How to redeem family trip to Italy with Qantas points?

I am planning to go to Italy over the July 2020 school holiday so that I can take my 2 kids with me, 10 and 12 years old. I have over 1M points with Qantas but I can’t find seats. I tried pretty much every city in Europe as I am happy to catch an internal flight if necessary. Any suggestions? I was hoping for business class. Happy to stop over somewhere for a couple of days if it makes it easier.
Any advice is appreciated

Hi Sandrogug,

I suspect that what’s at play here is the fact that you’re looking for 3 reward seats during a peak period (school holidays). Frequently, airlines only make 2 reward seats available in business. Try searching for 2 seats per flight and see if anything opens up.

If you do find flights with 2 reward seats, the next thing to do is to see if the same flight has any reward seats in First class. For the sake of getting the 3 of you to Europe on the one flight, one of you might just have to make the ultimate sacrifice… (or you could try putting someone in Premium Economy, of course, but for the sake of family harmony I’d maybe only do that as a last resort!).

Remember also that if you’re looking for Emirates availability, Emirates only make seats available 330 days ahead, so their seats for the second half of the 2020 school hols won’t quite be available yet.

Other than that, try being flexible with departure cities as well as destinations.

I’d be really interested to hear if looking for 2 rather than 3 seats makes a difference – let us know how you go!

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Tried but can’t find seats on premium, business nor first for 3 people. I can find single seats but that won’t help. I guess I wait to see if other airline open up few extra award seats. Thx

Right. Time to put your game face on. In order, this is what I’d do next:

  1. Be flexible with both departure cities and destinations. You haven’t said what your departure city is but search Adelaide/Brisbane/Sydney/Melbourne/Perth to Milan/Venice/Frankfurt/Munich/Athens/Paris etc. Apologies if you’ve already done this, but be prepared to catch a positioning flight not only to your final destination, but to your departure city.

  2. Use the “Multi City” search tool to “force” the Qantas website to show you flights on routes that wouldn’t otherwise come up on searches. Do a search on a flight to Tokyo (remembering that there are two airports in Tokyo) and from Tokyo to Europe to bring up flights on JAL. Ditto Shanghai to bring up China Eastern. Research Qantas’ partner airlines’ flights to/from Asian destinations and go from there. You could even get creative and come up with some quite funky routes such as Qantas or Cathay to Hong Kong followed by S7 to Italy via Moscow. Likewise Finnair flies to a number of Asian cities if you’re willing to get to Italy via Helsinki. It might also be worth checking the British Airways website as sometimes searches there yield results that the Qantas website doesn’t show.

  3. Failing that, search for business class flights from Asian airports, and pay for flights to those airports. Availability to Europe is generally much easier to find from Asia than from Australia.

  4. As a very last resort, you could get two Business class tickets using Classic Rewards, and you could use your remaining points for a “Points + Pay” ticket. I would normally never recommend anyone use Points + Pay, but in your specific situation it might just make a little bit of sense as a last resort.

The more I think about it, the more I suspect that a part of the problem is that there are three of you. You might have to consider splitting cabin classes – two of you in Business and one in First or (gasp!) Premium Economy.

My gut feeling is that you’ll find your elusive flights. All the best!

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