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Least miles/$$$ SCE-BNE with SFO stopover

Least miles/$$$ SCE-BNE with SFO stopover

Old Feb 2, 10, 5:53 am
  #1  
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Join Date: Sep 2009
Posts: 4
Least miles/$$$ SCE-BNE with SFO stopover

My friend and his fiancé are planning a honeymoon to BNE/OOL area. We both live near SCE so we are used to driving for personal travel to MDT, BWI, PHL, PIT even WAS. It's not even out of the question to drive to NYC (5 hours) or EWR. Now to the point: My friend is very large (6' 4” tall, size 16 shoes, etc.) and he will likely be stuck flying coach due to expense. Any ideas on ways to get him there, with a stop in SFO for about 2-3 days outbound to see family?

I was thinking if he and his fiancé both signed up for a reward CC they would each be 25k closer to an award in business. If they bought miles (and were gifted some of the miles as wedding gifts) they might be within their price range to get there. They want to leave the last week in July and return approximately two weeks later. Will there even be award tickets left to book just a few months away from the travel date assuming people gift them miles for the next few months and they book a few months before?

Any advice on best airlines to use, best credit card, best ways to do this for the least money, or largest coach seats would be appreciated. This is my first post so if it's in the wrong place I apologize.
noHubNearby is offline  
Old Feb 2, 10, 8:00 am
  #2  
 
Join Date: Dec 2006
Location: PHL
Programs: Marriott Lifetime PLT
Posts: 1,210
I'm looking to do something similar soon (although not for a honeymoon!).

Do they currently have any miles? Business class tickets cost significantly more miles, and are harder to find availability. I have enough for coach tickets on multiple airlines, and still don't think I will have a chance at business class, even if I do CC bonuses. Buying/Gifting is usually a horrible value, so I would not recommend going down that route for so many miles. It would likely be a better value for people to contribute cash toward the ticket.

As far as airline, the majors flying to Aussie are Qantas (can use AA miles), Delta (horrible miles value), United, and Virgin Blue. Air New Zealand can also get you there via Auckland.

If they don't already have a significant number of miles, and don't fly frequently, I would recommend looking into a Premium Economy offering, which gives extra leg room without the cost of Business. UA offers a barebones Economy Plus, which gives you an extra 5" for a small charge on any purchased economy ticket. Air New Zealand has PE, and is also now even offering economy seats which fold into beds. I believe Virgin Blue also offers PE, and you will have to check into Qantas. Unless someone is willing purchase them Business class tickets outright, or has the miles to do so, I think purchasing a Premium Economy ticket with cash will be their best bet.

For the stop in SFO, that should be very doable to work out on any airline. East Coast - West Coast tickets are extremely cheap right now, so it even be cheaper to purchase a ticket to SFO, then a separate long haul ticket. Just make sure you leave a night in there for padding.
doctor15 is offline  
Old Feb 3, 10, 5:29 am
  #3  
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Join Date: Sep 2009
Posts: 4
Thanks

I knew FT'ers would come to the rescue. Now I've got to plan my honeymoon.
noHubNearby is offline  

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