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When does Qantas release reward seats? [2024]

When it comes to booking Qantas reward seats, knowing a few tricks of the trade can give you a huge advantage.

That’s truer than ever in 2024, with so many Aussies collecting Qantas Points and wanting to use them for flights.

To give our readers an edge with finding the optimal seats, here are some tips you need to know.

Love Qantas Points? Don’t miss the rare offer of 100,000 bonus points, a $450 travel credit each year, lounge passes and more with our favourite Qantas card, the Qantas Amex Ultimate Card – ends soon!

Qantas domestic and short-haul international 

Qantas releases economy and business class reward seats on domestic and select short-haul international (e.g. New Zealand) routes at 353 days out from departure.

These seats are available to all frequent flyer members regardless of status.

Only a small number of reward seats (i.e. low single digits) are released in each cabin, and once they’re snapped up, Qantas doesn’t provide any more – except in special ‘batch’ releases that occur occasionally (more on that later).

Qantas long-haul international

Getting reward seats on long-haul flights is the goal of most travellers.

Qantas used to automatically release seats from 353 days out from departure on most flights, but that is no longer the case.

There are still a few routes where this does occur, such as high-capacity flights to the USA and Asia – but definitely not lower capacity routes like New York, London, Paris or Rome.

Where seats are released from 353 days out, those seats are only accessible by Gold frequent flyers and above. If any aren’t snapped up by these elite frequent flyers, they can be booked by Silver members at 323 days out, and Bronze members at 297 days out.

Batch releases

For most Qantas international flights, by far the best way to book reward seats is via batch releases.

In 2023, Qantas on several occasions made thousands of seats available to all frequent flyers, like in February and October. This included some domestic seats too.

This was the best way to book seats in 2023, and is likely to continue in 2024.

Usually, these batch releases are not announced ahead of time, which makes it hard to plan. So your best bet is to monitor availability closely and be ready to book (we always alert our readers via email – sign up at the end of this article!).

Partner airlines

Qantas doesn’t control how partner airlines release reward seats. Those airlines are responsible for the timing and quantity of seats released, and their methods vary.

When they are released, they are available to all Qantas frequent flyers. Status doesn’t matter.

Other things to know

Qantas seats are released at exactly midnight GMT, which is 8 am in Perth and 10 am in the east (or 11 am during daylight savings).

When searching for international seats, we recommend using the multi-city tool on Qantas’ website, even if you’re only looking at one route. The advantage is that it gives you results in a handy monthly calendar view, unlike the default search tool on Qantas’ homepage. Just make sure to select “Use points – Classic Flight Rewards only” and “Flexible with dates for all flights”.

When there’s a big release of seats, we always let our readers know. If you’d like to be informed, subscribe to our weekly newsletter below.

Love Qantas Points? Don’t miss the rare offer of 100,000 bonus points, a $450 travel credit every year, lounge passes and more with our favourite Qantas card, the Qantas Amex Ultimate Card – ends soon!

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21 COMMENTS

  1. Hi,
    I am a newbie to Qantas classic reward flights. I have had a credit card earning Qantas points for 20+years and have never done anything with them.
    Your article suggests as a bronze member I’m fairly knackered when it comes to cashing these points in for international flights (from Akld, NZ) – is this correct?

    Three dumb questions;
    1. Your article references partner airlines – how do you find classic reward flights on partner airlines?
    2. When I look on the Qantas site at Classic reward flights (from Akld, NZ) only a handful of destinations show up (e. 6 in Asia, 2 in Nth America etc). Are we limited to these destinations?
    3. Is trying to get flights from AKL to Japan (one of the options) in Jan 24 peak time, and therefore highly unlikely?

    Thanks!

    • Partner airline seats show up in regular searches on Qantas’ website.
      You’re not limited to any destinations and can book seats with any oneworld airline plus other Qantas partners like Emirates (but availability is very low right now).
      Yes, it’s extremely hard to find seats during Jan.

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