Qantas is launching a new route on September 1, 2018: San Francisco – Melbourne on Wednesday, Thursday, Saturday, and Sunday, operated by a Boeing 787-9.
This offers 42 lie flat business class seats with direct aisle access, 28 premium economy seats, and 166 seats in coach.
- San Francisco – Melbourne, 10:00 p.m. – 6:30 a.m.+2, QF50
Melbourne – San Francisco, 9:40 p.m. – 7:00 p.m., QF49
Qantas rarely makes business class award space available, however on this new flight awards are wide open on the days of the week it operates. Some flights have as many as 6 business class award seats available.
Here’s October award availability for 2 passengers in business:
American AAdvantage charges 80,000 points each way for business class between the US and Australia. These awards are not yet bookable online. I called and spoke with an American Airlines agent who was able to book by phone. Even though Qantas awards are usually bookable online, the fact that the space isn’t showing on the website should be a reason for them to waive the telephone booking fee.
Alaska Airlines charges just 55,000 points each way and allows a stopover on a one way award (e.g. fly San Francisco – Melbourne, enjoy the dining scene there, and fly up to Cairns for the Great Barrier Reef a few days later). However the space may not be bookable by Alaska yet.
(HT: One Mile at a Time)