Need Help Getting Started--Trip to Australia

Discussion in 'Newbies' started by tmon, Aug 1, 2014.  |  Print Topic

  1. tmon

    tmon New Member

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    Hi there, I'm new!

    I'm looking into a vacation (well, honeymoon!) trip to Australia from Chicago, IL or Detroit, MI. I think I'm starting my planning really early, but the hope is I can find a way to maximize the points I have to save a bit of money. I have ~110,000 points on my Chase Sapphire Preferred card and I'm hoping to travel late next October or early November. The exact date is TBD currently. I'm trying to go through some of the guides around here and elsewhere and having trouble really understanding exactly where to start and how to know that I'm looking into the best options. It would be a huge help to get your guys opinions, any guidance, and/or projections on how far my points (once converted to miles with one of the CSP airline partners) will get me.

  2. pillow25

    pillow25 New Member

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    (1) You'll probably have to start on the west coast (i.e. LAX or SFO). So a positioning flight to LAX or SFO is probably necessary.

    (2) Are you interested in flying coach? Or since it's your honeymoon, do you want to fly business / first class?

    (3) FYI, this is one of the toughest routes to get availability on IMO because there are few options. Some ideas off the top of my head:
    • Singapore Airlines (Chase UR partner) - not a direct flight, either SFO - SIN - Sydney / LAX - SIN - Sydney
    • Qantas (bookable with BA Avios, which are distance-based)
    • United
    • Any *A airline because you can use United miles
    Hope this is enough to get started.
    iolaire likes this.
  3. iolaire
    Original Member

    iolaire Gold Member

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    My initial thoughts are if you have over a year to plan you should try to increase this balance significantly. The more points you have the more likely you can make something work by paying more, traveling in a higher class or combining awards.

    This is not a good option if your credit is bad, or if you are unable to pay off your balances each month.

    If you and your fiancée have good credit you should both be getting Chase cards to try to increase this balance. The fiancée could also get the sapphire card, and both of you could investigate the Inc. business cards offered by Chase if you have some sort of side business. Once you learn which airline's points you will use you could then also get the corresponding airline card (United or BA), or if you think you go with Singapore, BA and some of the foreign then some of the Amex Cards that allow transfer to that airline would be helpful.
  4. edekba

    edekba Gold Member

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    From my exp ... (I too am/was looking at the down under for our next award trip) using United through Asia seems to be the best bet to get premium cabin flights.

    Air China, ANA, Asiana,& EVA all usually have pretty good space if you look early enough and then connections to Australia /New Zealand doesnt seem too bad. Add to it I could stop in Asia then go to Australia, travel around and maybe buy a cheap flight to Melbourne, Sydney, or even New Zealand to head home is a no brainier to me. Yes it a bit more expensive ... but that's why I've been collecting UR for a bit and will be using other types for my trips prior to this.

    Start by looking at the West Coast Hubs as your start point (SFO, LAX, YVR) and find the space/route you need to get across the ocean. Then add the ORD/DTW -> SFO/LAX/YVR when space is available or ... buy your own cheapish flight.
    iolaire likes this.

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