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The Definitive Guide to Qantas’ Direct Routes From the U.S. [Plane Types & Seat Options]

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James Larounis
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James Larounis

Senior Content Contributor

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James (Jamie) started The Forward Cabin blog to educate readers about points, miles, and loyalty programs. He’s spoken at Princeton University and The New York Times Travel Show and has been quoted in...
Edited by: Keri Stooksbury
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Keri Stooksbury

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With years of experience in corporate marketing and as the Executive Director of the American Chamber of Commerce in Qatar, Keri is now Editor-in-Chief at UP, overseeing daily content operations and r...
& Kellie Jez
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Kellie Jez

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Kellie’s professional experience has led her to a deep passion for compliance, data reporting, and process improvement. Kellie’s learned the ins and outs of the points and miles world and leads UP’s c...

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Qantas, the flag carrier of Australia, is a world-renowned airline. With some of the most well-known flights to the exotic destination of Australia, it’s no wonder that Qantas has received a very positive reputation in the aviation industry. Australia is a tourist destination like no other, and there aren’t too many ways to get there.

The airline is well-known for its ultra-long-haul first class, which is one of the most aspirational first class flights in the frequent flyer industry. Additionally, Qantas has never had a jet fatality in its entire history and operates one of the largest hub-and-spoke route networks, which is hugely respectable.

Because Qantas operates this hub-and-spoke model, there’s going to be a lot less variability in aircraft and fewer last-minute changes due to operational and economic constraints.

Let’s look at all that Qantas has to offer to the U.S.!

Qantas Seat Options by Aircraft Type

Qantas is very consistent with its long-haul fleet size, and it operates these aircraft to/from the U.S.:

  • A330 (2-class)
  • A380 (4-class)
  • 787-9 (3-class)

Let’s take a gander at the route and aircraft table to get a better idea of key cities, cabin classes offered, and flight frequencies.

SCROLL FOR MORE
Qantas RouteFlight No.AircraftCabin ClassesFrequency
Dallas (DFW) – Melbourne (MEL)QF 22787-9Business, Premium Economy, Economy4x weekly (starting December 2022)
Dallas (DFW) – Sydney (SYD)QF 8787-9Business, Premium Economy, EconomyDaily
Honolulu (HNL) – Sydney (SYD)QF 104A330 (currently being phased out)Business, Economy6x weekly
Los Angeles (LAX) – Brisbane (BNE)QF 16 

QF 56, depending on the day

A330 (currently being phased out)Business, EconomyDaily
Los Angeles (LAX) – Melbourne (MEL)QF 94/96QF 94: A380 or 787-9

QF 96: A380 or 787-9

A380: First, Business, Premium Economy, Economy

787-9: Business, Premium Economy, Economy

QF 94: Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday on the A380; Sunday, Wednesday, and Friday on the 787-9

QF 96: Weekly (Thursdays)

Los Angeles (LAX) – Sydney (SYD)QF 12A380First, Business, Premium Economy, EconomyDaily
New York (JFK) – Auckland (AKL)QF 4787-9Business, Premium Economy, Economy3x weekly (launching June 2023)
San Francisco (SFO) – Melbourne (MEL)QF 50787-9Business, Premium Economy, EconomyCurrently suspended
San Francisco (SFO) – Sydney (SYD)QF 74787-9Business, Premium Economy, Economy4x weekly

The route network is very straightforward, so let’s look at our options for each cabin class.

Best Points To Earn To Fly Qantas

Qantas is a oneworld partner airline, which means you can use a variety of partner frequent flyer miles to book travel on Qantas.

The first option that comes to mind is American Airlines AAdvantage, which can be earned directly from co-branded credit cards along with transfers from Marriott Bonvoy and Bilt Rewards.

Additionally, if you are familiar with Alaska Airlines Mileage Plan, which is one of the best frequent flyer programs in the world, you can get huge value with Qantas. Additionally, Alaska Airlines is partners with Marriott Bonvoy.

If you’ve got a lot of Chase Ultimate Rewards points, you can transfer them to the Chase travel partners like British Airways Avios and Iberia Avios to redeem for Qantas flights.

You can transfer Citi ThankYou Rewards Points to Cathay Pacific Asia Miles and Qantas Frequent Flyer Points.

As far as American Express goes, British Airways Avios, Cathay Pacific Asia Miles, and Iberia Avios are all American Express transfer partners.

For those loyal to Capital One Miles, you’re eligible to transfer miles to Qantas Frequent Flyer and Cathay Pacific Asia Miles.

Qantas First Class Options

Qantas First Class
Qantas first class receives rave reviews across the board! Image Credit: Qantas

A380

Qantas operates a first class cabin on U.S. flights only on the A380. This is considered to be its “flagship” seat, so you will be experiencing the best of Qantas when flying first class on the A380.

Here’s what the seat map looks like:

Qantas A380 First Class Seat Map
Qantas A380 first class seat map. Image Credit: SeatGuru

The seats are arranged in a 1-1-1 configuration, which is ultra-exclusive. These 14 seats all have a sort of partition, which makes it seem like you’re in your own pod.

Another carrier known to provide 1-1-1 seat configurations in first class is Cathay Pacific on the 777-300ER. However, with Qantas’ 1-1-1 configuration on the A380 superjumbo, you can bet that you’ll have tons of space to sprawl out.

The first class seat measures 22 inches wide and 78 inches in bed length. The width might not sound impressive — but remember that this is just the seat space itself, and that width is with both armrests up.

You’ll enjoy tons of space, arguably the best bedding in the industry, fantastic catering, and excellent service in Qantas first class. Sure, it’s not as glamorous as First Class Suites on Emirates or Singapore Airlines, but it’s still a consistent first class product.

The most peaceful seats will be the A seats; those seeking privacy should aim to reserve 5A, as it doesn’t experience any foot traffic (though the proximity of the galley may be bothersome).

You will be able to find Qantas first class seats on these flights to/from the U.S.:

  • Los Angeles (LAX) – Melbourne (MEL) on select days
  • Los Angeles (LAX) – Sydney (SYD)

Hot Tip: Want to know the best ways to book this fabulous first class seat? Check out our in-depth guide on the best ways to book Qantas first class.

Qantas Business Class Options

Qantas 787 Business Class
Qantas business class on the 787-9. Image Credit: Qantas

Qantas has made some interesting decisions, particularly with its business class cabins. While its luxurious first class product is well-known, its business class products are comparative in many respects.

As noted above, Qantas operates these 3 aircraft:

  • 787-9
  • A380
  • A330 (nearly the same as the 787-9)

All aircraft have brand-new seats in a preferable configuration.

787-9

On the 787-9, there are 42 lie-flat seats in a 1-2-1 configuration across 10 to 11 rows. These seats measure 23 to 24 inches in width, 46 inches in pitch, and 80 inches long in bed mode.

Each of these seats features direct aisle access as well. Here’s what the seat map looks like:

Qantas 787-9 Business Class Seat Map
Qantas 787-9 business class seat map. Image Credit: SeatGuru

The 42 business class seats are organized into 2 mini-cabins with a lavatory and galley in between them. Since there’s another lavatory and galley located at the front of the aircraft, the best seats are most likely going to be 12K, 11A, and window seats in rows 3, 5, and 7. These seats will protect you from noise and motion in the walkways.

You’ll be able to find these business class seats on the 787-9 flown on these routes:

  • Dallas (DFW) – Melbourne (MEL)
  • Dallas (DFW) – Sydney (SYD)
  • Los Angeles (LAX) – Melbourne (MEL) on select days
  • New York (JFK) – Auckland (AKL)
  • San Francisco (SFO) – Sydney (SYD)

A330

The A330, currently being phased out in favor of the 787-9, has a similar layout to the 787-9, but with fewer seats (since it is a smaller plane).

There is 1 less row of business class on the A330, however, it is set up nearly identical to the 787-9 otherwise.

QF A330 J Seat Map
Qantas A330 business class seat map. Image Credit: SeatGuru

Though the A330 is being phased out, it can currently be found on the following routes:

  • Honolulu (HNL) – Sydney (SYD)
  • Los Angeles (LAX) – Brisbane (BNE)

A380

Similarly, the A380 offers the same layout as the Boeing 787-9.

Here’s what the seat map looks like on the A380:

QF A380 J Layout
Qantas A380 business class seat map. Image Credit: SeatGuru

There are 4 business class seats in each row with a 1-2-1 configuration.

Remember that this business class seat on the A380 is offered on these routes:

  • Los Angeles (LAX) – Melbourne (MEL) on select days
  • Los Angeles (LAX) – Sydney (SYD)

Qantas Premium Economy Options

Qantas premium economy 787 9
Qantas premium economy on the 787-9. Image Credit: Qantas

Premium economy is a solid product to experience on Qantas, though each aircraft utilizes a slightly different layout. It’s worth noting that the A330 does not have a premium economy option.

787-9

The 787-9 is the first premium economy product we’ll look at here. With a seat width of 20.5 inches, pitch of 38 inches, and recline of 9 inches, the 787-9 offers one of the top premium economy products in the world.

On top of that, the 787-9 is a new aircraft, so these seats are brand new as well. They’re configured in a 2-3-2 arrangement as shown in the following seat map:

Qantas 787-9 Premium Economy Class Seat Map
Qantas 787-9 premium economy class seat map. Image Credit: SeatGuru

The best premium economy seats on the 787-9 are in row 20 — there’s an incredibly generous amount of legroom.

You’ll find the 787-9’s premium economy seats on these routes:

  • Dallas (DFW) – Melbourne (MEL)
  • Dallas (DFW) – Sydney (SYD)
  • Los Angeles (LAX) – Melbourne (MEL) on select days
  • New York (JFK) – Auckland (AKL)
  • San Francisco (SFO) – Sydney (SYD)

A380

Qantas’ runner-up in premium economy is the A380. Here, premium economy seats are slightly narrower, but they also have slightly more legroom. These seats are 19.5 inches wide with a 38- to 42-inch pitch.

The A380’s premium economy cabin contains 10 rows, each row 7 seats abreast in a 2-3-2 configuration, for a total of 60 seats. Here’s the seat map:

Qf A380 PEY Layout
Qantas A380 premium economy class seat map. Image Credit: SeatGuru

The best seats are undoubtedly 31A/B or 31J/K — these exit rows seats will give you a nearly unlimited amount of legroom.

Find these A380 premium economy seats on the following routes:

  • Los Angeles (LAX) – Melbourne (MEL) on select days
  • Los Angeles (LAX) – Sydney (SYD)

Qantas Economy Options

Qantas economy parent and child
Qantas long-haul international economy class. Image Credit: Qantas

Qantas economy is our last option, and there are still quite a few differences between seats on the 3 aircraft. Here’s how we’re ranking the seats:

  • 787-9
  • A380
  • A330

787-9

The economy seats on the 787-9 measure 17.2 inches in width and 32 inches in pitch. This pitch is an inch longer than that of its competitors, though the seat is narrower by 0.3 inches — and a 6-inch recline makes for a comfortable flight as well.

On the 787-9, there are only 166 economy seats in a 3-3-3 configuration. The seat map looks like this:

Qantas 787-9 Economy Class Seat Map
Qantas 787-9 economy class seat map. Image Credit: SeatGuru

We think the best seats in this layout would be in rows 40 or 46 due to extra legroom. Just be sure to avoid 46A and 46K because the exit door will encroach into your space.

These economy seats can be found on:

  • Dallas (DFW) – Melbourne (MEL)
  • Dallas (DFW) – Sydney (SYD)
  • Los Angeles (LAX) – Melbourne (MEL) on select days
  • New York (JFK) – Auckland (AKL)
  • San Francisco (SFO) – Sydney (SYD)

A380

Our second choice for economy seats is on the A380 – they’re slightly wider but slightly shorter in pitch. There are 485 seats in the gargantuan A380, mostly arranged in a 3-4-3 configuration.

The economy cabins on this aircraft are so large that we need 2 images to show the seat maps. Here’s the main economy cabin:

QF A380 Y Layout 1
Qantas A380 economy class seat map. Image Credit: SeatGuru

The second and smaller economy cabin is located at the rear of the aircraft:

QF A380 Y Layout 2
Qantas A380 economy class seat map. Image Credit: SeatGuru

There are 3 seats you should aim to reserve on the Qantas A380 in economy: 71D, 80A, and 80K due to extra legroom.

Find these A380 economy seats on the following routes:

  • Los Angeles (LAX) – Melbourne (MEL) on select days
  • Los Angeles (LAX) – Sydney (SYD)

A330

While the A330 aircraft is being phased out, it is a nice aircraft to fly in economy class as there are only 2 seats on either side of the aircraft. There are 4 seats in the middle, however, so you’ll want to do all you can to choose an economy seat on the sides to have fewer people around you.

Qantas Airways Airbus A330 200 C economy
Qantas A330 economy class seat map. Image Credit: SeatGuru

23 A, B, J, and K, as well as 44, A, B, J, and K, are the best seats to choose as they are in the exit row with additional legroom, and are only in a pair of 2, so you’ll only have 1 person sitting next to you.

The A330 can currently be found on the following routes:

  • Honolulu (HNL) – Sydney (SYD)
  • Los Angeles (LAX) – Brisbane (BNE)

Bottom Line: Overall, the economy seats can be slightly different in size; what’s more important is selecting the few seats that are clearly better than the rest (especially on the A380).

Final Thoughts

As we’ve demonstrated in the above sections, your Qantas travel experience will vary dramatically depending on which plane you fly.

The A380 has the sole first class product, which is reputed to be astonishingly good.

But you may find Qantas’ business class, premium economy, and economy products better on the 787-9 due to the smaller cabin size and likelihood for more attentive service.

All in all, now you know the complete route network, aircraft offerings, and cabins of service on Qantas flights to and from America.

Frequently Asked Questions

What's the best way to book Qantas first class?

Using Alaska miles and American Airlines miles are a favorite in the travel community. You can use 115,000 AA miles one-way or 70,000 Alaska miles one-way!

Other methods include Oneworld partners like Cathay Pacific Asia Miles and Japan Airlines Mileage Bank.

For more info and a step-by-step guide, check out our detailed guide on the best ways to book Qantas first class.

What's the best way to book Qantas business class?

Alaska Airlines charges only 55,000 miles each way from the U.S. to Australia. It’ll cost you 80,000 AA miles for the same route.

Japan Airlines and Cathay Pacific both use a distance-based award chart, so your mileage will vary depending on your exact routing.

Check out our guide to the best ways to book Qantas business class.

What are the best ways to book Qantas premium economy class?

Alaska Airlines and British Airways are among the few options you have to book Qantas premium economy. Alaska charges 47,500 miles each way, whereas British Airways charges variable award pricing.

What's the best way to book Qantas economy class?

Alaska Airlines charges 42,500 miles each way, AA charges 40,000 miles each way, JAL charges 60,000 miles round-trip, and Cathay Pacific Asia Miles charges 40,000 miles each-way.

Some other options include British Airways Avios and Malaysia Airlines Enrich miles.

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About James Larounis

James (Jamie) started The Forward Cabin blog to educate readers about points, miles, and loyalty programs. He’s spoken at Princeton University and The New York Times Travel Show and has been quoted in dozens of travel publications.

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