Qantas has eliminated fuel surcharges on its flights that depart Australia.

This doesn’t matter at all for paid tickets because $1 of fuel surcharge and $1 of base fare costs the same to you, but this is huge news for award tickets with miles that collect fuel surcharges like British Airways Avios. Here’s surcharge info on Avios partners.

You can now book Qantas flights leaving Australia with Avios and pay no fuel surcharges.

Qantas Route Network

By the end of 2015, Qantas will fly from Sydney to five American cities.

Screen Shot 2015-07-07 at 8.22.09 PM
Source: gcmap.com

San Francisco service begins December 20. New York service has a stop in Los Angeles, but is considered a “direct flight” with no plane change in Los Angeles.

Qantas also flies from Brisbane and Melbourne to Los Angeles.

From Sydney, Melbourne, and Brisbane, there are connections throughout Australia and New Zealand.

Qantas also serves Africa, Asia, Europe, and South America. For a full list of its destinations, see Wikipedia.

Qantas Flight Award Prices

Avios awards are priced per segment, so connections increase the price. Here are the prices in economy for direct Avios awards between Australia and the United States:

  • Sydney to Honolulu: 25,000 Avios one way
  • all other direct routes between Australia and United States: 50,000 Avios one way.

Business Class awards are three times the economy price, and First Class awards are four times the economy price.

Other than the Sydney to Honolulu route, these mileage prices are higher than American Airlines charges for the same awards. American Airlines charges 37.5k/62.5k/72.5k one way between the United States and Australia in economy/Business/First.

But if you only have Avios, or points that transfer there like Chase Ultimate Rewards and American Express Membership Rewards, the Avios economy price is reasonable now that there are no fuel surcharges.

Sydney to Dallas has taxes of $80 one way.

Screen Shot 2015-07-07 at 7.42.12 PM Screen Shot 2015-07-07 at 7.42.21 PM

Sydney to New York has taxes of $86.Screen Shot 2015-07-07 at 7.44.09 PM Screen Shot 2015-07-07 at 7.44.17 PM

This elimination of fuel surcharges applies to one way and roundtrip tickets originating in Australia. One way and roundtrip tickets originating in other countries like the United States have hundreds of dollars of fuel surcharges each way.

Non-US Routes

Avios have always been great intra-Australia and continue to be. Syndey to Cairns is just 10,000 Avios + $17 in taxes for a three hour flight. Many other intra-Australia routes are 4,500 or 7,500 Avios.Screen Shot 2015-07-07 at 7.46.09 PM Screen Shot 2015-07-07 at 7.46.14 PM

Avios are also a good deal on some international routes like Perth to Singapore for only 12,500 Avios + $57. American charges 25,000 miles for the same route.

Screen Shot 2015-07-07 at 7.49.55 PM Screen Shot 2015-07-07 at 7.49.58 PM

Searching and Booking the Space

AA.com displays Qantas award space and is much easier to search than BA.com. Search on AA.com and then move to BA.com to book with Avios if the deal is better than the deal with American Airlines miles or if you have a glut of British Airways Avios.

Bottom Line

Qantas has eliminated fuel surcharges on one way and roundtrip awards originating in Australia. You can now book one way Avios awards from Australia back to the United States without fuel surcharges.

Avios are also a good choice to book Qantas flights within Australia and on near international routes like to New Zealand or Singapore.

For many people, this change will have no effect because American Airlines awards between the United States and Australia are cheaper than Avios awards and have never had fuel surcharges.

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