As the commencement of the new Qantas and American Airlines flights between Australia and the US cities of San Francisco and Los Angeles approach, Qantas has launched a double points promotion on all QF coded flights to the US. This includes flights that are operated by American Airlines, although you do need to book the Qantas codeshare flight number.
To take advantage of this offer, you will need to:
- Register at the page linked to above and make a new eligible flight booking between 12.01am (AEDT) 6 October and 11.59pm (AEDT) 19 October 2015
- Travel between 18 December 2015 and 30 September 2016
- Include your Qantas Frequent Flyer membership number in the booking
- All Frequent Flyers in the booking must register separately to earn double points
Note that the double points only applies to the Trans Pacific flight – any connecting flights at either end (i.e. domestic flights in Australia or the US) are not eligible for the double points.
Overnight, a tweet teaser from American Airlines about a big #greatmates announcement lead many to guess that American Airlines were about to begin operating services from Los Angeles to Sydney on their own aircraft.
While that is true, the announcement also contained the news that Qantas was going to resume flights between Sydney and San Francisco, bringing to an end a four year hiatus in flying the route.
Sydney – Los Angeles
First up, American Airlines will begin operating flights between Los Angeles and Sydney from December 17th. The service, which will include a Qantas codeshare, will be using a 777-300ER aircraft. In First and Business class this includes lie-flat seats. However, things are not so comfortable back in economy class, where the aircraft features 10 abreast seating in a 3-4-3 configuration.
This new service will replace four Qantas’ B747 Sydney to Los Angeles services per week and one Qantas B747 Melbourne to Los Angeles service per week.
Sydney – San Francisco
The changes to the flights on the Sydney – Los Angeles route, frees up the Qantas 747 aircraft that are used on the Qantas flights that are being withdrawn. This has allowed Qantas to use the freed up aircraft to re-introduce the Sydney-San Francisco route.
Offering an alternative to the current United Airlines service, the service will begin on December 20, 2015. The flights will initially operated on peak days, and then ramp up to six B747-400 flights a week from January 2016.
For those that travel to San Francisco on the existing oneWorld offerings, this will remove the need to connect through Los Angeles on the existing Qantas/American Airlines arrangements. Overall, this will save four or more hours in total travel time.
Qantas will operate the newly reconfigured 747-400 aircraft, that feature the products initially introduce on the A380. This includes the fully flat Skybed MarkII in business, together with the larger seat back screens in economy class.
According to Qantas CEO Alan Joyce, “San Francisco is now the most popular onward destination for Qantas’ customers travelling to the US and we’re thrilled to be going back”.
While this is all subject to regulatory approval, the following table shows a summary of the changes being made.
(effective end of January 2016)
|SYD-LAX||QF A380 – 7 per week
QF B747 – 7 per week
|QF A380 – 7 per week
QF B747 – 3 per week
AA B777 – 7 per week
|MEL-LAX||QF A380 – 7 per week
QF B747 – 3 per week
|QF A380 – 7 per week
QF B747 – 2 per week
|BNE-LAX||QF B747 – 7 per week||QF B747 – 7 per week|
|LAX-JFK||QF B747 – 7 per week||QF B747 – 7 per week|
|SYD-DFW||QF A380 – 6 per week||QF A380 –6 per week|
|SYD-SFO||QF B747 – 6 per week|
The changes have been enabled by the Joint Business Agreement between American Airlines and Qantas that has now been In place for four years. Under this agreement, there will be a revenue sharing agreement on the route.
Overall, the addition of the American Airlines flights will boost oneworld capacity between the United States and Australia. It is important to note, however, that this comes with the reduction of Qantas flights between Australia and Los Angeles. This includes four flights a week between Sydney and Los Angeles and one flight a week between Melbourne and Los Angeles. So, overall, Melbourne loses out a little on the capacity front.