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Award Trips from LAX to Ausralia: Why so Many Points?

Discussion in 'Qantas Frequent Flyer Program' started by inpd, Nov 1, 2005.

  1. inpd

    inpd Member

    Oct 29, 2005
    103
    0
    Hi,

    I am a FF with Qantas (nearly 60K points)
    I am a FF with United (will have 35K by end of year)

    To get a return award trip to the Australia from the U.S.
    with united will set me back 60K points.

    To get the same award trip with Qantas will set me back
    96K points over 50% more.

    Is there some trick to getting the Qantas flight with fewer
    points? Do they offer special dates routes which require
    lesser points?
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  2. JohnK

    JohnK Veteran Member

    Mar 22, 2005
    37,608
    7,511
    BNE, SYD and CNX
    Not that I know about.

    Recently, May 25 2005, they made changes that made most long distance awards more expensive. SYD-BKK, SYD-SIN used to be 50,000 points pre May 25 and now it is 60,000 points. Some, but not many, SYD-HNL for one (I think), have decreased in points required

    Occassionally they offer discounts on less popular routes, CNS-NGO on that comes to mind. These can be seen on Qantas website or if you prescribe to e-news then you may some of these every month. Very rare will you see a points discount for SYD/MEL/BNE-LAX routes.
     


  3. inpd

    inpd Member

    Oct 29, 2005
    103
    0
    Thanks for your comment.

    It seems unusual that United would do the flight for just 60K points
    but Qantas for 96K points.

    Oh well, looks like I'll be flying united instead of Qantas :-( since I
    will have to take just one round trip LAX-MEL trip plus a few
    domestic trips to get me the award trip while with Qantas
    it will take two round LAX-MEL trips plus a few domestic trips!
     
  4. thadocta

    thadocta Active Member

    You need to look at the earn:burn ratio - how many UA flights do you need to make to get enough points for the UA award, compared to how many QF flights you need to make to get the QF reward.

    Factor into that the differences in the programs - QF short-distance domestic travellers will rack up points quickly, due to the 1000 mile minimum, and things like that.

    Next, which airline is profitable and which airline is operating under ch.11? Perhaps the habit of practically givig seats away is why UA loses money hand over fist.

    Dave
     
  5. robertz

    robertz Member

    Sep 15, 2005
    134
    2
    Atlanta, GA, US
    Ouch...... :)

    At least you can get a 1 way reward with your 60,000 points. Which isnt such a bad thing.. :wink:

    Rob
     


  6. thadocta

    thadocta Active Member

    Depends if you want a one-way trip to the LOTFAP, I myself only fly there when I absolutely, positively, HAVE to go there, I avoid the LOTFAP if I possibly can.

    Dave
     
  7. inpd

    inpd Member

    Oct 29, 2005
    103
    0
    Actually, the one way reward is not kind of useless.

    Return LAX-MEL costs about US$1000, but a oneway ticket
    costs US$700 so you burn 48K points for $300 less tax!

    What puzzled me is that I can go from JFK (NY) to LHR for 50K
    Qantas points return (worth about US$800) because its a BA
    flight and direct. But the LAX-SYD flight (worth about US$900)
    requires nearly double the points! I guess Qantas makes alot
    of money of these LAX-SYD/BNE/MEL flights.
     
  8. inpd

    inpd Member

    Oct 29, 2005
    103
    0
    Actually, the one way reward is not kind of useless.

    Return LAX-MEL costs about US$1000, but a oneway ticket
    costs US$700 so you burn 48K points for $300 less tax!

    What puzzled me is that I can go from JFK (NY) to LHR for 50K
    Qantas points return (worth about US$800) because its a BA
    flight and direct. But the LAX-SYD flight (worth about US$900)
    requires nearly double the points! I guess Qantas makes alot
    of money of these LAX-SYD/BNE/MEL flights and there isn't
    much competition (only UA and Qantas fly directly between
    US and Australia)
     
  9. Dave Noble

    Dave Noble Senior Member

    Oct 10, 2005
    6,419
    8
    The FF point cost is not based on cost of a ticket to purchase but distance. JFK-LHR is only 3452 miles whilst LAX-SYD is over twice as far at 7488 miles

    Dave
     
  10. M@rcoPolo

    M@rcoPolo Active Member

    Sep 20, 2005
    684
    141
    Sydney, Australia
    Actually it gets even better... with UA you need 90k miles to fly C class to the USA - and that's good all the way to JFK not just California.

    Or else if you buy B fare tickets on UA you can upgrade from Y to C for 15k miles one way... once you reach 1P (Gold) on UA you get 100% bonus so you accrue more than 15k miles when you fly to SFO or LAX one way... so in a nutshell you can buy Economy and fly Business every single time (provided of course you manage to upgrade, but that's much easier with UA than with QF IMHO)

    Why such a big difference when you compare UA & QF? It comes down to one thing... COMPETITION (or the lack of it when you talk about QF)

    Just think of the old times when Ansett was around... perhaps we have some hope with Singapore Airlines due to start their SYD to USA flights sometime in the not too distant future? :lol:
     
  11. robertz

    robertz Member

    Sep 15, 2005
    134
    2
    Atlanta, GA, US
    Not what I was meaning. I presumed you are an Aussie living in the US. Hence a 1 way ticket home "Isnt such a bad thing". Not in the context of buying a 1 way ticket to get back.
    Not really sure why any American would hold QFF points when the AA system is a lot better when it comes to upgrades and mile redemption. (If you want to stick with OW)

    Anyway, If I was U, I would buy an upgradeable ticket and use the points to upgrade to J. Or use them to go somewhere else. Even if the system was the same as UA, you still dont have enough miles to get there, anyway.
    (United Saver Awards is 60k but, availability is another thing. Normal miles is 100k, which is on par with QF)
    Rob
     
  12. robertz

    robertz Member

    Sep 15, 2005
    134
    2
    Atlanta, GA, US
    Dave
    What does LOTFAP mean??? Tried google, no help.. :?
     
  13. NM

    NM
    Moderator

    Aug 27, 2004
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    But Dave, who said the award has to be for you! You can give the one-way trip to the LOTFAP to an eligible relative. Now, lets see, a Mother-in-law must certainly qualify on all counts :lol: . 60K points is a bargain for that "reward" 8) .
     
  14. NM

    NM
    Moderator

    Aug 27, 2004
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    Land Of The Free And Paranoid is one possible interpretation! I am sure we can come up with a few more :lol: .
     
  15. beardoc

    beardoc Established Member

    Jul 13, 2005
    1,622
    229
    Sydney, NSW
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    Yes, they do. The east coast Australia to California flights are the highest margin flights in the business. That's why QANTAS is adamant that Singapore shouldn't be let in to fly the same route (I wish Singapore Air would be allowed!)
     
  16. inpd

    inpd Member

    Oct 29, 2005
    103
    0
    Damn right. I did some quick conservative calculations of the revenue
    of the UA839 (LAX-MEL) flight. Prices are from expedia or united's
    web site (which ever is lower) except where noted.

    270 seats Economy @ $1000 (this is what I paid months ago)
    80 seats Business @ $7000
    14 seats First @ $13000

    ------------
    1,012,000 / 2 (round trip prices above)
    500K

    Even if the plane is 75% full (I've never seen this on the
    Qantas flights) the revenue at is a staggering 5.6 million
    dollars per week, > $250 million per year. A brand new
    787-7 cost $112 million!
     
  17. NM

    NM
    Moderator

    Aug 27, 2004
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    Not sure this calculation works. The whole idea of revenue control at airlines to ensure that the seats are sold for a viable mix of revenues. So not all economy seats are sold at the cheapest fare. Some will in fact be sold to people willing to pay more for the benefits of ticket flexibility etc.

    And if UA is anything like QF, many of those business class seats will be sold as part of RTW fares, so the revenue per sector is a lot less than $7000. And we all know how many UA FF members pay for a B or similar fare an use 15K points to sit in C. And very few UA F seats are filled with people paying $13K for a one-way. More likely people paying for business class (ptp or RTW) and upgrading, awards or RTW fares where the revenue is greatly less than the list price.

    This has been one of major reasons why so many USA-based airlines are struggling financially. Over the years they have built a mentality within their loyal FF ranks that they have pay for one cabin and fly in another. Most of the financially stable airlines have a philosophy that their customers pay for the cabin in which they want to travel, with very restrictive availability for upgrades.

    Of course there are lots of other facts, including over capacity, competition, labour conditions/costs etc that also affect financial position.
     
  18. inpd

    inpd Member

    Oct 29, 2005
    103
    0
    Your right about the business/1st class seats going for cheaper
    than listed price, but I thought that would be off-set by my
    great under-estimate of the economy class fares.

    I monitored fares for a few months and bought my absolutely
    most restrictive fare 5 months before I will fly for $1000. They now
    cost $1400+ and refundable fares are going for $1900 in economy.

    I regularly fly JFK to LAX for $250 economy which is about 6 hours
    (about 2.5 times as short as the LAX-SYD flight) but is 4 times
    as cheap! Also the business fares cross country are rather cheap
    about $1000. So I'm sure united are making a fortune out of the LAX-SYD
    route.
     
  19. danielh

    danielh Member

    Dec 5, 2003
    352
    0
    Oh well, I guess I'll throw in my 2 cents worth.

    Apart from the fact that Qantas redesigned the whole system (post 25 May 2005) to be more distance based which triggered the FF points cost to increase from 80,000 points to 96,000 points return MEL or SYD to LAX I think other reasons are:

    1. Competition. Qantas is clearly the dominant carrier in Australia.
    2. Many ways to accumulate points. I'm not sure about UA but I've got many CC's working hard to get me double and 1.5x QFF points (etc)
    3. Easy to accumulate points domestically (mentioned in a previous post)
    4. Popularity. Qantas is the carrier of choice for many of us.
    5. Qantas can afford to set a high level for award seats as it has a dominant role on the AU-USA route.

    There are probably many other reasons but I know that unless I can somehow transfer all my Diners card and AmEx points to UA and if I know that I DEFINITELY and ONLY want to get a MEL-LAX trip out of it (as opposed to my intention of getting 2 x RTW trips) then I might give it a go.

    Regards
    Daniel
     
  20. thadocta

    thadocta Active Member

    That's it - the country run by the Pot USA (President of the United States of America. All of the cannabis must be going to his head. :roll:

    Dave
     
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