Qantas will offer all 484 seats on board one of their Airbus A380s for Frequent Flyers to redeem on what the carrier calls its first “points plane” flight. The one-off service will depart Melbourne Airport (Tullamarine) and land in Tokyo Narita, on October 21st 2019.
All Qantas Frequent Flyers, regardless of their status, are able to claim seats using their points on a ‘first-in, best-dressed’ basis after they became available for booking on May 16th. The 484 seats on the four-class A380 are comprised of 14 in first class, 64 in business, 35 in premium economy and 371 economy class seats.
The “points plane” flight came about as it occasionally needed to position aircraft for commercial and operational reasons. The return “points plane” flight to Melbourne will operate on October 26th, however, this time with the Airbus A330.
“This is the first time we have dedicated an entire aircraft – let alone an A380 – to our frequent flyers, and we are expecting to see significant demand for these flights,” said Qantas Loyalty chief, Olivia Wirth, in a statement.
The points required start at 35,000 for economy, increasing to 54,000 for premium economy, 72,000 for business and 108,000 in first class. However, those redeeming seats will be required to pay all taxes, fees and carrier charges.
While the flight on October 21st will be Qantas’ inaugural “points plane” flight, the Australian airlines is not the first carrier to offer this opportunity. Cathay Pacific operated four charters in 2018 between Hong Kong and Osaka Kansai that were only made available for its Asia Miles and Marco Polo Club members to redeem points for travel.