Awards to Australia Only DL + VA?

Old Sep 6, 19, 11:31 pm
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Awards to Australia Only DL + VA?

I'm looking for 2 biz tix from LAX - CNS (Cairns), Australia next July -- of course award tix are north of 600K each.

I called DL and asked about partners such as China Eastern, China Airlines and Korean and was told they never offer that route to Australia and I would have to book either DL or VA.

Is that really the case (Since those other airlines fly to Australia -- though probably not Cairns)?
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Old Sep 6, 19, 11:48 pm
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Originally Posted by Mileage Lover View Post
I'm looking for 2 biz tix from LAX - CNS (Cairns), Australia next July -- of course award tix are north of 600K each.

I called DL and asked about partners such as China Eastern, China Airlines and Korean and was told they never offer that route to Australia and I would have to book either DL or VA.

Is that really the case (Since those other airlines fly to Australia -- though probably not Cairns)?
As of a few years ago DL requires DL or VS flights to Australia. To fly connecting via Asia you have to buy two separate awards, so pay double. Or you could fly to CGK, DPS, SIN, KUL, or some other such nearby city in SE Asia on an award, and then get a cheap LCC ticket for the final flight to Australia, and thus also work in a stopover on the way.
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Old Sep 7, 19, 12:01 am
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Great idea on routing via SE Asia!
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Old Sep 7, 19, 12:01 am
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Originally Posted by Mileage Lover View Post
I'm looking for 2 biz tix from LAX - CNS (Cairns), Australia next July -- of course award tix are north of 600K each.

I called DL and asked about partners such as China Eastern, China Airlines and Korean and was told they never offer that route to Australia and I would have to book either DL or VA.

Is that really the case (Since those other airlines fly to Australia -- though probably not Cairns)?
Business class awards USA<---->Australia are hard to get with any ffp. 2 business awards on the same flight is harder again. Many threads on this topic. Need to be flexible with date & route. Do not need to fly the same city pairs out & back.
I am also looking for 1 business award USA to Aust (any airports) in late July 2020 with a range of ffp's. Been hunting on & off for some months.

Putting in CNS as the destination will limits your options. A separate domestic flight BNE/SYD/MEL-CNS may open up more options
LAX & SYD are not the only international airports to consider. Also look via Fiji. Via Asia will be 2 awards.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cairns_Airport

Airlines that fly USA/Canada to/from Australia
  • Air Canada AC (YVR – SYD BNE MEL) [Star Alliance]
  • Air New Zealand NZ (LAX SFO ORD IAH YVR via AKL) [Star Alliance]
  • Air Tahiti Nui TN (LAX – via Tahiti & AKL. Last segments on QF codeshares) (AA & DL partner)
  • American Airlines AA (LAX - SYD) [OneWorld Alliance] (AS partner)
  • Delta DL (LAX – SYD) (VA & AS partner) [Skyteam Alliance]
  • Fiji Airways FJ (LAX SFO HNL – BNE SYD MEL via Fiji) (QF, AA & AS partner) [NAN-ADL ceased 20 July 2019]
  • Hawaiian HA (HNL – BNE SYD) (AA & VA partner)
  • Jetstar JQ (HNL – BNE SYD MEL)
  • Qantas QF (LAX SFO JFK(via LAX) DFW HNL YVR* – SYD; LAX, SFO*, ORD* - BNE; LAX SFO - MEL) [OneWorld Alliance] (AS partner) {* seasonal}{*BNE ORD from 20 April, 2020, *BNE SFO from 5 Feb 2020}
  • United UA (LAX - MEL, LAX SFO IAH – SYD) (SFO - MEL from 20 Oct 2019)[Star Alliance].Reduced service IAH-SYD & LAX-SYD March 29 through October 25
  • Virgin Australia VA (LAX – BNE SYD MEL) (codeshares with AC*) (DL & AC* partner) [*= some routes in 2017-18 link]
  • and others via Asia & Middle East

Edit
Just booked QF DFW SYD business class award for late July 2020

Last edited by Mwenenzi; Sep 7, 19 at 3:11 am
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Old Sep 7, 19, 6:14 am
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DL award tickets on VA metal between the US and Australia are 40k (Y) or 100k (J) miles each way but inventory can be elusive. VA rarely release J inventory more than a week before a flight, but sporadically release Y inventory well in advance. For my return, I booked a ticket in Y in advance and then the night before the flight when I noticed J inventory, I was able to upgrade without a change fee for only 60k additional miles. On my outbound, I routed through SE Asia (DPS specifically) for only 80k miles in J and then took a cheap hop (no pun intended) over to Australia on Qantas for like $250. As an additional perk, the Qantas fare between DPS and Australia allowed a stopover in Australia. It may be helpful to reposition to Seattle to find saver J inventory to/from SE Asia.
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Old Sep 7, 19, 6:33 am
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Given how expensive USA-AU award tickets can be, if you don't have a lot of flexibility on dates, it could easily be possible that it would be cheaper to buy two award tickets and route yourself through Asia. This would allow a couple stopovers there too, one over 24 hours in each direction, although if you don't want to go through mainland China, it might not be so easy to do this in places other than ICN.
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Old Sep 7, 19, 11:35 am
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Originally Posted by MSPeconomist View Post
Given how expensive USA-AU award tickets can be, if you don't have a lot of flexibility on dates, it could easily be possible that it would be cheaper to buy two award tickets and route yourself through Asia. This would allow a couple stopovers there too, one over 24 hours in each direction, although if you don't want to go through mainland China, it might not be so easy to do this in places other than ICN.
I ended up cancelling but found ways to get to Oz for about 300,000 miles by booking separate awards US to Asia, then Asia to Oz. And you can do a stopover in Asia. Think about CI or VN, but not to CNS probably. CI does fly to BNE.
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Old Sep 7, 19, 11:45 am
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Originally Posted by MSPeconomist View Post
Given how expensive USA-AU award tickets can be, if you don't have a lot of flexibility on dates, it could easily be possible that it would be cheaper to buy two award tickets and route yourself through Asia. This would allow a couple stopovers there too, one over 24 hours in each direction, although if you don't want to go through mainland China, it might not be so easy to do this in places other than ICN.
Asia to Australia awards are very expensive, often well under 1cpm. One can fly either to N. Asia or SE Asia for about the same, so why not include, say, the GA flight (the best J of any SkyTeam airline, IMO) from Japan or Korea to CGK or DPS in the award. Value wise it makes sense to go to SE Asia, then a revenue (lots and lots of LCCs and traditional airlines to choose from, high competition and low fares) flight over to Australia.
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