Award reservations from JFK to Australia

Discussion in 'American Airlines | AAdvantage' started by foxberg, Mar 2, 2014.  |  Print Topic

  1. foxberg

    foxberg Gold Member

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    I'm thinking of making an award reservation using AA miles to go to Australia. I'm pretty open with dates of travel. What is the best way of doing it? Can I somehow book it directly on QF? Looking for tips. Thanks.
     
  2. gleff
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    gleff Co-founder

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    Australia is one of the very toughest awards there is. Non-stop flights from the US to Australia are especially tough to come by. With American miles that would mean flying Qantas, and Qantas awards are hard to get. They're easier in coach than in business and easier in business than in first.

    Qantas opens their schedule ~ 355 days prior to travel, while American opens theirs 331 days out. You cannot book Qantas travel until American's schedule has opened if you're using American miles. Qantas is one of the few airlines where availability is best when their schedule opens, and for a few weeks Qantas members, as well as members of the BA and Cathay Pacific programs can redeem for those seats while American members cannot.

    Availability is better during the Northern summer than in the winter. And you call American directly (or book on the American website).

    And be sure to check all of their routes.. Los Angeles to Sydney, Melbourne, and Brisbane as well as their Dallas flight.

    Qantas isn't the only way to get to Australia though. Remember that Fiji Airways flies there non-daily, for instance, from Los Angeles. And American also offers distance-based oneworld awards that for Australia would be incrementally more miles but that would allow you to route through Asia.

    While I'm not a fan of Delta miles generally, they happen to be the best for Australia because their partner Virgin Austalia has the best award space from the US to Australia (Los Angeles to SYD, MEL, BNE).
     
  3. Wandering Aramean
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    Wandering Aramean Gold Member

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    Which require two oneworld partners to be part of the award. :-:
     
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  4. gleff
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    gleff Co-founder

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    And to be clear two oneworld airlines not including American.

    But not that hard to accomplish with JL/CX/MH/QF. Could even just be a QF SYD-MEL segment if you were doing the trip all on CX otherwise.
     
  5. tom911
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    tom911 Gold Member

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    And don't rule out a few nights in Honolulu with an onward flight on Hawaiian if you can't immediately find Qantas flights. I booked that for May of last year and then cancelled it when Qantas business opened up LAX-SYD. As an EXP I don't pay any fees to do that. If you're not EXP and change carriers and routing, there could be a charge. You can find this on the AA website. Also, don't overlook flying to AKL and then a separate 10K AA coach award into Australia later on.
     
    Last edited: Mar 4, 2014
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  6. austinrunner

    austinrunner Active Member

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    North America -> Asia 1 (peak season) followed by Asia 1-> South Pacific costs 25K more in Y, 32.5K more in J, and 40K more in F than a North America -> South Pacific award. The differences for Asia 2 instead of Asia 1 are 22.5K, 27.5K, and 40K, respectively.

    North America -> South America 1 followed by South America 1 -> South Pacific costs 20K more in Y, 32.5K more in J, and 42.5K more in F than a North America -> South Pacific award. A connection in South America 2 would be allowed.

    North America -> South America 2 (peak season) followed by South America 2 -> South Pacific costs 30K more in Y, 37.5K more in J, and 65K more in F than a North America -> South Pacific award.

    An Explorer award would not be cost effective compared to the above.
     
    Last edited: Mar 16, 2014
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  7. Aktchi
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    Aktchi Silver Member

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    While looking for my very first economy award to Australia with AA miles, I was surprised to discover that, at least for my dates in June-July, space is readily available on long-haul QF flights (eg, LAX-BNE or SYD-DFW), but not on domestic connecting flights (AA within USA, and QF within Australia). I had expected it to be just the opposite and found this situation a little surprising.
     
  8. tom911
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    tom911 Gold Member

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    I found the domestic segments initially not available for my May trip either (SFO-LAX, LAX-SFO), so I'm flying out of Sacramento this time. Since my booking SFO-LAX has opened up at a reasonable time, but not LAX-SFO which would require an 8 hour layover at LAX right now. Hoping some of the earlier flights open up in the weeks ahead as I really don't want to pay for two weeks of parking in Sacramento. Just too far away to have someone shuttle me up there. I'll pay if I have to, but it's not my ideal solution.

    Tom in Seoul
     
  9. Aktchi
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    Aktchi Silver Member

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    Theorizing about similar situations...

    Miles from an EXP account: I would grab the long-haul flights on my dates. As origin and destination can be changed without fee, domestic connections could be added later. (Example: If LAX-SYD is available now, book it. When NYC-LAX and SYD-ADL become available, add them. You'll also have the option to cancel and get your miles back.)

    Miles from a non-EXP account: In this case, there is fee for changing origin/destination and for redepositing miles. I guess my strategy would be to book the entire trip on closest dates that would be acceptable even if not ideal. Then change date/routing as other flights become available. (For example, book ORD-LAX-BNE-ADL for 6/22 even though I might want 6/24. Monitor availability and change dates / routing later, eg, ORD-DFW-SYD-ADL. This is for partner awards, can't change routing for explorer.)
     
    Last edited: Mar 24, 2014
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  10. travelpye

    travelpye Silver Member

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    My question is slightly different: I want to take 3 of us to Australia late May or mid to late August next year. I do no expect to score multiple business class seats for the trip, but 3 economy tickets seem possible. Question: does qantas permit a paid supplement to move to premium economy from economy on award tickets booked with AA? And if so, how $$$?
     

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