Last week Qantas announced another points plane flight. This time, it is to be the final flight of VH-OJU, a 747-400 christened Lord Howe Island. On October 13, 2019, Lord Howe Island will operate QF99 between Sydney and Los Angeles before being passed onto another airline.
This particular 747-400 is the oldest of the seven remaining Qantas 747s. It was delivered in January 2000.
Oz Traveller doesn’t normally cover points stories – every second blog on the internet already does. But on a slow news day I thought I’d come at this from a different angle – what’s been sold and what hasn’t.
When the seats went on sale you’d need a lazy 96,000 Qantas points to snag a seat in business class, 72,000 Qantas points to grab a seat in premium economy, and 41,900 to get leg cramps in economy. Initially, business and premium economy seats can only be brought using points. Economy can be brought using either cash or points.
On Monday morning, August 26, 2019, there were plenty of business class seats left. By that afternoon, frequent flyers with points to burn were snapping them up quickly as news spread with about 20 business class seats left. By Wednesday August 28, 2019, all the business class seats were gone.
Premium economy has reportedly had availability all week. But this morning, Saturday August 31, 2019, Qantas isn’t displaying any availability in premium economy.
But economy is still available, some 100+ seats. Cash one way fares are fromAUD$1263. Of course then you’ve got to get back. Oz Traveller reckons Qantas won’t be offering many cheap one way fares back to Australian out of Los Angeles in the days following this flight.
Maybe a cheapie to Honolulu and Jetstarring it back to Sydney?
These points planes are a great marketing idea for Qantas, a chance to get some points off their books, and a nice nod to the Qantas 747. This time next year they will probably all be gone.