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Flying to Chicago - Buying a ticket vs Using points

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celtic_cub

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Jun 3, 2005
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Hi all,

Just a quick one, we want to fly to chicago on the 14th of July this year to the 24th (approx) we both have about 60k in points.

My question is:

Is it cheaper or more cost effective to use the points or pay 2200 odd dollars, to get a return flight. Or would it be better to use the points to upgrade one way.

Qantas have a fare at the moment that is about 1600 return, when i enquired at Qantas travel in brissy. But i think its a O class from memory and that class excludes you from using your points to upgrade.

Anyhow would be keen to hear a good way to do it...or what is more cost effective, the money isnt really a big issue, but i like to get my SC up so i am leaning towards buying a ticket.

Don :)
 

NM

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What is your FF status? International upgrades are waitlisted and services based on FF status and then by time you joined the waitlist. So if you are not Platinum or Gold FF status level, then I would not recommend paying a higher fare for the opportunity to waitlist for an upgrade that is by no means assured of being available.

Next thing to realise is that its 9233 miles SYD-LAX-ORD, so that puts a one-way economy award flight into zone 9 and a cost of 56,000 FF points. So you can only get one return award ticket based on two accounts each with 60K points. So you will be paying for one fare anyway.

So then it comes down to whether you have the cash available or not, and if you have another use for the points at a later time.

Note that UA often has good fares to ORD since it is their major hub, while QF 's cheap prices are generally only to LAX and then jump considerably when adding AA connections.

Another option is to keep an eye open for the QF/AA fares that go via NRT. They are often very well prices and AA operates non-stop NRT-ORD so its not a bad way to go. Note that the booking class for the AA flight may not earn much in the way of QF FF points, but as you noted you only have 60K points each now, that may not be a big factor if the price is right.
 

NM

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Another point to note is that the Qld school holidays in winter are from 24th June to 9th July. So your desired travel period is school holidays and finding award seats during school holidays is always difficult.
 

celtic_cub

Junior Member
Joined
Jun 3, 2005
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Ok my FF status is silver. Partener is Bronze

Paying a one way fare is not a problem.

I just love to hoard points, acutally never thought about flying though NRT would be nice.

I suppose one thing i am angeling for is to get as many SC as i can thats why i am not so keen to use points to fly and use them later to get some decent trips etc.

I dont use my points in australia, and would prefer to use them for ugrades and free international travel.

D
 

celtic_cub

Junior Member
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Jun 3, 2005
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what i was thinking is that we could buy a one world explorer say for the trip, and include a few side trips on it. We could buy it out of high season and say fly to coolngatta airport come back to brissy and then that activates the ticket, to use it later....there are some limations, but we basically can fly back to brissy when we finish, although we may have to leave out of syd.
 

NM

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celtic_cub said:
what i was thinking is that we could buy a one world explorer say for the trip, and include a few side trips on it. We could buy it out of high season and say fly to coolngatta airport come back to brissy and then that activates the ticket, to use it later....there are some limations, but we basically can fly back to brissy when we finish, although we may have to leave out of syd.
The "season" for a OneWorld Explorer is set by the date of the first international sector, so starting with a OOL-BNE is not going to help.

You can fly back through the starting port and still use any remaining continent of origin sectors, so long as you remain within the other fare rules such as a max of 2 stopovers in the continent of origin and only one international departure from the country of origin (so no bouncing over to NZ after returning).

A cheaper option is the Circle Pacific fare. Its possible to get to ORD on a 22,000 mile version of a LCIR22 fare. Also note there is no seasonal variation with Circle Pacific fares. But they are booked in L class, the same as OneWorld Explorer, and hence no good earning on AA flights. Try to book the QF codeshare for LAX-ORD or other AA domestic flights for better QF earning rates.
 
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