Qantas Boeing 787 London-Perth: Classic Upgrade Rewards are terrible value

By RJB | Aug 16, 2017, 05:22 PM
Hi all,

I want to tell you about my unpleasant booking experience on the QF website. 

Last week I purchased an Economy Saver ticket on QF10 London-Perth 787 for travel in April 2018.  I then clicked on Classic Upgrade Reward with the hope of being upgraded to business and the cost was a staggering 100,000 points.  

I find this terribly bad value.  By compassion, I have another itinerary for Dallas to Sydney (also a 17 hour flight) coming up where the upgrade from Economy Saver to business was 55,000 points.

In other words, QF are charging almost double the price for a trip of the same length, to go London-Perth.

It may indicate that demand is mega high LHR-PER and that QF feel emboldened to charge such an extreme amount.

Nonetheless I put myself on waiting list, even though I think it is highway robbery.

I considered buying premium economy but in the end decided against it, in view of seeing that the 787 has a single two-seater row at the very aft of the plane (Row 59) no doubt due to the curvature of the plane (everything else is a 3 seater row, where you would have to likely climb over somebody).

Perhaps the only redeeming feature of the booking, was the connecting flight QF582 PER-SYD on an A332 where I was able to be instantly upgraded to business at the time of making the upgrade request rather than go on the waiting list.  However being QF Gold frequent flyer the seat map blocked me out from choosing seats in Row 1-4 in business which presumably are reserved for Plats, rendering me stuck in Row 5 at the back of the cabin, unless they open up all biz seats closer to departure. 

The 90 minute transfer time in PER between QF10 arriving and QF582 departing also probably means no lounge time. 

In hindsight it probably would of been more successful in choosing QF2 for upgrade reward purposes (LHR-SYD), but having to kill 8 hours from hotel check out time until departure at approx 8pm with luggage makes that option unattractive. 

QR also sometimes seem to have good Biz redemptions available on the QF website (eg LHR-ADL on the A350) and they probably represent better value if you could actually find a date/seat that works, and then buy a tag flight on QF to SYD separately.    


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By mviy | Aug 16, 2017, 05:49 PM
100,000 points is a lot. You would've been far better off getting a Business award seat if you could find it. Upgrades from Flexible Economy would require less points than from a Saver fare.

Some hotels will store your luggage for you after you've checked out. If that's an option then the evening departure of QF2 isn't as unattractive. However upgrades on QF1/QF2 are already hard to come by (harder than the until late March QF9/QF10 MEL-DXB-LHR). With the cut in capacity to/from MEL one would expect it'll get even harder to secure upgrades on the SYD-LHR route.

Domestic seat maps start to open up about 80 hours before departure so put a note in your calendar to check back around then (obviously considering what the time of the day will be in London - you don't want to wake yourself up in the middle of the night).

Last edited by mviy at Aug 16, 2017, 05.50 PM.
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By patrickk | Aug 17, 2017, 05:41 AM
QF are now ensuring upgrades are such that flexible fares are encouraged. If my Melb LHR upgrade flex to business comes through next month it will be 66000 points, so 100,000 for a saver fare is probably right. I think the upgrade rate is now high enough for them to put the price up and encourage their higher level frequent fliers to purchase flex fares.
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By brinkers | Aug 17, 2017, 10:36 AM

For such a difference there must be a difference in the underlying fare class of the two flights. One seems to be pricing as an upgrade from Flexible Economy (55,000) points, while the other is pricing using  Economy (100,000 points). Do you know the actual fare classes, rather than the fare family?

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By CBR boy | Aug 17, 2017, 01:41 PM
OP specifically said Economy Saver in relation to both bookings, suggesting it is the same fare class.
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By brinkers | Aug 17, 2017, 03:44 PM
OP specifically said Economy Saver in relation to both bookings, suggesting it is the same fare class.

Economy Saver is a family of fare classes, rather than a specific fare class. Anyway, the documented number of points to upgrade an Economy Saver to Business on Dallas to Sydney is 100,000 points. The fact that the OP was quoted 55,000 points suggests it was booked into some other class (which does happen)

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