Maximise your Avios, air miles and hotel points

How you can do what I did and book a £205 Economy return flight to Sydney at noon today

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Qantas turned 99 last weekend and, to celebrate its 100th year, is running a special promotion.  A select few can fly to Sydney for £205 return.

20 tickets will be sold at noon each day from Monday to Friday this week.

There is also a broader sale running although we now know it is limited to only economy fares – more on that below.

At least 50% of the seats on Monday went to Head for Points readers.  Two went to me.  I expect stiffer competition now as word will have got out.

100 London – Sydney ‘Golden Tickets’ will be sold for peanuts

The biggest discount is to be had on 100 Qantas Golden Tickets.  These are extremely discounted economy fares between London and Sydney.

20 Golden Tickets are being released at 12 noon (UK time) every day this week, Monday to Friday. They are for travel on certain Qantas flights only between London and Sydney, with different outbound dates available each day. 

On Monday, tickets were not available for booking until 12:15, so don’t give up if you see nothing at 12 on the dot.  As the week has gone, however, Qantas seems to have got more punctual.

The Golden Tickets are in theory being sold for £205 although they are actually showing up at £195.  Qantas is essentially reducing the fare component to zero, with the remaining the usual Air Passenger Duty for economy flights. £195 to Sydney return, even in economy, is obviously a steal if your body can handle the direct flight – note that there is no option to add a stopover in Singapore.

The tickets are fairly inflexible, as you would expect:

  • They are valid only on flights QF1 and QF2 from London to Sydney (these are the A380 flights via Singapore).
  • No stopover permitted
  • No changes permitted
  • Non-refundable
  • No name changes permitted
  • only

Interestingly, the tickets DO accrue Qantas miles and status. You will earn 140 Status Credits and 12,400 Qantas Points in fare class E. Unfortunately, it looks like you will earn ZERO Avios and tier points if you use a BA Executive Club number, so it’s best to just open a Qantas account. A quick search on suggests no other oneworld airline programs credit for ‘E’ class either.

Booking information and travel dates will be announced at noon each day on the Centenary Sale page, together with the complete terms and conditions.

The tickets aren’t as difficult to get as you might think, although word will probably have around by Tuesday.  We know a few readers picked up tickets, and I myself got two.  Signing up for the Qantas frequent flyer program speeds up the booking process and makes it less likely that someone else grabs your seat before you can click ‘Pay’.  Make sure you are logged in at noon and that your credit card details are in your profile.

Economy Sale

The accompanying Centenary Sale is economy-only, which is a bit of a bummer!  Let’s hope there will be a separate premium fare sale during the centenary year.

The lead in prices are £699+ for flights to Sydney, Perth and Melbourne. Unlike the Golden Tickets the fare rules are a little more relaxed, since you’ll be able to take one stopover in each direction. You must stay a Saturday or at least 3 days.

You will be able to see all the terms and conditions on the Centenary Sale page here.


Whilst flying economy for 22+ hours is not something I actively look forward to, for the exceptional price of £195 it was too tempting to miss!  Look out for my trip review in March.

The bookable dates vary every day, so if today’s outbound dates don’t suit you, you can try again another day. The best way to bag your tickets is to check the sale page here at midday and check the dates applicable for that day.  Go to the booking engine and make your date choices and keep refreshing. Qantas have said it can take up to 30 minutes for the tickets to appear in the system, although experience shows that it was more like 15 minutes on Monday and on the dot of noon on Wednesday.

You can book here.  Good luck.

Comments (290)

This article is closed to new comments. Feel free to ask your question in the HfP forums.

  • Ashley Wang says:

    Thank you for posting this alert HfP!

    I managed to bag 2 tickets today for a decent May bank holiday trip. Was glad to see the dates today allowed for a more reasonable 1 week trip rather than the 3 weeks+ shown in the first few days!

    I was refreshing at 12, flights appeared about 5 mins later (after a few error pages whereby you had to search again).

    Getting through to the payment page was no problem, agree with the previous comments that this is where the flights are ‘held’ (I paused on the page before on another day only to click through later on for flights to be sold out).

    Once I put payment details in, using an amex, there was an error when I clicked pay now. I went back using my browser button to the payment page again and had to try a few times before the payment went through (including getting a one time code from amex). In hindsight would be easier to preload your CC details in your account and login, so no delay on the payment.

    • Rhys says:

      Glad you were successful!

    • Harry T says:

      One week isn’t very long! You’ll spend half of it travelling and recovering. Maybe you’re tougher than me though!

      • Harry T says:

        Congrats, btw! Didn’t mean to sound so negative. I hope you have a lovely trip in May.

      • Lady London says:

        Agreed. Done that turnaround (and longer) in 7 to 10 days many times due to AL restrictions in Y. Completely knackering in both directions. Even 48 hrs in a hôtel either end wouldnt take care of thé knackering – although would help a lot.

        J on QR helps a LOT to manage it better and a break of 5-48hrs en route really helps especially on thé outward. Just a shame I cant afford QR J right now and the major sources of legitimate non-ML Avios collection have dried up.

        • Harry T says:

          I didn’t think I would do it in economy again, but then these fares popped up – I made an exception, knowing full well I can’t sleep in economy, especially on night flights. Worth it for this price.

          I travelled from London to Darwin once in Singapore J (new suites at the time) thanks to the miles from my Australian Explorer Amex – now that was good. Would love to try Qatar – will have to save my pennies, as it’s hard to earn avios now.

          • Lady London says:

            Glad you got something @Harry T and I dont blame you for being willing to give it another go at this price.

          • Harry T says:

            Thank you, that’s kind of you.

            I hope you manage to grab a ticket tomorrow – hopefully Qantas IT will play ball.

          • Lady London says:

            Sadly I wasnt exaggerating. My computer is on the way out. I am limping along with less computer time each day before I can take it to the menders next week. I’m in the market for a second hand x270 to tide me over. OT if anyone knows a good source of recycled Lenovo laptops let me know 🙂

      • Ashley says:

        Thank you Harry!
        Unfortunately not many annual leave days left for me to use next week, but couldn’t resist the bargain! A longer 2-3 week trip would have been ideal but alas there are quite a few weddings I need to attend next year….

        I have done QR economy to Sydney before and didn’t find it too bad! J class is the dream… one day

        • Ashley says:

          Woops, I meant *next year

        • Harry T says:

          I’ve done QR economy from Perth to London and it was actually pretty good. Emirates economy to London was also more pleasant than expected.

          Shame you can’t get any more annual leave, but I agree you should still take this amazing opportunity – I’m sure you’ll enjoy it.

          • Lady London says:

            Emirates and SQ are the renowned ones for being tolerable on that journey in Y and it will be interesting to see how you think the QF A380 compares Harry! As it’s a 380 I should think you will get the best possible expérience.

            You might want to have a ‘contingency’ lounge plan in SIN though. I’ve just been reading a number of comments from regular flyers between Oz and Singapore. Thé article only appeared today and already has a number of différent commentés who said how useful the QF lounge that just reopened is going to be in SIN as QF1 and QF2 are often late even hours.. And guess which flights Rhys said you’re on 🙂

          • Harry T says:

            I hope the QF A380 is as pleasant an experience as you predict!

            Regarding the Singapore connection – it does look tight! I should still have my Amex Plat at that time and I know you can also pay for a few hours sleep in the airport hotels, so I’m sure we can manage something. If we do get delayed, I’ll be annoyed about it taking time out of my holiday!

  • Avstar says:

    What were the traveldates for today’s golden tickets??

  • Fraggle says:

    Relax guys… Economy to Oz sounds like an absolute hellish nightmare!!

    • Lady London says:

      You only have to look at thé seat plans to see thé basis for class warfare! Cramped working class in the back compared to the elites stretching out in more and more space as you go forward though thé aircraft!

      I wish those seat plans had been in my colouring book when I was 4 years old – I’d have wised up a lot sooner 🙂

  • Corin says:

    OT: apologies for posting here, but does anyone know why a one way Edinburgh to London is 7500 miles ? I thought it was 4500 ?

    • Rob says:

      In old money, it is – 4500 + £17.50. In new money, it scales from 7500 + £1 with other variants.

      • Lady London says:

        Has British Airways done a sneaky devaluation then? Have they removed the 4000 / 4500 Avios +£17.50 pricing for short haul routes at the bottom end then?

        If BA has been this sneaky again, then why is no one announcing it or at least posting on it? Not to have this pointed up is this why British Airways fed journalists so much alcohol at their event this week?

        Would be a massive devaluation if BA has used the excuse of offering £1 co-pay to justify them nicking pretty much two times as much Avios off us for the same short journey as before? I’d rather pay the extra £16.50 thanks and keep it to 4000 off peak or 4500 peak.

        So have British Airways made this change in the quiet and if so, why isn’t the blogosphere picking it up and outing BA?

        • Rob says:

          We’ve covered this a few times. The old option is still there, but you now have crappier options too! When you click through to pay you will see 5-6 different Avios and cash combos, the 3rd one should be similar to the old one and tends to be best value.

        • Harry T says:

          Plus the new system lets you cancel a one way RFS for only 50p per person…

          Sadly only works for RFS, not domestic Australian Avios flights with Qantas!

          • David says:

            Is this true?? I thought the cancellation fee was £17.50 per person per leg…

          • Rob says:

            True. We have covered this a couple of times. 50p irrespective of how much cash used.

  • Hugh says:

    managed to get to the booking page – saw first flight at £143, then the webpage crashed 🙁

    • Sparky says:

      Similar for me, i got to the ‘enter name of passenger’ page and then it crashed. I got so excited

  • pigeon says:

    0 out of 5 for me this week 🙁 Failed after pressing ‘express checkout’ button.

    Whilst it’s now £500+ more to go to Aus, I get to choose when I go and can book flights that fit around my ground arrangements.

    Are there any good ex-EU WT+/equivalent deals around? QF ex-LHR is £3k for premium economy – way too much for me!

    • Lady London says:

      If you need to be really cheap then the one to look for is China Airlines.
      Long stopover in Beijing though.

      I’m not sure I want to fly them as there are varying reports about conditions on board.
      China Eastern apparently also puts some deals up – that one’s via Shanghai.
      This month is a good time to look for deals on those but they’re not bad generally.

      For comfort, SQ and Emirates every time if you’re stuck in Y. on SQ I regularly used to pay £3-400 more than I could have, to choose their Y.

    • AppleW says:

      BA WT+ ex Vienna to Sydney via LHR for c£1150 or less from eg Ebookers…….

    • Gavin says:

      No idea on their pricing but Korean airlines on the A380 is very comfortable in Y (no Premium product), Incheon is a very nice terminal to transfer in – showers for long haul transit passengers are nicer than BA T5 lounges, there’s a peaceful transfer lounge, and some routings may get an overnight hotel stay in Seoul.

      Think the route may be fairly direct as well (perhaps more so for NZ). Overnight flight from London. The only snag may be a long journey time. I write this as an ex prop forward who did not feel cramped in an ordinary Y seat. Believe the A380 has a bigger seat than the 747-8 or 777 that sometimes operates on the route. They also fly from Paris which I think is a daily A380. The day flight back from Seoul to London is a killer however.

  • William says:

    Can’t quite believe it but I managed to grab two today – £196 each return. It kept crashing at the payment page but I kept hitting back and re-entering my card details until it finally went through! Was sceptical until i got the booking confirmation email.

    Insanely cheap, I used to Economy OZ-UK every year when I lived there. Not great but at that price I’ll live with it!

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