Last week Qantas opened a dedicated ‘points plane’ for booking, upon which seats were only available to purchase with frequent flyer points, giving customers who had amassed the requisite miles the chance to fly-flat from Melbourne to Japan without paying a cent.
With ‘prices’ set at 35,000 points (plus A$182) for Economy, 54,000 points (plus nothing) for Premium Economy, 72,000 (plus nothing) for Business and 108,000 (plus… you guessed it: nothing) for First, there was some speculation as to how popular the Points Plane would be.
While some publications like Finder called it a “fun but not tempting idea,” others like Traveller and Apex celebrated it as an opportunity for passengers to use their points for what they were really saving them for (let’s be honest, we’d all rather an upgrade than a free bottle of wine). Meanwhile, the comments section of Australian Business Traveller revealed divided opinions.
Some revelled in the ‘no status’ preference, which gives silver and bronze members a chance to get a seat on a popular route they normally wouldn’t get a look in on, while others worried about the implications it might have on the Rugby World Cup. Suffice to say: no one was 100% certain whether consumers would write off the Points Plane as a publicity stunt, or buy into the hype and get their passports out.
As Qantas informed us this morning, the plane is now entirely sold out of Business and First Class seats, and—what’s more—they sold out in less than 9 minutes. So, it appears passengers have seen the value in this new service—regardless of the fact that it doubles as a marketing campaign.
Qantas also told us that there are still 200 Economy seats left. If you’re tempted to book one of these, here’s how you do it.
- 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
- Ensure the correct flight (QF79) is selected before booking
If, on the other hand, you are one of the lucky Business or First Class passengers, who has already booked a Pointy End spot, and have enough Qantas Points left over to bring a family member along in one of the 200 Economy seats that are still available, here’s how you do it.
- Calculate eligible family members’ points total (see Qantas’ family transfers page)
- Family members log in and select Transfer points
- Transfer a minimum of 5,000 and a maximum of 600,000 (warning: for the purposes of keeping your points from expiring, this does not count as activity on your account, or the account you transfer points to)
- Follow ‘For me’ booking process
You can also, if you don’t have quite enough points (and if you’ve been a frequent flyer for at least 30 days), purchase top up points, to get you over the line (and into Japan).