Alert: Qantas premium points booking at the old rate end 18 September. Slim pickings?
Redeeming Qantas Points before the deadline
Back in June I wrote about what Qantas bragged was the biggest change in their loyalty program in 32 years – go on – pull the other one.
These changes are being rolled out, but as I wrote earlier this week – 18 September is the cut-off date for making bookings on Qantas metal using the old points redemption tables.
Depending on the distance, you will save between roughly 10 and 15 per cent booking before the 18, rather than after.
As always the problem is finding premium space to the right international destination, at a convenient time.
Forget about actual long haul availability
I’ve spent quite a few hours over the last few days looking at availability. I’m looking for two return seats, on a points budget of just shy of 300,000 points. Not quite enough to get us there and back to Europe or America. That would require closer to 500,000 points.
So instead we are looking at Asia. Bangkok – forget it. Tokyo, nothing. Hong Kong – a bit, but would I risk it this far out? You get the picture.
We’ll always have Bali . . .
Yep, that’s where we are heading in 2020. We have a direct flight to Denpasar out of Sydney on an A330 – with new business seats, but during the day, and an indirect return via Melbourne on a 737, in ‘domestic’ configuration with daggy recline seats overnight, and finally the new fully flat business seats on another Qantas A330 for the one hour flight between Melbourne and Sydney.
Fees and Charges – How much?!
And then, of course, there’s the kicker – over a thousand Australian dollars in fees and charges for two return airfares in Business on Qantas. AU$1,061.76 to be precise. That’s about two-thirds of the cost for us to fly on the same airline, direct in Economy! (AU$393 x 2 x 2 = AU$1,572).
. . . or roughly the same amount as a one-way business fare for one of us.
Depending on how you see it, that AU$1,062 is ~25% of the total fare we would pay to buy cash money Qantas Business Class fares, at AU$4,372.
Is that a good deal?
Always – work out the cost of buying a fare with cash, before you commit to a fare redemption. It’s a way of measuring your comfort with the worth of the redemption.
With this redemption, we are getting about AU1.7¢ value per Qantas point, after fees and charges have been deducted from the dollar purchase price. That’s a few points off what Point Hacks suggests. They recommend a redemption target of 2¢ per point, and they have been in this game longer than me. They also have a great little calculator, you might like to try.
Personally, although I think the fees and charges are outrageous on Qantas – I’m comfortable with this redemption, although I wish we had an A330 with fully flat business seats on the return as we did with Garuda the last time we were in Bali.
Next up – where to stay . . .