Why are there no award seats available 4-18 January 2021 on Qantas from Los Angeles to Brisbane?

Hi, my husband and I have booked flights from Brisbane to LA (coming from Cairns first) departing on the 1st of December 2020 on QANTAS. We booked one-way Business Class as we were slowly watching less and less seats be available to book with points and we didn’t want to miss out, our Travel Agent thought it might be a good idea to book, so we did. But now we have a problem. We NEED to return home on the 11th of January, and we are not flexible with dates as we have booked and paid for our children already and we can’t fly separate to them. There are Reward points seats available up until the 3/1/21 and then again on the 19/1/21 and beyond. We have been (very stressfully) checking daily for reward seats availability on 11/1, but still nothing. Between 4/1 and 18/1 2021 there are absolutely no reward seats showing. Would anyone have any idea as to why these dates would be left out? We have heaps of points to use, but can’t, and if we book a one-way from LA-BRIS we have to pay USD, and would certainly not be able to afford anything but economy, and I hate flying, my kids are booked in premium…I can’t fly lower than them! I have called QANTAS and they have no idea, they suggested changing our holiday dates, but that doesn’t really work out as the change fees and difference in fares would cost a heap, and I don’t want to cut 10 days off our trip. Does anyone have any idea why these dates would be blocked, or have any experience with this happening? We don’t need to fly until 11th January 2021, should we just be patient and keep checking? I know we can pay for Economy and use points to upgrade but aren’t guaranteed a seat. I think hubby is gold or silver QFF and I am silver and we have QANTAS Club membership. Any thoughts to ease my very stressed mind would be appreciated. Thanks in advance. First question here, so hope it all makes sense!

depending on availability you could fly through tokyo, HK, KL, Nadi, Honolulu, or any other hub for one world partner airlines that has availability.
to do this cancel your flights, suck up the 6000 point cancellation fee, and start again with a one world classic reward booking.
book it as a multi city flight, and if the LA bris doesnt come up (which it wont, try LA - tokyo and then tokyo- bris or melb or whatever, you can then tack on the local flight to get back to bris

Thanks heaps, I have been looking into this. The only problem being that our kids are already booked on return flights, and we would have to change all of their flights too and pay the change fees etc. Bit of a nightmare!

Hi @hornymull

I hate to be the bearer of bad news but I think you should plan for reward seats to not be available on January 11. It’s on one of the routes where it’s always hardest to find reward seats, and it’s during school holidays. The situation with availability you’ve outlined doesn’t surprise me at all – there are often seats available for the week after Christmas, and then finding seats during the rest of January until school goes back is difficult to say the least.

The key to finding award seats is flexibility – of dates, airlines, routes. I know this doesn’t help your situation, but in future it’s best to find award seats and then book paid tickets for others in the family rather than the other way around.

You have three options that I can see:

  • Pay for tickets on the same flight as your children.

  • Look for whatever reward seats you can find, using @anthony.mylonas ’ strategy above. If and when you find them, book everything and then cancel your kids’ tickets on the Qantas flight.

  • Wait until a couple of weeks before the flight to see if Qantas releases last-minute award seats, and if they don’t, pay what will then be megabucks for last-minute paid tickets.

My advice would be to spend as much time as you want trying option 2 (I’d personally budget for 6-8 hours of looking), but then if you can’t find seats, cut your losses now and go for option 1.

1 Like

Thanks for that, we are having a rough time and learning from our mistakes. We have actually found a flight home with points in Premium Economy. we would go LA to Chicago, then Chicago to Brisbane. My husband was going to take my son on that flight, and I fly with my daughter on the original flight booked for the kids. We thought we would be able to swap passenger details and and change my son over to me and pay a change fee, but our travel agent told us that you can never change a passenger on an international flight. That was news to us. Our kids are old enough to fly but we could never do that to them on an international flight, plus we would have to leave earlier than them. Maybe we could put my hubby on the Chicago one and just suck it up and pay for me to fly with the kids.

Not 100% sure whether this is a fact - “you can never change a passenger on an international flight.”

Some tickets are available for change of name - with a fee of course. Try texting Qantas at 0477 726 827 if calling their hotline results in a lengthy wait. Ask them whether you can change names on your kids booking.

Hi, I actually called QANTAS right away, as I thought I had solved our problem. They said it is definitely not allowed, even in special circumstances, they said USA security would never allow it. My travel agent actually said he has no idea why and he thought they could be more flexible if it’s family and with sufficient identification. I think we might have to pay the change fee for our kids and change our flights, it would be our cheapest option, and we may reduce the holiday. Thanks for replying.