The Qantas Points Plane: free flights from Melbourne to Tokyo

The Qantas Points Plane: free flights from Melbourne to Tokyo

  • Qantas announces first ever points only plane – meaning Qantas points are the only currency that will get you a seat. 
  • The catch? You'll have to be a Qantas member and at the moment it's only two flights that are available. An A380 heading from Melbourne to Tokyo on the 21 October 2019, and a return flight back to Melbourne on 26 October 2019.
  • Bookings for the flights open at 7am (AEST) 16 May 2019. Keep reading to find out how to secure a spot. 

A points only plane is too good to be true right? If you are an avid Qantas points earner and redeemer you will no doubt intimately know the game (and pain) that is finding points seats for the exact flight you want. Often the rule of thumb with shopping for a points seat is to be flexible. Be ok with changing your dates, routes, stop-overs etc in order to use your points. So for Qantas to launch a points only flight on a direct route AND with a select date takes a huge complication out of purchasing a points seat.

Flight details

The points plane is exclusively reserved for Qantas Frequent Flyer members only. 

There have only been two flights and one destination announced at this time.   

Bookings for both flights will open 7am (AEST) Thursday 16th May 2019

The planes are both A380's and flight numbers and times are as per below:

  • QF79: Melbourne to Tokyo (Narita), Monday 21 October 2019 10.30am
  • QF80: Tokyo (Narita) to Melbourne, Saturday 26 October 2019 at 8.05pm

Given the location and timing, if you were planning on heading to the Rugby World Cup in Tokyo this year (20 September - 2 November) this would eradicate the cost of your airfare. Something to think about for all you Rugby fans #gowallabies. 

If this concept is a success, which we think it will be, Qantas hopes to operate more regular Frequent Flyer-only flights to other international and domestic destinations in the near future
- Qantas spokesperson

How to book

To secure a seat you will need to:

  • Log in to your QFF account
  • Search for flights (one way) and select 'Use Points'
  • Input flight details - Melbourne to Tokyo (Narita), departing Monday 21 October 2019
  • Make sure you have the correct flight numbers (above) selected before booking

I would be prepared for a rush on the site come booking time due to popular demand and thus it could be very easy to miss out. If you have not familiarised yourself with the Qantas booking system before, jump online now and walk yourself through the steps. 

Qantas is also known to have a booking error or two...or three! We have a guide on how to get around Qantas booking errors which could come in handy for an exercise like this. 

Seats and points

As mentioned above the planes are A380's - so that's a total of 484 seats up for grabs on both flights. 

Seats available across classes:

  • 14 First Class seats
  • 64 Business Class seats
  • 35 Premium Economy seats
  • 371 Economy seats


Points each class will cost you (one-way):

  • First Class = 108,000 Qantas points
  • Business Class = 72,000 Qantas points
  • Premium Economy = 54,000 Qantas points
  • Economy = 35,000 Qantas Points

Qantas are clear to state in their T&C's that points quoted for Classic Flight Rewards seats are correct as of 2 April but could be subject to change - so just watch out for that. 

Also be aware that you will still have to pay the flight taxes, fees etc for your points purchase. On a recent trip I paid $495.66 in taxes for two Business Class Classic Flight Rewards seats on Qantas from Sydney to Hong Kong. A pretty cheap Business Class flight really! 😜

Qantas flight taxes Sydney to Hong Kong estimate
What I paid in flight taxes for two Classic Flight Reward Business Class seats from Sydney to Hong Kong

Short on a few points?

There are a few ways you can quickly top up your balance: 

  • Buy a few extra points from Qantas. Yes, it's some cash out the door, but overall could cost you less than actually purchasing the flight or using points + pay option – especially if you are after a Business or First seat. 
  • Get one of your family members to transfer you a few extra points. They can transfer you a minimum of 5,000 and a maximum of 600,000. 
  • If you are a wine lover you can fill up your cellar and get points at the same time. Qantas Wine will give you 3 Qantas Points for every A$1 spent on gourmet food and wine. Cases sometimes come with up to 5k bonus points per order as well. 
  • And of course, sign up for a Qantas Premier Platinum Credit Card. If you meet the spending criteria you could earn up to 100,000 Qantas bonus points with the Premier Platinum Credit Card. For more information on this card, click here.

Conclusion

Qantas has announced this in their own words as a 'new initiative to make flying with your points easier'.

But is this just a one-time campaign? Short answer, we're not sure – and neither are they. No promises of other flights have been made, but the door has been left open to the possibility.

A spokesperson from Qantas said: 
“If this concept is a success, which we think it will be, Qantas hopes to operate more regular Frequent Flyer-only flights to other international and domestic destinations in the near future”

I'd love to see more Points Planes and destinations announced as I'm personally building myself a nice little piggy bank of Qantas points; which I recently kick-started with the 100k sign-up bonus points from the Qantas Premier Platinum Credit Card

Putting in a personal request for a Sydney to Rome route please Qantas! 

One thing is for sure, if there are future Points Planes they will only be available for Qantas members. And if they follow similar parameters to this launch there most likely won't be lengthy timelines from the announcement till when bookings are open - so you'll need to be prepared with a membership and some points. 

If you are lucky enough to get a seat on this Points Plane, let me know about your experience by tagging @thecreditletter on twitter. 

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