FF specialist to help with PER-HNL-SFO...SEA-PER

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Bikinikitty

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Hello all,

Hi have put this on the general questions page, however haven't gotten much response so am hoping this way will generate a good alternative

I am a travel agent and whilst I have extensive knowledge on flight routings, I am not at all savvy on the ways of using frequent flyer points.
In fact I think me knowing all the different ways to get from A to B is what is becoming my worst enemy at the moment!

I have 298,000 QF FF points

I am wanting to use these points to my best advantage (and save as much money as possible) to fly myself and my family to the states and back this June -Jul(2015)

I have been on the website and done several scenario, and THINK I have come up with the best option, but was hoping to run it by some of you FF experts.

2x adults
1x child
1x infant

My origins and destinations:

PER HNL - 18June
HNL SFO - 20 June

SEA (or YVR) - PER (depart between 27 and 30 July)
Economy

Now, I don't have enough points to book this as a return (or do I??), so I am looking at using an industry rate with Hawaiian airlines for a sector of the flights.

Here is what I have so far:

(QF) PER-BNE - 54,000 PTS ($111 in tax)

(HA) BNE-HNL-SFO - This is a OW industry fare I will need to purchase (appox $2700 TTL for all 4 of us, but no seat for Infant)

(EK) SEA - DXB - PER - 192,000 ($1085 in tax)

TTL Points : 246,000
Cost: $3841

A few things I am not keen about this one,

-I prefer NOT to fly the long way back with EK, it's 32.5 hours! There is a better connecting flight in Dubai, but that isn't coming up as a FF option.
I would prefer to fly back YVR to PER with CX , but the system keeps saying that no flights exists between YVR and PER :confused: (i know they do). If could be that it's simply not available...

-using almost all my FF points and still paying almost $4k.

-Obviously flying all the sectors with a infant in my lap! :shock: At the moment it is tempting because well, she is basically free. I am just short the points to get her a seat on the EK flight. Doh!


As far as alternatives, I don't have to fly the above routings, I just need to arrive in SFO and depart SEA or YVR. For example, I could get to SFO with CX (but again CX not coming up as a FF award option). IDEALLY I would like to stop in Hawaii on the way to SFO as per the above itinerary, but if I can get a better deal doing a different routing that's fine.
I tried breaking sectors up to try and get the points/price down, and that's when it started to get messy and I threw my hands up

Do any alternatives stick out to anyone for the above?




Thanks in advance!
 

greenfish

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You should give some idea of the actual dates of travel too - or if the dates don't matter, at least give a trip duration.

I think also for CX, you may need to call up to find routes PER-HKG-SFO, which might be preferable (in at least one direction).
 

Bikinikitty

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Hi Greenfish,

I put the dates of travel above in my post;

My origins and destinations:

PER HNL - 18June
HNL SFO - 20 June

SEA (or YVR) - PER (depart between 27 and 30 July)
Economy

Is this what you mean or is there some other date I missed?

Cheers,
 

Mattg

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I think what you have found for the outbound flights is perfectly fine, but going home via DXB seems a bit rough!

I have a couple of suggestions. Firstly, if think the award seat availability problems you are experiencing are partly because you are trying to book seats for the equivalent of 3 passengers. If you only search for 3 (4 but the infant doesn't have to take up a seat) then options with only 2 seats won't be shown.

You have a couple of decent options all departing on 29 July.

There are 2 economy seats on the direct YVR-HKG CX flight. These will cost 50,000 points each plus taxes. The third person and infant (or just one adult) could travel via LAX and pick up the CX flight to HKG from there, costing 68,000 points when you include the domestic leg from YVR on AA.

The trouble is, there aren't many good options out of HKG to get to Perth. There are seats on a QF flight to BNE that night but of course that doesn't quite get you to PER. I can't see 3 Y award seats on CX HKG-PER flight. You could try ringing Qantas and asking of there is availability on MH flying HKG-KUL-PER? (This doesn't show online on the QF search but may well be there). This would however almost certainly require an overnight stop (or longer if you like) in HKG or KUL.

The best way as far as I can see would be to fly SEA-LAX-SYD-PER, departing 29 July. This would be 1 short AS flight and 2 QF flights. There are 3 seats (+ infant) available on this day. This would cost 210,000 points (70,000 each) in total plus taxes.

image.jpg

Oh, one more piece of advice. Try searching for individual sectors. As a TA you probably know the possible routings better than the QF engine. You may think of something which doesn't automatically come up when you type in YVR-PER. This also helps to identify which individual sectors are causing issues. Then when you are ready to book, use the multi-city booking tool on the QF website to search for individual sectors; the points total will be the same as long as any stopovers are under 24 hours and you have more control.
 

greenfish

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Hi Greenfish,

I put the dates of travel above in my post;



Is this what you mean or is there some other date I missed?

Cheers,

Whoops, sorry, I'm quite blind.

Basically QF points are terrible value in economy, further, finding 3 seats in Y reasonably close to the busy travel dates is difficult too.

I priced your trip up on the CX website - it comes to around $5650, which is somewhere around $1800 more than your trip.

This suggests you're getting $1800 value for 246000 points. You'd actually be pretty much better off using the points for gift vouchers.

If you have a little bit of flexibility with your departure date, there is some CX availability.

You could fly:

CX 17th June 23:55 PER-HKG Business
CX 18th June 18:45 HKG-SFO Business or Economy (you'll need some more points for Business)

CX 29th July 15:05 YVR-HKG Economy
CX 30th July 22:05 HKG-PER Business

Total 230,000 points, $576, includes two segments in business class, or $1031.72 including the infant (so at least two flights in J with the infant)

The cash fare is $1814.14 per adult, $1450.12 per child = $3264.24

So for 230,000 points and cash of $4295.96, you get a very quick trip home, a full day stopover in Hong Kong on the way there, and one person and the infant enjoys two business class segments.
 
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greenfish

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To build the itinerary I've listed, you need to use the multicity search. You'll end up with something like this:

cx-per-sfo.JPG
 
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Cx also releases extra availability for business seats....for 280,000 points and cash of $1400 you should be also able to get business on the hkg - us flights there and back.....

Only an extra 25,000 points each way. The hop from perth to hkg and back isn't too bad in economy.... I would want that longer segment in business and 'tick' your infant where your feet rest for them to lay out and sleep.....

I've done a brief trip report on this for our flights in Nov just gone....4 adults, 1 child and 1 infant in business return per - lax.....
 

greenfish

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Cx also releases extra availability for business seats....for 280,000 points and cash of $1400 you should be also able to get business on the hkg - us flights there and back.....

.

Not sure why, but the QF booking engine was pricing up at 157000 each way all business class - and sadly there didn't seem to be J availability on the days I searched for the HKG->SFO / YVR-HKG routes.
 

Bikinikitty

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Wow, greenfish, thinking outside the box :)
Firstly the attachment above (40807) is coming up as invalid. Do I need to do something special to open in?
Seeing it would probley answer my question regarding cost.

So for 230,000 points and cash of $4295.96, you get a very quick trip home, a full day stopover in Hong Kong on the way there, and one person and the infant enjoys two business class segments.

Is the $4295.96 the purchased fare for the 2 other economy seats + taxes for FF seats?

This has me thinking, maybe I could use points just on the return for CX as per your above suggestion and use my industry rate on the way over (via HNL)?
 

greenfish

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Wow, greenfish, thinking outside the box :)
Firstly the attachment above (40807) is coming up as invalid. Do I need to do something special to open in?
Seeing it would probley answer my question regarding cost.


Is the $4295.96 the purchased fare for the 2 other economy seats + taxes for FF seats?

This has me thinking, maybe I could use points just on the return for CX as per your above suggestion and use my industry rate on the way over (via HNL)?

Sorry, not sure what is wrong with the attachment. Yes, The $4295 was the cash fare + the FF taxes. I imagine you could do better on the cash fare than the full retail that I'd have to pay too :)

The problem with using the points flight back from YVR on CX is availability for more than one pax - there is some CX availability but not in Y, so you'll need more points than you have (115000 each = 345000). The QF availability requires an extra stopover in Oz and the travel time blows out.

I re-checked, and you can fly out of PER on the 18th (there is a bug in the QF booking engine and you have to force the search to include all cabins) on CX, arriving on the 19th in HKG, leaving on the 20th and arriving in SFO in the 20th. So you get a night in HKG too.

If you can find a few more points, there is a first class seat available HKG to YVR on the 20th. You'll need a total of 317000 points for this option though.
 
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Bikinikitty

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How does one "find" a few more points this quickly? Don't have time to apply for a new CC to get bonus points ;)
After doing the maths, it does seems very wasteful to use all my points to save what will actually only be about $1000
I personally wanted to save them so we all could fly business class on our next trip to the states (we go every 18 months to 2 years), but my husband is increasingly paranoid that QF FF program is gonna fall off the face of the earth and all the hard earned points will go down the drain. Kinda a use it or lose it mentality.

As much as I would love to sit in business class by myself with my infant whilst hubby minds DD1, she is 4 years old and there is no way she would stay in economy knowing I am in a different area of the plane with her little sister! Hubby could take infant to BC, but she needs me on and off for food and I don't think CX staff (nor the BC passengers) would be too happy with a bunch of swapping back and forth.

So from what i can see you are saying, using all the points on a OW fare in economy is an incredible waste and don't do it...

Ugh, so confused now!
 
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Could always use your qantas points for 1 adult + infant then have a look at the alaska miles, AAdvantage threads and but the extra miles to also fly business class....

Only issue you will come up against now is availability.

Sign up for a free JAL mileage award account - it's free and I feel it's the best search engine for cx awards and is in real time.

It's 60,000 alaska miles each way in business from perth - lax/sfo....and around $200 in taxes

Much better value for money than what qantas charge being 140,000 points and close to $1000 in taxes :/
 
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But I'm not saying don't use your qantas points.....you can usually accrue these through credit card spend, flying etc....just don't use them for economy seats!

Book one of you in business and try another way of getting miles for a points redemption in business as well
 
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It's a lot to read up and understand and honestly took me a year of reading to fully understand it.

Now I have so many friends family and friends of family wanting to do the same......do I tell them how? Sometimes but I won't do it for them and most give up because it's too hard but then with limited availability out if perth, I don't want too many people knowing how to fly business for marginally more than economy paid tickets :)
 

Bikinikitty

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Hi Mumfreqflyer, sorry but I am not savvy at all in the ways of all these FF programs so don't know how to use QF points for Alaska miles and AAdvantage.
I wouldn't even know where to start! This forum I suppose, but all sounds a bit hard. Was gonna ask you to have a go for me (and be compensated of course), but your reply just popped up saying you won't even do it for family, so got my answer already :)
Maybe I should hold onto the points this time and learn all about this magic formula you speak of and be armed (with lots more points) and ready next trip:mrgreen:
 
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Yep definitely :)

Keep reading everything that's on here!! I remember getting little sleep when I found this forum as all I would do is read and read and read....

You can't use your qantas points for alaska air or AAdvantage but you 'buy' miles that's you can use to book award flights :)

Only buy when there is a promotion on - but miles and get 40% bonus....

Give it a year and you will be up to speed with it...otherwise find my report in the trip reports as it says how to do the alaska miles one there :)
 

Mattg

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You could use your existing Qantas points to fly two of you back in business class, then purchase Alaska Airlines miles for the other person. I can't see anything via HKG but routing SEA-LAX-BNE-PER and flying over the Pacific in Premium Economy is a possibility. Flying LAX-BNE in Y+ would cost 48.5K Alaska miles + ~$50 in taxes and with Y+ over the pacific plus BNE-PER in J would cost 55K + ~$50. Alaska miles can be bought for $27.50 per 1000 so you can do the maths.
 

greenfish

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Getting points quickly - any family, extended family who you could "borrow" some points from?

As a father with 3 kids, I'd look to optimise the route first (looking at flight lengths and times) rather than fret about using QFF points. Long haul travel with small kids is arduous.

If you all need to be in the same class, I'd look closely at paying the CX cash fare - and if money is tight, redeem the QFF points for Woolworths vouchers and save the equivalent cash on your groceries. Or perhaps just put everyone in business class for the final leg (throwing away the cash fare you've bought for the final segment), if you're desperate to burn the points (65000 points each).
 

Bikinikitty

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Yes Greenfish, I agree about travelling with small kids. I have had to do this trip twice with just my first daughter, which was fine with my hubby as was two against one, but now with the two, it's a whole new kettle of fish!

I priced up CX RT in economy and coming in around $5800 (infant fare is still $584). I guess I just thought if I have the points, use them up. But in saying that, I am not desperate to use them, especially for such terrible value in economy. Plus I naively thought FF flights would be much "free-er" than they actually are. Frequent Flyer flights are all new to me because I have always gotten away with getting a pretty good agent deal and last two trips we only paid 2x adult (industry) fares and DD1 was infant both times.
Industry fares and airline perks aren't what they used to be when I started in the industry 12 years ago!
So this will be the most I have ever paid to fly in the last 12 years. I know, I've been spoiled. Which is why I'm feeling the pain now!

Wish I could use the QF points to upgrade to business for the CX fare :(
 
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