600,000 Qantas FF points

Discussion in 'Your Questions' started by por930, May 1, 2014.

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  1. Wife and I are looking at going to the States in middle of 2015. We live in Brisbane. So we could try the 380, BNE-SYD-LAX. Want to go to Grand Canyon, then head for New York, Washington DC. Niagara falls,Calgary(for Banff) Seattle(for Boeing factory) San Franciso, LAX, SYD and BNE. Between us we have over 600,000 Qantas FF points. She is Silver, I am Bronze(most of my flying time was when Qld Gov't would not let us accrue points when working....) We are both life members of QC. Want to book J for all international legs. Inside USA can be Y.

    When I looked on line today, seemed impossible to see what international J Award seats were available. When I did find some, I was only permitted either Y or Premium Economy. Be good if you could nominate your legs and search for award seats by any date, as date is not that important to us, other than winter of course...Is it more practical to use Qantas booking(even though you get robbed blind with fees?)

    Do they still have flight coupons in the states we could buy?

    Any advice on how to navigate through the points use would be appreciated.
     

  2. Princess Fiona

    Moderator

    May 22, 2009
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    Have a look at this thread
    http://www.australianfrequentflyer.com.au/community/qantas-frequent-flyer-program/oneworld-award-140k-280k-420k-8228.html

    It costs 280K points each for multicity award in business class on QF and One World Partners. You can have 5 stopovers and up to 35000 miles travelled. You must use at lease two airlines other than QF eg AA and CX
    You will likely need to call to book this, start planning early as seats released 1 year ahead.
     
  3. vetrade

    vetrade Established Member

    Nov 1, 2011
    1,246
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    As Princess F said you are after 2 x 280K point OneWorld RTW J awards so follow her advice and read up on the thread to familiarise yourself with the basics. The thread is long so it will seem laborious but will save you many hours of researching later on, but, even then, be prepared for a hard slog to piece together a J itinerary. When the QF online search doesn't make sense (which will happen frequently) be prepared to quiz a QF operator about options and J availability.

    I am half way through booking a J award itinerary with some cities common to yours so this info may be of use:
    Everybody wants to fly on the A380 to LAX so finding J availability even on the day of release is nearly impossible.
    A lot of AA (and US Airways) flights will show up no J availability if you search for 2 J seats but usually there IS availability if you search for only one seat. (Remember that AA domestic only has Y and F on most routes so QF will book you into Y on those flights i.e. they won't bump you up to F). Good thing is that you will find that usually 2 x J seats will be available if you ring up QF to book.
    AA does have Y and J on flights from the USA to Canada so your OW award will book into J on those legs.
    After the G. Canyon you are better to fly back to LAX from LAS so you can get J seats on the LAX - JFK service. If you take the seemingly more direct route from LAS - DFW - JFK you will be booked into Y.
    There is no direct OW service to Naigara Falls (BUF) from NY so you can either buy a direct return Y ticket on Delta or, to include it in your OW itinerary, you need to fly NY (JFK or LGA) to BUF via BOS, PHL or DCA. I found the PHL option to be the most user friendly for flight departure times and minimising airport transit times.
    Calgary is tricky (I presume you are going there after NY or DC) because the only way to get there on OW (i.e. AA or USAir) is via PHX or DFW. DFW seems the better option but, with only 2 flights per day, J availability for 2 pax can be scarce, especially on AA1037 which has the better departure time. The only other alternative is to fly to YVR from JFK on CX (only one flight daily and it arrives at 45 min. after midnight). You would then need to buy a ticket from YVR to YYC on Air Canada or Westjet.
    On the return leg you will find getting a seat on the A380 from LAX to be much better than from Oz to LAX (I think it's because of time zone differences affecting when they are released). Many times you just won't find any J availability from SYD or MEL to LAX even if you try to book the instant they are released but you will have a very good chance for the return flight. So, depending on your intended stopovers, can I suggest you save yourself some angst and get your A380 "fix" on the way home and fly to LAX from BNE or you can re-arrange your itinerary to fly SYD-HKG (or NRT) - YVR before you go across to the east coast, on your outbound leg.
     
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  4. Thank you Vetrade for such a detailed reply. Yes, I noticed the thread was l o n g, but as you say, got to read it to understand the logic people have worked out. Yes, I know it will be a frustrating game to get this trip sorted. Once I would have said no worries 2016 will be ok. But not too sure if QF will change it's FF program further, so should use them asap.

    We are ok with Y travel in the states. Only wanted J for the long haul. I see the 380 most days flying out of BNE (live under final on 01) Have you tried any of the award sites...award nexus etc. Also interesting you mention NRT. I go there 2 or 3 times a year, so will look at putting that into the mix. Also, I could use a SIA 380 from SIN to NRT to try the J class I suppose.

    OK Back to the thread and more research...Thanks again.

    Geoff
     
  5. vetrade

    vetrade Established Member

    Nov 1, 2011
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    Yes, I've tried awardnexus and ba.com but didn't find them as helpful as many others on AFF apparently do. My personal thoughts were that they are more useful if you only want to find and book flights for the one day or so rather than the strung-out itineraries that most OW award itineraries involve. After I put together my preferred itinerary I focused on working out clusters of flights I could book at the same time (based on release date, airline and scarcity) so that I could hopefully minimise the number of times I had to pay the 3500 point fee for making changes. I found that having an idea of which flights always seemed to have good availability was invaluable as then I could pinpoint the ones that I knew I would need to book as soon as they were released.

    To give you an idea of my methodology I have already booked the MEL - SYD - JNB - CPT - JNB - DOH - CDG (on QF, BA and QR) flights together because they were all released around the same time. Next will be my CX flights from YVR - HKG - MEL because, even though they are at the end of our trip, they are released a couple of weeks before our AA & US Airways flights in the middle of our itinerary. In the middle we go CDG - PHL - BUF - PHL - LGA; then JFK - DFW - YYC with the DFW - YYC leg the seemingly hardest to get award seats on. I will be booking all those middle sectors together on the day the flight to YYC is released and already have a list of all the flight numbers and departure times that I can put together in various combinations according to availability. The short haul flights are easy because Y seats are plentiful (no J on most AA dom. flights) but I did have to change from my preferred CDG - JFK to CDG - PHL because I found that AA only releases one J seat on each JFK flight ( not much good for couples).

    I avoided QF and BA as much as possible because their surcharges were so much higher (looked at going LAX - MEL on the way back but the taxes for that segment alone were nearly $900 for 2 pax.... and BA's surcharges for flights such as CDG - JFK, LHR - JFK or even LHR - YVR were even worse). The taxes on my first itinerary were going to be nearly $ 2500 pp but using different airlines has got it down to about $1750 pp even though the total distance of the flights will be a few thousand Km longer.
     
  6. Now, that is a TRIP.....It would seem if we are to use this RTW fare we have to keep heading in the one direction, as I see they preclude us crossing the pacific twice. This would mean in our case traveling to the States and exiting back to Aussie via Europe. Seems like you need to sort out what flight # you need and confirm likely seats will be available then 12 months to the day prior when the seats are open...confirm and book them. Agree, the taxes are amazing and a bit of research is needed, which you seem to have done very well.
    Thanks for this.
     
  7. vetrade

    vetrade Established Member

    Nov 1, 2011
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    Por930, OW RTW AWARDS do not require you to travel in the one direction - you can happily go backwards and forwards for as long as you don't exceed the 35,000ml (56,315km) distance limit, don't transit through the one city more than twice etc. In this regard it is important to draw a distinction between OW award trips and OW paid fares. In the case of paid fares you are restricted to flying in the one direction.

    The only real reason we are travelling essentially east to west is that our itinerary, at 55,696 km, runs very close to the distance limit and it took a fair bit of "mixing and matching" flights to get to everywhere we wanted to without breaching the limit while also using BA and QF as little as possible to avoid their excessive taxes/surcharges. That didn't leave us much wriggle room when I got to planning the final legs of the trip. We were keen to prioritise getting J seats on every flight possible (if you're booking a J ticket you want to actually fly J) which basically meant using AA domestic flights as little as possible since they book into Y. The short trips to BUF and back to NY were no problem in Y and the only other Y flight we couldn't avoid was the 4 hr hop from JFK - DFW.

    FWIW I have made up an Excel spreadsheet with details of the possible flights (grouped under city headings) we could take between cities (Flight number, departure and arrival times, duration, no. of flights per day and usual award availability etc). I have then highlighted the possible combinations of flights in different colours so that when I am booking I can readily scroll down the screen and quote QF an alternative combination if it turns out my first preference is unavailable. Saves a huge amount of time and confusion while on the phone and makes it easier for the QF people. I'm sure they are more prepared to help get your preferred options if they realise you have done the hard work for them in advance.

    Good luck with your planning.
     
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  8. Thanks for the advice. I understand now about the distinction between OW award trips and OW paid fares. I can see an Excel sheet being the go, otherwise almost impossible to keep track of 'plans' and as you say, later most helpful for both parties when QF people are assisting.
    regards
    Geoff
     
  9. Simo

    Simo Established Member

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    Could not have said it better myself.....
     
  10. Yes Simo, still reading through that thread PF sent me. Very interesting seeing the various ideas and more so...the solutions.
     
  11. Princess Fiona

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    Have you considered taking out a subscription for Award Nexus or KVS tool?
    Both of these are extremely helpful in finding multi-segment award seats.
     
  12. I am a member of Flyertalk, which enabled me to join Award Nexus as a community member. Still getting to grips with how to use the site, without becoming a 'premium' member and blowing points. As a new member, they gave me 200 points to get used to site. As my trip is not until July-September 2015, and as we are retired, the actual dates are not important and we can move them to suit QF availability. October in the US starts to get a tad cold, BUT, maybe worth considering. Be good if we could search for city couples in the US by award and not date. Earlier advice was better chance of J seats on QF 380 flight LAX-SYD.
     
  13. Princess Fiona

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    For a complicated trip like yours it's definitely worth purchasing the premium option.
    I'm speaking from direct experience here as I booked 6 x J Awards SYD-LAX-MIA-JFK-YVR-HKG-SYD. Award Nexus secured several of those seats.
     
  14. Will take out the premium option when closer to 'booking time' and then talk to QF people.
     
  15. Well after some considerable deliberations, we decided to pay for this flight as it brought my cash asset base down for pension asset tests that may change in 2015?? and use our points, which will swell to 700,000+ by late next year.

    Anyway, we managed to get the "free" upgrade to First on the SYD-DFW flight on the A380, so decided to try it, and Business back. When we used the online Qantas booking system, it broke when we tried to mix the First leg and the Business return leg. Eventually, the Qantas operator had a programmer on the line while he walked me though what error messages to ignore, until we got a booking code, he could then take over and repair the booking. Interestingly, the online site had a lower fare than the Qantas operator worked the flight to be. They said they would honor the online displayed fare, which I thought rather nice of them.

    We are using AA for the 3 long flights, DFW-Washington DC; New York-Las Vegas; and SFO-DFW, all in First. I wondered what miles and status points we would earn, as it seemed a tad difficult to find out.

    It seems though we have 'First' tickets, we still do not have access to American Airlines First/Business lounges, as we are not members of their equivalent of our Qantas Club, and ticket class does not earn the right for entry!!

    We also tried to use Qantas flight JFK-LAX, but could not as we entered the USA via DFW and not LAX, which was a pity as it would have been good to use Qantas in place of AA.
    Anyway, all bookings now confirmed, now all the tedious bits like hotels and ground transport to do....

    Geoff
     
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  16. serfty

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    Seems like a nice itinerary ... By the way, you do have access to AA's Lounges via "class of service" if this is on "the same day" as your international segments.

    Otherwise, you might like to consider an AA Admirals Club 30 day membership for USD99 - this gives access to a member and two guests at an Admirals Club During the thirty day period.
     
  17. oz74

    oz74 Member

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    Sounds like an awesome trip and well deserved after a life time of working.

    Have a great time!
     
  18. Foreigner

    Foreigner Established Member

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    That itinerary is under 25,000 miles. Was cost 280k points?
     
  19. Princess Fiona

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    Yes, anything above 19,200 is 280K
     
  20. Welsh-Kiwi

    Welsh-Kiwi Member

    Apr 1, 2013
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    The OP has life QC membership so this should get them into the Admirals Club in the US?
     
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