All this 10-year-old wants for the holidays are TPG’s tips to fly Qantas first class

Dec 19, 2019

This post contains references to products from one or more of our advertisers. We may receive compensation when you click on links to those products. Terms apply to the offers listed on this page. For an explanation of our Advertising Policy, visit this page.

This time of year, most kids write letters to Santa and ask for new dolls, electronics or games. But there are children who write instead to The Points Guy with their holiday travel wishes.

Well, OK, maybe only one kid wrote to TPG this holiday season, but that kiddo has a points and miles wish list that puts many others to shame.

When 10-year-old Kyle Thomas wrote his holiday letter, he didn’t ask for a gift card or a new Nintendo DS. He asked Brian Kelly, The Points Guy himself, how to redeem miles to fly in first class on the Qantas A380.

First, we have to say, great choice, Kyle. You are wise beyond your years.

Qantas first class (Photo by Nick Ellis / The Points Guy)

Even better, Kyle, you’re on the right track. Spending 70,000 Alaska Airlines MileagePlus miles (plus about $42) to fly 16 hours in Qantas first class on a route such as Dallas (DFW) to Sydney (SYD), is indeed the best option … if you can find award space.

Kyle even knew about mileage running, and that getting the Alaska Airlines Visa Signature credit card is quick way to boost his mom’s Alaska mileage balance.

Related: Review of Qantas A380 first class

The much harder part of the equation for Kyle (and the rest of us) is that scoring first class on Qantas routes between the U.S. and Australia is approaching unicorn territory. It can happen, but you’re going to need lots of ExpertFlyer alerts, plenty of flexibility and even more luck. Or, just spend 10,000 more Alaska miles each way and instead fly Cathay Pacific first class to Australia, with a stop in Hong Kong (HKG). You’re going to find Cathay first class on a 777-300ER instead of an A380, but it’s still a great experience — and much easier to score with miles.

Cathay Pacific First Class (Photo by Emily McNutt/The Points Guy)
Cathay Pacific First Class (Photo by Emily McNutt/The Points Guy)

With some luck and practice, we have no doubt that Kyle will one day hold a ticket to fly the A380 in style with Qantas. Or, if he decides to change his holiday list a bit, there are plenty of other great first- and business-class products to fly using miles.

(Photo by Nick Ellis / The Points Guy)

As for the rest of us, you can always email TPG at if you don’t want to mail in a letter. Or, simply subscribe to the free daily TPG newsletter to get points and miles tips and news dropped in your inbox each morning.

Kyle, we’ll see you at the TPG offices to talk points and miles in 2020. Can’t wait for you to apply for one of our job openings in a few years!

Featured image by Nick Ellis / The Points Guy

Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card

WELCOME OFFER: 60,000 Points


CARD HIGHLIGHTS: 2X points on all travel and dining, points transferrable to over a dozen travel partners

*Bonus value is an estimated value calculated by TPG and not the card issuer. View our latest valuations here.

Apply Now
More Things to Know
  • Earn 60,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $750 when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®. Plus earn up to $50 in statement credits towards grocery store purchases.
  • 2X points on dining at restaurants including eligible delivery services, takeout and dining out and travel & 1 point per dollar spent on all other purchases.
  • Get 25% more value when you redeem for travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards®. For example, 60,000 points are worth $750 toward travel.
  • With Pay Yourself Back℠, your points are worth 25% more during the current offer when you redeem them for statement credits against existing purchases in select, rotating categories.
  • Get unlimited deliveries with a $0 delivery fee and reduced service fees on eligible orders over $12 for a minimum of one year with DashPass, DoorDash's subscription service. Activate by 12/31/21.
  • Earn 2x total points on up to $1,000 in grocery store purchases per month from November 1, 2020 to April 30, 2021. Includes eligible pick-up and delivery services.
Regular APR
15.99%-22.99% Variable
Annual Fee
Balance Transfer Fee
Either $5 or 5% of the amount of each transfer, whichever is greater.
Recommended Credit

Editorial Disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airlines or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

Disclaimer: The responses below are not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser’s responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.