Best way to get Business or First class from USA to Melbourne Australia for Tennis Open

Discussion in 'Star Alliance' started by barryjb, Jul 10, 2011.  |  Print Topic

  1. barryjb

    barryjb Silver Member

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    My daughter is in love with tennis and wants to complete her desire to see all four of the Grand Slams. We are a family of four, my wife and I are Platinum on CO and both Ambassador IHG level members and have points in Hilton, Starwood, United, USAir and members of several other frequent mileage programs. What would be the best way for us to fly to Melbourne for the Australian Grand Slam tennis open? Thanks.
     
  2. stan
    Original Member

    stan Silver Member

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    Barry

    I never list my phone# or e/m address on a open site -- think about it
     
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  3. MSPeconomist
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    MSPeconomist Gold Member

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    Given that your miles are in UA and US, with CO status, your major choices would seem to be either UA to Australian from the West Coast or NZ flights connecting into Melbourne. There are Starwood and IIRC Hilton properties in downtown Melbourne. Would you go elsewhere in Australia?
     
  4. barryjb

    barryjb Silver Member

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    Thanks. good idea.
     
  5. MSPeconomist
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    MSPeconomist Gold Member

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    There's a general thread, IIRC in Newbies, about booking award tickets and probably additional info in the airline fora. In your case, I would suggest starting by doing a status match (for free) from CO to UA so that you're searching UA (and riding) as an elite (1P), although *A Gold gives you some alliance-wide elite benefits. Look for the over-water flights first and worry about domestic connections later. However, it will be hard to get four award tickets on the same flights, so you might want to think about perhaps purchasing two, maybe trying for upgrades on the purchased tickets. The more flexibility you have the better.
     
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  6. barryjb

    barryjb Silver Member

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    Thanks I will do some research. I have done the buy 2 tickets and 2 award strategy before with upgrades to first.
     
  7. gleff
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    gleff Co-founder

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    You will not get 4 award seats on the same flights direct from the US to Australia, it's a virtual certainty. There are exceptions to every rule, for instance I've seen 4 business class awards on V Australia using Delta miles for Los Angeles - Brisbane. And perhaps 4 years back United made a bit of a boo boo and opened up entire first class cabins on most days as awards. But otherwise... Australia is the single most difficult frequent flyer award there is.

    One can often score awards routing through Asia, US - Seoul - Sydney can frequently be done for two passengers. For four, with Star Alliance, Lufthansa to Europe on certain routes and then Thai, I've seen 4 first class seats on Paris - Bangkok on days when they fly 2 777s and also Thai tends to open additional award inventory once the first two seats are taken when they only allow 2 seats Europe - Asia. And that Bangkok - Sydney flight is hugely doable. (A Europe routing for Australia is a ton of extra flying, United won't allow it but sometimes US Airways will)

    See how arduous those options sound? Australia being the toughest award and looking for four seats, so my advice is to either buy 2/redeem 2 or break up the group and fly in pairs instead of looking for four seats.

    Best,
    Gary
     
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  8. stan
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    stan Silver Member

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    Or if it works for your family split up and maybe arrive one day apart and this way you all use miles --those that arrive first can prepare for the arrival -- maybe the first party take the luggage of all and unpack ( depending how you split up ) etc
     
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  9. stan
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    stan Silver Member

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    posted b4 i saw Gleff reply
     

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