Is there a good way to get to Australia using AA miles?

Discussion in 'American Airlines | AAdvantage' started by James K., Dec 15, 2013.  |  Print Topic

  1. James K.

    James K. Silver Member

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    Hey there folks,

    Pardon my ignorance on the subject, but even looking at 330 days out on AA.com, finding two seats in business class from America to Australia is really a tough draw. Every so often they'll show up, but not with any rhyme or reason that I can tell.

    However, I know that there are often other ways that people use to get around what an airline website displays, and I was wondering if there are any factors that I'm not considering. Like, would it make sense to use the AA Explorer Award feature and do something like LAX-HKG-SYD-KUL-LAX on CX/QF/MH? Is the availability on Malaysian good enough to make that a viable option?

    I'm not planning on going right away, but I'm trying to plan my miles and points strategy for the next year and wondering if AA miles are a good investment with Oz as the end goal. Any advice would be much appreciated. Thanks, gents n' ladies.
     
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  2. timfrost

    timfrost Silver Member

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    It's definitely a toughie. QF doesn't make very many award seats available to AA from what I can tell. I've looked several times and always found it easier/better to just outright buy my ticket. Don't know of any tricks but I am sure others will have ideas... and I will be curious to watch and learn!
     
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  3. OceanBreezes

    OceanBreezes Gold Member

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    I just booked a route similar to what you quoted...Cathay Pacific through Hong Hong. They also found availability flying LAN via SCL but I wanted to fly Cathay Pacific as I heard their business class was great.
     
  4. newbluesea
    Original Member

    newbluesea Gold Member

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    OK while the US/Australia route might not have a tons of awards its not as difficult as some make out to be.

    One problem AA members face is that award inventory is available to QF members earlier (350 days out, I believe) and often snapped up before we have the chance at them.
    Incidentally that is not a specific benefit of their program but because AA's Sabre network is unable to see/book beyond 321/2 days out.
    If one joins the QF program a search for awards before they are available on AA can give a bit of a heads up

    I did a quick check for two business class awards in Sept/Oct of 2014 and was able to see some availability..surprisingly, more on return, for SYD/MEL/CNS (a bit more on the latter city) which would be quite workable from my own perspective. Flexibility and long term planning is the key here.

    Somewhat back to the OP's question .. yes the Explorer award might be the way to go and it allows stopovers on each leg.
    For example on the outbound you will find better CX inventory flying from SFO/YVR/YYZ as opposed to LAX and depending on where you are based flying through YYZ to HKG may be less miles (a consideration on the Explorer) than through LAX to HKG
     
    Last edited: Dec 16, 2013
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  5. pjoalfa
    Original Member

    pjoalfa Silver Member

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    Have to agree with newbluesea on this. It's not nearly as hard any more. Use BA's site to see availability on JL/MH/CX/QF. Connecting through NRT/HKG/KUL has quite decent availability and you might even luck out on QF. I managed 4xBusiness for July 2014 (at 330 days) ORD-HKG-SYD-DFW without much trouble. A OWE award is obviously the way to go if you can, but at 330 days, you may find yourself having to book the outbound before you can book the inbound.

    Also keep in mind HA and QF fly from HNL.
     
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  6. James K.

    James K. Silver Member

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    Thanks guys...this is looking majorly doable. I'm sitting on a bunch of Delta miles and a bunch of AA miles and don't know which to use for my Berlin trip and which for my Australia trip. In some ways the decision seemed obvious, since AA partners with AirBerlin and Delta partners with Virgin Australia, but I'm leaning towards going the other direction now, since I worry that by the time I'm ready to book Australia flights Delta will have added thousand dollar fuel surcharges or drastically reduced availability or some such. Plus, who doesn't want a free stopover in Kuala Lumpur? Nobody, that's who
     
  7. Canadi>n
    Original Member

    Canadi>n Gold Member

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    Does an award to Australia/NZ have to be done across the Pacific? Now that Qatar is in the program, could one not fly via the Gulf to Perth or Melbourne, then pick up QF to get to any other cities?
     
  8. pjoalfa
    Original Member

    pjoalfa Silver Member

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    2 awards, same as through Asia, unless you book with a OWE award, in which case you can go any way you want.

    edit- that's wrong. 2 awards through Asia is only if you want a stopover. Avoidable also with OWE. Definitely 2 awards through DOH.
     

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