Need help getting from Canberra to Boston and Tokyo using Qantas points

Hi gang,
Seeking help/guidance booking a trip from Canberra to Boston, then Boston to Tokyo to Canberra for sometime post July 2023 for a 6 week(ish) trip. Travel dates quite flexible – anytime from July to October doable.
We both have around half a million QFF points. Would like to travel premium economy or business. Would appreciate direct or close to direct flights with limited layovers – but are happy to detour via other cities if it makes the trip easier.
Where does one begin?! Thank you for your advice/help!

The best way is to start exploring your options on a website like Google Flights. You can filter by airlines in the OneWorld alliance as all the airlines within the alliance is a Qantas points partner so you can redeem flights on them. You’ll probably find that most options will route you through Sydney and you may consider making your own way to Sydney then booking a ticket that departs from there.
Then it’ll probably involve one trans-pacific flight from Australia to the West Coast US, then a transcontinental flight to Boston. On the way back is a similar story.

Luckily, finding award flights is my kind of fun on a Queens Birthday long weekend so I had a quick look at some of your options!

  1. Going from Canberra basically just means tacking on a connecting flight from Canberra to Sydney so lets start our search from Sydney.
  2. The biggest challenge is the flight from Sydney to America. Everyone wants to fly business so availability is the most constrained there. Only economy seats if you Boston is set as your destination. But there are a few options to nearby cities. To New York JFK, there are plenty of Premium Economy options on Japan Airlines that would involve a transit at Tokyo basically all through July, August and September. Its relatively easy to get to Boston from there. You could make a day trip out of your time in NY and a myriad of cheap flights or trains to get you to Boston.
  3. Coming back is comparatively much simpler with many options on Japan Airlines as well. From Boston to Tokyo there are some business class seats around the August/September time period so that’s excellent! Back to Premium Economy or Economy on the way to Sydney though. I assume you wanted to have a little trip in Japan as well. So I’ve broken the two legs up.

From Sydney to New York in Premium Economy will cost about 250,000 points.
Boston to Tokyo is 209,000 for the two of you in business.
Tokyo to Sydney in Premium Economy is 141,600 for two or if you want to slum it in economy, 75,600 on Japan Airlines or if you can find it, 63,000 on Qantas.
Working it all out, it comes to just a little over 600,000 Qantas points for two premium economy journeys and 1 business class journey

Here’s a sample itinerary I worked out, you can actually book these exact flights right now!


You, are a fine chap. Thank you. I’ve booked the flights – with a few tweaks to the dates and a few days in Tokyo on the way there and back to break up the flights.
Huge thanks for your help and time – greatly appreciate it.