A guide to Qantas flights from Australia to Japan

Yesterday, Qantas announced that after almost 20 years of ceasing to operate the route, they will fly from their main hub in Sydney to Japan’s second largest city for the northern winter.

The seasonal service will operate three times a week from 14 December 2017 until 24 March 2018.

Osaka is a handy gateway to not only exploring the city and neighbouring Kobe themselves but also for catching the shinkansen to Hiroshima, Kyoto and the skifields. Continue reading…

How to redeem Qantas Points for flights from Australia to Bali

Qantas have announced that they are running direct 737 flight to Bali from Sydney now year-round, extending their previously seasonal service from March 2017.

Qantas has run the seasonal direct flight to Bali for some time, with Jetstar picking up the year-round service – but the additional flight on this popular leisure route is generally good news for those with Qantas Points, as it will hopefully open up more redemption availability.

For now, there isn’t much award availability on the route but it’s one we’ll be keeping an eye on. There seems to be around one flight per week (on Wednesday usually) with two Business Class seats available.

For Economy, there are no flights we found with 4 or more seats (i.e. enough for a family) but I would imagine that the Jetstar 787 on the route would actually be preferable to being stuck in a 737 in Economy for the 6 hour flight, and is a cheaper points redemption too. Continue reading…

Emirates upgrades all Australia – NZ and NZ – Dubai services to A380s from next month

From 31 October 2016, Emirates will make three changes to its New Zealand services, starting with replacing the Boeing 777s that it currently utilises for its Christchurch to Dubai via Sydney and Bangkok as well as direct Auckland to Dubai services with Airbus A380s.

In addition to the operational aircraft switch, its Bangkok stopover on the way from New Zealand to Dubai (via Sydney) will switch from originating in Christchurch to Auckland instead.

Continue reading…

Singapore Airlines changes three routes from October, affecting free stopover cities

Singapore Airlines will cut back on its overseas stopovers from October 2016, with Hong Kong, Moscow, Munich and Barcelona out, and Manchester and Milan joining Tokyo, Seoul, Frankfurt and Singapore as stopover options.

The airline operates some interesting ‘fifth freedom’ flights, such as Tokyo Narita to Los Angeles (which I took in March 2014), meaning that it operates between airports that are outside of its hub, i.e. Singapore Changi. Continue reading…

American Airlines opens up Business Class award space on Auckland – Los Angeles route from June

As announced back in November, American Airlines are launching Auckland – Los Angeles service in June this year. As always with new routes, there’s often an opportunity to snag award space as airlines look to fill aircraft with forward bookings – and American just opened up the calendar.

Via View from the Wing, many dates from the launch in June through to early September have a couple of Business Class seats open for redemption – and these will go fast. Continue reading…

Qantas moving Dallas to daily service opens up First & Business award seats every Tuesday – go grab them!

Qantas in the last week or so have announced a range of changes to their US-bound services over the next 9 months.

Individually I’ve chosen not to write about them, but one result of the switch-around is that Sydney – Dallas is moving from 6x weekly to daily, with a new Tuesday A380 service being added to one of the world’s longest flights.

The good news though is that First and Business Class award availability for the new Tuesday service, which starts operating from April 26, is open for points redemptions. Here’s what the availability calendar on Qantas.com looks like for May… Continue reading…

Qantas rejigs Sydney – Los Angeles services and American showcases their new 777 service in Sydney in person

American Airlines in the last couple of weeks also flew a 777-300ER to Sydney to allow media and travel reps a chance to look around their flagship aircraft in advance of the new service starting in December. I couldn’t go, but a reader did send me some pics – here’s what to expect if you’re booked to fly with American to the US.

Qantas is tweaking their schedules to the US next year, which might impact some of you with any points redemptions on their Sydney to Los Angeles and Melbourne Hong Kong routes.

The QF17/QF18 747 service is being dropped to three times weekly, down from daily from January 25th. Continue reading…

American Airlines to add New Zealand to their route network in mid-2016 – my take for Australians using points for flights to the USA

Last week American Airlines’ and Qantas CEO’s Doug Parker and Alan Joyce called an impromptu press conference in Wellington, announcing American Airlines service to Auckland to commence in June 2016.

The route will be flown daily with an American 787 as part of the Qantas and American Airlines proposed joint venture, as part of their recent announcement of American service to Sydney and Qantas to San Francisco.

I wanted to put a bit of work into looking at what this means for Australian travellers, as this isn’t just a play for in/outbound travel from New Zealand for American Airlines. Continue reading…

Japan Airlines (actually) confirms Sydney – Narita proposed First Class service that was on the cards for late 2015

Japan Airlines will definitely be rostering on a 777-300ER with First Class on the Sydney – Narita route later this year as hoped when they announced they would be upgrading it back in June – with First Class availability for frequent flyer redemptions now available on an ongoing basis.

It’s great news for those who had redeemed for First Class seats up to Japan for the northern hemisphere winter, and good news for Business Class travellers on an ongoing basis as it seems like the upgrade to their improved Business Class cabin is here to stay.

Note JL originally put out a press release stating there would be no First Class on this route – Thanks to AusBT for the correction via Twitter, Japan Airlines got their press release slightly wrong! Continue reading…