Planning an adventure to The Land of the Rising Sun? When it comes to spending Qantas Points, travellers are practically spoiled for options. Qantas, Japan Airlines and Jetstar all offer non-stop flights between Australia and Japan. And beyond that, Qantas’ partners Cathay Pacific, China Airlines and Malaysia Airlines can also take you there in a single stop.
Here’s a look at the many ways you can get from Australia to Japan when spending those hard-earned Qantas Points, including how many points you’d burn by booking each airline and cabin.
Using Qantas Points to book Qantas to Japan
Spending your Qantas Points to book a flight with Qantas is simple. Best of all, travelling aboard the Roo’s red-tailed services costs fewer Qantas Points than with most of the program’s partner airlines.
When it also comes to those prices in points, Brisbane travellers live in a sweet spot. Because the Queensland capital is geographically closer to Tokyo, this also costs fewer Qantas Points than flying straight out of Sydney or Melbourne. Here’s what you can expect to pay for a Classic Reward flight on Qantas.
|Qantas routes (one-way)||Economy||Business|
|Brisbane to Tokyo Haneda (until 25 November 2023)|
Brisbane to Tokyo Narita (from 26 November 2023)
|25,200 Qantas Points||68,400 Qantas Points|
|Sydney to Tokyo Haneda|
Melbourne to Tokyo Haneda (until 25 November 2023)
Melbourne to Tokyo Narita (from 26 November 2023)
|31,500 Qantas Points||82,000 Qantas Points|
Reward seat availability can vary, but may be more generous on flights to and from Sydney. That’s because Qantas is moving to double-daily flights between Sydney and Tokyo, whereas flights from Melbourne and Brisbane run 3-4 times a week from each city. That’s also why these flights move from Haneda to Narita in late November, as Qantas is reallocating its extra Haneda slot to that second daily Sydney service.
Flying to Japan with Japan Airlines via Qantas Points
Qantas’ oneworld Alliance partner also offers direct flights between Australia and Japan. These can be booked using Qantas Points too, although the rates are a little higher than flights operated by Qantas between the same cities.
Another advantage of booking with JAL is that Premium Economy is available on the airline’s flights from Sydney. But it’s worth pointing out that the number of points needed for a Premium Economy seat from Sydney to Tokyo is greater than the points required to book Qantas Business out of Brisbane.
|Japan Airlines routes (one-way)||Economy Class||Premium Economy||Business Class|
|Sydney to Tokyo Haneda|
Melbourne to Tokyo Narita
|37,800 Qantas Points||70,800 Qantas Points*||90,000 Qantas Points|
*Premium Economy only available from Sydney.
Japan Airlines flights could only be secured with Qantas Points for many years when calling Qantas. But JAL’s flights are now easily bookable via the Qantas website, as with most other partner airline flights. When there’s reward seat availability, you’ll see JAL in the list – usually by scrolling down after seeing the reward seat options aboard Qantas’ own flights.
Jet to Japan on Jetstar using Qantas Points
If you’re flying from Brisbane and looking to save a few points, Jetstar is another way to get to Japan on Qantas Points. Jetstar also offers the convenience of direct flights from Cairns to Japan. Here’s what you’d need to redeem.
|Jetstar routes (one-way)||Economy Class||Business Class|
|Brisbane to Osaka Kansai (starts 2 February 2024)|
Brisbane to Tokyo Narita
Cairns to Osaka Kansai
Cairns to Tokyo Narita
|21,500 Qantas Points||51,300 Qantas Points|
It’s worth pointing out that booking Jetstar Economy over Qantas Economy for Brisbane-based travellers only save 3,700 Qantas Points in each direction. As well, Jetstar Business Class is more like Premium Economy on full-service airlines. Expect a reclining chair – not a flatbed. That explains the more significant savings when booking Business Class on Jetstar versus Qantas because it’s not the same type of experience.
Be mindful that Qantas Points Club members can earn Status Credits when travelling on Classic Reward flights booked on QF flight numbers. But this same privilege doesn’t apply to flights operated by Jetstar. For some, this could make the slight premium of travelling with Qantas worth the outlay, given these Status Credits also count towards lifetime status.
Even more ways to travel with Qantas Points
Can’t find a direct flight to suit your travel dates – or are you just looking for something different? Here are a few other ways to get to Japan when spending Qantas Points. You may even find these options more convenient if your final destination is somewhere other than Osaka or Tokyo, as you won’t need to take a domestic connection within Japan, as you would when flying straight from Australia.
- Cathay Pacific via Hong Kong. Cathay Pacific offers flights from Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane and Perth to Hong Kong to get you the first leg of the way. From there, travel straight to Tokyo – your choice of Haneda or Narita airports – as well as Fukuoka, Nagoya, Osaka Kansai and Sapporo.
- China Airlines via Taipei. Out of Australia, China Airlines serves Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane. But onward from its hub at Taoyuan Airport, the carrier offers direct flights to a large range of Japanese destinations. These include Tokyo Narita, Fukuoka, Hiroshima, Nagoya, Naha, Osaka Kansai, Sapporo and Takamatsu.
- Malaysia Airlines via Kuala Lumpur. This option is a little more of a geographic detour – potentially requiring more points than the alternatives – but one that could still get you to Japan in a single stop. Malaysia Airlines offers direct flights to Kuala Lumpur from Sydney, Melbourne, Perth and Adelaide. Then you can fly onwards to Tokyo Haneda and Narita, Osaka Kansai, and from 5 December 2023, Sapporo.
Remember that you can also spend Qantas Points on domestic flights operated by Japan Airlines and Jetstar Japan. If you can’t get a reward seat straight into your desired destination, you may be able to secure a domestic connection as part of the same itinerary. This will likely cost additional points, depending on the length of your total journey and the airline operating each flight.
Japan is very well connected with Australia, and it’s easy to get there using Qantas Points. Certainly, not all of the pre-pandemic options are back on the route map – Qantas’ direct flights from Sydney to Sapporo, for instance. But with flights available into major hubs and onward connections available from there, you can usually still get where you need to go.
Don’t forget too, Japan has an extensive high-speed rail network. Using the Shinkansen to get between cities can be a real time-saver – particularly as you can board and go without all the usual airport formalities. You don’t have to check in bags, go through security or be at your gate well before departure. You just have to be at a platform a few minutes before departure and often from the city centre.
Wherever you’re headed and however you get there, enjoy your journey to Japan!
All images courtesy of Sora Sagano/Unsplash.
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