Why can't I find American Airlines award international flights via Qantas?

We’re looking to do a Classic Rewards RTW mid next year, but the Qantas site isn’t offering us any options to fly into/out of the US on American Airlines. The AA site shows heaps of availability on the routes we’re looking at.

If I called Qantas would they be able to see AA flights that I can’t? It’s not just reward flights, AA doesn’t seem to be an option for any fare type/class

This has been pretty well documented in the frequent flyer community but as American moves to a more flexible awards model with no standard award chart, they could offer awards that are not necessarily ‘classic rewards’, but rather dynamically priced awards at various different price points. While this just means paying more for awards if you are an AA member, that also means that partners have less access to award seats, especially on competitive transpacific routes. The trend appears to be that Economy seats can be easy to come by, but business class is a big challenge. Domestically within the US and short hauls are better than long haul. If travelling between Europe and US, British Airways is the most generous and Iberia is not a bad option either. Between Asia and the US, Japan Airlines is often the most generous right now as well with premium cabin award availability.

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I understand that points flights will be limited but I don’t understand why I can even find paid international AA flights through the Qantas site. Everything is AA domestic and to leave the US it turns into a Qantas flight

Edit to add: It’s our first time trying to maximise QFF points for international so we’re a bit green, but we are looking to fly Aus to Japan to next country as the rewards/flights to Haneda have increased

Ah, if you go through the regular steps as booking a paid ticket, you won’t see many of American Airline’s flights. This is because Qantas only sells Code-share american airlines flights where they have partnership agreements which includes domestic USA flights but obviously excludes other areas where Qantas would be competing with American Airlines.

I find the best way to see all your available options is to use their Multi-City booking tool on the website and click the “use points - Classic flight rewards” radio button instead of the “use cash, points, or both” option. From there, you should see many more flights across not only American Airlines but also, OneWorld airlines like Cathay Pacific, Japan Airlines, etc.

If you do need more help, you can pop down your dates and desired destination and I’m sure someone can help with looking up availability for you.

Thanks for the extra info! I was wondering why they were AA domestic and then switched. I guess that’s why only BA/European airlines are offered to get Europe to US? Preferred preferred partners

Despite some bugginess with the Qantas website I think I’ve got an understanding of Rewards RTW (we’ve got two more paying), but we’re travelling late Jun/July 2023 so we’re trying to be flexible given scarcity. If anyone wants to have a sticky beak we’re looking:

SYD - Haneda (~2-3 days)
Haneda - London (~1 week)
London - Athens (~2 weeks)
Athens - New York (~2-3 days)
New York - SYD/MEL

Or reverse order. Because of works our travel range isn’t huge: mid/late Jun to end of July (maybe 1st week August). Not fussed on flight class but we’ll take nice if we can get it (e.g. Europe > US seem to have a good no. premium/business seats and we could justify it for a 10hr flight)

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BA is the most generous usually with awards but they sting you with heavy taxes and surcharges. AA is more stingy with awards but is generally less tax heavy. Qantas certainly picks favourites between them for paid tickets though!

If you are looking for economy, (or even premium economy in some cases), it is pretty doable. But business especially given that it’s been a few months since the schedule has opened will be challenging. Remember that the rules state that even if just one flight in your RTW booking is in business, the whole booking will be priced at the business class rate. So it pays to not mix and match your booking classes.

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Bit of a tight date range for a RTW trip but lets see what we can do:

Date FlightNumber Origin Destination Class
5/7 JL52 Sydney → Tokyo (HND) | Premium Economy
10/7 JL47/AY1337 Tokyo (HND) → Helsinki → London (LHR) | Premium Economy (Helsinki to London in Economy)
16/7 BA638 London (Heathrow) → Athens | Economy
28/7 BA631/173 Athens → London → NY JFK | Premium Economy (Athens to London in Economy)
1/8 JL5 JFK → Tokyo (Haneda) | Premium Economy
2/8 JL51 Tokyo (Haneda) → Sydney | Economy

Cost: 249,600 points per person + taxes and surcharges

I really wanted to get premium economy on the overnight from Tokyo back to Sydney but doesn’t seem possible until the second week of August.

Most dates are flexible +/- 1 or 2 days and almost all are available as Economy class seats if you want to book an all Economy RTW trip which costs just over half (132,400 points).

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