is Qantas 1st class worth it?

Old Dec 30th, 2005, 10:59 AM
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is Qantas 1st class worth it?

Hi all. I can use my Continental miles for a first class ticket on Qantas from LAX to Sydney. But should I?

It's so many miles (135,000) that I want to make sure it's worth it before i confirm my reservation.

Any advice from people who have flown First, Business or Coach on Qantas would be much appreciated. Thanks!
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Old Dec 30th, 2005, 11:31 AM
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We just flew coach from LAX-SYD and MEL-LAX, back in the coveted 2-4-2 seats where we were the first row of the 2 seats. Great spot to be if you have to fly coach. Me, personally, I like using up my miles with LOTS of domestic tickets across the US rather than all at once like you have in mind, but if I had lots to spare, a FC ticket to Australia would be terrific. Qantas had very good service and coach wasn't such a bad thing. Nothing like US airlines in coach. We can't wait to return to Oz!
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Old Dec 30th, 2005, 03:02 PM
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My 2 cents, having never flown Qantas, but knowing their strong reputation as an international carrier.

If you can secure Continental award seats on Qantas, I would do it in a second. However, if you haven't already called CO to check availability (which I gather you have), you may be disappointed to find that Qantas first seats are very difficult to get using miles.

With that said, the difference in using miles for coach for a Qantas award (80,000) and first (135,000) is minimal enough to go for it. You could also consider the business class award at 105,000 miles.

With first (or business), you'll first of all get a first class seat flying from NY-LAX, which is a pretty long haul in itself. Then, you'll get a MUCH more comfortable seat for a 15 hour flight (one which will allow for good sleeping). Not to mention airport lounge access along the way and other amenities.

Look at it this way: if you save the 55,000 miles flying coach, that would be the equivalent to 2 domestic r/t tickets (if you could find seats at 25,000 miles... not always so easy). Assume you could buy those tickets for $500, and you're talking $1,000 worth of value.

However, price out the difference in a coach vs. first class ticket from NYC to Sydney, and you're talking about a $14,000 difference from 1st to coach.

1st class and business class international rewards are, bar none, the best way to use miles.

However, everyone has their own circumstances, so if you want to keep some miles in your account for a rainy day, then you may come to a different conclusion.
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Old Dec 30th, 2005, 03:12 PM
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I've flown all 3 classes with QF on long haul legs and would take First for 135k FF points in a heartbeat.
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Old Dec 30th, 2005, 04:59 PM
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To the OP: not sure why I thought you said you'd be coming from NYC, as I mentioned you'd also get a first class seat from NYC-LAX. My mistake... but, if you are connecting from some city other than LAX, you would fly domestic first with the first class award.
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Old Dec 30th, 2005, 09:55 PM
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Qantas first class is AWESOME and worth it. They have great food, for one thing, they put a down thing under you and a blankie over and give you large pillows. They give you jammies to change into. You can have chocolates and liquors after dinner while you watch a movie or three. You can sleep 8 glorious hours and wake up with far less jet lag than if you had slept fitfully in coach. It was heaven. That said, our second trip to Oz this October will be in business class since we blew 4 years of saving FF miles to go first the last time and we didn't want to wait that long. But in 2004 they didn't have Skybeds in business and now they do. They go flat and are really comfy if you are a side sleeper and short like me, pretty narrow if you sleep on your back, and if you are 6 ft. +, well, they'll be short. But they beat sitting up. Our flight arrived at sunrise and we had the most magical view of Sydney and environs. I hope you get your seats, you'll enjoy them. Also, we got three flights in-country with our ticket and so those were first class (actually business) also--very nice.
Sally in Seattle
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Old Dec 31st, 2005, 11:05 AM
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Three of us are flying to Australia next August. We have enough miles saved for 3 first class tickets but as far as I can tell Qantas does not release more than 2 first FF miles seats per flight. They told me that they may open up more if they aren't sold closer to the date of the flight so I should check back. We were able to get 2 first and 1 business outbound and 2 first and 1 coach coming back. The business is also hard to get so book early.

I have flown coach on Qantas 5 times starting in 1982. The LAX to SYD flight last time (in 2002 I think) was in a newer plane so even in coach we had individual TV screens in the back of the seat in front of us. That was fabulous. Everyone could program their own interests instead of craning your neck to see those interspersed drop down screens. On the way back, however, we had the old plane..I expect that by now they've upgraded them all so coach should be pretty nice, especially compared to coach on a US domestic flight.

That said, the trip to Australia is hard on you. I find it is as hard to describe to someone who hasn't done it as describing childbirth. If you can afford first I say pamper yourself, especially if you are older. I haven't flown first class yet but am really looking forward to it and know it has to be easier on you than coach. When I was in my twenties I recovered a lot faster from the jet lag than I do now.
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Old Dec 31st, 2005, 03:33 PM
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Greetings

We have flown first on Qantas for 4 years in a row now. Twice using AA and twice using CO miles.

This past trip there were 4 of us, 2 in first and 2 in business. I gave my mom my FC seat and sat with my daughter in business. Now that I have flown both, I would save the 70,000 mile difference (2 seats) and my wife and I will fly business in the future.

Many have found it difficult to obtain these seats. The trick is to be very very flexible. you must call 220 days in advance and try every day until you get your seats. If you have hard dates and cannot be flexible, you will most likely not get the award seats.

Now on CO even if you get lucky enough to get first or business on Qantas, that does not guarantee that you will get first in your domestic part of your trip. We have found it easier to get the Qantas first class seats than domestic on CO. Just happens to be the way the award inventory is allocated. We are grateful for the Qantas seats as that is the longest part of the journey.

What ever you end up with, a holiday in Oz is well worth it

Cheers

Steve and Andrea
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Old Dec 31st, 2005, 04:03 PM
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A couple of notes:
- I think Qantas opens up award seats 330 days out for partner awards (355 if redeeming Qantas miles)
- If you need to fly a domestic route to get to LAX, you should also be able to look at Northwest and Delta flights if Continental first isn't available for a reward (and if DL and NW are somewhat convenient options).
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Old Jan 1st, 2006, 02:19 AM
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Having flown Qantas Economy, Business, and First a number of times each between Australia and Europe my opinion is that Business class would be the best use of your points. While food and wine are higher quality in First and you do get the slightly better (flatter) seats (and of course, the pyjamas) I don't see these as being so much better as to justify the extra points/dollars. On the other hand the gap between Economy and Business is enormous and well worth paying extra for.
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Old Jan 2nd, 2006, 03:43 PM
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Gosh yes! I was in economy twice, and I thought it was never going to be over!
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Old Jan 2nd, 2006, 10:25 PM
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I have the same situation as BoDa2. What do you all think that is the latest that I can reserve 2 business class tickets with my Continenal Airlines miles and still have a good chance of getting those seats? I leave on May 22 from LAX. I know that I might be a bit late, but please advice.
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Old Jan 3rd, 2006, 06:44 AM
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Thanks for all the advice.

My travel is orginating in the Los Angeles area so I don't have to worry about first class across the US.

Also, it looks as though a friend will be joining me on the return flight, and since she doesn't have miles, I'll probably fly coach with her on the way back - and treat myself to first on the way out. The trip will use about 108,000.

A few additional notes... I called last week for travel that begins in mid-March and was surprised that I was able to get any first/business seats.

Also, for the return, no business class seats were available (for some reason, I thought that there'd be more bus class than 1st - but the opposite was true).

Here's a tip for anyone thinking of using Continental miles for an awards ticket on Qantas - they're holding my reservation for a little over a week. If you're thinking of going, get your seat now confirm it later!

One final question... do I get to keep the pajamas?
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Old Jan 3rd, 2006, 07:36 AM
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Not only do you get to keep the pajamas, but you can even sell them on ebay if you want...
A search for Qantas Pajamas turned up nothing today, but there are 5 pairs of British Airways Pajamas on ebay, 2 pairs from Virgin, 1 from Singapore, etc...

Regarding the return trip, any chance you could get to one of the other Qantas gateways (i.e. Melbourne) to fly home in business class?
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Old Jan 3rd, 2006, 08:24 AM
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Dave-
I hadn't even thought of that. Think it all depends whether or not my friend comes through on her promise to buy her ticket within the next week.

If she comes with me, then I'll fly coach on the return. If not, then i'll look into flying business back because I know that i'll be annoyed if i'm in coach alone when I could be in a better seat.
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Old Jan 3rd, 2006, 11:36 PM
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We flew Qantas Business Class on a 3.5 hour flight and did not want to get off the plane.
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