Need help with award ticket JFK-SYD

 
Old Jul 2, 08, 12:08 am
  #1  
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Need help with award ticket JFK-SYD

We are looking to go to Oz in either Mar, April, May 2009, and are flexible with dates. We are trying to book business or first class. While in Oz want to visit Ayers Rock and Cairns. The ideal flight would be Qantas JFK-SYD-AYQ
stopover in AYQ and open leg CNS-SYD. Return SYD-JFK. We would then be responsible for AYQ-CNS.
I have been trying to book seats for a week, and was told by one agent that she would rather have root canal than book award travel to Oz, as it is so difficult. I have first checked availability on Qantas, found first and business seats, as advised here and then called AA, only to be told that there are no first class or business available. I have read here that the Qantas site is close to what AA finds. Is this true, and if so why are seats not showing available?
Would appreciate any suggestions and help. Would one world ticket work? We are flexible with dates, and do not care what airline or stops. We do want to fly first or business and not economy.
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Old Jul 2, 08, 12:31 am
  #2  
 
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I wish I have other better suggestion but I don't. The good thing is that your dates are flexible so do keep trying. Also, try a different routing.

I could not find any availability with the routing JFK-SYD on QF but was able to get JFK-LAX-AKL-SYD. JFK-LAX was on AA.
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Old Jul 2, 08, 1:55 am
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Notoriously difficult. Others have suggested alternative routes via other parts of Asia for the transpacific leg, perhaps with a revenue ticket for the 'local' flights if necessary. Try searching here and in the OW forum.
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Old Jul 2, 08, 1:57 am
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Try searching for an AA "all partner award" on Air Tahiti Nui. 125k AA in J and 145k for F is a great deal, if you can find availability. You can check availability by subscribing to expertflyer.com ($10 per month?).

Last edited by NWA747SNN; Jul 2, 08 at 2:05 am Reason: Posted wrong information
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Old Jul 2, 08, 2:04 am
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I just checked expertflyer.com and there is availability on certain days in March and April, LAX-SYD. On some days there is one First seat and one Business. Other FTers have reported booking one F, and 1 J seat, then when another F seat becomes available they call back.

Check out these trip reports on Air Tahiti Nui.
http://flyertalk.com/forum/showthrea...tahiti+air+nui
http://flyertalk.com/forum/showthrea...tahiti+air+nui
http://flyertalk.com/forum/showthrea...tahiti+air+nui

Also, look at the "Other Asian, Australian and South Pacific Frequent Flyer Programs" forum here on FT for more info on TN. Remember, you can travel QF in one direction and TN in the other.

Last edited by NWA747SNN; Jul 2, 08 at 2:20 am Reason: adding information
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Old Jul 2, 08, 2:40 am
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My wife has just got back from her award trip in J BNE-JFK and return.The award was via NRT and was booked 3 months out.There was virtually every day availability on AA JFK-NRT and some choice of days on JL BNE-NRT and QF NRT-BNE.No F on NRT-BNE and only old style J seating so better if you can get NRT-SYD for a better product(though not on the JL service).In 2006 both of us did this trip and had to route via SYD in both directions and use CX for SYD-HKG-NRT.
Obviously these are OW awards but have been organised with 3 and 6 months lead time and virtually days we wanted.Also as has been hinted at look at QF LAX-BNE or LAX-AKL then SYD or MEL.These are much more likely to have J availability for awards.
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Old Jul 2, 08, 2:59 am
  #7  
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Originally Posted by NWA747SNN View Post
I just checked expertflyer.com and there is availability on certain days in March and April, LAX-SYD. On some days there is one First seat and one Business. Other FTers have reported booking one F, and 1 J seat, then when another F seat becomes available they call back.
I assume you found availability on TN and not on QF. QF's award seats for business class (U) and First Class (P) do not show on ExpertFlyer.
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Old Jul 2, 08, 4:37 am
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thanks for the info on TN. thinking about US-Aus myself and have ruled out OW Circle Pacific after huge price increase. OW award via NRT sounds quite doable, possibly with stop in DPS (Bali!)
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Old Jul 2, 08, 6:45 am
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Look at the flights through London. BA often has some availability on the LON-SYD route this far out.

Forgot about flying LAX-SYD, LAX-MEL, or SFO-SYD on QF in J or F. Sometimes there are seats on the Brisbane flight.
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Old Jul 2, 08, 7:28 am
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Technically, none of the OW airlines have to have all their award availability that is open to their own FFers also all be open to all their partners--there is usually some difference. Qantas takes that even further and opens their awards to booking for their own FFers up to 25 days before anyone else in a a partner FF program can try to book it.

Given that it has a virtual monopoly on domestic travel down there, and the extreme popularity of travel between "Oz" and the USA, it's understandable that there are additional hoops to jump through.

Personally, I was on the phone for about 2 hours every night for weeks working on trying to find intercontinental availability in/out of Australia in business award seats for myself and my parents. (And that time was down to that after I made a matrix of all the OW routings I could figure out to get in and out--admittedly, I was more restricted in my timing of available dates as I was planning on a 33-day, six stopover mega-trip which had a fixed start date due to it having to correspond to a scientific conference in Tokyo in mid-September.


Also, don't forget alternative routings. I would not turn up my nose at taking BA from LHR-SYD (with a fuel stop in either Bangkok or Singapore). Yes, it will be a couple k-miles longer schlepping all the way to SYD from LHR, but to find seats you may need to be more creative in your routing (at no penalty until after Sept. 1 for booking); and frankly I prefer BA business to QF business.

You can also look for routing via HKG. From NYC, it's nearly 300 miles shorter to Hong Kong (sort of the OW hub in East Asia) via LHR than LAX. You can jump from there directly to AYQ, and back from CNS (realizing that they will not be as large and nice planes as the trans-Pac 747 or 380).

Steve

Last edited by steve32; Jul 2, 08 at 7:33 am
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Old Jul 2, 08, 8:06 am
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If you're going to go the OW route, it's probably best and shorter to go through Asia. More availibility on more partners via Asia. The Kangaroo route(LHR-SYD) on BA and QF is about as difficult to get premium seats on as LAX-SYD is on QF.

BTW: How many people is "we"? Two? Three? Four? As the number of pax you're searching for increases, the difficulty goes up exponentially. I hate to be pessimistic, but if its any number greater than two, you might as well forget about booking them all on one flight. Even two on one flight will prove difficult.
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Old Jul 2, 08, 8:27 am
  #12  
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We did it with a OW partner award through NRT one way and through HKG on the way back. That gives you the two required non AA carriers (Cathay and Qantas). You should find better availability on Qantas to and from Asia than to and from North America.
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Old Jul 2, 08, 9:11 am
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I've gone JFK-NRT-MEL a couple of times, though on paid ticket rather than an award. Only slightly longer getting there, overnight in Japan on the way back.
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Old Jul 2, 08, 4:43 pm
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Originally Posted by altaskier
I've gone JFK-NRT-MEL a couple of times, though on paid ticket rather than an award. Only slightly longer getting there, overnight in Japan on the way back.
In one of those double-decker Rent-a-Coffins?

I was there for a week vacation, guiding parents and playing sherpa, but forgot to inquire about those things.

Any in the airport?

That would be a worthy idea for any large airport to install, for inexpensive overnight accommodations in case of IRREG OPs and such. Or are we too abusive of stuff in the US for that to work here?

Asked about the fact that there are zero/none/nil/zilch in the way of public trash containers around Tokyo. Learned that they were all removed to take away easy places for terrorist devices to be stashed, and the Japanese actually have the discipline to carry their trash with them until they do get to a trash receptacle (like at home), and not just throw it on the ground like happens here even with lots of trash containers all over.

Steve
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Old Jul 2, 08, 5:06 pm
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OP: I know you may be suffering from suggestion overload, but here's my 2 cents anyway. One cool way might be to go for JFK-EZE-SYD. Qantas's new EZE-SYD flight only starts in November so had (when I was looking a couple of months back) some good availability. It also gets about as close as a mainline flight gets to taking you over the South Pole...
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