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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.

Qantas Centenary Sale

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.

Comments (291)

  • Rich says:

    I think I must be getting old.

    Ten years ago, I took advantage of the BA Ashes promo (where the price to SYD was going to be however many runs Australia made in the First Test at Lords – £215 in the end). It was perfectly bearable.

    These days, my appetite for an unnecessary jaunt around the world in Y is not so strong! Cograts to anyone who gets one.

    • Spaghetti Town says:

      Would love to try and jump on this but with the prospect of buying a house in 2020 with a trip to Orlando already booked and New York penciled in it’s just going to be too much!

    • Dave H says:

      We got the same tickets and our baggage was delayed a day so received $200 cash compensation each, now that was a cheap flight!

    • flyforfun says:

      I got one of those fares!!

      Got to work extra early that morning as we had “fast” internet there. Had gone through the website several times to make sure all the fields were pre populated. Bam! 8am it open and I’d booked my flight in about 40 seconds. 3 minutes is all it took for the 400 odd seats to be sold. I went back for just over a week from memory.

      I’d do it again at that price! Qantas’s A380 in Y is way more comfortable than a B787.

  • Mr(s) Entitled says:

    Looks like out bound was 2-6 March. Return was 16-24 March, then some dates in May, July, and Oct. Wish I had that kind of flexibility to go to Oz for for 7mths but I think the family might object.

  • Blindman says:

    Weird

    I just bought 2 returns at £194.77 about 10 minutes ago!!!

    Outbound Mar 5th
    Return March 28th

    • Rhys says:

      Maybe someone cancelled and they were added back into the mix!

      • Blindman says:

        Possibly, but I did not see an y T&C’s that say you can cancel the ticket, unless the 24 hr grace period is always true for airline tickets.

        Shows that its worth having a look see later on for this exact scenario.

        Should we collate a HfP “Aussie meet up?”

        • Mr(s) Entitled says:

          I might lose my S if the first non-London HfP gathering is the even less convenient Sydney! :o)

        • Harry T says:

          I’m game! I got tickets from March 3rd to 16th, which are good dates for me.

  • Blindman says:

    Possible tip for others tomorrow

    When you choose your dates make sure you select “FLEXIBLE WITH DATES”

    You then get a week either side of your selected date and it shows the lowest fares

    £141 was the outbound
    £54 was the inbound.

    • Robert says:

      Thanks, hopefully tomorrow’s page will show the actual date range the offer applies too, unfortunately today didn’t specify March.
      Well done those who got booked today.

  • BJ says:

    I feel a pain in my coccyx just thinking about it but congrats to Rhys and all readers getting this deal. A great feel-good way to (re)experience Australia and the a380..

  • PAT BEST says:

    Any body know if you manage to get the Golden ticket, if you can upgrade it to Prem or Business?

    • Blindman says:

      When I was booking it the option to upgrade to PE did appear, think it was £2K

      I did not take much notice TBHO.

    • Lyn says:

      You can upgrade from economy to premium economy, business etc. using Qantas points. However it takes a lot of points and may require status for the upgrade to actually come through.

  • Harry T says:

    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.

    • Lyn says:

      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.

      • Harry T says:

        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.

        • Harry T says:

          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.

        • Lyn says:

          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.

          • Harry T says:

            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.

          • Liz says:

            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.

        • Louie says:

          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.

          • Harry T says:

            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.

  • Lyn says:

    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.

    • Harry T says:

      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.

        • Harry T says:

          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!

          • Lyn says:

            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.

    • Symon says:

      Think you’ll find HotUKDeals got there first 😉

      • Rob says:

        Can’t have done much with it given at least 50% and potentially nearer 75% of the 20 seats went to our readers!

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