Travel Miles 101 has partnered with CardRatings for our coverage of credit card products. Travel Miles 101 and CardRatings may receive a commission from card issuers.

Opinions, reviews, analyses & recommendations are the author’s alone, and have not been reviewed, endorsed or approved by any of these entities. Disclosures.
Qantas Airways

Qantas Airways


Alaska Airlines has been partners with Qantas Airways for quite some time – which means you can earn and redeem Alaska Airlines miles on Qantas flights. Alaska sometimes also has bonus miles promotions for travel on Qantas (QF). QF is the flag-carrier of Australia and transports people to/from/around the wonderful country in the South Pacific.

Redeeming Alaska Airlines miles for travel on Qantas Airways has always been a great deal… when redeeming for Business Class or First Class. Economy and Premium Economy Class redemptions are also available, but aren’t as good of a deal as the premium cabins.

Qantas Airways Information

Qantas features four cabins (First, Business, Premium Economy, and Economy Class) on their Airbus A380, which they operate to Los Angeles, Dallas, etc. Other Qantas long-haul aircraft only feature three cabins – Business Class, Premium Economy Class, and Economy Class.

QF operates flights from Los Angeles, San Francisco, Dallas, Honolulu, and Vancouver to Australian cities: Sydney, Melbourne, and Brisbane. These are the only long-haul Qantas flights you can redeem Alaska Airlines miles for.

QF hubs include:

  • Sydney (SYD)
  • Melbourne (MEL)
  • Brisbane (BNE)
  • Perth (PER)
  • Adelaide (ADL)

Alaska Rules for Award Travel on Qantas Airways

You cannot redeem Alaska miles on Qantas flights to Asia, Europe, Africa, South America, etc. You can only redeem for North America/Hawaii flights and domestic Australian flights. You can also fly to New Zealand on Qantas if you combine a North American flight on the same booking (for example: Los Angeles – Sydney – Auckland).

You can also book Australian domestic flights on QF in Economy or Business Class. You cannot, however, book Australia – New Zealand flights (unless you combine it with a long-haul flight on the same booking).

You can have a stopover on an international booking, even on one-way trips. You can have a stopover anywhere in Australia or anywhere Alaska operates flights to. For example, you can fly: New York – Seattle (stopover) – Los Angeles – Sydney on Alaska and Qantas. Or you can fly: Seattle – Los Angeles – Sydney (stopover) – Perth. Remember you can only combine Alaska with Qantas on the same booking.

You cannot have a stopover on domestic trips. Furthermore, you can’t even have an overnight layover on domestic trips (so you can’t stop in one city overnight, even if the layover is less than 24 hours).

Alaska Airlines

Alaska Airlines

QF Award Chart

You can redeem Alaska Airlines miles on Qantas Airways at the following rates (all are one-way):

  • North America/Hawaii <-> Australia/New Zealand
    • Economy Class: 42,500 miles
    • Premium Economy Class: 47,500 miles
    • Business Class: 55,000 miles
    • First Class: 70,000 miles
  • Australia <-> Australia
    • Economy Class: 12,500 miles
    • Business Class: 20,000 miles

As you can see, redeeming for Economy Class or Premium Economy Class on long-haul flights doesn’t really make sense as you can add a few thousand more miles and fly in Business or First Class. Qantas premium cabins are harder to book using miles, but not impossible.

Qantas Lounge Access

Naturally, all QF Business Class and First Class passengers automatically have lounge access to Qantas Lounges.

Alaska Airlines Lounge Members and Alaska Airlines MVP Gold and MVP Gold 75K elite members have access to select Qantas Lounges.

QF First and Business Class

Qantas Airways First Class is only offered on the Airbus A380. The best route you can redeem miles for (in terms of maximising your experience) is Dallas – Sydney, which also usually has the most First Class award availability.

You will want to avoid the Airbus A380 and the Boeing 747 if you decide to redeem for Business Class as these aircraft feature the old Business Class product. You will want to fly Business Class on the Boeing 787 and select Airbus A330s to experience the new Business Class product. Note that Qantas does not fly the A330 to North America.

Sydney, Australia

Sydney, Australia

Qantas Award Availability

Award Availability in Economy on domestic Australian flights is excellent. Business Class is available on most shorter routes with lots of availability, but availability drops on the longer routes (for example, Sydney – Perth). However, you can find Business Class availability if you are flexible and book in advance.

On long-haul flights Economy Class and Premium Economy Class are usually open and easily bookable. Business Class is harder to book, but not impossible – just be flexible and book in advance. First Class is very hard to book… especially on the Los Angeles – Sydney route. Dallas – Sydney is often available in First Class and so is Los Angeles – Melbourne… however, again, you have to be very flexible to find award seats.

In Conclusion

If you are planning your Australian adventure and have Alaska miles, you should redeem them on Qantas as you can see more of Australia with a free stopover. Remember that if you book round-trip, you can have two stopovers (because you can have one stopover on a one-way ticket).

You can book QF flights right on Alaska’s website without issue. However do note that some of the regional flights operated by select Qantas partners will error when trying to book. Alaska frequently has issues booking partner airlines of their partner airlines, so if you are getting an error booking a regional Qantas flight, chances are you won’t be able to book it using Alaska miles (even if it shows as available).

If you found award availability in First Class – book it right away and think later. These seats disappear in a matter of seconds after they are released due to high demand and cabin capacity. If you are lucky to book a First Class seat, you will be in for a great flight down under!

Happy Flying!

Travel Miles 101 has partnered with CardRatings for our coverage of credit card products. Travel Miles 101 and CardRatings may receive a commission from card issuers.