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

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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.
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Comments

  1. The Lord says:

    How are the taxes and fees on these redemptions?

    • Andrew M says:

      Low!

    • Andrew M says:

      Well, trans-Tasman fees with Jetconnect are a bit more, but still reasonable. Domestic Australian flights with Quantaslink are generaly very low.

      • In general yes, some of those operated by the likes of National Jet Systems are surprisingly expensive (thinking ASP-AYQ).

  2. Shoestring says:

    IAG/ Willie Walsh said yesterday (at the Q1 results) that they’re not interested in Thomas Cook LH.

    IAG results were pretty good, considering, ie compared to Lufthansa etc & given the rise in fuel costs.

  3. Sandgrounder says:

    OT- re Green to Plat Amex upgrade. Without wishing to break the rules of Fight Club, can anyone confirm if the old PRG-Plat unpublished benefit still works via this route? I could do with upgrading now to get the PP before my trip to Madrid at the end of the month, but my fee hasn’t hit yet and I don’t want to get landed with the higher one unnecessarily. Any experience of what happens upgrading before and after the first statement guys?

    • Had a note from a reader yesterday who got it to work this week (ie 20k hit).

      • Sandgrounder says:

        But did the £450 hit as well?….

        • Hi-I just applied for the upgrade via the upgrade link. They’ve messed up the application. Cancelled my gold charge card and I can’t see the platinum yet issued. I made the upgrade application on Wednesday. I have a feeling I will probably get the £450 charge now as the effectively cancelled the old card instead of merely upgrading. I currently have no card to use and they’re sending a replacement gold in the meantime and whilst plat still gets sorted… not sure how this will pan out.

        • Didn’t say, but it is all refundable pro-rata anyway.

          • Sandgrounder says:

            It is refundable, but I am looking to keep it and maximise referrals now that the sign-up feeding frenzy is over. I have been considering it for the benefits anyway. After Liz’s testimony it looks like hang on for the first statement or have no chance of a Brucie.

        • Andrew M says:

          The £450 fee was charged on my card after the green to plat upgrade. Rather disapointing as I’ve never been charged on gold to plat upgrades.

        • Yahoo says:

          Seems everyone is doing it this way now. Green to platinum. Fee is hit and miss as with the gold but most times its a miss. Give it a.go. Amex know about it and are happy with it. Its. Nice

    • I have been charged the £450 today but that’s because i had to upgrade before the first months statement was produced as I needed the Plat card for going away next week and I never get an instant decision, sometimes having to wait 2 wks to get the card. Bad timing for me with the Amex rule changes but hey ho – i will use if the for car hire insurance, hopefully get a car upgrade for our road trip and lounge access then cancel when we come back.

      • I’d never gotten an instant decision before recently when I cancelled gold and applied for the rewards credit card.

        Immediately accepted with……£500 credit limit!

        • The Rewards Credit Card seems to be a funny one sometimes – Amex credit limits for me on BAPP, SPG, PRG are generally £10-20k, but like you they gave me £500 on the Rewards initially (this was a few years back, when it looked like a Gold version of the Platinum flashback card).

          I called them and shifted a few £k limit over from another card, which they were happy to do.

          • Yeah, I was cancelling Gold so transferred most of the limit from that across to the new card. I also only got £500 on the Amazon Mastercard too

    • The Streets says:

      I waited a month with green and let £60 annual fee hit the account before upgrading. Today I was refunded £54… so expect the £450 to hit on the next statement…

  4. NickAnon says:

    The AA site is showing availability with ‘Network Aviation’, will this be bookable by calling British Airways Executive Club?
    If so, I’m looking at flying business one way from Geraldton to Brisbane with a connection at Perth, any idea what the avios and taxes would be?

  5. Steve says:

    Virgin OT: I got my 241 voucher for Virgin but I might not be using it in the next 2 years. How flexible are they to allow me to use it for an outbound at 2y+2d? 🤔

  6. 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.

    • 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

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

        • 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.

        • 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.

  7. 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.

  8. 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! 😀

        • 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

  9. 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

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

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