Podcast #60: Can You Fly to Australia on Points During COVID-19?

Singapore 777 business class
It’s definitely risky, but it is possible to fly back to Australia using frequent flyer points during the pandemic. Photo: Singapore Airlines.

Earlier this year, Devon Indig’s partner Shalini needed to fly to the Netherlands for three months to care for her ageing mother. With Australia’s border closed and a high risk of getting bumped off a return flight back to Australia, it was a difficult and risky endeavour. It could have also been very expensive.

There are still tens of thousands of Australians stranded overseas. Many have been bumped off booked flights to Australia over the past year due to the Australian government’s restrictive arrival caps and limited quarantine capacity. Even some passengers who’ve paid for Business class airfares have been kicked off their flights. As a result, many are resorting to paying for very expensive Business and First class tickets just to maximise the chances of actually getting home.

But as a frequent flyer points fanatic, Devon thought it would be worth trying to book the flights using points. Miraculously, perhaps, she succeeded.

Devon’s strategy was to book multiple award tickets on different dates, airlines and through different transit countries in the hope that at least one of the bookings would be honoured. In case they were all cancelled, she also booked two fully refundable paid airfares in Business and First class as backups.

In the end, as expected, most of the award bookings were indeed cancelled. But one of the bookings, with Singapore Airlines, was not cancelled. Her partner managed to fly home from Amsterdam to Sydney in Singapore Airlines Business class, for a cost of 116,000 KrisFlyer miles and €57 (around $90) in taxes.

In Episode 60 of the AFF on AIR podcast, Devon tells Matt how she made the bookings, and shares her tips for any Australians also considering flying home on points. It’s definitely not easy, but her experience proves that it’s possible!

As always, this podcast episode also features a round-up of the latest Australian airline & frequent flyer program news.


Listen now to AFF on AIR Episode 60: “Can You Fly to Australia on Points during COVID-19?”

You can also view the episode notes. If you’d like to discuss this episode, ask Matt a question or suggest a topic for a future episode, you can join the discussion on the AFF on Air Discussion thread.


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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]


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