US to Sydney/Melbourne on AS miles

Old Dec 28, 16, 10:54 am
  #1  
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US to Sydney/Melbourne on AS miles

I am looking for help with a strategy to book a flight for next year (October/November) from the US (home airport is Seattle, but can get anywhere for a better starting point) to Sydney or Melbourne. I want to use my miles and fly first or business class.

Specifically, I am trying to squeeze in a layover of about 2 days either in Dubai or another interesting place (Tahiti?).

Any ideas on how to go about that? I've tried the links for booking award travel on the Alaska site, but it seems to only work for straight flights (short layovers).
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Old Dec 28, 16, 11:10 am
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Better to ask in the AS forum if using AS miles. You are very limited by the AS award chart.

DXB is not really on the way to Australia. Fiji a little less, as FJ is an AS partner
But the actual route / airlines is another matter.

Premium cabin awards USA-Australia are very hard to get. A lot of people trying for these
Airlines that fly USA/Canada to/from Australia (not from all airports to all airports)
- American Airlines AA (LAX - SYD) [OneWorld Alliance] (AS partner)
- Air Canada AC (YYR – SYD, BNE from Jun 2016) [Star Alliance]
- Air New Zealand NZ (LAX SFO IAH YVR via AKL) [Star Alliance]
- Air Tahiti Nui TN (LAX via Tahiti. Last segments on codeshares) (AA & DL partner)
- Delta DL (LAX – SYD) (VA & AS partner) [Skyteam Alliance]
- Fiji Airways FJ (LAX SFO HNL via Fiji) (QF, AA & AS partner)
- Hawaiian HA (HNL – SYD BNE via Hawaii) (AA & VA partner)
- Jetstar JQ JQ (HNL – SYD BNE)
- Qantas QF (LAX SFO JFK DFW HNL YVR*– SYD BNE MEL) [OneWorld Alliance] (AS partner) {* seasonal}
- United UA (LAX SFO – SYD MEL) [Star Alliance]
- Virgin Australia VA (LAX – SYD BNE) (DL partner) MEL LAX restarting 4 April 2017
And others via Asia & Middle East
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Old Dec 28, 16, 10:51 pm
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Please follow the redirect as we send this to the AS forum.

I'd say take a peek at CX myself. The F lounges in HKG...yeah!

~beckoa, co-moderator Information Desk
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Old Dec 28, 16, 11:11 pm
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Look at other gateway cities beyond SEA. DFW, LAX, SFO ORD, YVR among others may give you better options than SEA. Most F & J seats are snapped up at 330 out so you may not find much. Keep looking as seats open up without any rhyme nor reason. I just booked AA LAX-SYD in late May in J when there had been nothing available for the last many weeks except in Y.
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Old Dec 28, 16, 11:30 pm
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For what it's worth, Emirates is a US-Australia award option, but as noted, it's... a little out of the way. But if you really want to and you're willing to shell out the miles, there's some very good (and fairly cheap) Lebanese food to be had in Dubai.

If you don't really care about how good the premium cabin is--i.e., they aren't an especially renowned airline, and they don't have lie-flat seats in business class--Fiji Airlines's award availability seems decent, and booking with them would allow you to take a stopover in Nadi. But I'd second beckoa's recommendation of Cathay Pacific, taking advantage of the stopover in HKG. I'm doing that in J on the way back from Melbourne and Singapore in February, and I'm really looking forward to it.
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Old Dec 29, 16, 3:44 pm
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Originally Posted by Loungeact View Post
I am looking for help with a strategy to book a flight for next year (October/November) from the US (home airport is Seattle, but can get anywhere for a better starting point) to Sydney or Melbourne. I want to use my miles and fly first or business class.

Specifically, I am trying to squeeze in a layover of about 2 days either in Dubai or another interesting place (Tahiti?).

Any ideas on how to go about that? I've tried the links for booking award travel on the Alaska site, but it seems to only work for straight flights (short layovers).
Funny you ask.

I am from SEA, in Melbourne right now after visiting Sydney using Alaska miles.

I booked SEA-YVR-SYD-MEL for 50,000 miles on Qantas Business (SEA-YVR on Horizon/AS). It is seasonal out of YVR as a heads up. No exotic stop over as you say but I did get to spend three nights in Sydney at no additional cost.

Qantas Biz SYD-MEL I got a great lie flat private seat -- check the flights, some are basic seats but this one was on the 330 new biz.

Let me know if you have questions.
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Old Dec 29, 16, 5:35 pm
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We did SEA/LAX/AKL outbound and returned CHC/AKL/SYD/SFO/SEA back in 2009. The longest legs were all in Business Class on QF and in FC on Alaska. The CHC leg was in coach on Jet Star. We had to book the trip in pieces starting several months in advance but got it done well in advance of our departure date.
Iit's doable but you need to be patient and persistent.
Good luck!
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Old Dec 29, 16, 8:59 pm
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Would it be possible to do BOS-LAX-SYD as one award on VX+QF in the future?
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Old Dec 29, 16, 9:41 pm
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Originally Posted by Dieuwer View Post
Would it be possible to do BOS-LAX-SYD as one award on VX+QF in the future?
Virtually certainly. When? No idea.
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Old Dec 29, 16, 9:50 pm
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I started looking back in late August for seats in Jan 17 to Aus and returning in Feb. I checked daily for weeks before I was able to find seats in J and F on Cathay. SFO to HKG to Perth on way out and SYD>HKG>LAX return. I changed seats and flight combos several times before I was able to get the whole thing in J and F. To begin I had a combo of PEY and J. I found nothing on Qantas except in Y.

In comparison, in Aug 2013 I was able to get Qantas flights to SYD from LAX for 2 in J departing Feb 14. I had my choice of flights back then 4-5 months out. This time around no flights on Qantas were available and I have been checking daily to get easier routing.

Persistence seems to be the key as well as a little flexibility on routing.
Goodluck. YMMV!
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Old Dec 30, 16, 11:27 am
  #11  
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Originally Posted by Single_Flyer View Post
Funny you ask.

I am from SEA, in Melbourne right now after visiting Sydney using Alaska miles.

I booked SEA-YVR-SYD-MEL for 50,000 miles on Qantas Business (SEA-YVR on Horizon/AS). It is seasonal out of YVR as a heads up. No exotic stop over as you say but I did get to spend three nights in Sydney at no additional cost.

Qantas Biz SYD-MEL I got a great lie flat private seat -- check the flights, some are basic seats but this one was on the 330 new biz.

Let me know if you have questions.
Thanks!

My question is specifically to 'how do you get a 2-3 day layover'? Did you call to make the arrangements? Looking at the online options, I only get 10 hours or so max.

I'm familiar with booking award travel even in F and international. I am NOT familiar with how to structure a longish layover. That's the part I need help with Can I do that online, or do I need to call customer service? If I need to call, is there a limit on how long one can remain at a stopover before it is considered a separate flight?

50K miles on Quantas for Business is cheap!! I am really interested in trying Emirates, but it is 125K!
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Old Dec 30, 16, 11:31 am
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Originally Posted by jinglish View Post
For what it's worth, Emirates is a US-Australia award option, but as noted, it's... a little out of the way. But if you really want to and you're willing to shell out the miles, there's some very good (and fairly cheap) Lebanese food to be had in Dubai.

If you don't really care about how good the premium cabin is--i.e., they aren't an especially renowned airline, and they don't have lie-flat seats in business class--Fiji Airlines's award availability seems decent, and booking with them would allow you to take a stopover in Nadi. But I'd second beckoa's recommendation of Cathay Pacific, taking advantage of the stopover in HKG. I'm doing that in J on the way back from Melbourne and Singapore in February, and I'm really looking forward to it.
I know it's an option, that's why I am looking at it However, when I look at availability online, I only get a 10 hour layover max. I want 2 days or so... Question is, how do I get that long of a layover, do I need to call customer service or is there an option to do that online as well?

I do care about lay flat seats, so that means Fiji is out thanks for the heads up.

I love Beckoa's idea about HKG as well!! Perhaps Dubai to and HKG on the way back? How did you get the layover? Did you have to call to get that option?

Thanks bunches!!
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Old Dec 30, 16, 11:32 am
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one more question: I was told that I can always cancel my award flight anytime and get the mileage credited. I've never had to do that, though. Do you guys know if that is true and if so, is it only available to status members? I'm losing my status this year, so kind of need to know if I'm locked in or if I can still cancel in the future.
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Old Dec 30, 16, 2:08 pm
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Originally Posted by Loungeact View Post
I know it's an option, that's why I am looking at it However, when I look at availability online, I only get a 10 hour layover max. I want 2 days or so... Question is, how do I get that long of a layover, do I need to call customer service or is there an option to do that online as well?

I do care about lay flat seats, so that means Fiji is out thanks for the heads up.

I love Beckoa's idea about HKG as well!! Perhaps Dubai to and HKG on the way back? How did you get the layover? Did you have to call to get that option?

Thanks bunches!!
Given your feelings about angle-flats, you may want to avoid EK J if your itinerary includes 777s.

As far as booking stopovers, you have to call in to AS to book anyway. I just found availability for my first segment at the 330-day mark, made the reservation for that flight alone, and then called back a couple of days later when availability for my flight home opened up. If you're not right on the edge of the availability period, just give them the flight numbers and dates. And if you're booking with EK or another partner that's available to book on the website, I think that you can just use the multi-city search tool to specify your flight dates and it'll price as one award.
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Old Dec 30, 16, 6:51 pm
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Originally Posted by jinglish View Post
Given your feelings about angle-flats, you may want to avoid EK J if your itinerary includes 777s.
I did not know this. Thanks for the heads up.

I ended up calling and since my dates are quite flexible, got a flight on emirates to Dubai with a three day layover and Cathay on the way back with a two day layover in hong kong.

This forum sure rocks!!!!
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