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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.

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.

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29 COMMENTS

  1. Hello Kris,
    I hope you are doing well.
    I wanted to book a flight from Sydney to Dubai with the points rewards program during December. Although, there are no classic or classic plus reward seats.
    Have I missed out on the rewards seats or will they be available closer to the date?
    Thanks in advance!

    • Hi Mahdi, Emirates have been very stingy with releasing reward seats to partners. It’s very unlikely you’ll be able to fly direct with them on this route, unless they release some last minute seats (within a few weeks of travel). Btw you can’t book Classic Plus because this is only available on Qantas operated flights.

  2. if we wanted to book a round the world ticket on points do we have to wait for the last flight date to be released to start the booking or can it be done in legs with a cap on the points?

    • Hi Sandy, you don’t have to wait. Book the first seats as soon as you’re able and then add more as they are released. Be aware the cap will only be triggered once you have at least two oneworld airlines in the itinerary other than Qantas.

  3. Hi, Long time lurker, first time poster. Looking to book award seats in economy PER to ZQN via MEL (preferably) or SYD. My son and I want to do the Milford Track and I need to arrive on a specific date as the trek date is set. Can’t seem to find anything with QF as a return package (via MEL or SYD – says no flights at all are available), but when I break it down (PER-SYD+SYD-ZQN+ZQN-SYD+SYD-PER) I can find some seats, but almost all require a stop over in each direction AND cost more in points AND worst of all, some of the flights are JetStar (which I am hoping to avoid). Looking to fly April 2025 – I know the earliest flights would appear would be 353 days out (I’m looking currently to research what I can do – almost dummy run scenarios), but I can’t find ANYTHING in February or March. Is there a real risk of booking the trek and QF not releasing ANY award seats through MEL or SYD to ZQN? I really want to use our points opposed to booking a cash fare, but I never seem to recall it being this hard to use my points – Its very frustrating 🙁

    • Hey Simon, it’s weird that there are no seats at all next Feb or March. I’m not sure what’s going on – I haven’t really monitored reward seats to ZQN in the past. Since Qantas is going to announce major changes to the FF program by the end of the April, including a new way to use points for seats, I suggest waiting for that announcement if you can.

  4. 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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