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Last week, I reviewed Qantas Business Class on the A380 and lamented not getting into First Class on my trip to Australia.

I’m not one for empty laments, so let me show you how to get into Qantas First Class on its A380–which is one of the coolest things you can do with your American Airlines miles.

I’ll break down which routes have the best award space, and what your cheapest option is to test out the product.

Qantas First Class on the A380 between the US and Australia is extremely rare. It does exist. I see four flights in the next 11 months with at least one seat in first class on the Los Angeles <-> Sydney and Los Angeles <-> Melbourne routes served by the A380.

That’s it. The space is so rare that I don’t think it’s a viable strategy to think of a trip to Australia then look for First Class space on your dates on Qantas to see if there is any space on your preferred dates.

If you want Qantas First Class on the A380, you have to work the other way. You have to find the award space one way–you probably can’t find space both ways within a reasonable time frame–and plan your Australia trip around that space.

Likewise if you want to include Qantas First Class on an A380 between the US and Australia on an Explorer Award, you’ll need to plan the entire trip around the Qantas First Class space.

If you do manage to get the award space, you’re getting a fantastic deal. For only 72,500 American Airlines miles + taxes, you are getting 14-15 hours of an incredible First Class product with easy connections throughout the US on American Airlines flights and throughout Australia or New Zealand on Qantas flights.

But there is an A380 route that is much cheaper and has much better award space. It’s your secret weapon to test out Qantas First Class on the super-jumbo jet.

Qantas flies from Sydney-Dubai-London with an A380, and Dubai-London-Dubai has incredible award space in First Class for only 40k miles each way.

Searching for LHR-DXB or DXB-LHR shows incredible First Class award space.

Availability from Dubai to London next winter

Note that both British Airways and Qantas operate London <-> Dubai. Booking British Airways’ flight with your American Airlines miles would incur fuel surcharges and would not get you onto an A380. Luckily there is plenty of Qantas award space, and the price is only 40k miles and $22 one way from Dubai to London for 7hr30min in Qantas First Class on an A380.

I see this route as a nice companion to using American Airlines miles from Paris to Abu Dhabi in Etihad First Class. You can fly one way on each route to see the Middle East and Europe on the same trip with world-class flights for a very low miles price.


If you want to fly Qantas First Class on an A380, you can. There is a tiny amount of availability on routes between Los Angeles and Sydney or Melbourne for 72.5k American Airlines miles each way. There is a huge amount of space on the London-Dubai-London flights operated by Qantas on its A380. That space goes for only 40k miles one way in First Class. Dubai to London is better to avoid the massive Air Passenger Duty for departing the UK in First Class.

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