This is a smart idea form Qantas – gets their name out and also gets their points holders to use up some of their points. Note that it is a relatively short-haul flight, not Europe and in an off season 🙂 However, this may suit many and with the whole aircraft being open for frequent flyers, more possibility of a seat 🙂
A summary from Peter Needham of Travelmedia
In October this year, Qantas will launch a very different A380 flight – one dedicated entirely to Qantas frequent flyers seeking to redeem their Qantas points – and bookings on the flight open today.
The flight, and others to follow, will be open only to members redeeming Qantas points.
The inaugural Points Plane will be an Airbus A380 operating from Melbourne to Tokyo (Narita) on 21 October 2019, with Qantas Frequent Flyers able to book seats from today, Thursday 16 May 2019.
Qantas says the concept is one of many that Qantas Loyalty is exploring to reward Qantas Frequent Flyer members “and provide even more redemption opportunities”.
It should work for both the airline and its frequent flyers. Frequent flyers get to fly, and the airline reduces the number of miles it owes.
Members will be able to book any seat on the flight (14 first, 64 business, 35 premium economy and 371 economy seats) at the standard Qantas Points redemption rate for the route. Bronze, Silver, Gold and Platinum members will all have equal opportunity to secure a booking on dedicated Points Plane flights.
To maximise flexibility on return travel, members have the choice of booking on an A330 return Points Plane on 26 October 2019 or departing on an alternative date of their choice by booking a Classic Reward seat with Qantas or a partner airline, or using Points Plus Pay on any commercially available seat.
Qantas says its inaugural Points Plane will also have a distinctive inflight service with special on-board experiences including a bespoke cocktail and meal service, signature pyjamas and inflight giveaways.
Qantas Loyalty chief executive Olivia Wirth says that flight redemptions are Qantas Frequent Flyer members’ favourite way to use their Qantas Points.
“This is the first time we have dedicated an entire aircraft – let alone an A380 – to our frequent flyers, and we are expecting to see significant demand for these flights,” she said.
“Four flight redemptions are made every minute and sixty upgrades are confirmed every hour. We know our members love to redeem their points on travel, so we’re excited to be able to give them new ways to access these rewards.
“Member-exclusive flights mean more redemption opportunities for our members and less time searching for reward seats.
“If this concept is a success, which we think it will be, Qantas hopes to operate more regular Frequent Flyer only flights to other international and domestic destinations in the near future.”
Qantas occasionally moves unscheduled aircraft around the network for a range of operational and commercial reasons – creating opportunities for initiatives like Points Planes.
Japan is a popular destination for Qantas Frequent Flyers and one of the top five most searched destinations on qantas.com.
Qantas Points required for booking seats on the inaugural Points Plane (plus taxes fees and carrier charges):
Economy 35,000 Qantas Points
Premium Economy 54,000 Qantas Points
Business 72,000 Qantas Points
First 108,000 Qantas Points