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How to maxmise QF points for flight upgrades

How to maxmise QF points for flight upgrades

Old Dec 30, 18, 5:21 pm
  #1  
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How to maxmise QF points for flight upgrades

Hello, I am new to this & after my last flight in economy from MIA to SYD (AA & QF) in August, I don't wish to repeat it again. I will by flying to FCO from SYD in Sep 19 and I am after the best ways to maximise points so I can get upgrade out of economy. I have only recently changed over to OW or QF. Any advice is appreciated
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Old Dec 30, 18, 5:33 pm
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The best thing to do would be to look at prices that are being offered for premium economy on one of the carriers that flies to Rome

Given that Qantas does not fly to Rome, even if you had enough points to upgrade, you wouldn't be able to upgrade the sector to Rome

What is the routing that you are planning to take?

If eligible , you could apply for an AMEX Platinum Card which is , I believe, offering 100,000 membership rewards points that you could transfer to Qantas. The card would cost $1400 though
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Old Dec 30, 18, 5:38 pm
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Peteski Welcome to FT, Aussie branch ^

Originally Posted by Peteski View Post
Hello, I am new to this & after my last flight in economy from MIA to SYD (AA & QF) in August, I don't wish to repeat it again. I will by flying to FCO from SYD in Sep 19 and I am after the best ways to maximise points so I can get upgrade out of economy. I have only recently changed over to OW or QF. Any advice is appreciated
Upgrades with on QF are referred to a the "upgrade lottery". You may have better odds with TattsLotto.

Is the SYD-xxx upgradable? Not all QF flights are. Will be on the Manage my booking link. If SYD-DXB on EK will not be able to upgrade
Guessing xxx-FCO will be a QF codeshare on EK, or maybe on BA. You will not be able to upgrade that leg.

As you have recently joined to QF ffp(OW) guessing you have few QF ff points & no status. QF points are from flying or credit card sign up/spend.
But be prepared to fly in the seat you have purchased. Is you want to fly in a better seat purchasing is the only guaranteed way.

Originally Posted by Dave Noble View Post
If eligible , you could apply for an AMEX Platinum Card which is , I believe, offering 100,000 membership rewards points that you could transfer to Qantas. The card would cost $1400 though
Or spend $1400 more with an airline that has PE or business class to FCO.
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Old Dec 30, 18, 6:05 pm
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Originally Posted by Mwenenzi View Post
Or spend $1400 more with an airline that has PE or business class to FCO.
That would indeed be my choice , though I have found that with the $700 airline credits I get , plus the free night's accommodation from Accor, plus the annual travel insurance and car hire coverage, that the cost of the card works out ok

Even if able to get points to upgrade, they may not clear and , even if they do clear, will only cover QF marketed and operated sectors

Looking at fares, CX seems to be around $4100 in PE
Scoot has SYD-ATH r/t for $2800 in "ScootBiz" - just need a cheap flight from Ahens to Rome --- connections in Singapore are not that great though

or $3500 for Scootbiz to Singapore plus a ticket on Singapore Airlines to Rome in Premium Economy

Last edited by Dave Noble; Dec 30, 18 at 6:19 pm
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Old Dec 30, 18, 6:09 pm
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Thanks. I don't have many points at the moment but have recently changed Credit cards to try & help me. Maybe in the longer run, I will have accumulated the points. Unfortunately I only take 1 long flight per year, so I don't rack up the status credits to help either. Haven't chosen an airline yet for the trip, but it will be an OW partner to keep the points ticking along. Maybe CX, they have PE.

Also I have heard that if you approach the help desk before checking in & ask for an upgrade that you can get a heavily discounted rate. Is this true?
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Old Dec 30, 18, 6:37 pm
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I would find the best value flight 1st rather than worrying about FF miles. Is it worth, for example, $1000 extra to take CX just for FF miles
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Old Dec 30, 18, 6:59 pm
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Years ago CX was a serious competitor for “best” in most everything, Not any longer (just like QF). Now others are better and offer better value for money for what is essentially the same hard product (aircraft and seats). Cost reductions and corresponding service reductions have spolied the product - most noticeably on QF long haul. The QF fan club finds this negativity hard to swallow.
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Old Dec 30, 18, 7:38 pm
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Originally Posted by Peteski View Post
I don't have many points at the moment but have recently changed Credit cards to try & help me. Maybe in the longer run, I will have accumulated the points.

Unfortunately I only take 1 long flight per year, so I don't rack up the status credits to help either. Haven't chosen an airline yet for the trip, but it will be an OW partner to keep the points ticking along. Maybe CX, they have PE.

Also I have heard that if you approach the help desk before checking in & ask for an upgrade that you can get a heavily discounted rate. Is this true?
If 1 long haul flight a year just select the best airfare - schedule - seat selection that fits your budget, and treat any ff miles/points as a bonus that may or may not be used in the future. Not worth spending $100 extra for $0.10 (10 cents) in ff miles.

For Rome, Italy a flight to a city somewhere close and a train ride may be a better outcome.

No for many airlines. Some will sell upgrades at check-in at less than full fare, but seems uncommon in Australia. And with QF even less. QF will want the full fare difference.
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Old Dec 30, 18, 10:22 pm
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As mentioned Qantas points are next to worthless, you can't book an upgrade and the "free" award flights cost an arm and a leg because Qantas adds colossal surcharges to international awards.

Have a look at the Lifemiles section, you can buy miles and use them for award flights. Or, check out businss fares from KUL and CGK to Italy and look for a low-cost way to get to KUL/CGK/etc
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Old Dec 31, 18, 3:47 am
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Originally Posted by Peteski View Post
Hello, I am new to this & after my last flight in economy from MIA to SYD (AA & QF) in August, I don't wish to repeat it again. I will by flying to FCO from SYD in Sep 19 and I am after the best ways to maximise points so I can get upgrade out of economy. I have only recently changed over to OW or QF. Any advice is appreciated
Without status you might as well forget an upgrade using points. Not only that but you have to pay a higher fare to even be eligible for an upgrade consideration. Again, without status your request wuill be trumped by every other status member - a Qantas silver (base level elite) putting in a request a week before departure will have their request considered before yours even if you put it in 9 months before departure.

your best option? As has been mentioned - at the premium fares thread here on FT. You'll see airlines regularly offer business class from Asia in the AUD2000 range - for good carriers such as Qatar, Finnair and Oman Air.

You couple those with a cheap economy fare to Asia and then enjoy full flat beds for the rest of the trip. Oman Air currently has a sale out of Jakarta for AUD2100. Private suites in business class. Jakarta is about 6 hours from SYD and only costs $600 return to get there.

As you'll be booking separate tickets you'll need to allow plenty of connecting time though (lile at least 6-8 hours to be safe). If you fly Garuda to jakarta you can fly non-stop, or put in a stopover in Bali (and enjoy the beach!)
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Old Jan 9, 19, 6:44 pm
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Originally Posted by LHR/MEL/Europe FF View Post
You'll see airlines regularly offer business class from Asia in the AUD2000 range - for good carriers such as Qatar, Finnair and Oman Air.

You couple those with a cheap economy fare to Asia and then enjoy full flat beds for the rest of the trip.
As you'll be booking separate tickets you'll need to allow plenty of connecting time though (lile at least 6-8 hours to be safe).
There are some downsides to that. If you book separate tickets (AU-Asia and Asia-EU) then you risk missing your connecting flight, which forfeits your onward ticket. From a practical perspective, it also makes your trip longer (more time spent in airports, more check-ins, more... travelling). I've done a longer trip to Europe (MEL-CAN-CDG-OTP) so I can fly J and though the flying experience was definitely better than Y, I got there just as tired and frustrated due to the layovers.

I do agree with the consensus that QF points are pretty useless for flight UGs AU to Europe. AU has plenty of travelers with the purchasing power to pay for J and airlines are aware of this. You can save up QF points to book J awards, use alternative earning programms (e.g. AmEx points), fork up the cash or learn to enjoy Y. (It is possible, I promise.)
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Old Jan 10, 19, 2:09 am
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Originally Posted by florin View Post
There are some downsides to that. If you book separate tickets (AU-Asia and Asia-EU) then you risk missing your connecting flight, which forfeits your onward ticket. From a practical perspective, it also makes your trip longer (more time spent in airports, more check-ins, more... travelling). I've done a longer trip to Europe (MEL-CAN-CDG-OTP) so I can fly J and though the flying experience was definitely better than Y, I got there just as tired and frustrated due to the layovers.
Sure - separate tickets is not without risks... but there are a few factors to consider. I always allow plenty of time for the connection in case of delays, but choice of airport is important. Somewhere like SIN and it's easy to fill in time. Somewhere like Bali and the hotels are cheap and you can be on the beach. Bangkok and you can head off for an awesome meal and massage.

While it is true that you could be a 'no show' for your connecting ticket, as it is business class the change/no-show/refund fee is usually manageable.
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Old Jan 10, 19, 7:59 am
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There are some credit cards with rather high Qantas point earn rates floating around. If you don't fly frequently that's probably the best way to build up Qantas points. Something to note though is that outright rewards flights with Qantas are generally a horrific ripoff and upgrading cabin class using points is subject to status (Platinum > Gold > Silver), so more frequent flyers will be upgraded ahead of you. Unfortunately the only way to guarantee a seat in business is to buy a business class ticket.
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Old Jan 10, 19, 7:20 pm
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Originally Posted by warreng View Post
Something to note though is that outright rewards flights with Qantas are generally a horrific ripoff
I think this depends on how you use the points. IMO, J/F redemptions are pretty terrible, but QF points can go a long way in Y. Yes, the ridiculous taxes significantly reduce the value of your redemption, but some routes (I can think of a few examples of cities in Europe) can be quite expensive to pay for outright. Domestic flights can also be a good value (e.g. MEL-DRW can expensive to pay for in cash but quite a bargain with QF points.) Then you have the occasional offer of X% off point redemptions, which can make Asian destinations quite attractive. (I haven't really looked into AU-US rates/prices, so I can't speak for that; my guess is that redemptions would fall in the not worth it category.
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Old Jan 10, 19, 8:24 pm
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Originally Posted by florin View Post
I think this depends on how you use the points. IMO, J/F redemptions are pretty terrible, but QF points can go a long way in Y. Yes, the ridiculous taxes significantly reduce the value of your redemption, but some routes (I can think of a few examples of cities in Europe) can be quite expensive to pay for outright. Domestic flights can also be a good value (e.g. MEL-DRW can expensive to pay for in cash but quite a bargain with QF points.) Then you have the occasional offer of X% off point redemptions, which can make Asian destinations quite attractive. (I haven't really looked into AU-US rates/prices, so I can't speak for that; my guess is that redemptions would fall in the not worth it category.
It all depends on your flying patterns but for the purpose OP has raised (i.e. infrequent flying in J/F on longhaul routes without paying J/F prices) I think outright redemptions are a fool's errand. My preference for longhaul personal travel with Qantas is to purchase Y tickets and upgrade to J/F using points but that relies on a) amassing a surplus of points by flying frequently in premium cabins on OW airlines for work and b) having priority on international upgrade rewards due to status. And of course, they're trips that I would make irrespective of reward availability, the points upgrade really just gives me a discounted J/F ticket (which I don't want to pay for in full because I'm a tightarse with my own money).
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