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Want to upgrade to Australia...

Want to upgrade to Australia...

Old Jan 25, 12, 7:26 am
  #1  
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Join Date: Jan 2012
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Want to upgrade to Australia...

Hello,

Hopefully the masters can help me! I am looking to make a trip to Australia with my wife in the next couple of years. Being a crazy long flight, I want to do whatever necessary to fly business class (preferably without paying $20k!). Since I have a couple of years before the trip, I am trying to make up a plan that will give me the best chances of being able to upgrade.

Does anyone have suggestions on airlines that are most likely to have availability to upgrade with miles? Any suggestions on credit cards that can get me the miles necessary to get there? My thoughts would be to dedicate my spending to one airline mileage program and get miles however I can (flights, credit card, hotel conversion, etc).

My home airport is PHL (but to go to Australia, I will likely fly out of JFK). I do not fly for business anymore, but I do have status on BA and about 40,000 Avios points remaining from when I did. Domestically, when I do fly, it is likely US Airways. I currently use AMEX for everything and probably spend $40-50k a year on it. I do spend about 50 nights a year on the road, most often at Marriott hotels.

Any suggestions on strategy?
stgoeke is offline  
Old Jan 25, 12, 10:55 am
  #2  
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this far out, i would look at getting enough for j awards.....so take a look at the cc offers [lots of info in mi buzz, which is where this belongs]....on some airlines, the full award will be available when the mi ug is.....

look on expedia/other to see what carriers go from phl-syd/mel, then study the award charts of those and their alliance partners....

mod alert sent for move to mi buzz/other...
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Old Jan 25, 12, 11:24 am
  #3  
 
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i think delta has 150k miles to australia
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Old Jan 26, 12, 8:55 am
  #4  
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Get "different types" CCs for AMEX MR, AMEX SPG, AMEX DL and use for DL 150k*2 J award tickets.
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Old Jan 26, 12, 10:03 am
  #5  
 
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AA has 125k J or 150K F seats to Australia. If I am not mistaken there is a Qantas JFK-LAX-SYD flight you can take.

AA has 50K CC offers flying around. Last year they had 75k and 100k offers so maybe they will repeat.
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Old Jan 26, 12, 10:07 am
  #6  
 
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Originally Posted by hamburglar View Post
i think delta has 150k miles to australia
Good luck finding any type of low award on Delta. The 150k you are thinking about is using them on their partner V Australia, but it has a $500+ fuel fee.


I would look into programs that have business class lay flat seats. I've seen Air Canada having a lot of inventory for 67.5k miles each way.
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Old Jan 26, 12, 10:10 am
  #7  
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The View from the Wing blog has noted that the usually-denigrated Delta miles may be the best for awards to Australia.
http://boardingarea.com/blogs/viewfr...to-redeem-for/
Australia and French Polynesia. I give Delta a really hard time, and deservedly so. But their miles happen to be the best-positioned for the two destinations from North America that I believe are the hardest awards to get. Naturally I’m not talking about actually securing premium cabin awards to Australia on Delta’s own Sydney flight, but on their partner V Australia — their Los Angeles – Brisbane flight especially, I’ve done multiple business class award seats even during the absolute peak of high season (though Delta does add fuel surcharges to V Australia awards, plan to spend $500 per person). Delta also happens to partner with both airlines that fly from the mainland US to French Polynesia, Air Tahiti Nui and Air France.
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Old Jan 26, 12, 12:30 pm
  #8  
 
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How is a availability on delta using AS miles? Their partner chart has delta business awards for 105K. http://www.alaskaair.com/content/mileage-plan/using-miles/award-chart-australia.aspx

There are several other partners for around 120K including Cathay, Korean, and Quantas for 110K
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Old Jan 26, 12, 6:48 pm
  #9  
 
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Originally Posted by zitozac View Post
How is a availability on delta using AS miles? Their partner chart has delta business awards for 105K. http://www.alaskaair.com/content/mil...australia.aspx

There are several other partners for around 120K including Cathay, Korean, and Quantas for 110K

There is no "u" in Qantas
BadgerBoi is offline  
Old Jan 26, 12, 10:23 pm
  #10  
 
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Originally Posted by BadgerBoi View Post
Originally Posted by zitozac View Post
How is a availability on delta using AS miles? Their partner chart has delta business awards for 105K. http://www.alaskaair.com/content/mil...australia.aspx

There are several other partners for around 120K including Cathay, Korean, and Quantas for 110K

There is no "u" in Qantas
My sincerest apologies
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Old Jan 26, 12, 10:31 pm
  #11  
 
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Originally Posted by zitozac View Post
My sincerest apologies
No problem - many Aumericans make the same mistake.
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Old Jan 26, 12, 11:06 pm
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Originally Posted by BadgerBoi View Post
Originally Posted by zitozac View Post
My sincerest apologies
No problem - many Aumericans make the same mistake.
I see what you did there
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Old Jan 26, 12, 11:17 pm
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Originally Posted by zitozac View Post
I see what you did there
The Qantas thing is a running gag - someone will mis-spell it and an Aussie will invariably come back with "there is no U..." etc.
Thanks for playing along, some people really take umbrage - I just got a very snippy reply from a sensitive little poppet on another forum.

As an aside, unless they get rid of the current Chief Executive of the airline there's not likely to be U, me or anyone else in Qantas.
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Old Jan 27, 12, 12:47 am
  #14  
 
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I like that line!

As an Aussie who moved his travel on to NZ after a QF "experience" I have more fun with the use of "AUK" as a stab at the airport code for Auckland...

(Look it up....)
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Old Jan 27, 12, 7:42 am
  #15  
 
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Originally Posted by Astrophsx View Post
Good luck finding any type of low award on Delta. The 150k you are thinking about is using them on their partner V Australia, but it has a $500+ fuel fee.


I would look into programs that have business class lay flat seats. I've seen Air Canada having a lot of inventory for 67.5k miles each way.
Not exactly. I just booked a trip for 150k miles and only $300 in fuel surcharges. KE is one of the few partners DL has left that doesn't charge any additional fees for fuel. I documented my process here:http://www.flyertalk.com/forum/delta...ward-trip.html

It was a lot of work, but well worth it in the end to use up some DL miles as well as get to ride on the A380 on KE. It was pretty easy to get to Sydney, but I was going to Melbourne which was a little trickier to line dates up. Have patience with DL agents on the phone and it shouldn't be hard to find low availability to Australia.
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