With Covid-19 vaccines beginning to be rolled out around the world, Qantas has decided to reopen bookings across its international network from 1 July 2021, anticipating that overseas travel will resume around that time.
This seems rather optimistic given the scale of the outbreak globally, the pace of vaccinations in some countries, and the fact Australians won’t be getting a jab until March.
The federal government expects all Australians who want to get vaccinated to do so by October.
Nevertheless, Qantas’ decision to reopen bookings is an opportunity for Qantas Points holders to put their points to use, secure some seats and hope for the best.
One advantage of booking with points is that tickets are refundable if your plans change, subject to a cancellation fee of 6,000 points per person (currently waived until 31 March, which may be extended).
That means you can speculatively book some seats and then wait to see what happens with the pandemic.
The airline has made reward seats available on popular routes, including in sought-after premium cabins which typically get snapped up fast.
One thing to note is that Qantas isn’t going to restart its full overseas network from July. Executive Traveller reports today that there are a handful of omissions from the forward roster, including flights to New York and Santiago. I’d look out for these to be added to the network in the coming months.
While browsing the Qantas website earlier, I noticed that many of its partner airlines have also made reward seats available, including in premium cabins.
The same principle applies here: if you wish to book, you can do so knowing you’ll be able to cancel later.
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