Fascinating development. Perhaps indicative that QF has seen that there has been perceived value loss in the current scheme and is looking to give back some value (but only to those who have the freedom to go to Tokyo on that particular day). Also a good way to burn some of that unearned FFP revenue off the balance sheet. If fully sold that is about 21m FFPs that will be redeemed. Now i don't know what the value of a point is to Qantas when redeemed (and a quick googling isn't throwing anything up) but based on some old figures in the back of my mind (0.01 cents per point) thats about 200k of revenue for them. Happy to be corrected on this.
It is a way to monetize what would otherwise be a revenue-free repositioning flight. I wouldn't see it as a regular thing because airlines tend to avoid having flights that only have FF redemptions onboard.(The US airlines got themselves into real issues here when they first introduced FF schemes with heaps of Hawaii flights generating no cash).
It will be interesting to see what sort of fares these travellers end up having to pay for the return sector; the cynic in me suggests QF will have seen a way to generate some extra cash on the flipside. It will probably work out cheaper abandoning QF on the return flight and doing a one-stop through Taiwan, Hong Kong or Singapore.
717, 721/2, 732/3/4/5/7/8/9, 742/3/4, 752/3, 762/3, 772/E/W, 788/9, 300,310, 319,320/1, 332/3, 359, 388, DC9, DC10, F28, F100, 142,143, E75/90, CR2, D82/3/4, SF3, ATR