It costs in the region of $1000 USD ($1391) to fly from the US to Australia at the moment - and that's in economy.

But an ingenious new fare hack means you could be making the same long journey in Qantas first class for only $1473 ($2049), simply by purchasing "miles" from one of its partnering airlines and applying them to a Qantas flight, the Daily Mail reports.

It's an easy hack to execute - based on the highly complicated system by which points and airfares work - but the fact remains: using it could mean paying less than $1,500 for a first-class flight which would otherwise cost you $10,000 ($13,914).

According to travel expert Gilbert Ott, the man behind the blog God Save The Points, you'll need to buy the miles from Alaska Airlines for this to work.

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This airline, he says, has a little-known but very generous frequent flier program meaning you can instantly buy miles without even taking flight with them, then use them to pay for flights with their partners, including Cathay Pacific and in this case Qantas.

Booking a first class flight from the US to Australia directly with Qantas using miles would require 144,000 of them.

But booking through Alaska will only cost you 70,000 for the same journey - and they'd put you on a Qantas plane anyway, thanks to their partnership.

Purchasing the 70,000 miles you'll need from Alaska costs $1478 - so there's your first class plane ticket.

Using the same trick, a round-trip would set you back around $3000 ($4174) - netting you savings in the region of $13,000 ($18,088) for the flights there and back, compared to what you'd pay by booking direct with Qantas.

Where next? No seriously. Where's everyone headed next? βœˆοΈπŸΎπŸ“·πŸ˜ŽπŸŒ΅

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It's not only this journey that you can cover with purchased air miles, for less than the cost of a first class plane ticket, according to Mr Ott.

Why exactly this works, he explained, is thanks in part to Alaska's regular promotions and discounts on the use of miles with its partners.

So is there a catch?

"No, just a challenge," he acknowledged.

"Finding seats in just about any cabin to Australia can be time consuming, but for this opportunity, it's totally worth it.

"The best way to search like a pro is to use online tools such as Award Nexus, which emails you if and when seats you want become available."

He added: "If you'd prefer to search on your own, I'd suggest making a free Qantas frequent flier account. Once you have that, you can search for flights using miles.

"If and when you find one that works for you in first or business, that's when you'll want to buy miles from Alaska and lock it in."