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

Qantas Business Class Boeing 787-9 Bed

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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 Sydney 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

There are several ways to book business class on Qantas from Alaska Airlines Mileage Plan to any of their Oneworld partners. Let’s check out some of the best ways to redeem miles for your next business class flight.

Alaska Airlines Mileage Plan

If you’re looking for the cheapest mileage cost, look no further than Alaska Airlines. For 55,000 Alaska miles, you can book a one-way business class award to from the continental U.S. to Australia.

Here’s the simple award booking process:

  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. Choose your desired flight and click Add To Cart
  5. Pay the necessary taxes/fees and complete your booking

If you want to see more than one city in Australia, remember that you can book a stopover with Alaska miles.

There are tons of possible ways to redeem Alaska miles, so check out our best ways to redeem Alaska miles.

Japan Airlines Mileage Bank

Japan Airlines Mileage Bank Chart
You can find some great redemption sweet spots in Japan Airlines’ distance-based partner award chart.

Japan Airlines uses a distance-based award chart. The chart is divided into tiers based on your flight miles. This means you’ll need to account for the flight miles of each segment of an award booking.

You’ll have to call Japan Airlines to book an award with one of their partners, but just follow these steps and it will be easy.

  1. Go to the Japan Airlines website
  2. Log in to your JAL Mileage Bank account
  3. Choose JMB Partner Airlines Award Ticket Reservation
  4. Choose Qantas under Partner Airlines
  5. Select business class, your travel dates, and the departure and destination airports
  6. Choose 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

You can include stopovers when booking award flights with Japan Airlines miles but, remember, each mileage tier requires more miles to book.

Check out our best ways to earn Japan Airlines miles to see all the ways you can earn.

If you need some inspiration for other ways to use your miles, check out the best ways to redeem Japan Airlines miles.

Cathay Pacific Asia Miles

Cathay Pacific Asia Miles provides an easy way to book Qantas awards online. You can also include a stopover and an open-jaw but doing so will make the booking cost more miles.

With the new Asia Miles prices effective June 22, 2018, you’ll need to check mileage by partner airline using their calculator.

As an example, New York (JFK) to Sydney first-class round-trip is 180,000 miles.

Here’s how you can use Asia Miles to book Qantas business class.

  1. Go to Asia Miles
  2. Log in to your account
  3. Scroll over “Redeem Miles”
  4. Choose “Flight Awards” from the drop-down menu
  5. Enter your flight details
    • Make sure you select “Qantas”
  6. Choose 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

Cathay Pacific is a transfer partner of American Express Membership Rewards points and Citi ThankYou Points.

The transfer rate from each of these programs is 1:1, but the time it takes to transfer varies by program. Transfers from Citi ThankYou Points generally take up to 24 hours and transfers from Membership Rewards can take between 3 and 7 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
A great use of American miles is flying business class on Qantas.

Prior to a devaluation in early 2016, American Airlines AAdvantage was a very popular program for booking Oneworld awards. Even with the devaluation, it’s still a great way to book Qantas business class thanks to its ability to include connections within the U.S. so you can reach an airport from which Qantas flies.

To redeem American miles for a flight on Qantas, follow these simple steps:

  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

If Qantas isn’t your thing, check out some other great 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 might be surprised that Qantas isn’t listed as an option. Sadly, Qantas does not offer even decent redemption rates through their award chart.

There are plenty of other options that can be used 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 serves a limited number of airports in the United States. 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 take a look at how you can book these flights, so you can decide which miles to use when booking Qantas business class.

Below you’ll see the round-trip business class redemption rates 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

Even if you don’t have the miles to book a business class flight on Qantas right now, there are plenty of ways to earn the necessary miles.

Qantas Frequent Flyer

Amex Membership Rewards, Citi ThankYou Points, and Capital One Miles can be transferred to Qantas.

Recommended Amex Cards (Personal)

The Platinum Card® from American Express - There's currently a welcome bonus of 60,000 points after spending $5,000 in your first 3 months. This is our favorite card for getting into 1,200+ airport lounges worldwide (including Priority Pass) and we get about $1,500+ in value from the card every year.

Plus, get up to $200 in Uber credits annually ($15 per month and a $20 bonus in December) — and up to $200 in annual credit for airline incidental charges (e.g. baggage fees). For rates and fees of the Platinum Card, click here.
American Express® Gold Card - We love using this card as it earns 4x points at restaurants worldwide and 4x points at US supermarkets (up to $25,000; then 1x). There's no better card in our opinion if you eat out and/or shop at supermarkets regularly.

With a welcome bonus of 35,000 points after you spend $2,000 in your first 3 months and a $100 airfare credit per year, for many this is an easy addition to your wallet. For rates and fees of the Gold Card, click here.

Recommended Amex Cards (Business)

The Business Platinum Card® from American Express - Even though this card carries a hefty annual fee, we get ~$1,250+ in value per year by leveraging as many of the benefits/perks card.

Get access to 1,200+ airport lounges worldwide, $200 in airline fee credits for incidentals (e.g. baggage fees) and a lot more. Also, earn a welcome bonus of up to 75,000 points (terms apply). For rates and fees of the Business Platinum, click here.
American Express® Business Gold Card - probably our favorite Amex business card because we earn 4x points across the top 2 select categories that we spend the most money in each month. The 4x points applies to the first $150,000 in combined purchases from these 2 categories each calendar year. This means you'll max out at a (whopping) 600,000 points per year. After that, you earn 1x. For rates and fees of the Business Gold Card, click here.
The Blue Business® Plus Credit Card from American Express - This is a real simple card that earns you 2x points on business purchases up to $50,000 annually (then 1x). There's no annual fee. For rates and fees of the Blue Business Plus, click here.

Recommended Citi Cards

Recommended Capital One Cards That Earn Miles (Personal)

Capital One® Venture® Rewards Credit Card - The big brother of the VentureOne and it's packed with a lot more benefits and perks. Earn a 50,000 mile sign up bonus (worth $500) once you spend $3,000 on purchases within 3 months from account opening — and 10X miles per $1 spent across thousands of hotels. We recommend this as a no-brainer card if you even semi regularly stay at hotels.
Capital One® VentureOne® Rewards Credit Card - This is an excellent card for those looking to earn 10x miles per $1 across thousands of hotels. With a 20,000 mile sign up bonus (worth $200) after spending $1,000 within the first 3 months and no annual fee, it's a strong choice.

Recommended Capital One Cards That Earn Miles (Business)

Capital One® Spark® Miles Select for Business - This no annual fee card has a 20,000 mile sign up bonus after meeting the minimum spend of $3,000 within the first 3 months. Save on interest with 0% intro APR on purchases for 9 months; 15.24% - 23.24% variable APR after that.
Capital One® Spark® Miles for Business - Earn 50,000 miles once you spend $4,500 on purchases within 3 months from account opening. Annual fee: $0 intro for first year; $95 after that.

Cathay Pacific Asia Miles

Cathay Pacific Asia Miles can be transferred from American Express Membership Rewards and Citi Thank You Rewards (both at a rate of 1:1).

Marriott Credit Cards

You can earn Marriott points and transfer those to Qantas, Japan Airlines, American Airlines, Alaska Airlines, and Cathay Pacific at a transfer rate of 3:1. Plus, for every 60,000 Marriott points that you transfer, you’ll receive an extra 5,000 miles bonus.

Marriott Bonvoy Boundless™ Card - earn 75,000 bonus points after spending $3,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. Get automatic silver elite status each account anniversary year; and a free night award (valued up to 35,000 points) every year after account anniversary.
Marriott Bonvoy Business™ American Express® Card - earn 75,000 bonus points when you spend $3,000 on purchases in the first 3 months of account opening. A solid card for business owners who will get complimentary Marriott Bonvoy silver elite status. Annual fee is $125. For rates and fees of the Bonvoy Business Card, click here.

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. You can start looking for award space 330+ day prior to departure. Still, it will be tough to find any availability.

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

As is the case with first class, it will be easier to book one award seat (maybe 2, if you’re lucky) if you want to fly Qantas business class.

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.

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

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 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.

Spencer Howard

About Spencer Howard

Always a fan of flying, it was only natural that Spencer was drawn to finding a way to improve the travel experience. Like many, he started this journey searching for cheap flights to take him around the world. This was fun for a while, but Spencer was intrigued by the idea of flying in business and first class! Throwing himself into what became an extensive research project, Spencer spent 3-4 hours per night learning everything he could about frequent flyer miles over the course of several months (he thinks this is normal).

Disclaimer: Any comments listed below are not from the bank advertiser, nor have they been reviewed or approved by them. No responsibility will be taken by the bank advertiser for these comments.

2 comments

  1. I’m not having any luck finding award flights that are direct on any of the websites. I am looking to travel June 2020 for a family of 4. Do they release these flights later? What am I doing wrong?

    • Stephen Au · July 23, 2019 · Reply

      Hi Jen,

      Award availability is always subject to the inventory released by airlines. Qantas is notoriously stingy for business and first class flights. It will be nearly impossible to book for a family of 4. However, you can consider waiting until a few days before departure to see if they release the unbooked seats.

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