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QF WP's off to LHR - conundrum and questions

QF WP's off to LHR - conundrum and questions

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Old Jun 4, 04, 8:54 pm
  #1  
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Unhappy QF WP's off to LHR - conundrum and questions

Well, where do I start....

Mrs QF WP has decided that the visit to our friends and her relatives in UK is back on after a stressful past couple of months. It appears that this will be our last major international leisure trip, as impending (after the trip) serious work on having children will definitely hasten the demise of my leisure induced MR's. So I want to "go out" in style.

Now the conundrum is what/when/how to go:

We have only 2 to 2.5 weeks to complete the trip. Our starting time is flexible, but our return timetable is inflexible because of pre-existing commitments (I must be back in BNE for 2 day work conference on Gold Coast 12-13 August and I have my 20 year school reunion/old boys dinner 13 August back in BNE). I'd love to get back a minimum of the day before (11th August) for recuperation.

Options

1. Book WHY seats x2 on QF metal flights and use points/UC's for J seats, or
2. Book WT+ seats on BA metal and hope for op ups (WT+ seats ~ $3,300 each), or
3. Book J Award seat for Mrs QF WP (QF metal) and buy J for me (will be tax deductible ), or
4. Book J Award mixed OW carrier for Mrs QF WP and buy J for me, or
5. Book F Award seat for Mrs QF WP and buy J for me, hope to find Z seat availability.

It is very safe to assume (note Dave Noble, et al) that this trip will include no MR's, no flights stopping in BKK to start a DONE4, and no RTW schedule unless I have convincing unshakeable proof that it is the only way (Mrs QF WP is a point to point traveller, not via C and if I want to stay married and with all anatomical parts still attached to my body...) Perhaps the only person who could convince her is NM (sorry Dave, would need to be a local BNE person).

Now I have a fair number of points within QF and affiliated programs (all rounded down to nearest 1K level) - 271K QFF points; 9K AMEX, 13K SPG, 10K in CB Visa, totalling 303K. I transferred most of my available points - CB Visa (50K at 1:1), NAB Gold Rewards (50K to 33K QFF at 1:1.5) and SPG (2 separate transactions of 20K at 4:5) during the week, so they are included in the QFF total above. I now have less than 1K in NAB. CB Visa balance might kick up with 5K and 10K referral bonuses, but I'm not holding my breath waiting.

What I am kicking myself over was that I thought that HH points were transferable as well to QFF - that'll teach me to pay closer attention to all my programs (I'd never used or looked to transfer any HH points before now) - I have 78K in there.

I am, of course, a WP and have 7 UC's (I have another 310 SC's to go before scoring another). Expiry of my first UC is 31 Oct 04. Obviously, I am looking for the status from the flights towards re-qual (I have 230SC's for the year commencing 1 March, with another 50 SC's already booked and additional work and leisure flights (including this) that should make me WP again by 28 Feb 05).

Mrs QF WP is a PS and has 83K QFF points and is PS. She has 0 SC's thus far this year. She has 2 UC's and needs 325 SC's before her next one. Expiry of her first UC is 31 Mar 05. Mrs QF WP doesn't really care about the status, but she loves the benefits of being my spouse (upgrades, better seats, nice hotel rooms, etc, all without her having to pay for them!). I know Mrs MR can understand her position (isn't that right, Martyn).

I have done some research on Award flights ex-BNE, SYD and MEL (using the QF website, so am taking the availability with a grain of salt in case it doesn't show all available seats), looking at direct to SIN, BKK and LHR; and return (all using the timeframes 26 Jul to 13 Aug). Because of immediacy of travel, Skybed introduction, Olympic Games et al, there is very almost no availability in J (particularly outbound), sparing F but plenty of WHY (particularly ex-SYD and MEL but WHY is not really a preferred option). The best options that I could find that meet my/our objectives (going in style) were:

Outbound
Mon 26 July Dep 15.35 MEL/LHR QF9 (in F), arriving LHR 27 July 05.25, or
Tue 27 July Dep 16.50 SYD/LHR QF1 (in F), arriving LHR

Inbound
Mon 09 Aug LHR/SYD QF32 (in F)

I haven't as yet checked on my J paid seat availability or additional Z seat availability, but before I go too far, is there anything that others can suggest might be better or I have missed?? I'm certainly no guru when it comes to these areas...

Whew, I need a drink now...where's my HP??
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Old Jun 4, 04, 10:20 pm
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what about AY mixed fare or J class?

Hi,

Don't forget about AY's mixed class fare (from $3.9k) or full J fare from $6k p.p.

This way you could do BNE-SIN-(BKK)-HEL-LHR and vv.

My trusty OW timetable gives me the following as an example:
From: Brisbane QL AU To: Helsinki (Vantaa) FI
VIA: Singapore SG AND Bangkok TH
Qantas 51 Finnair 98 Con't Flight
From:BNE To:SIN From:SIN To:BKK From:BKK To:HEL
2:15 PM 7:50 PM 9:50 PM 11:10PM 0:20 AM 6:45 AM
Trm:I 743 Trm:1 Trm:1 M11 Trm:2 Trm:2 M11 Trm:2
Meal: M

From: Helsinki (Vantaa) FI To: London (Heathrow) GB
NON-STOP
BA 795

Total flight time of 28 hours (3hr 50 longer than direct)

Return would see a 6:05pm departure for a 6:25am arrival back into BNE (once again via HEL, BKK and SIN). Again 3hr anf 50 min longer than direct. This however would save you some $6k over a direct J flight and no need to worry about points. You would also earn 640 SC.

Two WT+ tickets would set you back around $8k for 2 and for a mixed Y (BNE-SIN-BNE//HEL-LHR-HEL) and J (SIN-(BKK)-HEL-(BKK)-SIN) would cost an extra $1600, you could then try and upgrade the BNE-SIN-BNE sectors to J. Alternatively 2 D class tickets would be around $12k.

I'm having the same problem at the moment for a trip to Zurich in January. I'm currently booked on the QF LX codeshare in M class for BKK-ZRH but as LX are no longer coming into OW I don't want to be minus OW benefits, like seat allocation.
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Old Jun 4, 04, 11:07 pm
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Originally Posted by QF WP
It appears that this will be our last major international leisure trip, as impending (after the trip) serious work on having children will definitely hasten the demise of my leisure induced MR's. So I want to "go out" in style.
A growing family is not the end of life as you know it . Its a wonderful change and does not need to be the end of flying or MR's . But it does add some constraints that may not have been there otherwise. Bit make the most of the practice time while it lasts .
Originally Posted by QF WP
(Mrs QF WP is a point to point traveller, not via C and if I want to stay married and with all anatomical parts still attached to my body...) Perhaps the only person who could convince her is NM (sorry Dave, would need to be a local BNE person).
Better get that BBQ arranged. Will opening a 1989 Penfolds Bin 389 help bring her around to the right way of seeing things?

Now, assuming it is only your fare that can be tax deducted, and given the cost of points-based upgrades, I suggest you are best to use points for Mrs QF WP and pay for your fare.

Remember that QF is not the only OneWorld carrier to offer J awards to LHR. So get on the phone to QF and ask about CX and BA availability. Personally, unless I could affort two F awards (and they were available), I would not be rsiking one F award and one paid J hoping for Z upgrade.

Given the date constraints I would happy to take CX or BA as an option to QF if they could meet the right dates. Time on the ground in UK is probably an important criteria. It dies not cost all that many more points for a mixed carrier award. CX is always a great option so you can show Mrs QF WP the Pier/Wing lounges and score some more brownie points.

I am not sure what other paid discount J options are available in addition to those mentioned involving AY. But that is also a valid option. We can sell the BNE-SIN-BKK-HEL-LHR routing around the use of the F lounges along the way. And since BKK won't show on the ticket, you may neglect to mention that little "technical" stopover .
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Old Jun 4, 04, 11:35 pm
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Don't know that I can add much more - agree about not risking Z availability if getting F award for Mrs QF WP.

The only other suggestion I would have is getting awards (whether Z or U) BNE-BKK and then buying a cheap J/F return from there to LHR. As an example CX J return is US$2300-2500 and F return is US$4000. This ofcourse doesn't help with the ATO but I am sure you can be creative

And BTW, have to agree with NM re additions to the FT family - shouldn't stop you. Our planning with RTWs continues even with the near arrival of mini-alect (adds a new dimension to OWE planning to coincide with mini-alect age and 10% and 75% fares).
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Old Jun 4, 04, 11:54 pm
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Further to the points made about the Qantas/Finnair J fare, you don't have to fly Finnair long-haul both ways. Only one long-haul sector needs to be with Finnair. My father and his wife are currently on a European holiday and used that fare. They flew QF9 MEL-SIN and QF17 SIN-CDG and will return via Finnair MUC-HEL and HEL-BKK, before getting QF2 BKK-SYD.
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Old Jun 5, 04, 12:51 am
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There is a Qantas/Scandinavian fare which might well be of interest. Cost is $3300 plus tax per person and is economy class on QF to TYO and business class to UK on SAS. You can then use UCs/Points to upgrade the QF sectors to/from TYO to business if desired.

Of course, another idea would be to book an H class on Austrian Airlines and make use of your upgrade certificates. The SYD-VIE is one flight number so you could both upgrade that both ways and just take economy for the VIE-LGW/LHR sector

Dave
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Old Jun 5, 04, 1:09 am
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Originally Posted by QF WP
... she loves the benefits of being my spouse (upgrades, better seats, nice hotel rooms, etc, all without her having to pay for them!)...
Surely the operative word in her reasons for being your spouse is 'etc'...

Have you considered CX? BNE-HKG-LHR offers good connection, and you being WP, the Wing and the Pier will be very good stops.

CX have fares advertised on its Aus site, but you'll be staring at peak seasons regardless...

Of course, you'll be buying or claiming rewards...
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Old Jun 5, 04, 8:42 pm
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Check out fares ex BGK for J.
Also, I wouldn't take a BA flight on the hopes of getting an op upgrade. They go down their list of Exec club members first.
CX has consistently been the best for me providing the op ug- even tho I am not a Marco Polo member- that plus the Wing AND the cheaper tickets out of HKG may sway you.
Personally I hate the CX beds and would choose BA every time. To me I sleep as well there as I do in F.
The combo tickets with SAS also soung good (as per Dave Noble's post)
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Old Jun 6, 04, 7:07 pm
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Fnnair/Qantas Bus class was good value

I just did the RTW AY/Q. worked well for me
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Old Jun 7, 04, 2:24 am
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HI QF WP,

I can't help unfortunately as am new to all this but I can vouch for the fact that having little QF WPs running around won't stop a fanatic traveller like you. We are taking our 4 on a world trip and they're only, 2, 4, 6, & 9yrs.

Have fun.
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Old Jun 7, 04, 2:31 am
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Do not hope for an op-up from WT+ to J. J is very heavily booked on this route on BA (in fact, it is just about always sold out). And then you have ALL of BA's executive club members in front of you (even blues !) before BA starts looking through the manifest for other frequent flyers ..

Having said that, the trip in WT+ is just fine. I've done a few times ..
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Old Jun 7, 04, 4:04 am
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Option 6 sounds good!

- Pay QF First and leave Mrs QFWP at home :
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Old Jun 7, 04, 4:24 am
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Originally Posted by Dave Noble
There is a Qantas/Scandinavian fare which might well be of interest. Cost is $3300 plus tax per person and is economy class on QF to TYO and business class to UK on SAS. You can then use UCs/Points to upgrade the QF sectors to/from TYO to business if desired.
Dave
No SCs though on SAS...
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Old Jun 7, 04, 8:46 am
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Originally Posted by willyroo
No SCs though on SAS...
And? SCs arnt everything. Price is always worth considering

Dave
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Old Jun 7, 04, 2:42 pm
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Originally Posted by Dave Noble
And? SCs arnt everything. Price is always worth considering

Dave
Whatthe.... wash your mouth out, young man!

CX from time to time offers a BNE-LHR 2 sectors J, 2 sectors Y. One of the longhaul (ie HKG-LHR) must be in Y. Last price I saw was $3,999.00.

The AY option is a good one too - just make sure you go SIN-HEL to get over the 5700 miles for maximum SCs
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