Using qantas.com for award searches can help you get maximum value from your American Airlines miles. American partners with the oneworld alliance and several non-oneworld partners. Unfortunately oneworld award space searching is fragmented, and I use aa.com, ba.com, and qantas.com.
I’ve described how to use aa.com and ba.com for award searches:
- Free First Class Next Month: Award Searches on aa.com
- Free First Class Next Month: Using ba.com for oneworld Award Searches
- What AA.com Adding Finair and airberlin Means For You
Now I’ll explain how to use qantas.com.
Qantas shows award availability for airberlin, American Airlines, British Airways, Cathay Pacific, Finnair, Iberia, and LAN. It also shows Qantas availability, but not the same availability that AA has access to, so I use aa.com to search Qantas availability.
To search Qantas, sign up for an account or sign into yours on qantas.com.au.
Leave the default option “Qantas and Partner Classic Award” selected. Type in your cities and choose Return or Oneway. I like to select “Flexible with dates.” The calendar it brings up is quite handy:
If you hold your cursor over a specific date, a yellow box will pop up telling the shortest award available that day, listing its duration and number of stops. That’s a handy way to sort by nonstop or other specific routings.
If you want to see the exact options on a specific date, select that date and click the Select Flight button. For instance, here are the flights available from Los Angeles to Hong Kong on December 24.
Ignore the part at the bottom that say it would cost 104k points for this flight. If you are using American miles, you should use qantas.com.au for searches, but you should determine the price from the AA partner award chart, which prices LAX-HKG in business at 55k miles each way.
Occasionally an itinerary has an exclamation point above where you select the cabin.
Holding your cursor over the exclamation point tells you which flights are serviced by a cabin worse than the one listed. In the example above, Buenos Aires to New York is first class, but New York to Los Angeles is only business class.
What I like about searching at qantas.com is that it has great coverage of oneworld, has an easy-to-navigate calendar, and shows logical connections. But there are some drawbacks.
1. Qantas.com doesn’t show all oneworld members. Amman isn’t a city on the dropdown menu of “From” cities, so good luck finding Royal Jordanian space.
2. The dropdown menu for the “From” city doesn’t list all options. For instance, Tampa is not listed on the dropdown menu.
The first option would be to search Miami, Chicago, Dallas, and New York to Hong Kong since AA has flights from Tampa to those cities according to wikipedia.
The second option is probably a little quicker. You can search Hong Kong to Tampa oneway to find the return. And you can search Hong Kong to Tampa roundtrip to find the outbound by narrowing in on the “return” results for your backward search.
Although you can’t search TPA-HKG, you can search HKG-TPA roundtrip, which obviously includes TPA-HKG as one direction.
4. Qantas.com times out so quickly between searches. What is this a bank account login that needs to be protected? Ba.com does this too.
What to do when you find the space?
Note the dates, times, flight numbers, and cabins, and call AA at 800-882-8880 if the space is for airlines not bookable at aa.com.
When to use qantas.com, ba.com, and aa.com
I mentioned that you need all three to search oneworld availability easily and well. I have a system for deciding which award search engine to use that I’ll write about tomorrow.
Qantas.com.au is a valuable search engine for award searches when you want to use your American Airlines miles.
It has some drawbacks, but the ability to search Cathay Pacific and LAN on month-long calendars makes the search engine a part of my arsenal.