Qantas Frequent Flyer members can now use their Qantas Points to book business class and first class reward flights with El Al Israel Airlines.
Previously, Qantas Points could only be used to book El Al economy flights, and while the airline doesn’t fly to Australia, it does run non-stop flights from both Hong Kong and Bangkok to Tel Aviv: Israel’s financial hub and the country’s second-largest city.
That allows Aussie travellers to pair a Qantas or Cathay Pacific flight to Hong Kong – or a Qantas or Emirates flight to Bangkok – with an onward El Al journey, although El Al flights can also be booked independently.
From Bangkok to Tel Aviv, you’d need 95,000 Qantas Points for first class or 65,000 Qantas Points for business class with El Al, one way, while economy rewards continue to be offered at 35,000 Qantas Points. These can all be booked the Qantas website:
Out of Hong Kong, you’d need a higher 78,000 Qantas Points for El Al business class, while economy remains at 42,000 Qantas Points (both one way). El Al’s flight schedules show Boeing 787s rostered onto many of its Hong Kong flights, which don’t offer first class.
The amounts payable in addition the points required are also quite low, with flights from Thailand attracting TH฿885 (A$33.55) in taxes and fees per passenger across all cabins, while on flights from Hong Kong, the charge is HKD$377 (A$60.80) in business class and HKD$357 (A$57.60) in economy.
On connecting journeys from Australia, the number of Qantas Points required – and the cash amounts payable on the side – vary based on the route, airline and distance flown.
El Al also serves Beijing from its Tel Aviv hub, with a broader network of flights between Israel and Europe, South Africa and The Americas.
As El Al has only a small number of airline partnerships and isn’t a member of a global alliance, very few frequent flyer programs allow their members to book El Al flights using points: especially in business class and first class.
Eligible Qantas Frequent Flyer members also now receive access to El Al lounges in Tel Aviv, and to the Qantas Hong Kong Lounge, when flying with El Al.