A frequent flyer has revealed a little-known travel hack he calls ‘T minus 80’ for scoring the best seats on Qantas flights.
Ben, who runs the BenTravels TikTok site, shared his wisdom to help those complaining about the lack of good seats as the airline industry emerges from Covid with fewer flights available.
‘There is a thing on Qantas which you should look out for called T minus 80,’ he said on the video which has gone viral.
‘So T being take off (time). Take 80 hours off that – quite often a lot of the seats will open up that have been blocked by the airline.
‘So you can still pick a seat even if it looks like there’s none available, if you log in at T minus 80.’
A frequent flyer has revealed a little-known travel hack he calls ‘T minus 80’ for scoring the best seats on Qantas flights. A woman is pictured in a window seat on a plane
Ben warned though, that if you don’t log on at the right time, someone else will beat you to the best available seats.
‘It has to be quick because a lot of people who are in the game know about this, but you’ll get a better seat (if you time it right),’ he said.
The Aussie airline hack, which is also called the T80 rule, lets passengers select a better seat than was previously unavailable 80 hours before take off.
A number of seats near the front of the plane are often reserved for those with elite memberships and the unclaimed spots are released shortly before the flight for others to nab.
Frequent flyers have reported scoring seats with more leg room or at the front of the plane, thanks to the handy rule.
Upon selecting a seat, customers will see a certain number of spots greyed or crossed out depending on their Qantas membership status.
Some memberships will only have a couple of rows unavailable for selection whereas others will see up to the first 12 rows blacked out.
But 80 hours before a flight is due to take off, Qantas releases the seats that have not been reserved by their members for anyone to get under the ‘unofficial’ T80 rule.
Qantas’ T80 rule lets passengers select a better seat than was previously unavailable 80 hours before take off
Regardless of membership status, passengers can log into their booking on the Qantas app or website, view the seat map and reselect a better spot if one is available.
One woman managed to score a seat with more leg room for herself using the insider trick.
‘Plenty of legroom on our A330-200 to Melbourne, row 23 thanks to the T80 rule! My first flight as a Frequent Flyer,’ she wrote in a post to the Qantas Points Collectors Facebook group.
Another said they scored a front row economy seat on their Perth to Sydney flight and a third was bumped from row 26 to five.
What is the Qantas T80 rule?
Unless you’re a Platinum One or Chairman’s Lounge member, you’ll probably notice that a few rows of seats at the front of every Qantas flight are greyed out.
This happens in just about every cabin class – even in business. In economy, more than a third of the seat map can be unavailable for selection initially.
Now, it doesn’t usually mean those seats are occupied (though sometimes they are).
Instead, those seats are reserved for Qantas’ elite frequent flyers – those with Silver, Gold, Platinum status or higher. The better your status, the more seats you are able to see when booking.
It’s not an official rule as such, but Qantas Frequent Flyers have affectionately named it the ‘T-80 rule’ – in reference to how seats become available 80 hours prior to departure.
Check your flight seat map starting from 80 hours before the scheduled departure.
Although it’s not guaranteed, in the vast majority of cases, any unoccupied blocked seats in the cabin will become available for everyone.
This includes the coveted ‘Row 4’ on Qantas Boeing 737S – this front row of economy offers excellent legroom as the seats are directly behind business class.
If available, simple reselect your new seats and confirm your choices. Note that Qantas does reserve the right to reseat passengers depending on operational demands, but at least you gave it your best shot.
Source: Point Hacks
Frequent flyers have reported scoring seats with more legs room or at the front of the plane thanks to the little-known rule. An uncomfortable seating situation is pictured
‘Managed to get row four on a Sydney to Melbourne and next to us was a bloke who was on a call to his daughter thanking her for the same tip,’ laughed one man.
‘Was up at 1.10am and scored row four seats using the T-80 rule. It does work!’ another said.
Travellers don’t incur an extra fee to reselect their seat under the T80 rule however it is unpredictable and the released spots are often quickly snapped up.
The same rule often applies on some longer hauls, busy flights or larger planes 24 hours instead of 80 hours before take off.