Qantas’ New Routes From Chicago, San Francisco to Brisbane Now On Sale
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.
In early June, American Airlines and Qantas received tentative approval for a joint venture for flights between the US and Australia and New Zealand. Shortly after that announcement — perhaps in an attempt to entice regulators to finalize the approval — Qantas teased that it would launch two new routes between Australia and the US once the joint venture application received final approval.
That final approval was granted last Friday, July 19. As part of the announcement, Qantas stated that the launch of the teased routes would be the “first order of business.” On Tuesday evening, Qantas loaded the new flights into its schedule.
The first Brisbane-Chicago flight will takeoff from Brisbane on April 15, 2020. Due to the time change, the inaugural flight from Chicago-Brisbane will also depart on April 15. (Note: the date was moved forward from the originally-announced date of April 20.)
The Chicago-Brisbane route will operate four times weekly (Monday, Wednesday, Friday and Saturday) on the following schedule:
- QF 85 — Brisbane (BNE) 3:30pm Departure ⇒ Chicago O’Hare (ORD) 4:10pm Arrival
- QF 86 — Chicago O’Hare (ORD) 9:50pm Departure ⇒ Brisbane (BNE) 6:10am+2 days Arrival
The flight from Chicago to Brisbane is scheduled for 17:20 hours, exactly matching the duration for Qantas’ flight from Perth to London Heathrow. That means that this new route will tie for Qantas’ longest route by flight time, although the Perth-London route (9,009 direct miles) slightly edges out the new Brisbane-Chicago route (8,901 direct miles).
Both the 8,901-mile distance and the 17:20-hour duration will make this flight the second-longest flight touching the US. The longest flight in both distance and duration is Singapore Airlines’ route between Singapore (SIN) and Newark (EWR). That route stretches 9,534 direct flight miles and is currently scheduled for 18:45 hours.
Qantas notes that the 85/86 flight numbers were intentionally chosen as a nod to 1985-1986 Chicago Bears — the first and most-recent year that the Chicago Bears won the Super Bowl.
At the time of the launch, fares are starting at $1,404 round-trip in economy; $3,354 round-trip in premium economy and from $7,004 round-trip in business.
The San Francisco-Brisbane route will operate three times per week (Tuesday, Thursday, Sunday) starting Feb. 9, 2020 operating on the following schedule:
- QF 59 — Brisbane (BNE) 8:35pm Departure ⇒ San Francisco (SFO) 3:15pm Arrival
- QF 60 — San Francisco (SFO) 10:15pm Departure ⇒ Brisbane (BNE) 6:00am+2 days Arrival
Both routes are utilizing the airline’s new, efficient and long-range Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner — which TPG has reviewed Qantas’ 787-9 in all three cabins:
- Business Class From Melbourne to Perth
- Premium Economy From Sydney to Melbourne
- Economy From Perth to London Heathrow
Featured image by James D. Morgan via Getty Images
This post has been updated to reflect the new inaugural flight date of April 15, 2020 rather than the originally-announced date of April 20.
Welcome to The Points Guy!
WELCOME OFFER: 80,000 Points
TPG'S BONUS VALUATION*: $1,650
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.
- Earn 80,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $1,000 when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®. Plus earn up to $50 in statement credits towards grocery store purchases within your first year of account opening.
- Earn 2X points on dining including eligible delivery services, takeout and dining out and travel. Plus, earn 1 point per dollar spent on all other purchases.
- Get 25% more value when you redeem for airfare, hotels, car rentals and cruises through Chase Ultimate Rewards®. For example, 80,000 points are worth $1,000 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.
- Count on Trip Cancellation/Interruption Insurance, Auto Rental Collision Damage Waiver, Lost Luggage Insurance and more.
- Get up to $60 back on an eligible Peloton Digital or All-Access Membership through 12/31/2021, and get full access to their workout library through the Peloton app, including cardio, running, strength, yoga, and more. Take classes using a phone, tablet, or TV. No fitness equipment is required.