Booking RTW award using Qantas Points

By Georg | Feb 26, 2018, 03:00 AM
I am planning a One World RTW in business class using Qantas Points for February/March 2019.

BNE - via HKG - FRA (flying CX)

travel by train around Europe for a month, then

AMS - via LHR - JFK (flying BA or BA/AA?)

JFK - ORD (flying AA)

ORD - NRT (flying AA or JL?)

NRT - HKG (flying CX)

HKG - BNE (flying CX or QF)


My main problem is that I cannot find award seats for any of my AA flights on the Qantas website. Even AA & BA sites are hardly showing any awards. Any ideas on how to find them?

I know I have to call Qantas for JL flights. Has anyone flown ORD-NRT on JL J and would you recommend it?


If I book my first two flights BNE to HKG to FRA online as a one-way Classic Award for 143,000 points initially, would Qantas allow me to add the rest of the cities one month later and change it to a One World Classic Award for 280,000 points? Or must I book the first two and the last leg HKG-BNE initially to create a RTW for 280,000 points before I can add the middle cities later when those flights become available? Can I change this online myself or do I have to call Qantas to do the changes? Would the change of itinerary cost me 5000 points for all the cities or for each city?


The Qantas Website also cannot seem to handle more than 4 cities in the itinerary before dropping out so I can't actually pick the flight for my last leg home. Do I have to include a Qantas flight or can I fly CX back to Brisbane since I will have BA, AA and CX as three One World Airlines included in this award?



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By hutch | Feb 26, 2018, 04:09 PM
Nice trip!


You are booking a 280000 point one world award. It is not a round the world ticket, it is a 35,000 mile ticket with certain restrictions. Though it certainly be used for RTW. I only raise this as it can confuse QF staff and others...


In answer to your questions:


Airlines release seats at different times. Whilst Cathay seats are available basically just under a year out (I don't remember the exact time), American Airlines are released at a shorter timeframe (330days comes to mind... but again, not sure). So they may not even be available yet for the dates you have stated. Having said that, AA got stingy last time I checked for flights with them.


Have not flown JAL, but have heard good things. An alternative, is CX via HKG or AA. I have flown AA in business on 777-000ER and found the hard product to be good. Didn't rate the soft product, but as always YMMV.


The way I book this ticket, is book the first flight (or two or three if possible) online and then once further legs become bookable, I ring Qantas and make a change to the booking and add the flights. I think it 6000 points now for each time you change the ticket (note... if you ring up and add two flights, that is only one change per ticket). Once you've added enough flights to exceed 280000 points, and met the other rules, the ticket will cap at 280,000 points and it will become a oneworld award. You don't need to do anything. Any further flights added at this point will only cost taxes/fees and change fee.


The qantas website is rubbish at these things. So I have always had to call after the first leg or two and you can't change these online. The other thing is, if you wait until the last flight is bookable, the first flight may no longer be. So I suggest to start the process when a seat is available and not to wait... but that is just me.


You don't need to fly Qantas. Just at least 2 other oneworld airlines (ie Qantas + two OW airlines, or just two OW airlines).


As an aside, BA charge quite large taxes. If you can avoid them, you save yourself money and their business class ain't well reviewed. Some options include AA or Iberia through Madrid.



Last edited by hutch at Feb 26, 2018, 04.11 PM.
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By Georg | Feb 27, 2018, 01:04 AM
Thanks Hutch for all that detailed information. I have been enlightened!

I will definitely book the first two flights online as soon as I find award seats for them then call Qantas to add the rest. For my ORD-NRT leg, I had read a review on AA's 777 and it did look good but I have to agree that service can be a lottery! I had also heard recently that JAL food is not so good which could be a minus for a 13 hour flight! Well, I will have to see which one has award seats first! I am not sure I can 'transfer' in HKG twice if I use CX for this leg. Qantas might also consider it geographically zig-zagging since I will be stopping in HKG for a few days after NRT.

So does a RTW ticket means a paid ticket with unlimited amount of stops? Just curious to know what is the definition of a RTW ticket and how it's different to the One World Award I am booking using Multi-city tool.

Thanks again.
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By hutch | Feb 27, 2018, 03:09 AM
Thanks Hutch for all that detailed information. I have been enlightened!

I will definitely book the first two flights online as soon as I find award seats for them then call Qantas to add the rest. For my ORD-NRT leg, I had read a review on AA's 777 and it did look good but I have to agree that service can be a lottery! I had also heard recently that JAL food is not so good which could be a minus for a 13 hour flight! Well, I will have to see which one has award seats first! I am not sure I can 'transfer' in HKG twice if I use CX for this leg. Qantas might also consider it geographically zig-zagging since I will be stopping in HKG for a few days after NRT.

So does a RTW ticket means a paid ticket with unlimited amount of stops? Just curious to know what is the definition of a RTW ticket and how it's different to the One World Award I am booking using Multi-city tool.

Thanks again.

Well, that's the beauty with this not being a RTW ticket, you can backtrack etc. You are allowed no more than 1 stop-over (stopover being more 24hrs) and 2 transfers in any one city. So you certainly use Hong Kong as a transfer point to get to Japan from the US if you need and then go stay there latter on.

In any case, it is good to have options and be flexible. You do not always get the flight, the airline, or the routing you want.

There are different types of round the world tickets - some on zones, some on segments, stops, continents etc. To book those with Qantas, they will link you off to a OW platform. It's a fun tool to play with! But RTW have those restrictions like no backtracking, sometimes crossing oceans etc.

These do not apply for this ticket - fundamentally as you do not need to fly around the world.

Going off my head, the main rules are:
- under 35,000 miles (You're currently using 27, 076 miles - You can use GC Map to give you an idea of your miles used)
- 5 stops (there is a segment restriction too, but I think it is like 15)
- land segments included in miles / segments
- ow marketed and operated flights
- at least 2 non qantas, ow carriers
There are of course, other rules, but these are the main ones.

I am currently travelling on my 2nd one of these tickets and have helped a friend book his. Great way to travel, but be warned... it can be a frustrating booking process. Things go wrong with qantas and things go wrong with other airlines - it was only last month that a flight dropped off my booking. No notice, just happened to be logging onto the qf site (that is not the only time that has happened and to others).

Ultimately, when you are on the flights, all that booking drama is forgotten.



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By hutch | Feb 27, 2018, 03:11 AM
Also since I know David is active there also (so he won't mind the plug), there is a whole thread (it's huge) devoted to these awards over at Australian Frequent Flyer forum - something like 'Oneworld Award 140/280/420' .
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By Georg | Feb 28, 2018, 11:03 AM
Hutch, Thank You again for taking the time to share your knowledge and insight. It is much appreciated.

I did not know that you could backtrack in a One World Award. I knew it wasn't allowed in RTW paid fares. That's great to know.

Yes, booking woes aside, I am looking forward to sitting on that CX 777 to FRA and watching that tail camera when it takes off next year. It's a milestone Birthday trip!

I have read some of the threads on the AFF Forum. It's rather additive causing one to lose all track of time but definitely worthwhile!

Enjoy your trip and safe travels.
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By hutch | Mar 01, 2018, 11:22 AM
Hutch, Thank You again for taking the time to share your knowledge and insight. It is much appreciated.

I did not know that you could backtrack in a One World Award. I knew it wasn't allowed in RTW paid fares. That's great to know.

Yes, booking woes aside, I am looking forward to sitting on that CX 777 to FRA and watching that tail camera when it takes off next year. It's a milestone Birthday trip!

I have read some of the threads on the AFF Forum. It's rather additive causing one to lose all track of time but definitely worthwhile!

Enjoy your trip and safe travels.

Good luck with it all. Enjoy
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