A very short while ago I wrote about my frustration with Qantas phantom award space on the American website. Every time I searched for a first class award between the US and Australia all I’d find is itineraries where the transpacific flight actually booked into economy.
After several days of searching I finally stumbled on a single day with actual first class award space available. After a few hours of consideration I decided to book the flight. I just couldn’t pass up the opportunity and I think I’m insured in case the dates don’t work out.
Booking Qantas First Class With American Airlines AAdvantage Miles
I have quite a bit of travel planned for the first quarter of 2018 so I wanted to try to book a trip to Sydney in June. Sure, I’d be booking during Australia’s winter, but I figured demand would be low and space available. At first nearly all of my searches ended the same way. I’d find a sAAver level award flight available only to discover the transpacific leg actually booked into economy. After a few different searches I’d give up and try again at a later date.
After about 7 days of trying I finally located a unicorn. I found an available sAAver level first class award seat on Qantas flight #007 from Sydney to Dallas. Qantas operates the Airbus A380 on the 15 hour flight which meant I’d be able to fully enjoy and review the first class cabin.
Once I discovered the actual available first class award flight I decided to book. The flight cost just 110,000 AAdvantage miles plus $87 worth of fees. Qantas doesn’t apply absurd fuel surcharges to award tickets unlike British Airways.
Right before hitting the submit button on my AAdvantage award booking I checked to see the actual price of the seat. When I checked Google Flights I found that the seat I was trying to book costs $9,595! Considering I only needed to spend 110,000 AAdvantage miles I’m getting $0.08/mile of value. That’s a great deal if you ask me. Once I saw that I decided to finally pull the trigger and book. After all, I have no idea when a seat like this is going to become available again!
Why Qantas First Class From Sydney?
I’m incredibly excited about this particular award. I’ve wanted to go to Australia for some time now and this flight means I at least have a way home. More importantly, this flight gives me a chance to review the full Qantas First Class experience from their hub airport. Usually you can expect a better ground experience from an airlines hub than you can a destination airport. Just take Lufthansa First Class from Frankfurt for example.
By booking this flight from Sydney I’ll get to review the airport experience, the Qantas first class lounge, and most importantly the incredible first class flight itself. Hopefully it will prove to be an incredible experience and review.
I also wanted to book this flight from Sydney (rather than Melbourne) because of the potential flight to Sydney. In a perfect world I hope to fly from the US to Singapore and then onto Sydney in Singapore Airlines’ New Suites Class. Again making the journey this way would allow me to review not only the Singapore Airlines New Suites Class, but also the Singapore Airlines Private Room in Singapore airport. We’ll see if I’m lucky enough to find Singapore Suites class availability between now and then.
Another Reason Why I Booked This Now
The final reason I decided to book this flight is that there isn’t any risk in doing so. Since I maintain American Airlines Executive Platinum elite status I can cancel my award booking at anytime for no extra change. The typical fee to redeposit miles is waived for Executive Platinum elites. That means as I get closer to my travel dates if I can’t go I can simply cancel. Likewise, if I find a better deal between now and then I can again cancel or change my award.
There shouldn’t be any risk in booking this flight now. I figured since the availability was there I might as well grab it. As I mentioned earlier, there are no guarantees that I’ll happen upon sAAver level first class award space again on this flight. As a result I threw caution to the wind and book this flight. Now hopefully I’ll actually be able to visit Sydney along the way!
I can’t believe I found this award space. I’ve been searching for quite some time to find an actual first class award seat and when I found it I just couldn’t pass it up. I’m not trilled with the travel dates or the time of year that I’m going to Sydney, but hey, beggars can’t be choosers.
In the meantime I’m going to continue searching for more favorable dates to fly Qantas First Class and/or try to find an available award flight in the new Singapore Airlines Suites. I would be great if I could end up flying Singapore New Suites and Qantas First in the same trip.
Featured Image Courtesy of Qantas