Qantas has confirmed direct Brisbane to Chicago and San Francisco routes

Qantas has confirmed direct Brisbane to Chicago and San Francisco routes

  • Qantas is set to fly from Brisbane (BNE) direct to San Francisco (SFO) three times a week from the end of April 2020
  • Taking the total to 14 flights per week from Brisbane, Melbourne and Sydney to San Francisco
  • Seats are expected to go on sale in the coming weeks, pending final approval

Qantas recently announced it would fly direct from Brisbane to the USA’s third largest city, Chicago. Making a trip to Wrigley Field or Lake Michigan that much easier.  And providing an alternate option to get you to the East Coast instead of stopping in LA or Dallas.

Qantas is now set to grow its network further with the announcement it will begin non-stop flights from Brisbane to San Francisco from April 2020.  This new route will join the current SF routes from Sydney and Melbourne, and take the total flight from Australia to San Francisco to 14 per week.

Currently, Queensland based Brisbane travellers who head to San Francisco and Silicon Valley need to either catch a domestic flight to Sydney to then make their way across the Pacific to San Fran. Or they've needed to head directly from Brisbane to LA and take a local connection from there. And we all know just how much “fun” an LAX transit can be, don’t we?

These new services will connect both Australian business travellers and holidaymakers with key centres of commerce, industry and culture in the United States.
- Alan Joyce, Qantas

How long will the flight take?

The 11,367km flight will take approximately 12 hours 40 minutes. Give or take, depending on winds.

The flight will be serviced by the Beoning 787-9 Dreamliners. Featuring 42 Business Suites with fully-flat beds, 28 Premium Economy seats and 166 Economy seats.

Are flights on sale?

Not yet. Qantas is still waiting on full approval on the new deal with American Airlines from the US Department of Transportation. It’s likely to be a few weeks before that happens.

LAX flights will be trimmed back

To accommodate the three flights a week from Brisbane to San Francisco, Qantas will trim its current 10 flights a week from Brisbane to LAX. Dropping back to a daily service instead of having the QF55/QF56 Monday, Wednesday and Saturday flights redirected to San Francisco.

A win for Queensland tourism

The new route will help the Sunshine state to attract more incoming visitors from the USA. With the attraction of Hamilton Island, the Great Barrier Reef and the Gold Coast being just one stop away.

Will there be award seats available?

At this stage, we don’t know how many award seats will be released for this new route. But based on past experiences following the announcement of new routes, Qantas has usually made a substantial number of Economy and Business Class awards seats available.

So we’d expect to see similar happen here for both the San Francisco and the Chicago routes. 

But we think they’ll be snapped up quickly so keep your eyes peels and we’ll let you know once we get word they are on sale.

How many points will I need?

We don’t know for sure but we estimate it would be a similar amount of points as the Sydney to San Francisco route. 

If that’s the case then expect the new route in Economy to be around 45,000 QFF points or 96,000 QFF points for Business Class one way.

What’s do Aussies think of the new route?

Following the announcement of the new San Francisco and Chigao routes, the general consensus is the flights will be a welcome change to the schedule. With many people expressing their delight in being able to avoid connecting through busy LAX. But pointing out that the oneworld SFO lounge can leave a lot to be desired.

Some people have been quick to point out that there is no actual change in passenger numbers out of Brisbane, as the San Francisco flights take the place of three BNE - LAX flights.

While others aren’t too impressed with the skinny cabin of the 787-9 Dreamliners, so don't mind the stopover if it means a nicer aircraft experience.

Overall we are pretty excited to see the addition of the San Francisco and Chigaco routes in the schedule. We will be keeping our eyes peeled in the next few weeks for any special deals.

How you do feel about the new routes? Let us know in the comments below!