Best Ways to Book Qantas Business Class With Points [Step-by-Step]

Qantas Business Class Boeing 787-9 Bed

Flying to Australia from the United States isn’t easy and often requires connections in Japan, South Korea, or a country in Southeast Asia. While Australia is a dream destination for many, a more convenient flight on Qantas in business class might be just the thing to make this trip even better.

On Qantas, you can fly to Brisbane, Melbourne, or Syndey from several cities the U.S., which will really shorten your travel time.

Business class award seats on Qantas are tough to find, but worth the effort. Here we’ll show you what to expect in business class and the best ways to book it.

A Look Inside Qantas Business Class

Qantas Business Class Cabin Boeing 787-9
All business class seats on Qantas’ new Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner will have direct aisle access. Image courtesy of ausbt.com.au.

Unlike Qantas first class, there is more variation in Qantas’ business class product. In fact, what to expect can vary even on the same flight. On their Boeing 747 aircraft, most seats are arranged in a 2-2-2 layout, which means only the middle section seats both have aisle access. The upper deck is arranged entirely in a 2-2 layout.

However, the main business class cabin is arranged in a subpar 2-3-2 layout. As a result, even people in the middle section will have someone climbing over them. If you get lucky, there are 2 solo window seats that have the benefit of direct aisle access and no one sitting next to you, which can be ideal for solo travelers.

Qantas Business Class Cabin Airbus A380
The upper deck of the Airbus A380 is entirely business class in a 2-2-2 layout. Image courtesy of ausbt.com.au.

On the Airbus A380, business class is located in the upper deck and is arranged in a 2-2-2 layout with direct aisle access for both middle seat passengers.

Finally, we have the Airbus A330 and the Boeing 787 Dreamliner. These aircraft have very similar 1-2-1 cabin layouts. This is the most modern business class product used by Qantas, and it’s superior to the others since all seats have direct aisle access.

Regardless of the cabin layout, every business class seat is fully lie-flat, making sleeping much easier. This is vital when you’ll be spending 15-17 hours traveling between the continental U.S. and Australia!

While the Airbus A330 does not fly to the continental U.S., you can try its business class product between Sydney and Honolulu on a roughly 10-hour flight. If you want to try the Boeing 787 Dreamliner, it is expected that Qantas will soon begin operating this craft between Brisbane and the continental U.S.

As a business class passenger, you will have access to Qantas’ business class lounges and those operated by their Oneworld partner airlines.

Inflight, you can expect a very good meal and a wide variety of options. Additionally, Qantas stands out for providing pajamas to its business class passengers, which make those super long flights even more comfortable.

How to Fly Qantas Business Class Using Points

Thanks to Qantas’ Oneworld partners and Alaska Airlines, you have several ways to book business class on Qantas. Let’s dive into the best ways to book this flight.

Alaska Airlines Mileage Plan

A great way to book a business class award seat with Qantas is through the Alaska Airlines Mileage Plan program. In fact, you can book a one-way business class award between the continental U.S. and Australia for 55,000 Alaska miles.

To book, go to Alaska’s website and follow these simple steps:

  1. Go to the Alaska Airlines website
  2. Sign in to your account
  3. Search for your desired route (make sure you select Use Miles)
  4. Select your desired flight and click Add To Cart
  5. Pay the necessary taxes/fees and complete your booking

You can book a stopover on a one-way award ticket booked with Alaska miles, which makes it easy to see a couple cities in Australia.

If you need more Alaska miles, you can transfer SPG Starpoints to your account. Keep in mind that transfers to Alaska Airlines often take a couple of days.

Remember: You can only transfer 79,999 SPG Starpoints to a particular airline each 24 hours. To ensure you receive the 5,000-mile bonus on each transfer of 20,000 SPG Starpoints, do not transfer more than 60,000 SPG Starpoints to an airline per 24-hour period.

If you need some other ideas for using your Alaska miles, check out our best ways to redeem Alaska miles.

Japan Airlines Mileage Bank

Japan Airlines Mileage Bank Chart
The Japan Airlines partner award chart is distance-based, and there are some sweet spots at the top end of certain mileage ranges.

The Japan Airlines Mileage Bank program uses a distance-based award chart, which is broken into tiers based on how many miles you’re flying. If you fly multiple segments, you’ll also need to account for the distance between each airport.

Japan Airlines does require you to call when booking partner award tickets, but the process is simple.

  1. Go to the Japan Airlines website
  2. Log in to your JAL Mileage Bank account
  3. Select JMB Partner Airlines Award Ticket Reservation
  4. Select Qantas under Partner Airlines
  5. Select business class, your travel dates, and the departure and destination airports
  6. Select your flights and hit Next
  7. Confirm the Mileage Bank miles and taxes/fees required
  8. If your booking involves a connection on another partner of Japan Airlines such as American Airlines, you will have to call to complete the booking

Japan Airlines allows stopovers, so you might be able to see multiple destinations if your stopover doesn’t add too many flight miles.

If you need more Japan Airlines Mileage Bank miles, you can transfer SPG Starpoints, but be warned: it takes around 7 days to complete the transfer from SPG to JAL, and Japan Airlines does not hold award tickets.

For other ways to earn Japan Airlines miles, read our best ways to earn JAL miles. If you need some other ways to use your Mileage Bank miles, check out our best ways to redeem Japan Airlines miles.

Cathay Pacific Asia Miles

Cathay Pacific’s frequent flyer program, Asia Miles, provides an easy way to book online. Additionally, you can book a stopover and an open-jaw to really take your trip to the next level. However, this can change the required miles for the booking.

Cathay Pacific Award Chart
Like Japan Airlines, Cathay Pacific uses a distance-based award chart.

To complete a booking online, follow these simple steps:

  1. Go to Asia Miles
  2. Log in to your account
  3. Scroll over “Redeem Miles”
  4. Select “Flight Awards” from the drop-down menu
  5. Enter your flight details
    • Make sure you select “Qantas”
  6. Select your desired flight
    • Standard Awards are what you want to find (otherwise you will be overpaying)
  7. Review the mileage cost and the taxes/fees
  8. Complete your business class booking

If you need more miles to complete a booking, Cathay Pacific has several credit card partners including American Express Membership Rewards points, Citi ThankYou Points, and SPG Starpoints.

These partners each transfer to Asia Miles at a 1:1 rate. Citi ThankYou Points generally transfer within 24 hours, and transfers from Membership Rewards can take 3-7 days.

SPG Starpoints will usually transfer within a couple days.

Hot Tip: Check out our Transfer Partner Tool to easily calculate how many miles you’ll need to transfer for your award.

American Airlines AAdvantage

American Airlines Partner Award Chart
Qantas business class can also be booked with your American miles.

American Airlines AAdvantage is one of the most commonly used programs for booking Qantas business class. It was more popular before they devalued their award chart in early 2016, but it’s still very useful if you need to connect to an airport in the U.S. where Qantas operates.

To book with American miles, you can book directly on American’s website. Here’s what you need to know:

  1. Visit American Airlines and log in
  2. Select your route and travel dates
  3. Check the box next to “Redeem Miles”
  4. Select “Business/First MileSAAver” to see business class options
  5. Select the date you want to fly
  6. Select your desired flight
    • If there is a connecting flight within the U.S., expand the flight details to make sure the long-haul segment on Qantas is in business class
  7. Click “Continue”
  8. Fill in the passenger details and pay the required taxes to finish booking

Transfer SPG Starpoints at a 1:1 ratio if you need some more American miles to complete your booking. Transfers take about 2 days, so American’s 5-day hold policy can be really helpful. If possible, you should put the flight on hold before transferring SPG Starpoints.

If Qantas isn’t your thing, there are great other options for redeeming your American AAdvantage miles.

Hot Tip: The ability to put award seats on hold makes using American miles one of the easiest ways to book Qantas business class.

Other Options for Booking Qantas

You’re probably wondering why we haven’t included Qantas as one of the best options for booking their own business class award seats. Unfortunately, their award chart is so noncompetitive that it doesn’t earn a spot among the best options.

As a Oneworld member, you can also use several other programs to book Qantas flights, including British Airways, Malaysia Airlines, and Qatar Airways.

Great Qantas Business Class Redemptions

Qantas Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner
If you can find a business class award seat on Qantas, you have several options to book it. Image courtesy of Qantas.

Qantas doesn’t have many routes to the continental U.S. In fact, they only fly to and from Dallas Fort-Worth (DFW), Los Angeles (LAX), New York City (JFK), and San Francisco (SFO). They also fly between Sydney and Honolulu (HNL).

Let’s compare the different ways you can book these flights, so you can decide which miles to use when booking Qantas business class.

Here are the mileage costs of round-trip business class award tickets to or from Brisbane, Melbourne, and Sydney.

Brisbane

U.S. AirportAlaska AirlinesJapan AirlinesCathay PacificAmerican Airlines
Dallas Fort-Worth (DFW)110,000 miles100,000 miles145,000 miles160,000 miles
Los Angeles (LAX)110,000 miles100,000 miles120,000 miles160,000 miles
New York City (JFK)110,000 miles100,000 miles145,000 miles160,000 miles
San Francisco (SFO)110,000 miles100,000 miles145,000 miles160,000 miles

Melbourne

U.S. AirportAlaska AirlinesJapan AirlinesCathay PacificAmerican Airlines
Dallas Fort-Worth (DFW)110,000 miles100,000 miles145,000 miles160,000 miles
Los Angeles (LAX)110,000 miles100,000 miles120,000 miles160,000 miles
New York City (JFK)110,000 miles100,000 miles145,000 miles160,000 miles
San Francisco (SFO)110,000 miles100,000 miles145,000 miles160,000 miles

Sydney

U.S. AirportAlaska AirlinesJapan AirlinesCathay PacificAmerican Airlines
Dallas Fort-Worth (DFW)110,000 miles100,000 miles145,000 miles160,000 miles
Los Angeles (LAX)110,000 miles100,000 miles120,000 miles160,000 miles
New York City (JFK)110,000 miles100,000 miles145,000 miles160,000 miles
San Francisco (SFO)110,000 miles100,000 miles120,000 miles160,000 miles
Honolulu (HNL)110,000 miles80,000 miles120,000 miles130,000 miles

How to Earn Enough Miles for Qantas Business Class

If you are ready to book your business class award on Qantas but don’t have enough miles for the itinerary you want, you’ll be happy to know there are plenty of ways to earn more.

You can transfer SPG Starpoints to Alaska Airlines, Cathay Pacific, Japan Airlines, and American Airlines. You can also transfer Membership Rewards or ThankYou Points to Cathay Pacific.

Recommended Amex Cards (Personal)

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When Should You Search for Award Space

Business class award availability on Qantas is very difficult to find, but not quite as difficult as first class award space. If you want to fly Qantas business class, you need to start looking 330+ days from departure. Even then, it’s very tough to find award space.

In 2016 and 2017, Qantas seemed to release a chunk business class and first class award seats all at once for departure dates 9 months away, and the availability was still very limited.

As is the case with first class, your best bet to book a Qantas business class award is to book a solo trip since it’s very rare to find 2 award seats on the same flight.

What Makes Qantas a Great Redemption

Flying business class on Qantas from the continental U.S. or Hawaii to Australia is a great way to make this long journey. As Qantas adds routes from Brisbane on the Boeing 787 Dreamliner, business class on Qantas is only going to get better.

Business Class Seat

While you won’t get direct aisle access with most business class seats on Qantas, they do provide a very comfortable lie-flat bed for your long-haul flights.

If you find yourself on a Boeing 787 Dreamliner to or from Brisbane when they launch routes to the U.S. (or on an Airbus A330 between Honolulu and Sydney), business class will be even better. These routes have Qantas’ latest business class product that provides direct-aisle access to all passengers.

If you’re on the Boeing 747, you’ll find the business class seats on the upper deck provide a much more peaceful ride as they are further from the engines with fewer passengers.

Qantas International Business Class Lounges

Qantas International Business Class Lounge
Relax in Melbourne at Qantas’ international business class lounge. Image courtesy of Qantas.

You can relax in one of Qantas’ international business class lounges and enjoy any of the several wines available. If beer or spirits are more your style, you will also have several options to choose from.

Additionally, you can expect a really nice meal, especially if you are in the Melbourne lounge which has both a dining service and an extensive buffet.

If you’re at an airport without a Qantas business class lounge, you’ll have access to one of their partner lounges, which are often provided by their Oneworld partners. If you happen to be in Dubai, you’ll also have access to the Emirates business class lounge.

Final Thoughts

Let’s be clear, finding business class award availability on Qantas will be tough. If you do find it, you’ll need to book quickly before someone else grabs the award space. When you consider both the inflight experience and the business class lounge experience, this comes as little surprise to anyone.

If you have Alaska miles in your account, they’ll get you into business class with the fewest number of miles. However, if you are going to transfer points to one of Qantas’ partner airlines, that can take time. As a result, you might be better off booking with American Airlines since they allow 5-day holds on award tickets. This should leave you enough time to transfer SPG Starpoints into your American AAdvantage account and complete the booking.

In the end, however you book this amazing flight, you won’t be disappointed you did!

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FAQ

What is the best way to book Qantas business class?
If you are booking business class on Qantas, check Japan Airlines Mileage BankAlaska Airlines Mileage PlanCathay Pacific Asia Miles, or American Airlines AAdvantage.

Alaska Airlines and Japan Airlines will have the best redemption rates, but booking with American Airlines can be much easier.

What credit cards can help me fly Qantas business class?
You can earn SPG Starpoints and transfer to Alaska Airlines, Japan Airlines, Cathay Pacific, and American Airlines.

Additionally, you can transfer Membership Rewards or ThankYou Points to Cathay Pacific.

Bank of America also provides co-branded cards that earn Alaska miles if you need to top off your Mileage Plan account, while Citi provides co-branded American Airlines cards.

What do I get when flying Qantas business class?
While Qantas’ business class product isn’t consistent across their fleet, you can expect a comfortable lie-flat seat and a relaxing business class lounge experience.