Exclusive Qantas Boeing 747 farewell flights for frequent flyers?

Exclusive Qantas Boeing 747 farewell flights for frequent flyers?

The clock is ticking down towards retirement of Qantas' Boeing 747 fleet in 2020, but the airline is planning to treat frequent flyers with a series of exclusive 'Points Plane' flights on the iconic jumbo.

Inspired by the success of the Airbus A380 Points Plane initiative, Australian Business Traveller understands that a similar treatment will be extended to the 'Queen of the Skies'.

The Qantas Boeing 747s will enjoy quite a victory lap towards the end of 2020

These farewell flights for the Boeing 747 would see every seat from tip to tail reserved for frequent flyers to book with their points.

Qantas has been steadily phasing out its historic Boeing 747 fleet in favour of the advanced and fuel-efficient Boeing 787, with a second wave of factory-fresh Boeing 787s seeing the jumbo's staged retirement by the end of 2020 as Qantas celebrates its 100th anniversary.

The stalwart Boeing 747 of Sydney-San Francisco will be replaced by a Dreamliner in December 2019; Qantas is also considering the Boeing 787 for the long jumbo flights to Johannesburg and Santiago, while an Airbus A380 superjumbo could be earmarked for Sydney-Tokyo.

Qantas began flying the Boeing 747 in 1971, with early models sporting a rather groovy lounge on the upper deck.

Dubbed the Captain Cook lounge, the 15-seat lounge managed to combine a nautical theme honouring the nation's foremost European discoverer with a then-chic colour scheme of orange, checks and woodgrains.

Read more: The fabulous bars, lounges and restaurants of the Boeing 747

David Flynn
David Flynn is the editor of Australian Business Traveller and a bit of a travel tragic with a weakness for good coffee, shopping and lychee martinis.


  • Greg84


    25 Jun, 2019 08:08 am

    I also hope to be able to fly on one of these if they do in fact make the flights available!
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  • Graeme Willox


    25 Jun, 2019 09:56 am

    It'll be a shame when they've all gone.

    From the passenger's perspective, I don't think that the 787 is a good replacement for it at all. I don't suffer from claustrophobia, but after a 12 hr flight on a 787, I couldn't wait to get off the aircraft. It'd be even worse after a PER-LHR or longer flight.
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  • Oliver Freeman


    25 Jun, 2019 09:58 am

    I hope that they make these flights available to the general public as well. I am not a QF FF so it would be great to be able to get on one of these
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  • Matt Stevenson


    25 Jun, 2019 10:30 am

    If you're not a qff member, then you can just book a normal flight that they're still daily scheduled on.
    As the points plane is for qff members who often have a large amount of points to burn.
    Not being a member means you can't have any points so won't be able to book a flight. Rather simple.
    If you're a member of a Qantas partner airline though, you might be able to transfer some points to a new qff account that you can create? Membership is effectively free. There is supposed to be a joining fee, but I don't think anyone generally pays that considering there's so many ways around the fee.
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  • dm12


    25 Jun, 2019 10:42 am

    hope they extend the 744 on the Honolulu run until next April!
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  • Adam T


    25 Jun, 2019 10:51 am

    As I watch Sydney go to so much trouble to bring trams back after they dismantled what was the world's largest tram network in the 1960's, I wonder if future generations will regret the end of the 747 in 2020's?
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  • TheBigM


    25 Jun, 2019 11:13 am

    Well, the A380 was the natural successor, which will continue to operate.
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  • Adam T


    25 Jun, 2019 03:56 pm

    A380 has already gone the way of the 747, production terminated!!
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  • Himeno


    25 Jun, 2019 09:25 pm

    They haven't terminated production. They have set a date for production to end. They still have another 50 odd aircraft left on the order books.
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  • James C


    25 Jun, 2019 12:24 pm

    Wouldn't it be grand if Qantas bean counters allowed the marketing department to re paint one of the final ol'gals in the livery of the first QF 747 as a tribute for her swansong.
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  • Peggy Hayes


    25 Jun, 2019 12:53 pm

    I was often on the LAX-BNE route. Upper deck, window seat, exit row. It was heaven. I'll miss the old girls.
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  • Say Mee


    25 Jun, 2019 12:58 pm

    When you leave these aircraft and walk past it on the way to immigration (usually in BNE or LAX for me) where you usually get to see the size of the aircraft from front, the 2-3 seconds that you are in awe is unbeatable!
    Member who gave thanks


  • Colesmore


    25 Jun, 2019 06:14 pm

    Qantas are repositioning the 747s for Antarctic journeys (I believe) on certain dates on triangle routes later in the year, so an economy or business reward flight could be snaffled on those as well - as a Silver I was able to see availability. Might work for those with not as much time to give, but of course there's never a guarantee the dates etc. won't change or have an AC swap.
    No member give thanks

  • chips


    26 Jun, 2019 11:05 am

    In the early 70s two Qantas work mates and I stood underneath the first 747-100 to visit Melbourne Tullamarine Airport it was operated by Pan-Am you can imagine what that moment felt like as the biggest planes we had seen were DC8-65F but the 747 was huge very majestic . I amongst many will feel sad to see them go ..Peter WA
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  • Geoff Bell

    Geoff Bell

    26 Jun, 2019 03:20 pm

    Have never had the opportunity to fly Qantas 747 although did TLV to LHR on an EL AL aircraft.
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  • Richard Robertson


    26 Jun, 2019 03:33 pm

    I'd certainly be in on that!
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  • SeaVisionBurma


    28 Jun, 2019 08:24 am

    Tip for if this happens... Assume that inside economy seats for a special farewell award flight would be cheaper than premium/window seats
    Find a friend to do the farewell flight with, book one premium and one cheapie, then swap half way
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  • Marksgreen


    7 Jul, 2019 02:58 pm

    I’ve been lucky enough to have been on the upper deck twice and even got in one of the old first class seats - right at the very front downstairs. There’s something so majestic with the 747 that just can’t be beat. That said, I’ve also done the PER -LHR and that was incredible. Comfier seat and the humidity and pressure does make a difference. I feel very spoiled to have had all of these experiences. They’re all great!
    No member give thanks


24 Jul, 2019 05:44 pm


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