I’ve read every guide, I’ve tried searching Qantas Multi City, Oneworld, and even tried a tool rewardflights.io - I can’t figure it out, I am met with constant search errors and no flights.
I have approx 700,000 Qantas Points. My partner and I want to fly to Europe and back mid-2024 on Business. I am comfortable just getting flights there and back, and booking internal manually. Initially I had tried the ‘around the world’ fare, but it just seems impossible.
Our ideal Itinerary is:
Aus - London (last week June, 1st week july)
London - Paris (no later than 6th July)
Paris - Rome (after 2~ weeks in France)
Rome - Athens (after 1.5-2 weeks in Rome)
Athens - Aus (after 1-1.5 weeks in Athens)
We are comfortable back-tracking from Athens to an easier destination to fly out of if that is required, and are also happy to start our journey in Singapore or a similar country.
Does anyone have any advice on what to do? Is it jus that there are no reward flights available? Is there a good service anyone can recommend, we are happy to pay for assistance.
Also, is there no longer a way to book Qatar flights using Qantas points?
Any help or advice is greatly appreciated - thanks!
I can’t help but think that the best advice I can give you is that you should abandon plans to go to Europe during the (northern) Summer 2024 period and plan for 2025 instead. June-August is always the peakiest of peak periods as far as Europe is concerned, and this year it’s made even worse by the Paris Olympics. Many airlines released no reward seats at all for flights to/from Europe at that time, and those seats that have been released were grabbed months ago. To make things harder, you only have Qantas points.
Yes, airlines routinely release last-minute award seats, but given the Olympics I wouldn’t rely on that happening in 2024.
If you really want/need to get to Europe in June-July 2024, this is my advice:
Be flexible – really flexible. Grab whatever flights you can, to whatever destinations within 1000km or so of the cities you want to go to, whenever you can. And once you’re in Europe, consider taking the train as much as possible.
In terms of getting to/from Europe, be willing to use some of the less obvious/direct routes. Consider getting there via Japan, or South America, or South Africa, or India, or North America.
I would personally give up on the Oneworld RTW idea so you can use your Qantas points, if necessary, on other Qantas partners that are not Oneworld airlines – Emirates, Air France, KLM, China Airlines etc.
To answer your specific questions:
Qatar definitely favours Velocity Frequent Flyer over Qantas. It releases Business class reward seats to Velocity many months before releasing any leftovers to Qantas FF. In any case, Qatar was one of those airlines that paused releasing reward seats for Europe in mid-2024: even those with Velocity points had little-to-no hope.
If you want to pay for assistance, you could try Australian Frequent Flyer’s Concierge service – details below.
Let us know how you go. If you’re very, very persistent you might get lucky. But my experience is that if you want to use points to fly business class to Europe, you’ll have by far the most chances of success if you book 11 months out (and if you have a choice of FF currencies to choose from).
Hey @sixtyeight ,
Thanks for taking the time to reply. The issue is we need to attend a wedding in France (Bordeaux) on the 9th of July, so 2025 is out of the question… They’ve literally picked the worst time $ wise for people to make the trip - my usual preferred time to travel to Europe is end of July.
We are flying roughly a month before the Olympics, and plan to exit during the Olympics, so not sure why/if this is really the reason for availability/cost.
In regards to your comments on looking 11 months out, I have been watching since March 2023 in anticipation of flights being released but haven’t been able to grab anything.
Even to book a flight without using points is ridiculously priced. I know times have changed, but in 2019 I flew 2 direct on Qatar to London exiting Canberra (they no longer operate here) return for $3,804 at this time of year. Today that’s roughly the cost of just getting 2 people over there unless I want to fly one of the crappier airlines…
I’m completely open to hopping around to get to Europe, and I’m completely open to booking internal flights to move around in Europe. I just simply cannot find any flights. For example, I have found the following Reward flight on the return to Australia:
However, when I go to Qantas and use the Multi-City search I cannot see this flight:
I’ll try using the link you have listed.
Even when I look at a route such as Singapore to Pairs, I see good Business Class award availability:
However, when I click ‘Continue’ on any of the dates I get the following error:
I’m not sure why Qantas web tools are so clunky… Wouldn’t it be in their best interest to help people easily and quickly locate flights? More bookings = more $?
Yeah, I see what you mean. When I do a multi-city search for August 20 on Qantas, AA135 and AA73 do come up, but only with Economy availability. You could try giving Qantas a call to see if they can book you Business class seats over the phone – probably worth a shot.
Yes, the Qantas website is notoriously clunky and user-unfriendly. With the Singapore to Paris search, you could try heading to the Air France website to find out if their is availability on AF’s own Flying Blue programme, and if there is, again, give Qantas a call.
If you’re not familiar with seats.aero, you could also set up some searches there so that as soon as something becomes available you’ll receive an alert.
All the best!