If you are looking to book a Qantas round-the-world award, here’s why you should do so in the next two months

How to fly around the world in Business Class for 280,000 Qantas Points with the oneworld Classic Flight Reward

GUIDE: Using Points
DIFFICULTY: Intermediate
TIME TO READ: 8 minutes
POSTED: July 29, 2019
UPDATED: July 29, 2019
LOYALTY PROGRAMS: Qantas Frequent Flyer

Most of our readers would have heard that Qantas announced changes to their redemption pricing last week. As part of the overhaul, the popular oneworld Classic Flight Reward for round the world itineraries will also increase in price in Premium Economy, Business (the most popular) and First Class; Conversely, Economy Class prices decreased immediately from the time of the announcement.

Qatar Airways Qsuite
You can include a Qsuite flight in your round-the-world Business Class trip

Here is a comparison of the points pricing before and after the changes:

CabinUntil 17 September 2019From 18 September 2019Change
Economy132,400132,400-6% compared to previous 140,000 price
Premium Economy210,000249,600+19%
Business280,000318,000+14%
First420,000455,000+8%

As a point of comparison, you can book a round-the-world Business Class ticket with only 210,000 Asia Miles or 240,000 KrisFlyer miles (cheaper than Qantas) or 372,000 Velocity Points (more expensive).

My advice

If you have been saving your points up for a round-the-world ticket in Premium Economy, Business or First Class, try to lock in your booking before 18 September. That can include travel for after this date, but you’ll need to ticket your itinerary before then. If you don’t, you’ll need 38,000 more points in Business Class, for example.

Economy Class redemptions used to cost 140,000 points—that’s dropped to 132,400 effective immediately. That means you will save 7,600 points and can book anytime from now!

Qantas has stated that there has been a 40% and 20% increase in international Business and Economy Class award seat bookings, respectively, since the announcement. In addition, there has been a 25% increase in reward bookings from members who have never previously redeemed points for an award seat.

Olivia Wirth, CEO of Qantas Loyalty has stated:

We’ve been overwhelmed by the level of interest in the changes to our frequent flyer program. Early indications show members are already seeing the benefits of more seats and lower fees.

The increase in international Business Class award seats has been backed up by some Point Hacks readers. However, it remains to be seen whether the increased award availability will remain at these levels in the longer term. Hopefully it does!


In this guide

I’d imagine that the majority of NZ Qantas frequent flyers usually use their points to redeem award travel for simple one-way or return tickets – to Australia, the United States, Asia or even domestically on Jetstar.

However if you’re sitting on a pile of points, there is a great value points redemption that allows for up to 15 flights with Qantas and Oneworld partner airlines – the ‘Oneworld Classic Flight Reward’ – which can be used for up to 35,000 miles of travel, in Economy, Premium, Business or First Class.

In this guide, we outline how Qantas oneworld Classic Rewards work as a great way to maximise the value of your Qantas Points for round-the-world (RTW) trips.

Do note that these awards do not technically have to go around the world, but this is the most common use for them. See FAQs later on for more information.

You can read our RTW guide using KrisFlyer miles or Velocity points.

Why does Qantas have four different award tables?

Firstly it’s important to understand the basic differences between the Qantas FF reward tables to help us get the best value from your QFF points stash.

  1. Qantas Classic Flight Reward – The cheapest price table for Qantas and its preferred partners of Airnorth, Air Vanuatu, American Airlines, Emirates and Fiji Airways
  2. Jetstar Classic Flight Reward – For Jetstar flights only, this is 20% less than the Qantas Classic price
  3. Partner Classic Flight Reward – For travel on any of Qantas’ oneworld partners or preferred partner airlines not included in Table 1.
  4. oneworld Classic Flight Reward – This is the focus of this guide, and is for itineraries including two or more Oneworld airlines, over and above any sector flight carried on Qantas metal.

The key uses for the Oneworld Classic Flight Reward are to fly:

  1. further (e.g. round the world)
  2. on more carriers
  3. on more flights

compared to redeeming an award using one of the other three tables.

With an extensive network and modern product on its A350, A380 and 787 aircraft, you might aim to include a Qatar Airways Business Class flight as part of your trip

Why does a Qantas oneworld RTW redemption represent good value?

A RTW itinerary booked as a oneworld Classic Flight Reward is one of the best ways to maximise the value of your Qantas Points.

The RTW ticket allows you to explore the world and stopover in up to five cities over a 12-month period, provided there is award availability and the total distance is kept under 35,000 miles.

oneworld

If you bought a RTW ticket with cash, retail fares usually start from $3,000 in Economy, $11,000 in Business and upwards of $20,000 in First. We know that RTW Business Class itineraries are very popular with couples and with this guide, some of our readers have saved between $20,000-$35,000 in out-of-pocket costs.

With this award, you can choose from over 1,000 destinations in more than 150 countries covered by the oneworld alliance:

  • American Airlines
  • British Airways
  • Cathay Pacific
  • Finnair
  • Iberia
  • Japan Airlines
  • LATAM
  • Malaysia Airlines
  • Qantas
  • Qatar Airways
  • Royal Jordanian
  • S7 Airlines
  • Sri Lankan Airlines

Emirates is not part of the oneworld alliance and, therefore, cannot be included in this itinerary.

Although its a great airline to fly, you cannot include Emirates flights in this award

Comparing the different long-haul Qantas Point redemption options

If you analyse the table below, you can see that tacking on a significant amount of extra flying comes with only minimal additional points cost.

Until 17 September 2019

CabinAuckland to London return on Qantas or EmiratesAuckland to London return on Cathay Pacificoneworld Classic Flight Reward
Economy110,400132,400132,400
Premium Economy192,000225,000210,000
Business Class256,000278,000280,000
First Class384,000406,000420,000
Miles Travelled24,478 (AKL - DXB - LHR return)23,302 (AKL - HKG - LHR return)Between 19,201 and 35,000

From 18 September 2019

CabinAuckland to London return on Qantas or EmiratesAuckland to London return on Cathay Pacificoneworld Classic Flight Reward
Economy110,400132,400132,400
Premium
Economy
216,800249,600249,600
Business Class289,200318,000318,000
First Class433,800455,000455,000
Miles travelled24,478 (AKL - DXB - LHR return)23,302 (AKL - HKG - LHR return)Between 19,201 and 35,000

Say you want to fly return to Europe on Qantas or Emirates (which is a preferred partner). You’ll be up for 256,000-289,200 points in Business Class or 384,000-433,800 in First, plus taxes and fees of $500-1000.

Or you could fly one of their non-preferred oneworld partners like Qatar Airways, Cathay Pacific or British Airways for 278,000-318,000 points in Business or 406,000-455,000 in First.

By comparison, you could fly almost double the distance (up to 35,000 miles) and have stopovers in five cities for the same price as flying on the latter combination of airlines (Cathay Pacific, etc).

Just note that not all oneworld carriers operate a Premium Economy cabin, so you’ll want to target British Airways, Cathay Pacific and Qantas flights—other flights would be in Economy.

Example: 30,000 miles in Business Class for 280,000 – 318,000 Qantas Points

The following basic Business Class itinerary totals just over 27,000 miles flown, well within the 35,000-mile maximum:

  1. Auckland to Santiago with LATAM
  2. Santiago to New York with LATAM
  3. New York to Madrid with American Airlines
  4. Madrid to London with British Airways
  5. London to Hong Kong with Cathay Pacific
  6. Hong Kong to Auckland with Cathay Pacific
RTW Route

If you want to check the mileage of a range of flights, I recommend inputting the airport codes into Great Circle Mapper to get the total distance, ensuring you are keeping it under the 35,000-mile maximum.

Because the Qantas RTW reward allows you to have up to 15 connections, you do not necessarily have to fly the most direct route, as above. This is handy when there are no seats available on the most direct route and you have to fly to your destination via a different city.

Another benefit is that you can also stop in cities for under 24 hours. Even at 23 hours and 59 minutes, it is considered a ‘transit’ rather than a stopover.

The sample itinerary above only has six connections, so let’s tweak it slightly and add more connections.

  1. Auckland to Santiago with LATAM
  2. Santiago to New York via Dallas/Fort Worth with American Airlines
  3. New York to Madrid with American Airlines
  4. Madrid to London with British Airways
  5. London to Hong Kong with Cathay Pacific
  6. Hong Kong to Auckland via Singapore and Sydney with Cathay Pacific and Qantas
RTW Route

This sample itinerary now comes in at a little under 30,000 miles.

You don’t have to tack on long flights, of course. Adding on a number of smaller flights to reach non-hub cities, if that is where you want to go, is also a very useful way to get value from this award.

How to research and book a Qantas oneworld Classic Flight Reward

Like other award redemptions, seats are subject to availability and there is a decent chance you would not be able to fly on the date you desire, so you need to be flexible on dates and routes (as always when using points to travel).

To kick things off, you can use the qantas.com search engine to find most award availability. You can read more about searching award space on Qantas partners here.

Once you are ready to book, the simplest way to find reward seats for a RTW itinerary is to search one flight at a time. It can be time-consuming, so have a notepad handy to write down the:

  1. Date of travel (e.g. 4 July 2020)
  2. Departure and arrival cities (Auckland to Hong Kong)
  3. Flight number (CX 198)
  4. Departure and arrival times (2:50 pm – 9:00 pm)

Keep repeating this for each city, bearing in mind that sometimes you might need to connect via an intermediary city.

Then book online through the Qantas website or, if you need help and/or want to book a seat on a partner that doesn’t show up on the Qantas website, then call Qantas Frequent Flyer.

Frequently Asked Questions

This guide is one of our most-read on the Australian Point Hacks site, with a long comment thread, so we’ve picked out the most common questions to save you some time.

Please read carefully to see if your question has already been answered in the FAQ or comments section.

You can also read the detailed Qantas oneworld Classic Flight Reward booking conditions here (see Section 14.5).

Routing

Do I have to go around the world?

No, not necessarily. The award is calculated on total mileage and doesn’t have to go in one direction.

Is backtracking permitted?

Technically, yes, however, some phone agents may apply geographical sense to your itinerary and prevent you from doing so. If so, hang up and call back.

Are transit cities calculated in the total mileage?

Yes, so if you are flying from Auckland to Hong Kong via Sydney and Singapore, you will need to include the three segments, not the direct distance between Auckland and Hong Kong.

Are surface sectors counted?

Yes. A surface sector is when you fly into one airport, make your way on the ground (or a cheap airfare) to another airport to fly out of. For example, if you fly into Berlin, catch a bus to Paris, and fly out of Paris, then the mileage between Berlin and Paris will be calculated as part of this award. This can often be in your favour however, especially if there are no direct oneworld flights between those city pairs.

Do I need to return to the same airport?

Yes and no. If you are flying out of Auckland on a RTW trip, you need to ‘return’ to Auckland at the end of it, but not necessarily physically. You could return to Sydney, for example, and have the distance between Sydney and Auckland counted as a surface sector. However it would be rare that you would want to do this, as you’re effectively missing out on what would otherwise be an included flight in your award.

Can I travel more than 35,000 miles?

No. Once you go even one mile more, it will recalculate as separate awards and be much more expensive.

Pricing

How do I add segments?

You can add segments for most airline partners online, but note that you’ll be charged a 5,000-point change fee each time you alter your itinerary, so try to lock down as many flights and dates as you can at the start.

If you need to phone the call centre to make a change and are flying in Economy or Premium Economy, you’ll be charged an extra 8000-point service fee. Premium cabins do not attract this fee.

Can I mix cabins, e.g. fly Business Class for most segments and First Class for one or two?

The award is calculated on the rate for the highest cabin, which means that even if you have one First Class flight and the rest are in Business, you will be charged 420,000-455,000 points instead of 280,000-318,000. This means you’re best to stick to the same cabin the whole way.

How are infant and child fares calculated?

If you have a child under two years of age, then you just pay the taxes, no points. If a child is two years of age or older, then they are charged the full adult rate for points redemptions.

Why should I avoid flying British Airways?

Because they charge high fuel surcharges. Read more in our guide to airlines and frequent flyer programmes that charge the lowest fuel surcharges.

Why should I avoid flying out of the UK?

Because departing flights from the UK are charged the Air Passenger Duty. However, if your transit through the UK is less than 24 hours, then your departing flight won’t be charged the APD.

Read more in our guide to cities and countries to aim for to minimise taxes and fees.

Booking

Can I book this award online?

Yes, you can, and we recommend it. Remember to use the multi-city search tool on the Qantas website, not the round-the-world tool on the oneworld website.

Can I include Emirates in my itinerary?

No, Emirates is not part of the oneworld alliance, therefore it is not eligible for this award.

Can I include Jetstar in my itinerary?

Qantas flights operated by Jetstar Airlines (JQ, 3K, GK or BL) cannot be included in oneworld Classic Flight Rewards.

What should I do if the phone agent doesn’t seem to know what they’re doing?

Hang up and call back.

Summing up

Qantas oneworld Classic Flight Rewards require a lot of points comparatively to redeem simple one-way redemptions but you can get a hell of a lot of travel squeezed into one itinerary.

You’ll be able to see at least five cities and, if you’re clever, add overnight stops of up to 24 hours in connecting cities too.

Just remember to keep your total distance flown to under 35,000 miles and try to book as many of the flights as you can at the start so you’re not slugged with change and service fees.

Have you successfully redeemed your Qantas Points for a RTW award and, if so, where did you go?

If you are looking to book a Qantas round-the-world award, here’s why you should do so in the next two months was last modified: July 29th, 2019 by Daniel Kinnoch