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How to book domestic QantasLink flights in Australia with Avios points

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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.

Comments (70)

  • 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…

    • John says:

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

      • Rob says:

        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.

  • 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.

    • Paul says:

      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.

  • Jay says:

    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

  • 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.

      • guesswho2000 says:

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

  • 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.

  • 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?

    • Rob says:

      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?….

        • Zara says:

          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.

        • Rob says:

          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

    • Liz says:

      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.

      • Lumma says:

        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!

        • guesswho2000 says:

          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.

          • lumma says:

            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…

  • 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?

  • 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? 🤔