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
  • Qantas.com 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 wheretocredit.com 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.

Conclusion

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.

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Comments

  1. Surprisingly on topic:
    I’ve read the article on using Avios for Australian domestics.
    For the simple Sydney to Melbourne route, does 6000 Avios and about £20 per person each way sound right?

    The BA Exec site is showing the same flights and availability as the Qantas reward flight finder.

    • Yes, BA avios availability is usually the same as via Qantas, and usually a bargain compared to using Qantas points. It is a good way to use Avios. Double check if Qantas and Jet Star have cash fares on sale between Sydney and Melbourne first though.

      Alaska miles (e.g. via SPG card points) can also be a bargain for longer flights, such as between the east and west coast, and unlike Avios they include a stop-over.

      • Brilliant, thank you. We have just under two weeks in Australia with the sale fares, so I thought a couple of days and nights in Melbourne would be doable. I’d love to go to Perth again but the four hour or so flight might be a push in that time period. Open to any advice regarding itinerary.

        • Cash fares seem similar to the Avios fares (1p per Avios assumed) so going to book them in, and can always cancel closer the time if better cash fares come up.

        • I’m sure lots of people here could give itinerary suggestions, and you may well already know Australia a lot better than I do. If you are only going to Sydney and Melbourne though, try to give yourselves a little more than two nights in Melbourne and explore the Mornington Peninsula as well. Your girlfriend might enjoy seeing kangaroos bounding around just before dusk at Sea Winds park, or visiting the Moonlit Sanctuary conservation centre.

          • Thank you – I will look into that for sure.

            I lived and worked in Oz for a year – but I was very busy with work so I’ve only spent a few days in Sydney and Melbourne (I worked in Perth and Darwin, so I’ve done most of the big hitters in WA and the NT). I’m torn between a quick dash to Perth or spending more getting to know the East Coast.

          • My brother and sister live in Oz so we have visited a few times over the years and each time we try to do something different. Last year we flew to Melbourne for a few days and drove the Great Ocean Road and visited Philip Island to see the wee fairy penguins come out the ocean. We then flew out to Alice Springs. We spent one night in AS then did a 3 day 2 night camping trip out to Uluru and Kings Canyon and slept out in a swagbag under the stars, then back to AS for an extra 2 nights. We did the half day Town Like Alice Tour taking you to the school of the air, telegraph station and flying doctors. It was a fab trip which none of our family have done. We have some fab memories. We used our Avios to fly economy on Qantas for these internal flights – only paid about £90 plus avios for flights which would have cost us about £1000. We flew BNE-MEL-ASP-MEL-BNE.

          • Shoestring says:

            The absolute best ‘nature’ thing my wife & I did was watch the baby turtles hatching/ digging their way out & scurrying to the sea at Bundaberg Beach in Queensland (plus we got to see female turtles digging holes in the sand & laying eggs on the same evening) https://parks.des.qld.gov.au/parks/mon-repos/turtle-centre.html

          • Shoestring says:

            it was turtley awesome

          • Lady London says:

            TBH I preferred Melbourne to Sydney. I would like to spend more time in Melbourne if I could get over the coffee snobbery.

            Sydney I could miss in any future trip. I’d give it max 2 days and 1-2 nights on any future trip with someone that hadn’t been there.

            Can it be divided as Harry T is kind if suggesting, into South Australia/Western Australia one trip, and SYD (if you must)/MEL/Blue Mountains/wine country/BNB etc, another trip?

            Others may disagree but squeezing in some Tasmania could also be worth looking at.

        • What interests you? Cities, outback, wildlife, culture, food, heat, cold, seaside, mountains? Been travelling around Australia for the last four years and driven 115k km in that time so seen a fair bit of the place and loved almost every minute.

          • Thanks, Liz and Shoestring.

            @Louie – pretty much all of the above! I personally prefer the heat and a mix of rural and urban Australia. I loved the outback, beaches and the nature, particularly in southern WA. I think with just under two weeks, we will probably be tilted towards cities a bit, especially as my gf has never been to Australia – she has to see the Opera House etc. Though I reckon we should do the Bondi to Coogee walk and see the Blue Mountains too. I’ve spent very little time in Melbourne and I’ve not been to Brisbane, so we might fit in a quick trip. Open to ideas, especially on the East Coast, as it fits in our time frame better.

  2. Well done Rob and Rhys for what looks like a real scoop. From the comments it sounds as if almost all today’s seats must have gone to HfP readers.

    And well done and Bon Voyage for everyone who got tickets today, including Rhys and Harry T. If you are travelling on a yet-to-be-refitted A380, you may want to try to get seats in the small rear economy cabin upstairs. Sometimes if you call Qantas they will try to release seats for you, especially if you have Qantas, BA or OneWorld status.

    • Alas the upper deck seems to be booked out! And I don’t have OneWorld status. But it’s excellent advice, thank you.

      Ironically, seat selection fees for extra legroom seats (£110 each way) would be more expensive than the tickets! Think I’ll just assume a night flight in economy is awful either way and spend that money on a nice hotel for when I arrive. Can take my chances with seats at 24 hours out.

      • Lady London says:

        More likely those seats are just blockef for now. Dont give up just make sure to keep watching.

        If you can re-enter (delete and add) any new OneWorld or KLM? FF number to thé booking if you obtain higher status meanwhile, phoning if necessary and for caution giving it a couple of days after any delete before a re-add if same number, IIRC that definitely showed more of the desired seats available on a search.

        • Thanks, will keep checking. Is it worth paying for upper deck? The extra legroom seats on the lower deck are more than the ticket price to book for both legs!

          • It depends on which upstairs seats, but I’m not sure you’d even be able to pay for them. We like the window pairs, but the cabin is so small that there are very few of them. The useful extra storage at the window is left over from when this used to be premium economy. As Lady London says, is there any chance one of you could earn status before then? Even BA bronze would be enough to call and ask.

            Customer service tends to be better upstairs as they also serve premium economy, and as most of the passengers have status, and some them high status. The number of people greeted personally by name and asked to let them know if they need anything is surprising.

          • Lady London says:

            IME on thé A380, no. All Y seats and thé général expérience on thé 380 is much better than other aircraft.

            I think QF was one of the first to go 10 across on it in Y, though.

    • Think you’ll find HotUKDeals got there first 😉

  3. I would leap at 100 tickets at £1000 (business class). But economy, I honestly almost cried last time I had to get back on in Singapore as I was so tired, it’s not an enjoyable experience #firstworldproblems.

    • Shoestring says:

      Congrats to the ticket winners.

      I thoroughly recommend taking some remedy to help you sleep properly on such a long journey in Economy.

      When I was younger it was just knocking back the booze – in those days the crews were always more than willing to let you get hammered, probably less so these days – so can I mention Kirkland Sleep-Aid pills? These are OTC in USA but not yet permitted in EU, they contain Doxylamine Succinate, a common antihistamine that has the side effect of bringing on heavy drowsiness, and which, if you google it, is harmless along the lines of Aspirin, ie used sensibly, presents no likely side-effects apart from said drowsiness. Available on Ebay UK delivered from USA for a cost of a few pence per tablet, no issues with Customs are likely (though I wouldn’t advise ordering more than 2x 96 tablets in one go).

      They are a very effective sleeping pill, in the sense that you feel very drowsy after 1 hour & conk out, fall back to sleep quickly when woken subsequently in the next few hours (ie good half-life on the drowsiness), and after just 1 pill (no more needed), you get your 8 hrs’ sleep but wake up not really drowsy any more, no headaches or ‘hangover’ feeling.

      • Or you can just buy a pack of Sominex for £4 at Boots!

        • Shoestring says:

          These are much more effective & cheaper – but apart from that…

        • Or Nytol the DARK blue pkt from Boots. Works like a dream for our friends who have to use Y on the odd occasion from KUL. Sleep for 8 hrs of the journey. Our daughter swears by it on the NBO route too.
          Enjoy the ride. What a scoop getting those seats, you all.

          • I always use the one a night not whilst travelling but for my first few hotel nights on 3 hours+- time difference in order to get a good night’s sleep.

          • guesswho2000 says:

            Nytol light blue or dark blue (they’re just different strengths), both contain DPH (possible links to Alzheimers/Dementia, but who knows). Avoid the green Nytol. Anything you can get without speaking to a Pharmacist or Doctor isn’t worth bothering with imo!

          • @Polly – thanks, it doesn’t seem real!

      • Thanks, will look into them!

      • Never had you down as a problem sleeper Harry.

      • flyforfun says:

        Diphenydramine Hydrochloride or Sleepeaze at Boots do the same thing, but not at Costco prices. Nothing at Boots is cheap.

      • I use these on occasion but there’s some research linking prolonged / frequent use to dementia.

      • Buying pills from eBay. What could go wrong?

        • Shoestring says:

          hasn’t gone wrong so far 4x – there are obvs pills & pills, I guess it helps that this is just as innocuous as as buying a multivitamin pill online not Viagra, it would probably cost some scamster more to make a convincing fake that to sell the real thing – these are 5p/ pill & presumably even less in USA pharmacy – anyway, you have the Ebay & PayPal guarantees or just read the positive feedback scores

      • guesswho2000 says:

        My god Doxylamine Succinate gives me the worst hangover ever, it’s OTC here as Restavit. Diphenhydramine HCl (Nytol) is available in the UK and much the same.

        But tbh just go to the Doc and ask for Zolpidem (Stilnox/Ambien), Zopiclone (Imovane) or Temazepam (Restoril), much better and zero hangover.

        • Some doctors are now very reluctant to prescribe Zopiclone as the current wisdom is that it’s highly addictive and ideally should be avoided if possible. I have taken it but find the bitter aftertaste which lasts the whole of the following day so vile that I’d rather do without the sleep!

          • guesswho2000 says:

            That’s it, the metallic taste, I remember that. Funny, I remember there being a big fuss over Zolpidem, but you used to be able to order Zopiclone from pharmacies outside the UK online, as it was uncontrolled (I presume that’s no longer the case).

          • Shoestring says:

            @guesswho2000 – put it this way: if you got caught by Customs/ police ordering Zopiclone illicitly online/ for delivery in UK, you’d probably get a caution/ implied threat of prosecution & they’d want to check you weren’t a dealer

            no such worries (for me, anyway) with ordering DS, it’s just an OTC drug in most of the world from what I can gather but hasn’t yet been authorised for EU

          • guesswho2000 says:

            Lol, fair enough. FWIW, Doxy is approved and available OTC in the UK, just not in single ingredient from what I can tell. Mersyndol/Syndol contains paracetamol, codeine, doxy and caffeine https://www.boots.com/syndol-tablets-30s-10262847

        • Shoestring says:

          Zopiclone is extremely effective – but also extremely addictive, it’s that good! (only one step away from morphine, I reckon lol). Drs in UK won’t prescribe it for more than 2 weeks & you need to have an extremely good reason to get them to say OK in the first place.

          • I reckon I can talk my GP into zopiclone, seeing as I sleep terribly in planes, even in J. I’ve had it before and it works. Definitely needs to be avoided long term. Diazepam didn’t work on me when I had bad jet lag in Thailand!

          • guesswho2000 says:

            I used to be pretty badly hit with insomnia, and I remember being told by a Doc when I was about 18/19 that I could only have Temazepam for max 2 weeks, no such dramas with Zopiclone though (a different time maybe). I took Zopiclone for a fair while and luckily had no adverse when I stopped. I guess they’re Rx only for a reason!

          • Shoestring says:

            @Harry To you’ll need a better reason for the Doc than sleeping on a plane lol,he’ll just laugh at you

            you need to think of a convincing *medical* reason

          • Lady London says:

            Not true. I worked for someone who only did up to 8 longhauls per year for work. But very very senior in giant corporate and simply could not sleep on planes. Even booked First or bumped to First for most of them.

            He had a regular prescription for Zopi/Ambien but doc insisted on face to face examination at least once per year to cover himself and was extremely reluctant to renew more than once without a face to face visit.Circumstances to get it were told truthfully and not exaggerated. Boss had a non-addictive personality though and very sensible and not ‘driven’ which probably removed one risk factor.

          • Lady London says:

            It’s amazing what you learn on HfP, isn’t it 🙂

      • Cheap ASDA/Tesco Anti-histermine (Cetirizine Hydrochloride) works for me when I want to sleep, also stops ichy nose on stuffy flights.

        However on such a sequence of long flights in cramped quarters I’d recommend being up and about as often as possible to reduce circulation pooling in the lower legs + risk of DVT. Don’t forget your flight socks!

    • Lady London says:

      Been there, done that, cried too. And this was in thé days before i understood things like staying hydrates on planes. Did that a few times.

      Then I discovered this site and worked out to do it in Qatar J. Which changed my life. Thanks Rob.

  4. How far can you get on BA for 12,400 Qantas points?

    • Not far at all! One way to Paris in Economy is 10,000 whilst Istanbul one-way in Economy is 40,000. Plus full taxes, not Reward Flight Saver taxes.

      • But London to Munich is also 10,000 points, and Sydney to Melbourne or Brisbane would be 8,000 points (versus 6,000 avios), or Los Angeles to Vancouver would be 12,000. The taxes wouldn’t be so bad for the latter two.

        You can transfer Qantas points between family members free. So potentially some value as an add-on to another trip, and if just a few points short these could be topped up from an SPG card if necessary. Other airlines might not give you anything for such an inexpensive ticket! You would need 300 status credits for the Qantas equivalent of BA Bronze.

    • guesswho2000 says:

      You’ll get a zone 1 domestic essentially – MEL-SYD is 8,000 points one way, for comparison, but ex-UK carrier charges will be the killer.

  5. I’ve done Oz in economy once (and even then one section was old ba biz and new premium economy)

    I wouldny like to do it aagain!

    • +1 👍

    • I agree! Nothing would make me sit in economy for that length of flight. My husband came back on the Perth to London route a year ago in economy and he took over a week to get over the flight and said ‘never again’. We are doing the same leg next year but have booked Business class to make it bearable. If I was younger, yes, but not an more 🙂

      • I have actually done Y back and forth a couple of times and survived it, but I will attribute it to luck and being in my 20s! Still not looking forward to it but absolutely worth it.

      • I never heard\seen so much moaning about having to travel like the less entitled, hardworking chattering classes.

        Have another G&T and take all those prescription pills you all obviously need.

        • I just get a sore coccyx/sacrum and lower back from economy long haul. Otherwise it’s okay! For 195£, I’d cycle half of the distance to Sydney, to be honest!

        • Lady London says:

          “chattering classes” would be more middle class, surely?

        • Unfortunately I have CFS (Chronic Fatigue Syndrome) so I’m grateful to be able to travel at all. I put all my money into upgrading myself to Business and with the help of HFP info have managed to get enough Avios etc. It means I can do the long haul without having to spend a week in bed the other end. I always travelled economy before this happened.

  6. Good luck to anyone who can use these tickets but this publicity stunt isn’t get me excited. Too restrictive by half.
    I was looking at business class yesterday and also noted that QF have an interesting take on 241 deals! Almost £5000 to MEL is more than double the fare of many options from LHR and ex EU. Fine perhaps if someone else is paying but that’s a chunky premium and I don’t think QF are good enough to justify such a price.

    • £5K for 2 people to Oz from London? Yes, nowhere near as good as an ex ARN/OSL/CPH/MXP but for London that’s good. I’d pay it for the extra convenience.

  7. Do you need to book returns? Is it only for couples we are a family of 4

    • Only 2 per flight yesterday I think (although we can’t be sure) and of course only 20 ticket in total each day.

      Almost certainly need a return as Qantas don’t sell discounted one-way tickets.

  8. Shoestring says:

    Massive success for HfP yesterday – can it be repeated today?!!!

  9. iamfugly says:

    I read Will.iam got one of these golden tickets. Allegedly he says his must have item on these economy flights to Sydney has to be noise cancelling headphones.

  10. Will the 20 seats be available on any dates over the departure period or will it be, for example, 4 per flight over the 5 days departure date listed? So do I need to be searching each of the days?

    • I assume they are just in a bucket for select dates and can be booked on any of the days, rather than allocated to specific flights.

  11. Today outbound travel dates are 11 Apr 20 – 15 Apr 20.

    That’s one month on from yesterday … perhaps they are releasing a month at a time.

    • Lady London says:

      May onwards though climate is not so good for a few months.

      • Last I was in Australia it was June. A little cool in Melbourne, but anything north of Sydney had some lovely sunny warm days. Cooler evenings but for active holidays (hiking etc) and for anyone wanting to visit Alice Springs/Uluru, a lovely temp.

        • It’s always a good time to visit Australia but I think the true autumn/winter time is not what most people want from a trip to the east coast or WA. The weather is terrific in Darwin (North) when the rest of Oz is cold though!

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