Life miles to USA from SYD

Old Nov 19, 14, 4:47 pm
  #1  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Mar 2008
Posts: 251
Life miles to USA from SYD

HI All

Never used/bought life miles - only USDM.

So I am wanting to get started but appreciate if people are able to help me out:

-AUST to USA redemptions: Can these go via say Seoul or Beijing?

Or only on the most direct services?
e.g. SYD/ICN/LAX rt ?

-Taxes: generally what would these be in J class?
e.g. USDM using CX taxes are $200 or so but using BA to Europe with their heft FSC then I was given $900 in taxes! Any tips on how to avoid certain airlines etc...?

Look forward to your replies and any other tips!
Thanks so much in advance.
Ansett767 is offline  
Old Nov 19, 14, 5:16 pm
  #2  
 
Join Date: Mar 2008
Location: used to be PER, now it's nowhere/eveywhere
Programs: QFF NB, AA
Posts: 3,231
Originally Posted by Ansett767 View Post
HI All

Never used/bought life miles - only USDM.

So I am wanting to get started but appreciate if people are able to help me out:

-AUST to USA redemptions: Can these go via say Seoul or Beijing?
Yes. I just tried it. 80K miles + USD98.54 in taxes + USD25 booking fee - OZ in J SYD-xICN-LAX

Unlike USDM, you are NOT allowed a stopover on Lifemiles awards

But the good news is that Lifemiles does not charge fuel surcharges^

And by the way, Lifemiles has a 2 for 1 sale on at the moment, but you must already be a member to partake. If you are able then the required 80K miles will cost you USD1,320 (being $33 per 1,000 miles and you'd buy 40,000 to get 80,000)
pandaperth is offline  
Old Nov 19, 14, 8:31 pm
  #3  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Mar 2008
Posts: 251
Thanks!

Thanks for that

Thats great I have played around a bit..

What about putting together somehting like LAX - PEK- SYD with longish 10 h layover or something...

Can I call their call centre and do it that way too or does it have to be done online?
Thanks
Ansett767 is offline  
Old Nov 19, 14, 8:39 pm
  #4  
 
Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: SIN
Programs: SQ, UA, Delta, BMI(RIP), Marriott Lifetime Platinum Elite, Hilton Diamond ( Thank Amex) Hyatt Discov
Posts: 1,824
Originally Posted by Ansett767 View Post
Thanks for that

Thats great I have played around a bit..

What about putting together somehting like LAX - PEK- SYD with longish 10 h layover or something...

Can I call their call centre and do it that way too or does it have to be done online?
Thanks
In Lifemiles, you take what you get as routing online. You cannot pick and choose individual flights or layovers as you could with USDM. Even if you call them, their CSR can see what you see online in terms of flight availability, so will not be able to offer you any other alternatives.
SingaporeDon is offline  
Old Nov 19, 14, 9:52 pm
  #5  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Mar 2008
Posts: 251
awesome

Originally Posted by SingaporeDon View Post
In Lifemiles, you take what you get as routing online. You cannot pick and choose individual flights or layovers as you could with USDM. Even if you call them, their CSR can see what you see online in terms of flight availability, so will not be able to offer you any other alternatives.
Thank you SingaporeDon - much appreciate and very useful advice
Ansett767 is offline  
Old Nov 20, 14, 1:07 pm
  #6  
 
Join Date: Feb 2007
Location: Sydney, Australia
Programs: UA, QF, VS, AA, US, HH, SPG
Posts: 959
Best thing for newbies to do is to play around with the booking engine on the LM site. Just try and book the sort of itineraries which you would be looking for - on various dates. Other very lengthly threads document all sorts of tips and indeed "tricks".

However for ordinary awards with straightforward routing ex-SYD I have noticed that selecting a specific airline produces results which don't show up with the smart search. E.g. looking for SYD-JFK in Feb 2015 - with the default all LM showed were UA fights in Y, selecting AC (for the same date) showed AC via YVR in J, selecting CA (again same date) showed CA via PEK in J.

Also, for Aussies, SQ has excellent availability to SIN in J at T-14 only - great if you don't mind waiting until the last minute to book. Getting to Europe on SQ as a through ticket is almost (but not totally) impossible - however breaking this into 2 awards (SYD-SIN then SIN-European city) is not all that many more miles than a single award - can be worth it if you also want a stopover.
pschafer is offline  
Old Nov 22, 14, 3:38 am
  #7  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Mar 2008
Posts: 251
Originally Posted by pschafer View Post
Best thing for newbies to do is to play around with the booking engine on the LM site. Just try and book the sort of itineraries which you would be looking for - on various dates. Other very lengthly threads document all sorts of tips and indeed "tricks".

However for ordinary awards with straightforward routing ex-SYD I have noticed that selecting a specific airline produces results which don't show up with the smart search. E.g. looking for SYD-JFK in Feb 2015 - with the default all LM showed were UA fights in Y, selecting AC (for the same date) showed AC via YVR in J, selecting CA (again same date) showed CA via PEK in J.

Also, for Aussies, SQ has excellent availability to SIN in J at T-14 only - great if you don't mind waiting until the last minute to book. Getting to Europe on SQ as a through ticket is almost (but not totally) impossible - however breaking this into 2 awards (SYD-SIN then SIN-European city) is not all that many more miles than a single award - can be worth it if you also want a stopover.
Wow - some awesome tips there - thank you.
Especially selecting the actual airline tip... loving it - you're a star.

If i do decide to cancel a booking.. can I do this online/
Or do I need to call?

And if one can cancel them.... what sort of fee is incurred?
Ansett767 is offline  
Old Nov 22, 14, 8:27 am
  #8  
 
Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: SIN
Programs: SQ, UA, Delta, BMI(RIP), Marriott Lifetime Platinum Elite, Hilton Diamond ( Thank Amex) Hyatt Discov
Posts: 1,824
Originally Posted by Ansett767 View Post
If i do decide to cancel a booking.. can I do this online/
Or do I need to call?

And if one can cancel them.... what sort of fee is incurred?
No and $50.

Some people find calling in to cancel a big hassle, as the cancellation system is a bit of a mess, but several of us have found that it is not too much of a problem, but depends upon your luck and who you get at the other end of the phone too
SingaporeDon is offline  
Old Nov 22, 14, 11:32 am
  #9  
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Posts: 221
The problem is their systems and software, not the agents. Every time I have to call them, their agents are very polite and helpful and do what they can, but you gotta feel for them, to have to work under the constraints of such an inflexible booking system. If I worked there I'd be sending bug reports and enhancement suggestions 3x per hour (and ergo my employment would be rather short-lived)
bosboy73 is offline  
Old Nov 22, 14, 3:58 pm
  #10  
 
Join Date: Aug 2012
Posts: 667
Besides specifying the airline, does it make any difference specifying the time?
erik19283 is offline  
Old Nov 22, 14, 4:05 pm
  #11  
 
Join Date: Dec 2013
Location: Valencia, Spain
Programs: Pascal and Python, no C++
Posts: 738
Originally Posted by erik19283 View Post
Besides specifying the airline, does it make any difference specifying the time?
It does. The more closely you specify what you want, the higher the likelyhood you will get it. The search engine works with a certain timeout, so if you leave everything open chances are, it will find some, but not necessarily your desired routing.
WolfvanWeen is offline  
Old Nov 22, 14, 4:07 pm
  #12  
 
Join Date: Aug 2012
Posts: 667
Originally Posted by WolfvanWeen View Post
It does. The more closely you specify what you want, the higher the likelyhood you will get it. The search engine works with a certain timeout, so if you leave everything open chances are, it will find some, but not necessarily your desired routing.
Thank you! I never thought it would make any useful difference. I believed it was more for people who didn't want to leave too early or too late and didn't want to see such search results.
erik19283 is offline  

Thread Tools
Search this Thread
Search Engine: