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Brisbane to Chicago: Qantas to start direct route on April 20, 2020

Brisbane to Chicago: Qantas to start direct route on April 20, 2020

This route has already been announced – its just the start date that is news.

Bookings Open

You can now book these 787-9 direct flights on the Qantas website. The 16 hour and 20-minute flights will operate 4 times per week (M, W, F, Sa) as QF85 leaving Brisbane at 3:30 pm and arriving in Chicago same day at 4:40 pm.

Inaugural Flight Cost

If you want to take that flight returning 14 days later, today, its currently going to cost you:

  • Economy AU$1,758 (Economy Sale price)
  • Premium Economy AU$5,588 (combination Flex and Sale fares)
  • Business AU$13,948 (combination Flex and Sale fares)

Go a couple of days later, and the Business Class Sale Fare comes down to AU$9,513 – still quite expensive.

a screenshot of a flight schedule

Award Seats?

Well, you can get Classic Award Economy seats on this route, but Premium and Business are not exactly plentiful, despite what Qantas says in its press release:

The new routes are also good news for Qantas Frequent Flyers, with the loyalty program recently announcing it would be increasing the number of reward seats made available to members.

There was some availability on the inaugural flight this morning, but those have all disappeared by this afternoon.

I looked at some random dates in the future, but it looks like Qantas remains as stingy as ever with its premium award seats.

Brisbane San Francisco as well

Qantas also announced details of the Brisbane San Francisco flights (some capacity has been moved from LA).

Flights on the Dreamliner will begin on 9 February 2020, operating 3 times per week (T, Th, Su) as flights QF59, and QF60


a screenshot of a schedule
Schedule from the Qantas Media Release
Art Institute of Chicago with many arches and columns
The Art Institute of Chicago

2PAXfly Takeout

This Brisbane to Chicago flight is a great direct route if you live in Brisbane. It comes at a price, however. If speed is of the essence, then this is the quickest flight around, and currently the 4th longest in the world. Qantas has a great hard product – especially in Business with 42 Vantage XL staggered business seats.

If cost is more important, then you can save some money and travel more cheaply on longer routes, with one or two stopovers.

All up, I’m pleased this route exists, as it is the fastest way to one of the great American cities, that deserves to be visited. I wish it was direct from Sydney however – but that is just about my convenience!

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