Jetstar has really come onto the travel scene in our region over the past decade or so, becoming a big player on Trans-Tasman routes, and giving Air New Zealand some much needed competition on domestic routes and flights to Rarotonga.
One unique use of Qantas Points is redeeming seats on Jetstar flights. These can be easily earned in New Zealand from everyday spend on either the Qantas Cash Card, or the American Express Platinum Charge and Platinum Edge cards.
However in most cases, using points on Jetstar flight redemptions on routes serving New Zealand will not be good value, given the low fares already on offer.
In this guide, we explain when using points might be good value; outline the routes and aircraft that Jetstar operates; provide step-by-step instructions on how to make a booking; and link you to Jetstar guides and reviews.
Summary: How to redeem Qantas Points for Jetstar flights
- See if Jetstar operates the route with Qantas’ route maps or timetables
- Check points pricing online – either via the Qantas.com using points calculator or as part of the booking process on Qantas.com
- You’ll see the applicable taxes along with the points pricing as you try to make a booking – if you have enough points in your account
- Qantas Point pricing on Jetstar flights is 20% less than if Qantas flew the route, in both Business and Economy Class
- Make sure you book through Qantas.com to avoid phone booking fees
Routes, point pricing, and value consideration
Jetstar operates within and to/from New Zealand on the following routes:
|Route||Operating Aircraft||Qantas Points required||Cheapest cash ticket seen on this route (updated 21 May 2018)||Per point value (rounded)|
|Queenstown - Melbourne||Airbus A320||14,400||$149||1.0 c|
|Queenstown - Sydney||Airbus A320||14,400||$129||0.9 c|
|Auckland - Melbourne||Airbus A320||14,400||$125||0.9 c|
|Auckland - Sydney||Airbus A320||14,400||$129||0.9 c|
|Queenstown - Gold Coast||Airbus A320||14,400||$129||0.9 c|
|Auckland - Rarotonga||Airbus A320||14,400||$109||0.8 c|
|Christchurch - Gold Coast||Airbus A320||14,400||$109||0.8 c|
|Christchurch - Sydney||Airbus A320||14,400||$99||0.7 c|
|Christchurch - Melbourne||Airbus A320||14,400||$99||0.7 c|
|Wellington - Gold Coast||Airbus A320||14,400||$99||0.7 c|
|Auckland - Gold Coast||Airbus A320||14,400||$99||0.7 c|
|Wellington - Queenstown||Airbus A320||6,400||$39||0.6 c|
|Wellington - Dunedin (ending 29 May 2019)||Airbus A320||6,400||$25||0.4 c|
|Auckland - Christchurch||Airbus A320||6,400||$29||0.5 c|
|Auckland - Dunedin||Airbus A320||9,600||$35||0.4 c|
|Auckland - Napier||Bombardier Q300||6,400||$25||0.4 c|
|Auckland - Queenstown||Airbus A320||9,600||$35||0.4 c|
|Auckland - Wellington||Airbus A320||6,400||$25||0.4 c|
|Wellington - Christchurch||Airbus A320||6,400||$25||0.4 c|
|Auckland - Nelson||Bombardier Q300||6,400||$19||0.3 c|
|Auckland - Palmerston North||Bombardier Q300||6,400||$19||0.3 c|
|Auckland - New Plymouth||Bombardier Q300||6,400||$19||0.3 c|
|Wellington - Nelson||Bombardier Q300||6,400||$19||0.3 c|
Economy Class is arranged in a 3-3 configuration on the Airbus A320, and in a 2-2 configuration on the Bombardier Q300. Points redemptions on Jetstar include 20kg of checked-in baggage allowance per person. Meals and drinks are at an extra cost.
Business Class is not currently offered on flights within and to/from New Zealand.
As Jetstar is a low-cost carrier, they have regular sales, and tickets on flights are usually best to be purchased with cash, unless it is a last-minute purchase or during a peak travel period like school holidays. As you’ll see in the table above, the per point value on Jetstar’s cheaper fares during a sale can be super low, meaning that you won’t get a very good per point value.
As such, you should try to only use Qantas Points where prices are unusually high.
Note that the table above does not factor in taxes, or the free checked-in baggage allowance on points redemptions, which will further affect the ultimate per point value.
Scenario 1: Poor Value
Jetstar often offer $19 flights between Wellington and Nelson during sale periods. Adding 20kg of luggage to these tickets would cost an extra $9.
If you were to redeem 6,400 Qantas Points for a seat on this same flight, you would still have to pay taxes & fees of $14.49, giving you an ultimate per point value of around 0.2 cents.
This is well below the Point Hacks target value of 2.1 cents per point, so you’d more than likely want to give this a miss. You’d also be forging 400 Qantas Points on the revenue ticket, for what would be very little additional spend.
As a rule of thumb, you’ll find that redemptions on domestic flights are not very good value, so try to avoid these unless you have a stack of points that you’re trying to burn.
Scenario 2: Better Value
A seat on a peak-summer flight between Auckland and the Gold Coast on 10 January 2018 was, at time of writing, priced at $309. Adding 20kg of luggage to these tickets would cost an extra $28.
If you were to redeem 14,400 Qantas Points for a seat on this same flight, you would have to pay taxes & fees of $66.12. When this is subtracted from the outlay for the paid ticket, you get an ultimate per point value of around 1.9 cents.
This is closer to our target value for Qantas Points, and a better value proposition overall, especially for a direct route that is not otherwise served by Qantas or any of their partners.
Scenario 3: Clever Value
Do you want to see a bit more of our beautiful country, and boost the value of your points? Then you should utilise Qantas’s transit city rules, which allow you free layovers in ‘transit cities’ for up to 24 hours on flight redemptions.
You could fly from Auckland to Nelson, to Wellington, and onwards to Christchurch, for only 6,400 points, and $49.28 in taxes – the same number of points you would spend to just fly direct to Christchurch.
You cannot even make this multi-stop booking with Jetstar if booking revenue tickets – you’re restricted to just one stop option. This means this itinerary would need to be split across more than one booking.
The example itinerary above would cost a total of $158 if booked with Jetstar, inclusive of 20kg of luggage allowance.
The points redemption gives you the convenience of a single multi-stop itinerary, and a per point value of 1.7 cents.
Not amazing value compared to premium international redemptions, but acknowledging that the latter are not for everyone, this domestic multi-stop scenario is an achievable redemption opportunity for most.
How to calculate points pricing and taxes
The quickest way to calculate points pricing and taxes for Jetstar flights is through a flight search on the Qantas website.
Qantas have a Calculator for Classic Flight Rewards tool but it will only show the number of points required for a redemption on Qantas metal, if both Qantas and Jetstar are flying the same route (Trans-Tasman, for example).
Step 1: Head to Qantas, and enter your route, desired date/s, and whether you would like a flexible date search (recommended). Enter your Qantas Frequent Flyer details if you haven’t already logged in. Make sure to tick the ‘use points’ box at the top to make sure you are looking for award flights and not tickets purchased with cash:
Step 2: If you selected ‘flexible with dates’, the site will default to showing Economy Class tickets available across a 30 day period. In this example, it shows that there are plenty of seats available across the month of January:
Step 3: The next page will show you the award availability on both nonstop and connecting flights. When you click on the desired flight and cabin, it will show the points required at the bottom of the page:
Step 4: Taxes will be displayed on the next page but only if you already have the required amount of points in your account.
Step 5: Tick the boxes and proceed to make your booking and taxes co-payment.
It’s a pretty simple process overall!
Do you need to call to book or can you do it online?
It is best to search for and book your Jetstar flight online in order to avoid the 3,500 (domestic) or 6,000 (international) Qantas Point ‘Award Assistance Fee’ incurred by booking over the phone (call 0800 101 500 Monday to Saturday between 7am and 7pm AEST).
When does award calendar availability open up?
Qantas Frequent Flyer will generally release awards for Jetstar flights around 300 days before departure.
A general rule is that Jetstar will release more award seats than Qantas.
Will I get lounge access on award redemptions?
If you hold elite status with Qantas, or are a Qantas Club member, you will get lounge access before Trans-Tasman flights, and before flights to Rarotonga.
Read more in our definitive guide to Qantas lounges.
Links to related guides and reviews
- Jetstar 787 Dreamliner Business Class Sydney to Melbourne review
- Jetstar 787 Dreamliner Business Class Cairns to Osaka review
- How to redeem Qantas Points for flights from Australia to Bali
- Beginner’s guide to using Qantas Points for flights with Qantas’ partners
- Best uses of Qantas Points
Other currency alternatives for booking with this airline
Jetstar have very few frequent flyer program partners, so Qantas Frequent Flyer is the best currency by far for redeeming with Jetstar, when it comes to availability of points and ease of redemption. Emirates Skywards miles could also be used, however the rates are higher, therefore it makes less sense to use these.
Using your Qantas Points for redemptions on Jetstar flights is quite an easy online process, but do try to get the most value out of your points by using them for tickets on which Qantas does not operate, or are otherwise unusually expensive.
You could also make use of some clever multi-city routings with less than 24 hour layovers to visit more cities, and get extra points value.
Finally, definitely try and book online to avoid the phone assistance fee.
Supplementary images courtesy Jetstar.