Qantas has just revealed the details of its latest frequent-flyer perk, and it’s a headline-grabbing treasure hunt: The airline is hiding first-class seats on Airbnb, disguising them as a $20 “cabins in the sky.” There’s just one, big, heart-breaking catch–the fun is just for people who are frequent flyers on the Australia-based airline. [Sad Trombone.]
If you happen to be a frequent flyer on Qantas, keep your eyes peeled for the listings posted by the Qantas Frequent Flyer Team masquerading as Airbnb hosts. Savvy frequent flyers (aka those mysterious beings who fly business class to Hong Kong on points) who manage to track down the listings on Airbnb will be able to access seriously discounted first-class seats, which can only be booked using points.
To get in on the fun, search the Airbnb website for … something. They are secret listings, so just give it a whirl. If you’re lucky enough to find one, click on request to book. From there a Qantas Frequent Flyer team representative will get in touch, confirm your Frequent Flyer number, and make sure you have the necessary points to book. Once the information is verified, your bargain flights will be booked.
If you don’t have Qantas Points, but have, say, Amex points or Chase Sapphire points or points in the OneWorld Alliance (United, Finnair, Cathay Pacific), it might be worth figuring out if you can turn them into Qantas Points, because the deals are incredible.
For instance, there are two first-class seats from Melbourne to L.A. for a mere 50,000 Qantas Points, when they are normally 144,000 per seat. Similarly, if you have 50,000 Qantas Points floating around, you can get two business class seats from Sydney to London, normally 128,000 per seat. Qantas says it’ll be hiding dozens of flights to destinations including London, Los Angeles, Hong Kong, and Santiago, with listings in pairs and groups of four so the whole family can take advantage of your frequent flyer prowess.
The secret discount listings are the latest incarnation of Qantas’s partnership with Airbnb. Since 2016, frequent flyers have bene able to earn points by booking or hosting on Airbnb. The partnership makes sense, and while I have never flown first or business or Qantas, their suites look nicer than most Airbnbs I’ve stayed at, complete with comfortable beds, streaming movies, and experienced friendly hosts who bring you food.