Redeeming points for Business class flights can be a challenge at the best of times. Award availability can be limited, especially on long-haul international flights. But what’s harder than redeeming points for one person? Redeeming for a whole family!

One member is looking to redeem points for a family of three. This member would like to travel to Europe in Business class.

My wife and I are planning to take our youngest daughter (10) on a European vacation next June for around 7 weeks.

My predicament is that we would like to go to Europe in J or at least Y+, flying on either Qantas, Emirates, Cathay Pacific, or British Airways etc. I don’t really have a spare $24k laying around for flights but I do have around 560k QFF points that I’m willing to part with.

With only enough points for two return tickets, this member has proposed three ideas. The first is to pay for Premium Economy seats to Hong Kong. From Hong Kong, our member would have enough points for three return Business tickets to Europe. Although finding three award seats from Hong Kong could be difficult, there are at least many different Cathay Pacific flights to choose from.

CX has routes between HKG and AMS, CDG, DUS, FCO, FRA, MAD, MXP, ZRH. I’ve been able to book J flights to MAD and from ZRH with around 6 months notice, so I’m guessing that availability might be better on these routes than LHR. Or at least will give you some options.

The second option is to redeem points for two return Business class tickets, paying real money for a third seat on the same flights. This could overcome some of the problems associated with award availability. A third option is to pay for flights in Premium Economy and request points upgrades to Business. However, there is no guarantee that these upgrades would be successful.

While all three of these options could work, they all have their downsides. But thinking outside the box, our members have come up with several creative recommendations. One suggestion is to book three reward tickets on points to Bangkok. From Bangkok, paid Business class fares to Europe can be picked up for as little as $2,000 return. This is great value, though it does necessitate an overnight stop on the way to Europe.

Fly to BKK or SIN cash or award if available then look into buying cheap J or even F with another airline to Europe eg Sri Lankan or Finnair.

Another left-field suggestion is to purchase discounted miles from Alaska Airlines, redeeming these to fly in Business class to Hong Kong on Cathay Pacific. This would make up for the points shortfall, however the issue of award availability would remain.

Buy 180K Alaska miles for ~$8000 and do AU to HKG return in J on CX for all 3 of you. Use QF points HKG to anywhere in Europe on CX in J – burning all ur QF points (taxes will be lower than alternatives too)

Add your suggestions to the mix HERE.



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Matt Graham
The editor of Australian Frequent Flyer, Matt's passion for travel has taken him to over 60 countries… with the help of frequent flyer points, of course!
Matt's favourite destinations (so far) are Germany, Brazil, New Zealand & Kazakhstan. His interests include economics, aviation & foreign languages, and he has a soft spot for good food and red wine.

You can contact Matt at [email protected]