Help with award flights to Australia

Old Jul 26, 17, 7:40 am
  #1  
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Help with award flights to Australia

Looking to go to Australia next Sept/Oct (2018) and would like to possibly do a stopover in NZ.

I've got the following miles:
Chase UR - 75,000
SPG - 130,000
Southwest - 60,000

Would love to fly J, but I've been reading that those are hard to come by. I was hopeful the Alaska/Virgin Australia SPG transfer would work, but sounds like that ends in 2018. (If I book in 2017, am I still OK?)

My starting point is CLT, but I'm willing to get somewhere else first, if needed.

What would be the best way to use my miles to get there?
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Old Jul 26, 17, 8:05 am
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Originally Posted by DVDBob View Post
I was hopeful the Alaska/Virgin Australia SPG transfer would work
The what?
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Old Jul 26, 17, 8:16 am
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Originally Posted by UpgradeMe View Post
The what?
http://www.godsavethepoints.com/2016...ustraliatrick/

You can't transfer to Virgin any longer, but perhaps transferring to Alaska will work?
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Old Jul 26, 17, 9:09 am
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Originally Posted by DVDBob View Post
perhaps transferring to Alaska will work?
Not for travel on Virgin Australia.
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Old Jul 26, 17, 9:17 am
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Originally Posted by UpgradeMe View Post
Not for travel on Virgin Australia.
OK. So what's the next best option?
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Old Jul 26, 17, 9:24 am
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Originally Posted by DVDBob View Post
OK. So what's the next best option?
The best option is the one that involves award seats that you can actually find for your desired dates of travel. But be aware that SPG transfers to airline FFPs are not instantaneous; they can take several days, during which time award seats you have found might well disappear!
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Old Jul 26, 17, 9:30 am
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Originally Posted by guv1976 View Post
The best option is the one that involves award seats that you can actually find for your desired dates of travel. But be aware that SPG transfers to airline FFPs are not instantaneous; they can take several days, during which time award seats you have found might well disappear!
I'm pretty flexible with the schedule so my plan was to transfer miles first so they're available for booking and just go when there's availability. Which program am I likely to find award flights on. Sounds like United, but which actual program is best?
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Old Jul 26, 17, 3:58 pm
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Originally Posted by DVDBob View Post
Looking to go to Australia next Sept/Oct (2018) and would like to possibly do a stopover in NZ.

I've got the following miles:
Chase UR - 75,000
SPG - 130,000
Southwest - 60,000

Would love to fly J, but I've been reading that those are hard to come by.
The question of USA Australia awards is asked very frequently. Look down the this forum and in the airline forums.
Many to most airlines now do not allow stopovers on awards. AA does not.
Awards become available 355/330 days out depending on the ffp

Southwest miles are of little use, other than for a positioning flight to a major airport.

Airlines that fly USA/Canada to/from Australia (not from all airports to all airports)
- American Airlines AA (LAX - SYD) [OneWorld Alliance] (AS partner)
- Air Canada AC (YYR SYD, BNE, MEL 1 Dec 2017 to 1 Feb 2018 ) [Star Alliance]
- Air New Zealand NZ (LAX SFO IAH YVR via AKL) [Star Alliance]
- Air Tahiti Nui TN (LAX via Tahiti. Last segments on codeshares) (AA & DL partner)
- Delta DL (LAX SYD) (VA & AS partner) [Skyteam Alliance]
- Fiji Airways FJ (LAX SFO HNL BNE SYD MEL ADL via Fiji) (QF, AA & AS partner)
- Hawaiian HA (HNL SYD BNE) (AA & VA partner)
- Jetstar JQ JQ (HNL SYD BNE)
- Qantas QF (LAX SFO JFK DFW HNL YVR* SYD BNE MEL) [OneWorld Alliance] (AS partner) {* seasonal}
- United UA (LAX SFO SYD MEL) [Star Alliance]
- Virgin Australia VA (LAX SYD BNE) (DL partner) MEL LAX restarting 4 April 2017
And others via Asia & Middle East

Airlines that fly USA/Canada to/from New Zealand are (not from all airports to all airports)
- American Airlines AA (LAX - AKL) [OneWorld Alliance] (AS partner). No flights 5 August 2017 and 5 October 2017
- Air New Zealand NZ (LAX SFO IAH YVR - AKL)[Star Alliance]
- Air Tahiti Nui TN (LAX - AKL via Tahiti) (AA & DL partner)
- Fiji Airways FJ (LAX SFO HNL - AKL WLG CHC via Fiji) (QF AA & AS partner)
- Hawaiian HA (HNL-AKL)(AA & VA partner)
- Qantas QF (via SYD BNE & MEL) [OneWorld Alliance] (AS partner)
- United UA (SFO - AKL) No flights 16 April 2017 and 28 October 2017
- Virgin Australia VA (via BNE & SYD) (DL partner)
And others via Australia, Asia & Middle East
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Old Jul 27, 17, 12:26 pm
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How many people?

This is my initial thought. At the moment Aeroplan is running a deal where you get a 35% bonus on points transferred from partners including SPG. US - Australia using Aeroplan (which gives you access to all *A) is 160k/person in J and 210k/person in F for the roundtrip.

You could take 100k SPG ---> 125k Aeroplan (accounting for the SPG 5k for every 20k bonus) and then you'll get a 35% bonus on top of that giving you 168k Aeroplan miles, aka giving you a RT J ticket for 100k SPG miles. Can't think of a better redemption value than that. Note there is a per day SPG ---> Aeroplan transfer limit so you'll want to take that into account. In addition as you probably know you only get the 5k bonus when you transfer 20k, so you'll want to transfer in blocks of 20k otherwise no bonus (which is why I propose using 100k SPG even though you end up a little of the 160k J price).

You'll want to sign up for an Aeroplan account first and poke around to find out what availability looks like and also taxes/fees (Aeroplan passes along taxes and fees on some but not all partners). You'll want to consider *A hubs to start out of in the event that you can't find something from CLT (ORD, JFK, EWR, IAD, IAH) and then you can just buy the CLT - XYZ ticket. Aeroplan will also give you stopovers (up to 2 stopovers).

Note this Aeroplan transfer promotion ends in August so you'll have to take some leap of faith that you'll be able to find a routing that works for Sept/Oct 2018 since you won't be able to book those dates before the Aeroplan transfer promo ends.

The benefit is you should be easily able to get New Zealand as a stopover assuming award availability since you'll be able to use NZ for the trans-tasman flight and have an itinerary that looks something like this:

CLT - ORD - NRT - SYD / SYD - AKL / AKL - BKK - NRT - ORD - CLT on UA / NH / NH / NZ / TG / TG / NH / UA
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Old Jul 27, 17, 1:56 pm
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Originally Posted by Duke787 View Post
How many people?

This is my initial thought. At the moment Aeroplan is running a deal where you get a 35% bonus on points transferred from partners including SPG. US - Australia using Aeroplan (which gives you access to all *A) is 160k/person in J and 210k/person in F for the roundtrip.

You could take 100k SPG ---> 125k Aeroplan (accounting for the SPG 5k for every 20k bonus) and then you'll get a 35% bonus on top of that giving you 168k Aeroplan miles, aka giving you a RT J ticket for 100k SPG miles. Can't think of a better redemption value than that. Note there is a per day SPG ---> Aeroplan transfer limit so you'll want to take that into account. In addition as you probably know you only get the 5k bonus when you transfer 20k, so you'll want to transfer in blocks of 20k otherwise no bonus (which is why I propose using 100k SPG even though you end up a little of the 160k J price).

You'll want to sign up for an Aeroplan account first and poke around to find out what availability looks like and also taxes/fees (Aeroplan passes along taxes and fees on some but not all partners). You'll want to consider *A hubs to start out of in the event that you can't find something from CLT (ORD, JFK, EWR, IAD, IAH) and then you can just buy the CLT - XYZ ticket. Aeroplan will also give you stopovers (up to 2 stopovers).

Note this Aeroplan transfer promotion ends in August so you'll have to take some leap of faith that you'll be able to find a routing that works for Sept/Oct 2018 since you won't be able to book those dates before the Aeroplan transfer promo ends.

The benefit is you should be easily able to get New Zealand as a stopover assuming award availability since you'll be able to use NZ for the trans-tasman flight and have an itinerary that looks something like this:

CLT - ORD - NRT - SYD / SYD - AKL / AKL - BKK - NRT - ORD - CLT on UA / NH / NH / NZ / TG / TG / NH / UA
Thank you. This is very insightful. There is actually myself and my wife, but I think we would be willing to pay for 1 ticket if we couldn't get both as awards. Or possibly fly PE one of the directions. (Are there PE awards?)
I had actually already signed up for an Aeroplan account since I saw the 35% bonus. Is there better availability with them, than the others?

Also, what does *A mean? StarAlliance?
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Old Jul 27, 17, 3:20 pm
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Originally Posted by DVDBob View Post
Also, what does *A mean? Star Alliance?
Yes. Is Star Alliance
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Old Aug 18, 17, 8:33 am
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Is it better to look on the partner sites for awards or the main sites like AA, DL and UA? Seems like I don't get much of a choice for which partners when going to the main sites.
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Old Aug 18, 17, 8:59 am
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Originally Posted by DVDBob View Post
Is it better to look on the partner sites for awards or the main sites like AA, DL and UA? Seems like I don't get much of a choice for which partners when going to the main sites.
-NH is the best for Star Alliance availability.
-DL is fine for SkyTeam though for partners you need to search segment by segment because some partners (like CI) they won't show as part of a multi-segment itinerary
-For OneWorld you'll want to use the BA website but search segment by segment as well - AA won't show CX/JL/QR/etc.
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Old Aug 18, 17, 9:18 am
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Originally Posted by Duke787 View Post
-NH is the best for Star Alliance availability.
-DL is fine for SkyTeam though for partners you need to search segment by segment because some partners (like CI) they won't show as part of a multi-segment itinerary
-For OneWorld you'll want to use the BA website but search segment by segment as well - AA won't show CX/JL/QR/etc.
What is NH?

Once I find something do I call in for reservations or can I book from the site?
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Old Aug 18, 17, 9:43 am
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Originally Posted by DVDBob View Post
What is NH?

Once I find something do I call in for reservations or can I book from the site?
NH = ANA

If you can book it online, go for it. Some complex itineraries require a phone call to get them done.
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