Looking for tips when booking business rewards seats with Qantas points - why can't I find any seats?

hi there - I have been trying to look for business reward seats on Qantas site for travel to Spain (Madrid or Barcelona) from Brisbane for next year. Since I am only a Silver QFF, I calculated 297 days and have been looking at June 2023 tickets but no availability for business rewards tickets - is that normal or I am not doing something right? Heaps available for economy but nothing for business or even premium economy?
Would love to hear some tips and tricks as I am very new to all this…

Hi @Mona_bne

You’re not doing much wrong. It’s never been harder to find business reward seats to Europe using Qantas points. It’s not hopeless, but you need to be persistent and flexible. Here are a few tips:

  • First, I hate to be the bearer or bad news but you’ve been making it harder for yourself by only searching for flights 297 days out. As a Qantas Silver, you have access to Qantas flights 297 days out – but you have access to Qantas’ partner airlines further out than that. You can’t fly Qantas direct to Spain anyway, so you’ll be looking for flights on Emirates, Qatar (maybe), and other partner airlines rather than Qantas. You don’t have to be QFF Gold to have access to those flights as soon as they become available.

  • Be willing to be flexible. If you can’t find seats out of Brisbane, look for seats out of Sydney or Melbourne. If you can’t find seats into Barcelona or Madrid, look for seats into Frankfurt, Rome, Paris, London etc followed by an intra-Europe flight to Spain. I’ve been to Europe twice since borders opened and only 1 of the 4 flights to/from Europe departed and arrived exactly where I wanted! The other 3 flights involved short hops either before, or after, the long-haul flight. That’s just the way things are at the moment.

  • Be persistent and search often! Even now, seats are turning up at random times. The more often you search, the more likely it is that you’ll be the one to find those seats and snaffle them before someone else does!

Over the past two years, Qantas has been pouring points into the Australian community (largely because it’s the only way they’ve been able to make money!) and now, all at once, everyone wants to use those points. Demand is way, way outstripping supply. If you want those business class seats, you’ve got to be more flexible and more persistent than those other millions of people who want them too.

Please let us know how you go – all the best!

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thanks a lot @sixtyeight - great tips. its tiring but will keep having a look regularly and hopefully will get lucky. Fingers crossed!

Another question - could I use the QFF to book just the one-way journey back home (so Rome - Brisbane, as an example) or the departure port has to be from AU? will book the Brisbane - Rome via Singapore Airlines.

I tried booking the return back and it wouldn’t give me any options so thought would check

The itinerary doesn’t have to be from Australia. Technically, if it is a Oneworld alliance or Qantas partner (limited) destination, it should be redeemable/searchable using Qantas points. However, the problem is not all of these destinations are bookable via website; you will need to call Qantas.

FCO (Rome) is a code shown when I was searching quickly on the Qantas app. Hopefully, this is the same on PC/MAC browser, if that is how you are searching.

E.g. itinerary could start from SIN, HKG, LAX, BKK. Some ports like DOH, you can’t do as a origin port via website and have to ring up. But you could do a dummy search by adding a SYD-DOH or LHR-DOH first.

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thanks @w.hiew - will have a look then and call up qantas. thats useful to know