Qantas auctions off Airbus A380 business class seats, private flights to frequent flyers

Stretching out on an A380 business class Skybed must rank as one of the highlights of long-haul flight. Now, grounded frequent flyers nostalgic for the pre-COVID travel experience have the chance to buy two of the seats following the launch of the Qantas online auction house.

With an opening bid of 350,000 Qantas points, frequent flyers will be able to bid for the Marc Newson-designed fully flat Skybeds that have cocooned passengers in privacy at the plane's pointy end since 2008 (although the built-in screens don't work outside the plane).

The Skybeds have been progressively phased out as Qantas refits its superjumbos with its Business Suite, which allows direct aisle access for all seats in a 1-2-1 layout in business class. The Skybeds 2-2-2 layout meant window seat passengers had to step over their neighbours to access the aisle. 

The auctioned seats are among five experiences going under the hammer over five days from August 2-6 under a Points Auction which Qantas says is an airline-first.

Qantas Loyalty chief executive Olivia Wirth says it's a restless time for many Australians who can't wait for international and domestic borders to fully reopen.

"Whilst travel remains the number one thing frequent flyers want to use their Qantas points on once borders open up, we know that many are keen to use some points on unique, big-ticket items," she says.

For flyers wanting to cross the ditch there's a trip to luxury Queenstown property Eichardt's Private Hotel, four business class flights to Queenstown, penthouse accommodation for three nights including a private chef and private dining on a super yacht (starting bid 300,000 points).

Or take 30 of your friends and family on a private Qantas Dash-8, including lounge access and inflight service travelling either Sydney to Byron Bay, Brisbane to Hamilton Island or Melbourne to Devonport (starting bid 1.2 million points).

For experiences on the ground, there's the Boeing Dreamliner 787 flight Simulator Experience in which you will take virtual command of a Qantas 787 Dreamliner. Instructors for the 2.5 hour session will be the airline's chief technical pilot, Alex Passerini, or fleet operations manager Lisa Norman who operated Qantas' inaugural B787 flight from Perth to London non-stop (starting bid 50,000 points).

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In NSW only, soccer fans can bid on a children's coaching clinic with Socceroos' head coach Graham Arnold. The hour-long training session for up to 20 children includes a warm-up, drills and skills session before a game (starting bid 100,000 points).

One item will be auctioned off each day from between 8am and 9pm and is open to

Australian residents who are Qantas Frequent Flyers aged 18 and over.

The winning member must place the highest bid by 9pm and have the points available in their account to accept the item.

Last year the airline sold off 1000 fully stocked drinks carts from its retired Boeing 747 jumbo jets. The entire stock sold out in a few hours, generating about $1 million in revenue for the airline. 

See qantas.com

See also: Qantas confirms rollout of digital 'health pass' for international flights

See also: For sale on LinkedIn: Six slightly used A380 superjumbos

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