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 is an Avios quirk which is good to know about.
Qantas has a subsidiary, QantasLink, which flies between regional destinations across Australia. To quote:
QantasLink is located at Qantas Terminal 3 in Sydney with customers travelling to and from Sydney enjoying exclusive world-class facilities. QantasLink flights also depart from Qantas domestic terminals in Adelaide, Brisbane, Canberra, Darwin, Hobart, Melbourne, and Perth.
It uses a mixed fleet of Airbus A320, Boeing 717, Fokker F100 and Bombardier Q400, A300 and 200 series turboprops.
You can’t book these flights on ba.com
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 can I find QantasLink Avios availability?
There are two options.
The first 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 15th March in Economy Class and Business Class. ONLY ‘Classic Reward’ seats can be booked with Avios – ignore the other reward pricing shown.
The easiest way is to use the American Airlines website. This is because you don’t need to create a frequent flyer account – simply select ‘Redeem Miles’. If a QantasLink flight shows as available with AA miles then it will be available with Avios.
For the same flight:
Unfortunately, if you go to ba.com then the flight does NOT show up because it is QantasLink:
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 partner pricing band of 6,000 Avios each way for Economy and 12,500 Avios each way in Business. Ignore the number of points shown on the Qantas and American Airlines websites – this only applies if you are booking using their miles.
Regular commentator Alan is well experienced in booking these services and gave the following tips last time we looked at this topic:
- If the British Airways agent initially says there’s no availability for a return flight, 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.
How to earn Avios from UK credit cards (September 2023)
As a reminder, there are various ways of earning Avios points from UK credit cards. Many cards also have generous sign-up bonuses!
In February 2022, Barclaycard launched two exciting new Barclaycard Avios Mastercard cards with a bonus of up to 25,000 Avios. You can apply here.
You qualify for the bonus on these cards even if you have a British Airways American Express card:
There are two official British Airways American Express cards with attractive sign-up bonuses:
You can also get generous sign-up bonuses by applying for American Express cards which earn Membership Rewards points.
Run your own business?
We recommend Capital On Tap for limited companies. You earn 1 Avios per £1 which is impressive for a Visa card, along with a sign-up bonus worth 10,500 Avios.
You should also consider the British Airways Accelerating Business credit card. This is open to sole traders as well as limited companies and has a 30,000 Avios sign-up bonus.
EDIT: Applications for this card are temporarily suspended due to IT issues with the British Airways On Business SME loyalty scheme.
There are also generous bonuses on the two American Express Business cards, with the points converting at 1:1 into Avios. These cards are open to sole traders as well as limited companies.
Click here to read our detailed summary of all UK credit cards which earn Avios. This includes both personal and small business cards.