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Last-gasp bid wins Qantas A380 seat for 2 million loyalty points

written by Adam Thorn | August 5, 2021
Australian Aviation was on hand to watch the tit-for-tat exchanges in the bidding at the clock counted down to the auction’s close at 9pm.

An extraordinary last-minute bidding war saw a Qantas customer pay 2 million frequent flyer points to secure two used A380 seats.

Australian Aviation watched in real-time as three bids in the last 60 seconds saw the price leap from 1,430,000 to 1,430,005 then 1,888,888 and finally 2,000,000.

In the last five minutes, bidders were even going just one point higher than each other to claim the reclining Skybeds, usually reserved for business-class travel.

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The final bid is the equivalent to the points earned on 2,500 one-way economy flights between Sydney and Melbourne or 215 trips between Sydney and London.

The airline called the item a “priceless piece of Qantas memorabilia”, adding the “pre-loved” recliners are “identical” to those used in the retired Boeing 747s.

The seats come with a converter so they can be plugged into an electrical socket in your home, allowing them to perform just as they would in the aircraft (minus the in-flight entertainment screens).

The winner can have their prize delivered to most major cities and regions, though delivery “will not occur before October”, Qantas said.

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Qantas warns that no replacement of the Skybeds will be offered or available should any part of the bed break or stop working, and recommended that the winner does not attempt to repair their chair themselves, and instead seek out professional assistance.

However, should the Skybeds be found as faulty or be significantly different from what was advertised within 12 months of delivery, Qantas will organise an inspection and subsequent refund, if applicable.

Qantas announced last week it would launch an online auction house so passengers could trade their balances for rewards claimed on the ground, in light of nationwide border closures and lockdowns.

Qantas Loyalty chief executive Olivia Wirth said, “This is a restless time for many Australians who can’t wait for both international and domestic borders to fully open so they can take off to some of their favourite destinations.

“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.

“Points Auction gives members the chance to bid on special experiences and we expect these items to create a points bidding frenzy.”

The auction started on Monday and will last until Friday, with a different item on offer every day. Bids must be placed between 8am and 9pm AEST and is open to Frequent Flyer residents aged 18 and over.

On Monday, a Qantas customer traded 1.2 million Frequent Flyer points for the chance to pilot a 787 in one of the airline’s professional simulators.

The 2.5-hour session on the Dreamliner simulator, which Qantas put a starting bid of 50,000 points on, includes personal instruction from either chief technical pilot Alex Passerini, or fleet operations manager Lisa Norman, who operated Qantas’ inaugural 787 flight from Perth to London non-stop.

Other prizes on offer include a three-night stay in a penthouse in Queenstown and a children’s coaching clinic with Socceroos’ manager Graham Arnold.

The auction is the latest innovative idea that Qantas has come up with since the start of the pandemic.

So far, the airline has sold tickets for a number of scenic flights, including its ‘Great Southern Land’ trip, its flight over Antarctica, and a series of flights to mystery locations.

Also, back in May, the flag carrier flew a special 787 to watch the supermoon.

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7 Comments

  • Kade

    says:

    A380 seat, the whole point is the entertainment screens 😂😂

    • Rocket

      says:

      The whole point is the novelty of having a pair of the seats. I am sure whoever got them would not be too troubled by sourcing a touchscreen and having it installed and connected to, say, Apple Movies and Music or any of the streaming services.

    • Bradley

      says:

      If you wanted an ‘entertainment system’ Kade, would’ve been cheaper, & with a warranty, from JB Hi-Fi!

      Seats that had been sat etc upon by FA trainees’ for years’ would have long ago lost the ‘bounce’ in their padding.
      They’d make for a ‘talking point’ as great coffee tables’, though!

  • Anthony

    says:

    Hoping QANTAS has done ‘deep cleaning’ on these items’, prior sale.

    It’ll interesting to see what ‘goodies’ will be auctioned next.

  • Evan

    says:

    What does ‘deep cleaning’ mean, anyway? Nobody I know in the public transport industry knows how to define the term, despite its apparently descriptive (emotive?) name. A term grossly over-used, with the over-users relying on its name to apparently mean something to those who hear or see it.

    • Anthony

      says:

      Why don’t you Google what it means?
      Then you’ll be a bit more knowledgeable than your wording suggests.

      It’s done on aircraft, as well as trains’, & busses’, in these Covid times’.

      • Bryan

        says:

        It’s also done in Performing Arts auditoriums’, & movie theatres’, Resturants’, & cafes’, since the beginning of the pandemic.
        These are Health Regulations’ directives’.

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