The Block 2020’s serial bidder Danny Wallis spent more than 6 million Qantas frequent flyer points on two money-can’t-buy experiences during the airline’s special auctions last week, Australian Aviation can reveal.
Wallis spent 1,200,001 frequent flyer points on a 787 Dreamliner simulator experience, and then, on Friday, splashed 4,848,484 points to claim an exclusive private charter experience for himself and up to 30 others on a QantasLink Dash 8.
Melbourne-based millionaire Wallis rose to fame after he spent a collective $12 million to purchase three of the five newly-renovated houses up for grabs at the end of last year’s season of The Block.
During the season’s finale, he was not only noted for his multimillion-dollar purchases, but also for his quirky bidding style, which saw him increase the top bid one dollar at a time, or perhaps offer to pay oddly specific and unusual numbers.
Now, the avid auction bidder has taken home two of the five Qantas frequent flyer prizes and, of course, done so in his classic bidding fashion.
As the winner of Friday’s auction, Wallis and his selected family and friends will be treated to a daytrip from Melbourne to Tasmania, to enjoy lunch at a winery in beautiful Devonport.
The experience also includes full Qantas hospitality onboard, and airport lounge access for all invited ahead of the trip.
The bidding started at 1.2 million points, and quickly rose to over 1.5 million, however by the time the hammer dropped at 9pm on Friday, the final bid had jumped to over 4.8 million points – 4,848,484 to be exact.
“Normally I spend my points to upgrade my family to First Class on our annual trip to Europe but with international travel off the cards at the moment, the Points Auction was a fantastic way to break the monotony of lockdowns and give us an experience to look forward to,” Wallis said of his multimillion-point wins.
Across both auctions, Wallis spent a grand total of 6,048,485 frequent flyer points.
To acquire such a hefty amount of points would likely have taken years, as Wallis would have had to fly business class from Melbourne to London and back 185 times, or instead perhaps purchased 3,780 return economy flights between Melbourne and Sydney.
His multiple auction wins mean that Wallis also accounts for nearly half of the 12.3 million frequent flyer points spent by Qantas customers in the last week across all auctions, which each offered individual exclusive items and experiences.
“We are absolutely thrilled by the response to this initiative and are already planning what prizes we will offer for our second Points Auction later in the year,” said Qantas Loyalty CEO Olivia Wirth.
“Early requests include more luxury travel experiences and Qantas memorabilia so the challenge is on to see what we can come up with.”
Along with Wallis’ private Dash 8 charter experience, and his 787 Dreamliner simulator session, Qantas also auctioned off a pair of used A380 SkyBed business class seats, which one as-yet-unnamed customer clinched with a bid of 2 million points.
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.
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).
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