Maximise your Avios, air miles and hotel points

How to book domestic QantasLink flights in Australia with Avios points

Links on Head for Points may pay us an affiliate commission. A list of partners is here.

This article shows you how to book domestic QantasLink flights in Australia using Avios – and the answer is not to use ba.com!

If you are heading down to Australia in the near future, there are a couple of Avios quirks which are good to know about.

Qantas is, of course, a member of the oneworld airline alliance alongside British Airways.  This means that you can book Qantas flights using your Avios points, directly at ba.com.

Qantas has a subsidiary, QantasLink, which flies between 56 regional destinations across Australia.

Reward flights on QantasLink do NOT appear on ba.com when you search for reward seats – only mainline Qantas flights appear.

However, it IS possible to use Avios to book these services.

How to book Qantaslink and Jetconnect using Avios

How can I find QantasLink Avios availability?

There are two options.

The easiest way is to use the American Airlines website.  You don’t need to create a frequent flyer account – simply select ‘use miles’.  If a QantasLink flight shows as available with AA miles then it will be available with Avios.

The second option is to use the Qantas website, although this is a bit more fiddly.

The first thing to do is to register for a Qantas Frequent Flyer account via their website.  You can then search for availability via the main booking page by ticking the box saying ‘Use points’.

As an example, Sydney to Hobart is showing as a ‘Classic Reward’ for October 15th out and October 23rd back in Economy Class and Business Class.  ONLY ‘Classic Reward’ seats can be booked with Avios.

Unfortunately, if you go to ba.com then the flight does NOT show up because it is QantasLink.   The only flights you see on ba.com are connecting flights via Melbourne which will require twice as many Avios.

If you call British Airways Executive Club, they CAN find and book QantasLink flights for Avios.  You need to tell the agent the flight details – which you have already confirmed from the Qantas or American Airlines sites – and it should show as available on their system.

Sydney to Hobart is 646 miles and so falls into the cheapest Avios pricing band of 9,000 Avios return for Economy and 18,000 Avios return in Business.  Ignore the number of points shown on the Qantas website – this only applies if you are booking via the Qantas frequent flyer scheme.

For comparison, even booking five months ahead and selecting the cheapest tickets Economy tickets available on that day, with no luggage allowance, a cash ticket is A$305 (£165).  This makes 9,000 Avios look like a bargain.

Regular commentator Alan is well experienced in booking these services and gave the following tips last time we looked at this topic:

If the BA agent initially says there’s no availability ask them to check as one way flights each way rather than return – they will often then appear

Internal flights in Australia can be pretty cheap on low cost carriers but there are often high baggage fees.  This can still make Avios redemptions look good value.  If you have British Airways status you would be able to access Qantas domestic lounges which are fairly reasonable.

For flights within New Zealand take a close look at the Air New Zealand Grab A Seat (grabaseat.co.nz) website.  It is separate to their main one and can have vastly lower prices.   Air New Zealand is a Star Alliance member so if you have Gold status with any of their airlines you will get free seat selection and lounge access.

Comments (70)

  • Optimus Prime says:

    OT – I’m thinking of going to Tokyo via Shanghai on two different tickets. Is 6 hours enough to go though immigration, collect luggage, change terminals, etc?

    The other option is to arrive the night before but then I would need a visa, wouldn’t I? It’s less than 24 hours but need to leave the airport to go to the hotel.

    • Lumma says:

      You don’t need a visa to transfer through China. You get 144 hours as long as you arrive and leave in Shanghai as long as the departure country is different. London-shanghai-tokyo or similar is completely fine. You couldn’t do osaka-shanghai-tokyo though for example

      • John says:

        You currently can’t enter China at all if you have a Turkey entry stamp in your passport.

        • Cam says:

          My wife and I both have several Turkish entry/ exit stamps in our passports, and had no issues with 24 hour Chinese transit authority (domestic connection BA to CZ, LHR-PEK-SZX-XXX), including an overnight stay in PEK (after entering at CAN) on the return. There is a good thread on FlyerTalk on how this works.

        • lumma says:

          How do the Turkish Airlines flights to Beijing, Shanghai and Guangzhou work?

      • Optimus Prime says:

        Thank you, I think I’ll spend a night in a hotel nearby the airport because it’s a lot cheaper than arriving the next day.

        So when I get to the immigration desk I just need to give them my passport, landing card and proof of next day’s flight reservation?

    • ankomonkey says:

      I did this last summer. Flew VS to Shanghai and then a JAL flight to Haneda. Since they were separate tickets we had to get the 72 hour China visa or whatever it is, collect luggage and check in for the JAL flight. We were not delayed on the Shanghai flight and the visa process was surprisingly quick. On that day (YMMV), I reckon we could have done it with a 3 hour gap between flights. We ended up having to sit in the Shanghai terminal a while (couldn’t check in too early for JAL), then in one of the worst lounges I’ve ever been to for a while.

  • Graham Walsh says:

    OT Applied for the basic Virgin card and didn’t get an instant decision. Just received this mail now.

    Thank you for your recent application for a Virgin Atlantic Credit Card.

    Unfortunately, as you already have a credit card issued by Virgin Money, we are unable to issue you another card at this time.

    • Shoestring says:

      Probably just as well. I reckon we’ll have quite a few people who did get the instant acceptance – for a 2nd Virgin card – who will end up not getting any points.

      Easy enough for Virgin to run a duplicate address or name search. They check a lot of stuff manually as it is (and IT seems a bit flaky) – so hardly surprising that people got away with acceptance on the 2nd card but stand to get the bonus points declined.

  • Michael says:

    Did the Gold to Plat upgrade, got the 20k MR and now i’ve just downgraded back to Gold. FYI for anyone considering it.

    • Shoestring says:

      Not that many of us got the right Gold, though 🙂

      • Michael says:

        I forgot to ask what gold it would be on the phone though! 😀

        • Zara says:

          Hi Michael. When did you do this? I had the gold charge so have applied for upgrade and would happily downgrade back afterwards or onto green after if gold isn’t an option. Thx

  • Chris says:

    OT – Parents have cancelled the BA Amex before the avios did the monthly transfer. The points are still showing on the account. Will the still go over on the usual day or are they lost?

    Thanks

    • Alan says:

      Should be lost. Or at least that’s the rule and the warning they give you when you cancel.