Why can I not find any award seats with Qantas?

What is Qantas doing the availability of rewards seats is nil, it doesn’t matter if you search as multi city or one trip. By comparison to pre covid the availability even 12 months out is slim to anywhere. Anybody else thinking of changing loyalty programs?

Hi @janetwood333

If you would like some help, feel free to let us know where you would like to fly from/to, when you would like to fly, which class you would prefer to fly in, and how many people will be flying.

Hi and Welcome @janetwood333… it certainly can feel like a fruitless exercise sometimes, but determination favours the tenaciously persistent post-covid points hacker. I do admit though, that it is harder than ever to find flights, especially at the pointy end of the plane.

However all is not lost. I can only encourage you to not give up. There is a wealth of information on the Points Hacks site and this forum - with great tips, hints, gems of information and knowledge that will make the difference between success and despondency in your search for reward flights. Look for posts by @w.hiew, @sixtyeight, @djtech and of course @BrandonLoo and you can’t go wrong!

Personally, I am a Qantas FF program devotee and find it the easiest to hack points for reward seats (IMHO). As an example of what is possible, the following is an itinerary I have just booked 2 weeks ago for a trip coming up starting 21st May. I hope this will inspire you to keep going… because it’s definitely possible. :partying_face: :airplane:

Best of luck!! :+1:

Hi There im new here id love to know how you found those flights ive been looking for a business class flight return to europe and back cant even find one seat all this year , maybe im doing something wrong. any help would be appreciated.

Hi @hal,

Welcome to the community. It did take me a lot of searching and testing different routes around the world. I wanted to go to the US & UK in June for about 3-4 weeks to visit family. So I had been watching certain routes since Jan/Feb 2024. My airline preference was always going to be Emirates - and hopefully in 1st class - so this is where I focused my searches - with the UK as my first preference, followed by a hop to the US and then back home.

Initially there was nothing really available that suited my timeframe, or in the premium classes. However, I kept looking… regularly to see if anything was popping up. People always cancel their plans and have to make changes and in due course those reward seats “open up” again as time goes by. Sometimes too, extra seats can be released by the airlines as well.

I think I got particularly lucky with what ended up being my return leg from Dubai - Perth on 12th June. Given how rare this reward seat is in 1st class I eventually decided that I was going to build my iteinerary around this final leg. So I began to work backwards from there.

As you can imagine, the pressure is now on to find the rest of your flights before someone else snaffles your prized 1st class return leg. I wanted to find a way out of Perth to Dubai so I began searching:

  • Perth → Dubai (rare as hens teeth)

  • Perth → Singapore - some limited options available, mostly in economy.

  • Perth → Kuala Lumpur - a few more options in economy and the odd Business seat on offer

  • Perth → Hong Kong - mmmmm wasn’t working out.

  • Perth → Denpasar (Bali) - some options in economy

For each of these routes, I have a spreadsheet page/worksheet and I start searching - 1 search for every day! Yes, it gets that tedious. I always use the Multi-City search tool with “Rewards” and “Flexible with dates” checked:

I take a screenshot of the available flights in a specific date range using the “calendar” view that the multi-city search returns you:

Then, I go through and make a list of each days flights/routes/class/how many points/etc… some days have multiple flights - and of these some might be direct, others fly east to Sydney/Melbourne/Brisbane (I usually ignored these). It’s a process of rinse and repeat for each leg/sector.

Eventually I found that I could grab one of the last Business class seats on a direct flight from Perth to Kuala Lumpur - on Malaysian Airlines. But… it meant that I only had a 3 week travel window now instead of my original 4 weeks I’d hoped for. You’ll find that these are the sorts of trade off’s and concessions you have to make as you build your itinerary.

Once I have a flight to Kuala Lumpur, I know I can get to Dubai (there are 3 flights daily) - so a seat in 1st class is a MUCH higher probability. If not, Plenty of Business class options are available.

I couldn’t find anything that suited hitting the UK first so I elected to try for the USA from Dubai instead. My ultimate destination is Boise, Idaho, so I can search for flights:

  • Dubai → San Francisco (limited seats other than economy)

  • Dubai → Los Angeles (the odd Business seat, no 1st, and some economy)

  • Dubai → Seattle - the best and closest!! I found first class that married up with my KUL → Dubai flight. PERFECT!

  • Dubai → US East Coast etc… not what I really wanted.

My thinking is the most people want to land in LA or San Francisco, so that’s going to make it very hard to find premium reward seats. Seattle is my preference then, as it’s only a short flight to Boise. (I actually booked this on a separate cash ticket - after securing all my long haul US/UK rewards flights - with Delta in 1st Class for only AUD$240. There were no reward seats available on Alaska Air which is who I normally book this leg with)

Now I need to look at getting from the USA to London! Soooo many options… I know I can usually get a rewards points booking internally in the USA (they’re so cheap and use hardly any points!) so my focus is a Business/First class long haul flight to get me to Heathrow:

  • Seattle → London (nothing available except economy)

  • Vancouver/Calgary → London (nothing available except economy)

  • LAX/San Francisco → London (nothing available - only economy)

  • Chicago → London - a possibility. Some seats available on British Airways but on limited days - will it fit my timing?

  • LA/San Fran/Vancouver → Helsinki → London - some business class availability, but I really want to fly 1st and Finnair don’t offer it, so I keep looking.

  • Dallas → London - nothing much available.

  • Houston → London - A couple of 1st class seats on BA and the timing fits. NICE!

  • Atlanta/New York/Miami → London - these all have limited availability.

Flying from the east coast adds greater travel time within the US and are harder to find reward flights from Boise. If i need a cash fare to get me to the East Coast, that’s starting to cost me more. Sounds picky, but I also begin to question the length of time I’m going to get on the long haul flight in (hopefully) 1st class, and would i get better “value” with the whole experience if I flew from a city somewhat closer to Boise, so I maximise this premium experience. Especially considering that the points cost for the seat will be similar even if I’m in the air for 2-3 hours less. Dont’ forget too that airport taxes vary by airport as well (and airline) But that’s just me.

So… I settle on the Houston → London Heathrow flight in 1st class on BA… and it fits my timeline perfectly. I just need a flight from Boise to Houston - I managed to find a reward flight from Boise → Seattle → Houston which I booked on a separate itinerary.

Now I’m pretty much home and hosed - or so I thought. I need to get from the UK back to Dubai to meet up with my final return flight from Dubai → Perth. There is generally a decent amount of choice when flying out of London to Dubai but this time it was slim pickings - well at least in premium cabins.

I will be in Bristol in the UK so I started looking for flights from there direct to Europe and then down to Dubai:

  • Bristol → Amsterdam → Dubai - can book with points, but there was nothing really suitable.

  • Bristol → Frankfurt → Dubai - Cash economy fare to Frankfurt, and then a points reward flight from Frankfurt to Dubai. Yes, some availability.

  • London → Frankfurt/Zurich/Brussels → Dubai - Mmmmmmm limited seats but an option if I really had to.

This is where a trick that sometimes works can help you out… Instead of searching London Heathrow to Dubai with a view to have separate sectors to Dubai and then Perth, I instead searched from London to Perth as a single “leg” (still with the multi-city search) - knowing that there was still a 1st class reward seat on that Perth leg available. BINGO! Up popped a London Heathrow flight to Dubai in 1st class and connecting on to Perth. I think I might have done a happy dance at this point!

Now I have all the routes, dates, etc… that I think will work… it’s time to piece together the whole itinerary in the Multi-City search tool. Do the search, check the dates, then start selecting the specific flights… fingers crossed are they still there? Yes they are. I managed to pick every flight as part of the full itinerary, then continue to the checkout step and pay. Amazing!!

I then went and booked my short internal US “hop” flights - the cash Delta one from Seattle → Boise, and then the reward flight from Boise → Seattle → Houston. I’m now all set and ready to go. I am super excited!! I love flying and this makes it all the more pleasant. Not to mention the ground/lounge experience as well.

All the effort has been worth it. I have managed to book an approx. AUD$45,000 trip around the world in mostly 1st class for a little over AUD$4,300 and a nearly 640,000 FF Points in total.

I hope this helps with the mindset that is required to make it all work. I think you have to be a little OCD (I’m sure I am) to get it all to work sometimes. Other times, it’s easier. Travelling with a partner AND you want to go 1st class - thats an even more difficult task and takes some more tips and tricks to succeed at… but it too is possible. My wife and I did it last year. But that’s a story for another post. :slight_smile:

All the best with your points hacking and happy rewards flight hunting! :+1:


Thank you for all that information, I’ve started looking via Japan and Singapore on multi city and yes there are more available, looks like I just have to spend more time trying put together all the pieces , again thank you for your help jenart it’s much appreciated