However, note that currently Alaska Airlines’ First Class cabin (equivalent to our domestic Business Class) is still priced at First Class rates when using Qantas Points, rather than at Business Class like American Airlines is.
This means if you add Alaska Airlines First Class to your oneworld Classic Flight Reward itinerary, then the whole trip will price at First Class rates (up to 455,000 Qantas Points), even though you’re just getting a standard recliner seat.
Comparing the different long-haul Qantas Point flight reward options
Qantas Frequent Flyer increased the points needed for most reward options in September 2019. As of April 2021, here is the current pricing, along with a comparison of simple Melbourne-London return booking using various airlines.
|Melbourne to London return on Qantas or Emirates||Melbourne to London return on Qatar Airways||oneworld Classic Flight Reward (maximum distance)|
|Miles travelled||Around 21,300||Around 21,300||Up to 35,000|
Note how flying one of Qantas’ other oneworld partners like Qatar Airways, Cathay Pacific or British Airways in Business or First Class return costs the same as an oneworld Classic Flight Reward when travelling the maximum distance:
- Both 318,000 Qantas Points return in Business, or
- 455,000 Qantas Points return in First
You can fly almost double the distance (up to 35,000 miles) and have stopovers in five cities on an oneworld award, for the same price as a simple return Business or First Class flight to London.
That’s one of the best uses of Qantas Points out there!
Examples of Qantas oneworld Classic Flight Reward itineraries
1. Fly 32,000 miles around the world in Business Class for 318,000 Qantas Points
The following basic Business Class itinerary totals 26,000 miles flown, well within the 35,000-mile maximum:
- Sydney to Johannesburg with Qantas
- Johannesburg to London with British Airways
- London to New York with American Airlines or British Airways
- New York to Hong Kong with Cathay Pacific
- Hong Kong to Sydney with Qantas or Cathay Pacific
If you want to check the mileage of a range of flights, we recommend inputting the airport codes into Great Circle Mapper to get the total distance, ensuring you are keeping it under the 35,000-mile maximum.
The sample itinerary above only has five connections, so let’s tweak it slightly and add more connections
- Sydney to Johannesburg with Qantas
- Johannesburg to London via Doha with Qatar Airways
- London to New York with British Airways or American Airlines
- New York to Hong Kong via Los Angeles and Tokyo with American Airlines, Japan Airlines and Cathay Pacific
- Hong Kong to Sydney with Qantas or Cathay Pacific
This sample itinerary now comes in at a little under 32,000 miles.
You don’t have to tack on long flights, of course. Adding on a number of smaller flights to reach non-hub cities, if that is where you want to go, is also a very useful way to get value from this award.
2. Fly 34,000 miles around the world in Economy Class for 132,400 Qantas Points
Point Hacks reader Mark shared his round-the-world journey to South America, Europe and South Africa in the comments below, costing him 140,000 points (at the time) in Economy. The same journey in Business Class would have cost 318,000 points or 455,000 points in First.
When drawing his map on Great Circle Mapper, I can see that the total distance flown was 34,343 miles, within the 35,000-mile limit:
How to research and book a Qantas oneworld Classic Flight Reward
Like other flight rewards, seats are subject to availability and there is a decent chance you would not be able to fly on the date you desire, so you need to be flexible on dates and routes (as always when using points to travel).
To kick things off, you can use the qantas.com search engine to find most award availability, with the British Airways search engine providing backup results. You can read more about searching for award space on Qantas partners here.
Once you are ready to book, the simplest way to find reward seats for an RTW itinerary is to search one flight at a time. It can be time-consuming, so have a notepad handy to write down the:
- Date of travel (e.g. 4 July 2022)
- Departure and arrival cities (Adelaide to Doha)
- Flight number (QR 915)
- Departure and arrival times (10:25pm – 5:30am)
Keep repeating this for each city, bearing in mind that sometimes you might need to connect via an intermediary city.
Then book online through the Qantas website via the multi-city booking tool. Or, if you need help and/or want to book a seat on a partner that doesn’t show up on the Qantas website, then phone Qantas Frequent Flyer.
Qantas oneworld Classic Flight Rewards require a lot of points comparatively to redeem simple one-way redemptions but you can get a hell of a lot of travel squeezed into one itinerary.
You’ll be able to see at least five cities and, if you’re clever, add overnight stops of up to 24 hours in connecting cities too.
Just remember to keep your total distance flown to under 35,000 miles and try to book as many of the flights as you can at the start so you’re not slugged with change and service fees.
Have you successfully redeemed your Qantas Points for an oneworld Classic Flight Reward around the world? If so, where did you go?
This article was originally written by Matt Moffit.
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Frequently asked questions
This guide is one of our most-read and has a long comments thread below, so we’ve picked out the most common questions to save you some time.
Please read carefully to see if your question has already been answered in the FAQ or comments section.
No, not necessarily. The oneworld Classic Flight Reward is calculated on total mileage and doesn’t have to go in one direction.
Technically, backtracking is not forbidden. Some phone agents may prevent you from doing so. If so, hang up and call back.
Yes, so if you are flying from Sydney to Johannesburg via Hong Kong, you will need to include the two segments, not the direct distance between Sydney and Johannesburg.
Yes. A surface sector is when you fly into one airport and make your way on to another airport to fly out of. That distance between the two airports will be calculated and included.
Not necessarily. But if you finish your trip in a different airport, then the surface sector distance between your origin and final airport will be calculated and added as a surface sector.
No. Once you go even one mile more, it will recalculate as separate reward flights and be much more expensive.
Yes, it can be! Read our two-part series on how to save points and taxes by starting your oneworld redemption from Asia or New Zealand.
You can add segments for most airline partners online, but note that you may be charged a 5,000-point change fee each time you alter your itinerary. Try to lock in as many flights as possible from the start.
If you need to phone the call centre to make a change and are flying in Economy or Premium Economy, you’ll be charged an extra 8,000-point service fee. Premium cabins do not attract this fee.
The award is calculated on the rate for the highest cabin, which means that even if you have one First Class flight and the rest are in Business, you will be charged 455,000 points instead of 318,000. This means you’re best to stick to the same cabin the whole way.
If you have a child under two years of age who does not occupy a seat, then you just pay the taxes, no points. If a child is two years of age or older, then they are charged the full adult rate for this reward.
Yes. Qantas, British Airways and Qatar Airways are known for having higher carrier charges. Read more in our guide to airlines and frequent flyer programs that charge the lowest fuel surcharges.
Yes. For example, departing flights from the UK are charged the Air Passenger Duty. However, if your transit through the UK is less than 24 hours, then your departing flight won’t be charged the APD.
Read more in our guide to cities and countries to aim for to minimise taxes and fees.
Yes, you can, and we recommend it. Remember to use the multi-city search tool on the Qantas website, not the round-the-world tool on the oneworld website.
No, Emirates is not part of the oneworld alliance, therefore it is not eligible for this award.
Hang up and call back.