Travel: Sweet Spot Sunday: Book El Al flights to Israel with Qantas points

The sky in an Australian town mysteriously turned pink. Turns out it was caused by a secret medical cannabis farm nearby.

  The sky in an Australian town mysteriously turned pink. Turns out it was caused by a secret medical cannabis farm nearby. The sky in Mildura was set alight with a pink glow on Tuesday. The cannabis factory said workers hadn't yet closed the blackout blinds that night.Air New Zealand announced on Tuesday that it planned to equip eight Boeing 787 Dreamliner jets with bunk beds and couches by 2024.

MSN has partnered with The Points Guy for our coverage of credit card products. MSN and The Points Guy may receive a commission from card issuers.

El Al is the flag carrier of Israel. Its hub is located (as you’d imagine) in Tel Aviv, and currently serves six airports in North America:

  • Boston Logan International Airport (BOS).
  • Newark Liberty International Airport (EWR).
  • John F. Kennedy International Airport (JFK) in New York City.
  • Miami International Airport (MIA).
  • Los Angeles International Airport (LAX).
  • Toronto Pearson International Airport (YYZ).

The airline has a notoriously bad loyalty program — but that doesn’t mean you can’t easily fly it for free. It’s one of the most convenient options to get to Israel — and it can be one of the cheapest if you use Qantas points to book it.

I tried iced chai lattes from 4 coffee chains, and I'd only order 2 again

  I tried iced chai lattes from 4 coffee chains, and I'd only order 2 again On the hunt for the perfect blend of spicy and sweet, I ordered iced chai lattes from Starbucks, Dunkin', Panera, and Peets'. Here's what I thought.I ordered a medium (24 ounces) for $3.19, which ended up being the biggest drink and the best value.

For more TPG news delivered each morning to your inbox, sign up for our daily newsletter.

Let’s take a look at how to use Qantas points to book El Al flights, and why you’d want to in the first place.

Why it’s special

Qantas utilizes a distance-based award chart. That means the farther you fly, the more you’ll pay. Here’s a look at its partner award chart, which it implements for El Al flights.

(Screenshot from qantas.com) © The Points Guy (Screenshot from qantas.com)

Depending on your U.S. origin airport, you’ll spend the following to get to Tel Aviv:

  • Between 37,800 and 50,000 points in economy.
  • Between 70,800 and 93,500 points in Premium Economy.
  • Between 90,000 and 119,200 points in business class.

The sweet spot here is any flight under 5,800 miles. That relegates you to these choices:

Sweet Spot Sunday: Book short-haul Delta flights using Virgin Atlantic points

  Sweet Spot Sunday: Book short-haul Delta flights using Virgin Atlantic points You probably wouldn’t suspect one of the best options for booking U.S. travel to be through an airline based in the United Kingdom. Delta Air Lines is one of three juggernauts regarding domestic flights. But the number of miles it charges for its awards is very unpredictable. That’s because it practices “dynamic pricing,” which means …Delta Air Lines is one of three juggernauts regarding domestic flights. But the number of miles it charges for its awards is very unpredictable. That’s because it practices “dynamic pricing,” which means Delta reserves the right to charge as many miles as it wants depending on route, date, time, etc.

  • Boston.
  • Newark.
  • New York City.
  • Toronto.

If you fly from any other airport, you’re better off using a different award currency.

Related: Here’s how to get to Israel using points and miles

Generally, your biggest savings will be in economy. Spending 90,000 points for a business-class seat is higher than many airlines such as United Airlines and American Airlines charge — but the ability to spend as little as 37,500 points for an economy ticket to Israel is solid.

For example, an economy flight on other airlines would cost:

  • 40,000 American Airlines miles.
  • 40,000 or more Aeroplan points.
  • 42,500 United Airlines miles.
  • 42,500 Avianca LifeMiles.

Another reason this is a great deal is that Qantas doesn’t incur fuel surcharges when booking with El Al. So you’ll pay minimal fees when booking this seat.

How to book this award

Step 1. Estimate your flight distance (optional)

Because Qantas uses a distance-based award chart, you can know what you’ll pay for your flight before you even begin the booking process. Simply head to Great Circle Mapper and enter your origin and destination airports.

How Did Air Travel Get So Bad?

  How Did Air Travel Get So Bad? Photo by Shutterstock The Great Travel Rebound hasn't been so great. A little more than two years after travel fell off a proverbial cliff, travelers are finally back on airplanes in numbers that have started to resemble prepandemic passenger volumes. The airline industry and the fliers indulging in long-postponed travel plans should be jumping for joy, right? Not exactly. Two years later, the Great Travel Rebound has been nothing short of a disaster. Between January and May 2022, 88,161 U.S.

A flight from New York City to Tel Aviv is a distance of 5,677 miles. That means the flight should cost:

  • 37,800 Qantas points in economy.
  • 70,800 Qantas points in Premium Economy.
  • 90,000 Qantas points in business class.
(Screenshot from gcmap.com) © The Points Guy (Screenshot from gcmap.com)

Step 2. Enter your travel information on the Qantas site

Navigate to the Qantas website and input your desired route.

When searching, be sure the “Use points” toggle is switched. You’ll have to log into your account to search for award seats. Selecting “Flexible with dates” is always helpful, as well.

(Screenshot from qantas.com) © The Points Guy (Screenshot from qantas.com)

Step 3. Find dates with your desired cabin

The Qantas search tool leaves plenty to be desired. You can’t filter by airline, price or number of stops — but the award calendar does show you which dates offer economy, Premium Economy, business class and first class. If you’re interested in, say, business class, this shortens your hunt for the perfect flight.

Select a date and click “Continue.”

(Screenshot from qantas.com) © The Points Guy (Screenshot from qantas.com)

Step 4. Find an El Al flight

An El Al flight between the U.S. and Israel is nonstop and will therefore be sorted at the top of the results page when available.

Our Editors' Favorite Airbnbs Around the World, From Cape Town to Barcelona

  Our Editors' Favorite Airbnbs Around the World, From Cape Town to Barcelona These editor-reviewed Airbnbs are some of the best we've stayed in.

However, you may find El Al seats that include a connection lower on the page. For example, your first leg may be to London with British Airways, then on to Tel Aviv with El Al. If you select one of these mixed partner flights, beware of fuel surcharges.

(Screenshot from qantas.com) © The Points Guy (Screenshot from qantas.com)

How to earn points for this award

The easiest way to earn Qantas points quickly is by transferring flexible rewards points. Your options are:

  • American Express Membership Rewards (1:1 transfer ratio).
  • Capital One miles (1:1 transfer ratio).
  • Citi ThankYou Rewards (1:1 transfer ratio).
  • Marriott Bonvoy (3:1 transfer ratio with a 5,000 Qantas-point bonus when transferring in increments of 60,000 Marriott points).

Because of all these options, you can accrue Qantas points with relatively little effort by opening cards such as:

  • The Platinum Card from American Express: Earn 100,000 points after spending $6,000 on purchases within the first six months from account opening.
  • Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card: Earn 75,000 miles after spending $4,000 on purchases within the first three months from account opening.
  • Citi Premier Card: Earn 80,000 points after spending $4,000 on purchases within the first three months from account opening.

For more ways to earn, check out our complete guide to maximizing the Qantas frequent flyer program.

Can I transfer points and miles between loyalty programs?

  Can I transfer points and miles between loyalty programs? One of the most common questions among individuals new to points and miles is: “Can I transfer miles from one airline, credit card or hotel loyalty program to another?” For example, can I transfer miles from Air France to Delta? Can I keep my miles in the same program but move them from myself to …For example, can I transfer miles from Air France to Delta? Can I keep my miles in the same program but move them from myself to my spouse? Or, can I convert my American Express Membership Rewards points to Chase Ultimate Rewards?

Bottom line

Because El Al has such an inconvenient and mediocre frequent flyer program, there’s really only one viable option if you’re looking to fly El Al for free: Book it with Qantas points.

If you keep your flights under 5,800 miles in distance, you can get a great deal on coach flights — and a competitive to slightly overpriced seat in Premium Economy and business class.

Qantas points are easy to earn, and El Al is a comfortable nonstop way to reach Tel Aviv. If you’ve been wanting to try the airline out, there’s no better way to do it than with Qantas points.

Featured photo by seregalsv/Getty Images.

SPONSORED: With states reopening, enjoying a meal from a restaurant no longer just means curbside pickup.

And when you do spend on dining, you should use a credit card that will maximize your rewards and potentially even score special discounts. Thanks to temporary card bonuses and changes due to coronavirus, you may even be able to score a meal at your favorite restaurant for free.

These are the best credit cards for dining out, taking out, and ordering in to maximize every meal purchase.

--

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.

Airport combats staffing challenges with new ‘virtual food hall’ concept .
Inside Terminal 2 at Raleigh/Durham International Airport (RDU) in North Carolina, glowing, blue lockers illuminate one of the concourse walls, occasionally changing to other neon colors. It’s a feature your eyes can’t miss as you make your way to the gate, and it’s one you may someday find at an airport near you. It’s also …The concept, which opened earlier this month, is being referred to as a “ghost kitchen” or a “mobile food hall” at the airport.

See also