Business Class Awards to Australia from US in Oct Nov

Old Aug 18, 18, 6:19 pm
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Arrow Business Class Awards to Australia from US in Oct Nov

Hi Folks,

I have been searching for 3rt Business Award Tickets to Australia (either to Sydney or Melbourne) from US - October and November Time Frame.

I am UA Plat.
UA Miles 130k, Chase UR 220k, Amex 220k, American 150k, Delta 80k

I am based in Florida; prefer to fly direct from LAX, DFW, IAH, SFO.

Q: Shall I book UA economy awards and waitlist for business - what are chances for the upgrade to clear?

Q: How is VA business class award probability - I thought I could use of Amex Promo and transfer to VA.

Q: Any other suggestions?
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Old Aug 18, 18, 6:27 pm
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Originally Posted by sidharth134 View Post
.I have been searching for 3rt Business Award Tickets to Australia (either to Sydney or Melbourne) from US - October and November Time Frame.
Very many threads on premium awards USA<---->Australia
Look in the airline forums & info forum. These have dedicated threads on awards & upgrades on the USA-Au route.

You are not going to get 3 business class awards on the same flight. Even 2 is very very hard. Look for 2+1 or 1+1+1 from different gateways and/or on different days. Many people only look for LAX-SYD. Try SFO to/from xx and BNE MEL to/from yyy. Look for one ways. Do not need to fly the same routes both ways

VA business class is considered by some to be the best. Availability is a different issue .

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 (YVR – SYD BNE MEL) [Star Alliance]
  • Air New Zealand NZ (LAX SFO IAH YVR via AKL) (AKL-ORD from Nov 2018)[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 – BNE SYD) (AA & VA partner)
  • Jetstar JQ (HNL – BNE SYD MEL)
  • Qantas QF (LAX SFO JFK(via LAX) DFW HNL YVR*– SYD; LAX-BNE; LAX SFO**-MEL) [OneWorld Alliance] (AS partner) (**MEL SFO from 1st Sept 2018) {* seasonal}
  • United UA (LAX-MEL, LAX SFO IAH– SYD) [Star Alliance]
  • Virgin Australia VA (LAX – BNE SYD MEL) (codeshares with AC*) (Delta & AC* partner) [*= some routes in 2017-18 link
And others via Asia & Middle East
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Old Aug 18, 18, 7:19 pm
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It's highly unlikely you can find 3x business class awards on one flight between the USA and Australia. These routes are some of the most difficult J awards to secure. With some flexibility, 1 seat isn't too difficult. Finding 2 seats is almost impossible and 3 is a pipe dream I'm afraid.

Being on the east coast you do have a lot of potential options, as you stated you can connect in the DFW/IAH hubs or even with AC at YVR. Unfortunately, none will be easy.

You may have some luck connecting in Asia. It is a lot longer journey, but finding 3 J seats is definitely easier this way. For example Cathay through HKG, or Singapore via SIN. Or even, connecting the long way around in DXB or AUH.

Another potential is flying in F to HNL then flying on HA J to SYD. HA can be booked with AA miles or VA points. Fiji is another potential connecting point. FJ and HA J class are not the best products in the world but still nice.

If you can snag a single J award on VA, they do tend to open up award inventory at the last minute if seats are empty. So you could possibly snag more seats at the last second. A bit risky though, as these flights can be full. IME most of the other airlines on this route will not open up J award space at the last minute.

I believe you need to be an Australian or NZ resident to open a VA (Velocity) account. So, you may not be able to do this.
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Old Aug 18, 18, 7:38 pm
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Originally Posted by CPMaverick View Post
It's highly unlikely you can find 3x business class awards on one flight between the USA and Australia. These routes are some of the most difficult J awards to secure. With some flexibility, 1 seat isn't too difficult. Finding 2 seats is almost impossible and 3 is a pipe dream I'm afraid.

Being on the east coast you do have a lot of potential options, as you stated you can connect in the DFW/IAH hubs or even with AC at YVR. Unfortunately, none will be easy.

You may have some luck connecting in Asia. It is a lot longer journey, but finding 3 J seats is definitely easier this way. For example Cathay through HKG, or Singapore via SIN. Or even, connecting the long way around in DXB or AUH.

Another potential is flying in F to HNL then flying on HA J to SYD. HA can be booked with AA miles or VA points. Fiji is another potential connecting point. FJ and HA J class are not the best products in the world but still nice.

If you can snag a single J award on VA, they do tend to open up award inventory at the last minute if seats are empty. So you could possibly snag more seats at the last second. A bit risky though, as these flights can be full. IME most of the other airlines on this route will not open up J award space at the last minute.

I believe you need to be an Australian or NZ resident to open a VA (Velocity) account. So, you may not be able to do this.
I am getting 1 seat in October and November on UA from SFO due to Plat status.

Yes, East Coast has some options.
Yes, I am open to DFW, IAH or even YVR.

I have not looked at HNL route, will take a look.

I was checking Delta for VA - plenty seats to Melbourne - in same days - they have 4 seats but only availability is next week. I was envisioning - using Amex -> Virgin Atlantic Promo to book VA seats - only if there seats.

Alternatively,
I am thinking to book economy on UA - FLL to IAH to SYD (Fastest Route) - enough miles to block 6 seats in Economy.
Then put an upgrade request at the last minute?

Is that too crazy?
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Old Aug 18, 18, 7:44 pm
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Originally Posted by sidharth134 View Post
I am getting 1 seat in October and November on UA from SFO due to Plat status.
Not sure what this means? Does Plat status give you the ability to open availability or something? This is not a UA forum so please explain.


Originally Posted by sidharth134 View Post
I was checking Delta for VA - plenty seats to Melbourne - in same days - they have 4 seats but only availability is next week. I was envisioning - using Amex -> Virgin Atlantic Promo to book VA seats - only if there seats.
Yes as I said VA will open up J awards a few days out. Only helpful if you are willing to wait it out though.

Originally Posted by sidharth134 View Post
Alternatively,
I am thinking to book economy on UA - FLL to IAH to SYD (Fastest Route) - enough miles to block 6 seats in Economy.
Then put an upgrade request at the last minute?

Is that too crazy?
Why are you booking 6 seats in economy? Why only request an upgrade at the last minute, instead of earlier? I don't know how UA upgrades work on award tickets....

I don't know much about loadings on the IAH-SYD flight. But in general USA-OZ J tends to be pretty full. And UA offers lots of its members upgrade certificates, which they'd want to use on such a long flight. I assume paid tickets would get upgrade priority, so you'd be at the bottom. Chances of scoring an upgrade would seem mighty slim.
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Old Aug 18, 18, 8:01 pm
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Yes, I found out yesterday, that United Offers additional availability to Platinium and 1K. EF did not show any ticket available but United did.
https://www.united.com/web/en-US/con...r/default.aspx

I need to go to Australia (worst case Economy Award or I buy economy tickets). I could hold an economy awards for now (cancellation is $50 per ticket), and wait for VA to open up seats last minute (at least with Delta and Amex Miles - I can grab 3 or 4 one way tickets).
United needs miles in the account in order to waitlist (I think so).

Also, I was checking seat availability in EF for next week -- plenty of seats across all flights on UA metal in August.

Any links for HA bookings or Fiji




Originally Posted by CPMaverick View Post
Not sure what this means? Does Plat status give you the ability to open availability or something? This is not a UA forum so please explain.




Yes as I said VA will open up J awards a few days out. Only helpful if you are willing to wait it out though.



Why are you booking 6 seats in economy? Why only request an upgrade at the last minute, instead of earlier? I don't know how UA upgrades work on award tickets....

I don't know much about loadings on the IAH-SYD flight. But in general USA-OZ J tends to be pretty full. And UA offers lots of its members upgrade certificates, which they'd want to use on such a long flight. I assume paid tickets would get upgrade priority, so you'd be at the bottom. Chances of scoring an upgrade would seem mighty slim.
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Old Aug 18, 18, 8:13 pm
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Originally Posted by sidharth134 View Post
I am getting 1 seat in October and November on UA from SFO due to Plat status.
If you find 1 business class award close the date you want just book it. Now.
If you do not someone else soon will. Awards are easy to cancel but very hard to get.

Originally Posted by sidharth134 View Post
Any links for HA bookings or Fiji
In the AA forum are dedicated FJ & HA threads
FJ:---->FJ / Fiji Airways (ex-Air Pacific) and AA, miles, awards, etc. (consolidated)

HA---> Earning and Redeeming AA Miles on HA / Hawaiian Airlines (master thread)

Be wary of mixed class awards where you are offered business/first class for domestic connecting flights but economy for long haul (at the business class price in ff miles)
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Old Aug 19, 18, 7:59 am
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I need minimum 2 tickets, I have an infant that I need another seat for

Originally Posted by Mwenenzi View Post
If you find 1 business class award close the date you want just book it. Now.
If you do not someone else soon will. Awards are easy to cancel but very hard to get.


In the AA forum are dedicated FJ & HA threads
FJ:---->FJ / Fiji Airways (ex-Air Pacific) and AA, miles, awards, etc. (consolidated)

HA---> Earning and Redeeming AA Miles on HA / Hawaiian Airlines (master thread)

Be wary of mixed class awards where you are offered business/first class for domestic connecting flights but economy for long haul (at the business class price in ff miles)
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Old Aug 19, 18, 10:00 pm
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Originally Posted by sidharth134 View Post
I need minimum 2 tickets, I have an infant that I need another seat for
The point is that you have better odds of securing 2 or 3 J seats if you can secure 1 first.

If the third J seat is for an infant, how does that work? Can you leave an infant in a lie-flat 'pod'? I know not all airlines J class can accommodate a child seat. IIRC there is something about some (all?) angled seats that makes child seats not possible.
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Old Aug 19, 18, 10:21 pm
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OP's now closed thread in the UA forum:---> https://www.flyertalk.com/forum/unit...mel-route.html

Originally Posted by CPMaverick View Post
The point is that you have better odds of securing 2 or 3 J seats if you can secure 1 first.
If you get one award seat, later another award seat may(or may not) show up as available on that flight.


Originally Posted by CPMaverick View Post
.If the third J seat is for an infant, how does that work? Can you leave an infant in a lie-flat 'pod'? I know not all airlines J class can accommodate a child seat. IIRC there is something about some (all?) angled seats that makes child seats not possible.
Very good point. OP will need to check with all airlines he/she is considering as to if a child of X years old can occupy a business class seat.
VA info:--->
Infants https://www.virginaustralia.com/nz/e...tance/infants/
Children https://www.virginaustralia.com/nz/e...ance/children/

Anyway OP does not enough ff miles for 3 x business class even one way:-UA Miles 130k, Chase UR 220k, Amex 220k, American 150k, Delta 80k

LAX-SYD business class award one way
AA 80,000 ff miles
DL who knows? Award chart not now published
UA 80,000 ff miles
Source (needs to be checked) : -http://www.milez.biz/en/list_rates.php

Getting more ff miles say late September & then getting 3 & flying business class awards on 18th Oct is realistically not going to happen.

Its getting harder for sidharth134.
Note some airlines are (real) premium economy. Which is not a economy plus product.
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Old Aug 19, 18, 10:27 pm
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Originally Posted by Mwenenzi View Post
If you get one award seat, later another award seat may(or may not) show up as available on that flight.
That's pretty obvious. Not sure what point you are going for?
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Old Aug 20, 18, 1:20 pm
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When I first read your post I naturally assumed you mean October next year because getting 2, let alone 3 J award ticket from US to OZ is not an easy endeavor. As others have stated if you see 1 J now BOOK that asap its most likely due to a cancelled reservation and won't last long at all (if its still there). Most likely outcome is that you'll have to book remaining tix in Y (paid or award).
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Old Aug 22, 18, 3:42 am
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Last minute award seats US-Oz non-stop rarely open up, unlike TATL or even CX to HKG. Your best availability would be QR (trans-atlantic ) and then if you are willing to wait until day of departure and happy to spend a few days in HKG, then CX US-HKG and HKG-Oz separate award. Either way costs more miles, but likely to have availability .... your companions have to be seasoned FF'ers however to tolerate this schedule. Alternative is to buy cheap J on the Chinese carriers, but it is not a good product. This is one route where awards tend to be gotten a year ahead due to the extreme demand.
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Old Aug 23, 18, 5:55 am
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Originally Posted by number_6 View Post
Last minute award seats US-Oz non-stop rarely open up, unlike TATL or even CX to HKG.
Very common for VA to open last-minute J seats, as already discussed in this thread. Approx 6 days out. they clear the upgrade with points wait-list and then seats go on the market. Assuming they aren't sold-out of course. Not sure if these are made available to partners but they are definitely on VA's site.

Checking MEL-LAX just now there are J awards available for the next 6 days straight.
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Old Aug 25, 18, 9:31 pm
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Originally Posted by number_6 View Post
Last minute award seats US-Oz non-stop rarely open up
I disagree - although it does depend on the time of year. UA has business award seats available on 10 of the next 14 days. The vast majority of those were not available several weeks ago, so they certainly classify as last minute.

Business awards to Australia used to be incredibly difficult to get, but there's a lot of capacity at the moment which is making awards/upgrades easier than ever to get.
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