I’ve been squirreling away Qantas points for some years with the goal of taking advantage of the Oneworld Classic RTW business class ticket for 318,000 points, and the time has finally come! Looking at a trip March to July 2023 but am having some trouble finding which flights are eligible and hoping someone in the Pointhacks community might be able to share some knowledge.
I have been using the Qantas website to search individual legs for Business Classic Rewards seats - but it looks like there is no availability for a number of legs no matter what dates I select (see image below)
I’ve run into this problem for MEL-NRT, NRT-JFK and FCO-MEL, no matter what month in the next year I try. As such I’m hoping someone might be able to shed some light on the following questions;
- Am I correct that a Business Classic Reward seat has to be available for the flight to be eligible?
- Are these Business Classic Rewards seats generally less available at the moment than they usually are?
- How do I find out if flights on other Oneworld carriers are available that don’t show up on the Qantas site? For example, Iberia Airlines fly direct LIM to MAD but I can’t even search LIM with Qantas.
Thanks in advance for your help. Hoping I’m doing something completely wrong here because as I’m seeing it the business class RTW is looking all but impossible.
You are not doing anything wrong. It is just that competition for business class seats is intense right now and probably will be for the foreseeable future. Most Australians are Qantas frequent flyers and they have been earning and saving up points for a few years just like you have. With travel restrictions easing, everyone wants to go overseas. You may have better luck if you look for seats 12 months in advance, preferably within minutes of the seats being released each day. For LIM to MAD, try doing a search for MAD to LIM return. You should be able to see availability this way.
As @kris.mas.x2 said, you’re not doing anything wrong, just simply demand outpaces supply at this stage. Just a couple of tips with planning a Oneworld RTW trip; especially when departing/flying popular cities, is that you sometimes have to get a seperate, short, connecting flight to get to your destination, most likely in economy. Its a pain, but opens up alot more destinations. Either that, or build in manual stopovers. Here’s a sample itinerary I just built that has award availability:
- 10/3 - Sydney - Jakarta on Qantas
- 10/3 - Jakarta - Tokyo (HND) on JAL
- 27/3 - Tokyo (NRT) - New York on JAL
- 13/4 - New York (EWR) - Rome via London on BA
- 5/5 - Rome - Doha on Qatar Airways
- 5/5 - Doha - Melbourne on Qatar Airways
Each line is a seperate ‘flight’ to input into the Qantas Multi-City booking search engine. Make sure that ‘Classic Rewards only’ is ticked aswell. Unfortunately you just gotta be flexible, but if a better flight or easier connection pops up, then you can just call Qantas to change the flights.
In terms of searching the flights, I use American Airlines to search for OW flights, as it gives me a nice calendar view for the month. Just search for the flight, open the calendar, and change the class to business/first, and then compare the prices to the American Airlines award charts. They do offer more expensive options than the ‘Saver’ awards, but for you to use the flights you see in a OW RTW, they have to be the lowest award prices.
Hope this helps!
Thanks @kris.mas.x2 and @mctaggartw for the intel!
Using your tips and moving my dates around a bit I managed to get lucky and find some flights that would work well. For anyone reading this thread in the same predicament, I also discovered the the trick of using the Qantas “Multi City” booking tool and checking “Use points - Classic Flight Rewards only” when looking for available reward seats. Even if you input one leg, it will give you a month view and makes it much easier to find dates with business reward seats available.
I now have the first four legs of the trip locked in - just have to wait for the return flights from Europe in July/August 2023 to become available and add that for 5,000 points.