Availability of Business or First Class Awards

Old Jan 22, 19, 9:45 pm
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Question Availability of Business or First Class Awards

Hello Community
Do you have some insight or tips on securing international business or first class using Alaska Airlines mileage? I have plenty of miles, but when I check availability for potential destinations like Auckland or Paris, there usually business or first on shorter domestic legs only coach on the longest legs. And this is checking 11 months out. Is there some way to find seats on the longest legs before they're gone, assuming they are even available in the first place?
Thanks in advance!
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Old Jan 22, 19, 10:19 pm
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Ongoing problem. A search will reveal many threads. Can you give us the airlines your looking at?
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Old Jan 22, 19, 11:57 pm
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Originally Posted by JACCIH View Post
Do you have some insight or tips on securing international business or first class using Alaska Airlines mileage?
I have plenty of miles, but when I check availability for potential destinations like Auckland or Paris, there usually business or first on shorter domestic legs only coach on the longest legs.
And this is checking 11 months out. Is there some way to find seats on the longest legs before they're gone, assuming they are even available in the first place?
Nothing new or unusual
You need to look at the award chart and which airlines fly to your destination (or some where close)
Also an ever increasing list of airlines/routes do not have first class
https://www.alaskaair.com/content/mi...s/award-charts

As you are looking for AKL, some QF threads (QF can get you to AKL)
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Old Jan 23, 19, 1:24 pm
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USA to Australia-New Zealand is the most sought after redemption in the FF world. You're trying to book at the absolute peak time for travel to that region (Southern Hemisphere summer season starts in December). So no surprises there; you're basically asking why airlines won't give away on miles what they can easily sell for cash. Also, Cathay Pacific availability is not visible through the website.

Alaska is probably one of the weakest programs to Europe, now that Air France/Delta/KLM are all gone; you are left with British Airways (lots of "visiting friends and relatives" demand around Christmas), Emirates (clamps down at Christmas for the same reasons) and a bunch of random LCCs like Icelandair and Condor.

My tip would be to look at different cities? SEA-TYO has some premium class availability in December on JL.
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Old Jan 23, 19, 2:19 pm
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I've done SEA - LAX - HKG - SYD on CX. It's brutal, but CX has decent award availability. You can also try forcing a connection in ICN and see if KE has inventory.

Otherwise, I've gone through the award chart day by day to find QF F inventory on DFW - SYD (flown it twice now).

A lot of this is luck and willingness to search harder than most.
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Old Jan 24, 19, 7:14 am
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Originally Posted by MonThruThurs View Post
I've done SEA - LAX - HKG - SYD on CX.
In J or F? This is my dream redemption round-trip though.
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Old Jan 24, 19, 9:27 am
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Originally Posted by rotatev2 View Post
In J or F? This is my dream redemption round-trip though.
CX doesn’t fly F cabins to Australia or New Zealand, so that segment HAS to be J. TPAC involving HKG can be J or F.

Not sure how “brutal” a J class is compared to Y though, even if it’s a longer trip.
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Old Jan 24, 19, 9:32 am
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Originally Posted by eponymous_coward View Post
USA to Australia-New Zealand is the most sought after redemption in the FF world. You're trying to book at the absolute peak time for travel to that region (Southern Hemisphere summer season starts in December). So no surprises there; you're basically asking why airlines won't give away on miles what they can easily sell for cash. Also, Cathay Pacific availability is not visible through the website.
Thankfully CX flies to a lot more than just SYD so if you are willing to buy a separate ticket within Australia or between Australia and NZ, you have a lot more flights available

I booked ORD-HKG-AKL and BNE-HKG-ORD as two one ways (1F and 1J) on my desired dates when calendar opened. Granted, I was thinking of going to NZ for skiing over US Labor Day so ....
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Old Jan 24, 19, 11:09 am
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I actually had trouble finding Qantas F 11 months out, but fewer issues finding it 11 days out. YMMV
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Old Jan 24, 19, 11:50 am
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Originally Posted by bmvaughn View Post
I actually had trouble finding Qantas F 11 months out, but fewer issues finding it 11 days out. YMMV
I booked my DFW-SYD QF F at ~150 Days out.

Originally Posted by rufflesinc View Post
Thankfully CX flies to a lot more than just SYD so if you are willing to buy a separate ticket within Australia or between Australia and NZ, you have a lot more flights available

I booked ORD-HKG-AKL and BNE-HKG-ORD as two one ways (1F and 1J) on my desired dates when calendar opened. Granted, I was thinking of going to NZ for skiing over US Labor Day so ....
I have YLW-SEA-LAX-HKG-BNE, Y(Q400), F, F, J in a few weeks. I needed to get to Sydney so I picked up 2 revenue tickets BNE-SYD on QF. The 90 minute flight is operated on A330-200 equipment, includes checked baggage, seat selection & 100% EQM for an outrageous fare of USD $103 each.

Excellent point you make. If you have flexibility to nearby airports, it definitely affords a better opportunity to find an award.

I have flown awards in J MEL-HKG and JNB-HKG followed by the TPAC F.

James
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Old Jan 24, 19, 12:34 pm
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Originally Posted by Flying for Fun View Post
I have flown awards in J MEL-HKG and JNB-HKG followed by the TPAC F.
But was it brutal drinking Krug in the front of the plane?
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Old Jan 24, 19, 8:00 pm
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Originally Posted by eponymous_coward View Post


CX doesn’t fly F cabins to Australia or New Zealand, so that segment HAS to be J. TPAC involving HKG can be J or F.

Not sure how “brutal” a J class is compared to Y though, even if it’s a longer trip.
Believe CX started 1 77W w/ F to Sydney last year.
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Old Jan 24, 19, 8:48 pm
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Hey, thanks. That's a good idea to try to get part of the way there on a carrier with availability.
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Old Jan 24, 19, 8:55 pm
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I was thinking of doing that what you suggest, using miles to get close, then buying a ticket or using miles to get the rest of the way. Sure appreciate all the good ideas!
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Old Jan 24, 19, 8:58 pm
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What do the F and J mean? First class and ?
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