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. Ah Day 2 dates need almost a 3 week trip minimum which is no good!

    • Check the next few days, more flexible trip times.

      • I was about to say the same. I found one today too, out of curiosity. Easy enough. Ideally spaces nicely across Easter to use less AL 😀

  2. Qantas site having a meltdown today 🙂

  3. Put in passenger details, and then clicked through to the payment page to get “Sorry, an error seems to have occurred, and this page cannot be displayed.”

    I’m guessing this means I’ve got to try again tomorrow? (Some websites seem to remove seats from inventory after passenger details are inserted, e.g. Air France, but I think this is wishful thinking!)

    • Lady London says:

      Yes did you see that its code for “generic error” was GERR in thé URL every time it crashed? More like “GRRR” …., actually 🙂

  4. NewbieFlyer says:

    Won’t let me go to the payment page!!

  5. Got to payment screen and crashed 🙁

  6. Did anyone get the £195 price today?
    I managed to get the £205 price and good dates but didn’t complete booking.

    • Why not? Just doing it for fun so others couldn’t access?

      • flyforfun says:

        I did, but because of the dates I was trying to check with other half for their availability and at the same time checking issues about me taking more than 2 weeks off from work. They get a bit funny if you want more than 10 days off and if you want 15 it’s got to go to someone more senior.

        When they did the Ashes promotion, I’m pretty sure the dates of validity were announced in advance of the seats going on sale, so I had every thing lined up before they went on sale.

        • You should find more flexible dates tomorrow and the following dates if you want to use less than 10 days annual leave

    • I did buy one for 15 april to 4 may! very convenient dates for me.

      • See you on the flight back. I got Apr 11 to May 4. going to see my daughter, so well pleased 🙂

  7. Lady London says:

    It kept crashing on me. Found dates outgoing, it crashed on the return.
    Waste of time. Feels a bit old fashioned website.

    • Most companies struggle to cope with exceptional peak demand. It’s the basis of my dad’s company…unfortunately Qantas are not one of his clients!

  8. Couldn’t even get prices displayed. Kept erroring-out, then said sold out.

    • Shoestring says:

      worth a re-check in a few minutes – somebody got flights an hour after ‘all gone’ yesterday – probably a cancellation or basket that went back into inventory

  9. AaronMan says:

    We were lucky enough to get some tickets yesterday (day 1) for £194 each. Never been to Aus before. This trip is for 11 days in total. What would you do? Either a drive/train from Sydney, Canberra and Melbourne or stay in Sydney for a few days and then fly to Auckland, NZ?

    Thanks in advance!

    • Australia is gigantic so decide on what kind of things you want to do. If you want to do NZ too I would only spend a handful of days in Sydney before flying there, but even then you won’t have enough time to do the whole of NZ! Sydney to Melbourne is a 10 hour drive. You can get flights for £50.

      I would be tempted to rent a car in Sydney and drive towards Brisbane and make a road trip of it. Then catch flight home from Brisbane

    • I think I’m going to spend a few days in Sydney and Blue Mountains and then drive through NSW and Victoria to Melbourne via Canberra. Will then fly back to Sydney from Melbourne and spend a couple more nights there.

      You’ll never do everything so just decide what is important to you.

      • Thomas Howard says:

        Unless you love Milton Keynes I wouldn’t spend too much time in Canberra.

      • I’m amazed there’s a couple of negative comments on here about Sydney. It’s a spectacular city – as long as you are near the harbour or the beach (all big Aussie cities have suburban sprawl, just like the UK!); the CBD is nothing special. Melbourne is very liveable but it doesn’t have the tourist appeal, though some of the old buildings built with gold era money in the CBD are fab. With limited time in Sydney, I would recommend you do the BridgeClimb. Expensive, yes, but worth it and really not that scary for people like me who don’t like heights. Or if not, at least go up the bridge’s south east pier. Do a harbour cruise, the morning Captain Cook one is good. Go out to one of the ocean beaches for a look, obviously Manly and Bondi are the most famous, but if you want something more intimate, maybe Bronte or Tamarama, which are on the Manly to Coogee walk (wrong time of year for Sculptures by the Sea sadly) or Nielsen Park which is on the harbour and has great views of the city. Bondi and the eastern suburbs aren’t so easy to get to on public transport, whilst Manly has a ferry. Fish and chips at Doyles at Watson’s Bay (accessible by a leisurely ferry ride), more for the view than the food mind you. Then you can spend as much time as you like wandering around the Rocks (fun weekend market) and Circular Quay over to the Opera House. My tip for accommodation, if your budget suits, is Harbourside Apartments in McMahon’s Point. Serviced apartments (individually owned and TBH the quality varies) but as long as you get one with a south easterly or at a push south westerly view, those views cannot be beaten, it has an outside pool with BBQ facilities and free parking. Probably best to call them to discuss which level of room you need for the best views. Or maybe AirBNB somewhere in Kirribilli (ideally Waruda St) with views of the city. Both these areas are north of the harbour bridge, but easily and quickly accessible by ferry, train or even walking over the bridge and with uninterrupted views of the bridge, CBD and Opera House. Public transport has Opal, like Oyster, and is much cheaper than London.

        Blue Mountains – yes, lovely, could squeeze it into a day. If you enjoy driving, consider taking the Bells Line of Road via Kurrajong instead of the A32, depending on exactly how far west you are going.

        Heading for Melbourne, not sure if you meant wholly inland if you want to go via Canberra. I was pleasantly surprised by Canberra and it has some world class museums and of course Parliament House, which you can visit, but I’d take the coast road if I were you. I prefer it to the overrated Great Ocean Road west of Melbourne; far fewer buses full of tour groups for starters. Have you thought about hiring a campervan/motorhome? Places on the way – if in a campervan, Kangaroo Valley, which has free camping at Bendeela with wombats and kangaroos guaranteed. Jervis Bay, whitest sand ever, bit like Lucky Bay near Esperance (I’m guessing you’ll have been there?) but admittedly with more houses. Then there’s a string of small holiday/former whaling towns – Ulladulla, Batemans Bay (not my fave), Bermagui, Tathra, Bega, Merimbula, Eden – where the best accom in the smaller places is likely to be a cabin in a van park. My magical place on this part of the coast is Potato Point, camping or a cabin; I gave up counting at 100 wallabies and kangaroos on the beach or the grass visible from our caravan. The hotel at Boydtown looked nice though we didn’t stay there. Lots of views of the ocean and great little local museums of life in the settler days if that interests you.

        Then into Victoria, most of which is not so close to the ocean so probably a quicker trip. Overnight maybe the stylish motel in Orbost or somewhere in Paynesville (koalas guaranteed on Raymond Island, five mins on the ferry). Port Albert has the best cafe ever. If you have the time, Wilson’s Promontory National Park is great; the view from the top of Mount Oberon has to be one of the best in Australia. Phillip Island I like but it is like a British seaside town in the 1950s. But you’d almost be passing and everyone loves little penguins (and pelican feeding at midday at San Remo). Or you could learn to surf there…. or if you like classic cars, the Classic Festival of Motorsport is on at the iconic Phillip Island circuit from 6-8 March. Finally, someone else recommended the Mornington Peninsula, the only wine area on your trip and good views from Arthur’s Seat.

        Talking of motorsport, the F1 is on in Melbourne on 15 March, so you either want to go to it (very central in Albert Park) or to avoid Melbourne that weekend as hotels will be busy and pricey. In Melbourne, take the historic tram for a circuit to get your bearings, Queen Victoria market is good (though not a patch on Central Market in Adelaide), maybe go out to St Kilda and the beach (and cake shops on Ackland Street), tour the MCG if you are into cricket, visit the laneways for graffiti art and/or cafes (plenty of advice on google!) and drink coffee. They might be coffee snobs but they are good at it and you’ll be in need of good coffee if you have been in rural Oz beforehand.

        Weather should be good in March. Other tips – don’t drive outside the cities after dark if you can possibly help it, it’s way too easy to hit a roo or some other Aussie critter, doing it no good and your hire car a lot of damage. Maybe plan on having your main meal at lunchtime outside the big cities unless you are staying somewhere where you know there will be food available or are self-catering as most rural places don’t have much other than the pub open after about 3pm.

        And you mentioned the possibility of emigrating. We have and love it here.

        • Thank you so much for your detailed and insightful reply. I will tell my partner all about it and we shall research the ideas you’ve mentioned!

        • Great reply. I’ve also done this trip and would add Jervis Bay to the list. If they didn’t want such a long drive, we did Sydney-Blue Mountains- Hunter Valley- Port Stephens-Sydney last year and had a fantastic time.

    • Shoestring says:

      Definitely *not* NZ (IMV) – too much travelling for 11 days, plenty to see in Aus

      I wasn’t a big fan of Sydney, a few days was enough – but my interests were diving the GBH plus exploring the wild side/ rainforests etc in QLD – easy enough to fly up to Brisbane (or better IMV, Cairns) and rent a car

      • Agreed. Car rental is easy in Aus and it’s the same side of the road. Driving is a treat there. Well worth a mini road trip.

        Save NZ for a different holiday IMHO

        • aDifferentSimon says:

          unless of course you skip Australia and go straight to NZ.
          I quite fancy a week of so in Tasmania – supposed to have everything.

          • Tasmania does indeed have everything, but this includes cooler weather, and even the occasional snow fall while hiking in the middle of summer!

          • Lady London says:

            Sounds a bit like a summer hike in Scotland, then 🙂

          • Tassie makes for a fantastic holiday. Me and my other half (who is from Victoria) did the east coast in January over a week and absolutely loved it…

          • @Sam any recommendations?

          • Tasmania is all about wilderness and scenery. You’d need several weeks or longer to do the whole island justice so probably best to select a smaller area if you don’t have that. Another great place for a motorhome/campervan trip as there are so many free camps (i.e. peace and solitude as well as leaving money for other stuff).

            West coast is really wild, think huge, ancient forests, tea-coloured rivers, enormous waves – and hardly any people. Great boat trips in Arthur River and Strahan and steam train trip from Strahan to Queenstown.

            Central – Cradle Mountain (you’ll have seen photos of Dove Lake) and Lake St Clair are picture perfect, much of the rest is forested and mountainous, perfect for hydro electricity, or rolling hills with sheep and cattle. If you are feeling flush, stay at the stunning Pumphouse Point at Lake St Clair (I haven’t but it’s on my bucket list).

            South (of Hobart), used to be apple and pear growing until the UK joined the EU. Still some of that (good cider) but now lots of hippyesque communities. Great views of the water. Bruny Island (by ferry) has the most amazing range of wildlife, all trying to die on the roads. Pretty much need to walk in front of the car to sweep them away at night. To the south east, Port Arthur, famous convict penitentiary. Fascinating and moving.

            Hobart itself – nice place, good food. Don’t miss Salamanca Market.

            East coast – personally I don’t rate this as highly as lots of other people do so I’ll leave that to Sam, other than to say Maria (as in Carey) Island was interesting and the Bay of Fires is beautiful. And if you are in the area, try to see the tree sculptures at Legerwood.

            North coast – mixed scenery. Wineries around Launceston, also quite a few old Aussie estates/old houses/villages to visit if that’s your thing (Tassie was second state to be settled). My favourite place to camp in Australia is probably Boat Harbour Beach, west of Burnie.

            Happy to go into more detail if I’ve not already bored you.

          • aDifferentSimon says:

            Thanks for all those Tasmania tips.
            I really enjoyed a family campervan trip we did in Ireland so I’d think I’d love to do it in Tasmania!

        • Another campervan tip then – the WikiCamps app, which gives details of and reviews of campsite – free and paid – is invaluable. Something like $8 but absolutely worthwhile.

    • AaronMan says:

      Thanks everyone! Very helpful indeed!

  10. Thank you for sharing

  11. Lady London says:

    Wondering what I’ve done to upset Qantas. no dates showing despite refreshers timed not just to take from cache..
    Would like to go see my Mum… goes not look like it is happening now. Unless I save up again and go Qatar!!

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