How to book domestic QantasLink flights in Australia with Avios (as ba.com doesn’t show them)

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

EDIT:  This article has had a rewrite this morning.  I have removed all references to Jetconnect because Jetconnect IS now bookable on ba.com since the crew and aircraft were legally transferred to Qantas mainline recently.  Wellington-Sydney is 10,000 Avios + £35 one-way in Economy, for example.

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.
Our review of the Escape Lounge at Manchester Terminal 2
Our review of the Escape Lounge at East Midlands Airport
Click here to join the 13,000 people on our email list and receive the latest Avios, miles and points news by 6am.

Amazon ad
About Head for Points

We help business and leisure travellers maximise their Avios, frequent flyer miles and hotel loyalty points. Visit every day for three new articles or sign up for our FREE emails via this page or the box to your right.

Comments

  1. OT. On my Amex card I have 2 Harvey Nichols offers saved. One is spend £100 get £30 credit, and then also spend £100 get £20 credit.

    My question is will the offers stack up – ie if I spend £100 will I get a £50 credit? Secondly I can see the offer states specifically that gift cards are excluded but in the past for Harrods the same rule applied but it worked fine when purchasing gift cards (as the system could not distinguish). Does anyone know if this is the case?

    • Shoestring says:

      yes – stacking reported – though often only 1 success email goes out

      giftcards – that’s a yes normally when bought in-store, not sure about online

    • I only have one offer and intend going in today to get a gift card. Have done successfully for the last 3 or 4 offers at HN. Not tried online.

  2. iain wilson says:

    or book for cash on jetstar. much cheaper, although the service is not the same.

    • Not necessarily cheaper than using Avios on a Qantas flight though.

      Jetstar has a surprising number of restrictions regarding luggage, lounge access, seat assignments, earning points, and even airport bus transfers in Sydney. I think some of these restrictions also apply if you book Jetstar flights via Qantas, but I don’t know if this applies if booked with avios, or indeed if they are even bookable using Avios,

      • Callum says:

        Jetstar isn’t bookable with avios.

        It’s a budget airline, it behaves pretty much how any other budget airline does so I’m not sure what’s surprising about it? Or what you mean by them having a restriction on Sydney airport bus transfers?

        • Re my comment Sydney airport bus transfers – if you book an international Qantas award flight into Sydney International terminal with an onward connection to, say, Melbourne, apparently it makes a difference if the connection is on a Qantas or Jetstar flight. If it is Qantas, they check your luggage through and you go the Qantas connection point airside and take their free bus, arriving airside in the domestic terminal. If it is Jetstar, you are on your own to transfer to domestic, and have to go landside, and pay for the transfer yourself. Not sure if you have have to take your luggage with you, but I think you may have to. All of which adds extra time during the connection, which you have to remember to factor in. Since Jetstar is owned by Qantas, and Qantas is issuing the award, I find that surprising.

        • JQ is a LCC, but it’s owned by QF. QF status does hold weight on JQ though, in that you can access QF lounges, etc. but that’s a QF benefit, not a Oneworld benefit.

          JQ will only interline baggage with their partners on intl-intl transfers, such as from AKL-SYD on JQ connecting to an onward QF SYD to SIN, with few exceptions. This is annoying, however if it’s on the same ticket (as it can be with QF), then it doesn’t matter.

          The intl-dom transfer situation at SYD is a pita, VA transfers go landslide and take you along normal roads with all the traffic, however QF operate the one which covers only Oneworld flights, and while still a pain, this is airside and there’s no need to pass through security again (although you do go through immi on landing at SYD from overseas, obviously).

  3. For domestic and trans-Tasman flights the availability of reward seats shows on the Qantas website without having to be a member of their scheme – no need to log in.

  4. Scallder says:

    For domestic Air NZ flights also look on their main .co.nz website as flights are much cheaper in NZD than GBP. When I bought some last year the figure was the same number in both NZD and GBP meaning the UK website was 80-90% more than the NZ one!

    • Shoestring says:

      sweet

    • Mikeact says:

      This is exactly what we’ve done on our last two visits, amazing value to get around Aus and NZ, including Avios as well, and very easy to book. Business class exceptional value, if you can get seats, which we did, but the rules may have changed….down the back only. We also took advantage on the Qantas runs to get over to Fiji, again, on Avios…but be aware they only have a couple of Island destinations from Brisbane, Sydney or Adelaide and high season seats are tough to get , but with patience while over there, we did it. And then over to Hobart….excellent Avios redemptions. Some of the locals just couldn’t believe where we had been/were going, and at such low cost. It probably helps that Australians are in the minority when it comes to Avios as it is not a main player down there…KrisFlyer is the big one.

      • Well you can’t even join BAEC with an Australian address

      • I think you’d be surprised at how many of us use Avios…as is noted, QF domestics can be insanely expensive, and they offer better value than using QFF points on short hauls, even buying the points outright in a promotion is fairly common.

  5. William Denby says:

    I used this all year when living in Perth WA and I can tell you it gets incredible value for your miles. A lot of QantasLink routes are just them flying it and the fares are high. Perth – Exmouth for Ningaloo Reef was an excellent example.

  6. NigelT says:

    We use Avios for internal Oz flights every year. I have found the award nexus website the easiest way to find availability especially for business class flights which are very expensive

  7. OT: Morning all, I’m pretty new to this game of collecting AVIOS and taking advantage of all the hotel promos. this site and community is great and extremely helpful!

    I hold an Amex Plat, and am building up a good amount of HH points, and have just recently transferred 25k Accor to Iberia,..

    My question is: I’m weighing up whether to grab the Virgin credit card, I might do one long haul trip a year to USA in future, but normally would be looking at European city breaks. The Tax+charges puts me off Virgin Flying Club. * Will my effort and time be better spent on building up a stash of BA points rather than Virgin Flying Club? or do you think with KLM/Air France partnership with Virgin coming up, their European offering will be better? Thanks, Jay

    • Shoestring says:

      You can’t really say no to 12,000 easy miles on the free card unless you have a mortgage or loan application coming up, I guess (credit check)

      Easy to keep Virgin miles alive – can always use for hotels if no flights appeal

      It’s like: do you want 12K easy free miles? or not?

      • Shoestring says:

        And a neat one from Charlie last night if you want 1000 AAdvantage miles for free:

        OT: I needed a few American AAdvantage miles, and found their US e-shopping portal, works similar to the BA one. Anyway there’s an offer for 2 months of electronic edition Wall Street Journal for $1+tax, awarding 1000 miles. Must remember to cancel otherwise it will renew at full price.

        I managed to get this to work fine, using a pretend zip code.

        • I added a comment on yesterday’s post this morning. Also should work on Alaska, but only for 700 miles. There is a 45 day restriction in the Alaska / American terms, so in theory you only have a period of a couple of weeks in which to cancel.

    • Mikeact says:

      I think you’ve answered your own question……Iberia you mentioned…then it’s probably Avios. One trip a year to the US via Avios/Iberia out of Madrid….save a ton of money and Avios.

    • Truth is that we don’t know how the VS/KLM thing will end up.

      I am doing a piece tomorrow on Virgin partner redemptions in general which may give you some more ideas over what you could do with them. Your Amex points give you an easy way of topping up Virgin if necessary.

  8. I would echo what others have said , used many times and it’s amazing value with taxes incredibly low.

    Qantas (mainline) have a great product on the longer trans con flights mostly using A330s.

    On some occasions when arriving early at the airport staff have even moved us into earlier flights without cost, this must completely depend on staff discretion as we have also been politely refused.

  9. DaveL says:

    Rob – are you sure this is still the case with Jetconnect? NZ – Aus redemptions on old Jetconnect routes seem to be showing up fine on BA.com for redemption bookings. Wikipedia seems to suggest Jetconnect routes have gone back to being operated by main Qantas which may explain…

    • Jetconnect is Qantas, but they just employ staff from NZ in order to pay them less and have fewer staff perks.

      • Ah, interesting. I tried a couple of dummy routes and nothing showed so I assumed nothing had changed, but perhaps I just got unlucky.

        Nice messy correction coming up then 🙂

        • Brian says:

          Rob,

          I’ve also booked former JetConnect routes on BA.com. Not all routes appear, my experience is that of a QF widebody now operates on a former jetConnect route it will show up.

  10. Munch says:

    OT – I’ve had my Curve card since last Aug and I’m now approaching my £50k annual limit. When does this reset? Do I have to wait until Aug before I receive a new £50k limit? Not really clear how the limits work once you’ve passed the £50k.

    • The Savage Squirrel says:

      It’s a rolling limit in the last 365 days rather than a full annual reset, so look at your history to see what will be available: as transactions pass 365 days they will no longer count towards the 50k total.

    • If you message them, they might be willing to increase your limit. They rejected my first request, but I tried again a month later and they up’d me to £100k. As someone else has said, it’s a rolling 365day window that the limit is applied over.

      • MarkH says:

        Didn’t realise you could get them increased to £100k.
        Suppose it depends what it’s been used for to hit the £50k though…

    • MarkH says:

      The £50k limit is on a 12month rolling basis so won’t just reset to zero in Aug.
      Instead you will start freeing up some limit as your spending last year drops out of the 12mth window.

      A way round this is to get your partner (if you have one) to get a card and use that whilst waiting for your limits to increase again.

      If you want to keep spending on the same underlying cards, unattach them from your Curve and then you can reattach them to your partner’s.

      The only issue is you will need to build the limits up again but I’ve not found this to be too difficult.
      Using it for all spending and then after 1/2 months sending them a message saying you need the limits increased for a large purchase has done it for me in the past.

      • Munch says:

        I assume you can only attached cards in your name to your Curve? So using supplementary cards is a way round this?

        • MarkH says:

          Yes supp cards work but I also have cards in my name attached to my wife’s Curve with no issues – no matching initials or surnames.

          The only problem I had was when trying to add a card that was still attached to my Curve.

          Just be aware you will lose all the transaction history for that card from your Curve when you remove it.

  11. Thanks for the replies, I appreciate it.

    Easy 12K miles for redemption, plus flexibility to top up from other programmes/keep alive.

    And absolutely, AVIOS via Iberia (Madrid) certainly seems the way to go!

    Have a great weekend all,
    Jay

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

*

Please click here to read our data protection policy before submitting your comment.