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Help for my honeymoon please!

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tinky

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Hello all,

Firstly let me tell you that I love reading all the usefull information that members on this forum provide. I often read this forum (and wish I flew often enough to be able to contribute with helpful answers!).

I am getting married in Perth on Jan 11th 2008. My fiance and I were trying to think of a few places we could go to on our honeymoon in the 2/3 weeks we have available. We were contemplating spending 3/4/5 nights each at 3 of the following destinations and thinking that a RTW Frequent flyer fare would be our most economical option points wise (any other suggestions of similar destinations would be appreciated):

Tokyo
Hong Kong
Shangai
Beijing (I assume this is the best port to visit the Great Wall of China?)
Las Vegas
Porta Vila
Noumea
then back to Sydney (as we are living here currently).

I understand that you need to fly at least 2 other carriers other than Qantas so that's why I included Asia (assuming that I can use Cathay). So that would give me Qantas, Cathay and hopefully AA in the US.

The questions I have are the following:

a) Would Perth- Asia - Las Vegas - Vanuatu - Sydney - Perth or Perth - Las Vegas - Asia - Vanuatu - Sydney - Perth meet the Oneworld RTW criteria?

b) I know that a RTW fare needs to end in the place it began. As we will be trying to visit Perth a couple of times a year I assume I could make the last Sydney - Perth leg several months after we return to maximise the RTW ticket and mean we only have to pay a one way fare back from Perth to Sydney in the future?

c) Any other suggestions on how we could achieve our ideal honeymoon. The tropical island doesn't have to be Vanuatu but since it will be Winter in the US we figured Hawaii would be too cold (and I believe it's their wet season). Also Asia can be skipped if we could achieve the US and tropical island part for similar sort of points as a RTW. Having tried a few combinations on the Qantas FF booking page I didn't think I could get away with using less than the 140,000 points which I believe is the cost of RTW economy fare (or 142,500 if we need to use Qantas to help us book the ticket).

Hope that makes sense (my brain is a little jumbled due to lack of sleep and trying to work out different destination combinations which will work for us).

Thank you very much in advance for any thoughts/suggestions you might have.

:)
 

Evan

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Welcome :)

Can't really help a lot with the points but just a thought that 3 days between flights especially since you don't fly often is rather exhausting, well i think so anyway, but the more i fly the better i get at copeing with it. (lots of fluids and sleep seems to help).

Beijing last i saw was really not a tourist place just yet, lots of things closed for renovations prior to olympics, Shanghai for me is a work destination and i didn't seem to find much touristy to do but is ok.

Tokyo, well i love Japan but you could also consider Osaka maybe as its close to Kyoto as well. Depends what you want to do but i love Japan and would recomend it to anybody, if you do decide tokyo check out this hotel if your on a budget PARK HOTEL TOKYO but it could be closer to a JR station (10 mins walk but all undercover on the underground)

Evan
 

NM

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The Qantas FF award called "OneWorld Award" is not linked in any way to the OneWorld Around The World products sold as OneWorld Explorer and OneWorld Global Explorer. The rules are very different.

The Qantas FF OneWorld Award does not have to be routed as an ATW itinerary and is not limited to or restricted by continents. It is limited by the total distance travelled (used to determine the points required), total number of sectors (must be a maximum of 16 sectors), number of stopovers (maximum of 5 stopovers) and carriers used (must include 2 other than Qantas).

Read the rules as published on the Qantas FF web site.

Note that with this particular FF award ticket, no changes are permitted once travel has commenced.

Personally, I would be looking for a little more relaxation for a honeymoon rather than moving on to a new destination every 3 or so days. But that is your choice.
 

Altair

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Welcome to AFF and congratulations tinky.:D
I too am getting married, less than 2 weeks to go.
I would advise that you do not just spend 2-3 days in a city considering that you do lose a considerable amount of time travelling. The honeymoon should be relaxing as the "pressure" of the lead up to the wedding and the weddig itself you will want to relax. I haven't got there yet but I am looking forward to seeing the wedding over and done with and taking the honeymoon with my lovely wife:D .
Also note that the desitinations that you have put up in January can be quite cold and this has several impacts:
1. Some attractions maybe closed during winter,
2. It is slower to get around in the cold,
3. It is not always comfortable,
4. Potential bad weather days,
5. You may prefer to stay in that nice warm hotel bed with your new partner instead....:oops: :mrgreen:
Regarding the details of the actual ticket to take, well I shall leave that up to the experts.
 

Flying Fox

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Hi & welcome.

I would agree with others that 3-5 days at each stop after international flights sounds like a busy business trip rather than a relaxing holiday/honeymoon.

Its your decision but I would recommend less stops and more time at each place. Esp if you factor in jet lag and possible delayed flights, you might get almost zero sightseeing time.

Don't forget that you have rest of your lives together to travel to the places that you 'missed out on' for your honeymoon.
 

tinky

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Thank you for your thoughts so far everyone it is appreciated.

With regards to possibly only having 3 days in places I should have clarified and said 3/4/5 nights at one place. I know when you are travelling that if you want to stay 3 nights somewhere you have to count that as 4 days (to allow for flying in/flying out etc.). I have been around the world twice with my partner previously (where we have visited 6/7 countries in one trip) and whilst being a bit hectic sometimes it meant we got to see a few major sights at each destination).

I thought 3 nights/4 days in Asia would be plenty. Asia isn't a huge drawcard for me at this stage of my life but we need to stop somewhere on the way to the US and we have already been to Singapore. That would then leave us with approximately 4 nights /5 days in Las Vegas (where we have previously been) and 4 nights /5 days in Vanuatu or some other tropical island :)

I agree about it being Winter which is why we have pretty much ruled out Hawaii but I thought Vanuatu would have summer during January like Australia? Are there any other islands that people can recommend that the OW alliance flies to that will have nice weather at that time of the year?

I'm still looking forward to hearing more thoughts about the best way to utilise our points to achieve the Asia/US/Tropical island/Home journey (not necessarily in that order). I assume that we have to go in a circle and not backtrack as per normal RTW rules? I.e. this would mean we couldn't go Asia/Vanuatu/US/Australia? Please correct me if this isn't the case.

Sorry if i'm rambling but I thought if people knew my reasoning behind things it would make it easier to assist with any suggestions/answering of questions.

Thanks in advance :)
 

NM

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tinky said:
I'm still looking forward to hearing more thoughts about the best way to utilise our points to achieve the Asia/US/Tropical island/Home journey (not necessarily in that order). I assume that we have to go in a circle and not backtrack as per normal RTW rules? I.e. this would mean we couldn't go Asia/Vanuatu/US/Australia? Please correct me if this isn't the case.
NO ... you DO NOT need to travel in a circle with a QF FF OneWorld Award. As per my previous post in this thread, the Qantas Frequent Flier OneWorld Award has nothing at all to do with OneWorld ATW fares such as OneWorld Explorer.

The restrictions for the Qantas FF OneWorld Award are:
  • Maximum of 16 sectors
  • Maximum of 5 stopovers
  • Maximum miles flown determines the number of points required. For example, between 19,201 and 35,000 miles, the cost is 142,500/282,500/422,500 for travel in economy/business/first class.
  • Must use two OneWorld airlines apart from QF (the use of QF is optional)

There is no restriction on routing through regions or continents. Backtracking is permitted. The mileage calculation includes returning to the point of origin and includes any non-flown "surface" sectors. You can only have one stopover at any one city and a maximum of two transfers at any city through the itinerary.

Also note that a business class award will have you in the economy cabin for 2-class AA domestic flights where only First and Coach classes are offered.

So just find the flights you want and add up the distance and make sure it comes under the 35,000 mile maximum and meets the stopover, sector and transit limits noted above.

See Section 13.5 of the Qantas Frequent Flyer Program Terms and Conditions for details on the OneWorld Award.
 

tinky

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NM said:
NO ... you DO NOT need to travel in a circle with a QF FF OneWorld Award. As per my previous post in this thread, the Qantas Frequent Flier OneWorld Award has nothing at all to do with OneWorld ATW fares such as OneWorld Explorer.
Thank you very much. I'm sorry I didn't interpret your first response correctly. Your help is appreciated.
 

tinky

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One final question please. Does anyone have any suggestions/recommendations of what tropical island we could go to which will have reasonably nice weather at that time of the year. Bearing in mine we would need to meet the 2 other airlines quota for a RTW FF Freebie (and a trip to Las Vegas will be included in the itinerary).

thanks again :)
 

QF WP

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I'd have to agree with Altair about too much travel for your honeymoon.

Almost 4 years ago, my wife and I travelled on our honeymoon to Ireland and London for 2 weeks, with overnight stops in Singapore both ways to help with the jetlag. Mrs LW got sick (flu) on arrival in DUB, so for the next 8 days I had to do all the driving - it's not much fun to have a spouse becoming sick on your honeymoon - and she caught something from the many passengers on the two flights on the way over (together with the stress/exhaustion from the event). We agreed we tried to fit in too much.

In all honesty, treat yourself to a honeymoon, not a travelling 2 week break. A week in two places is ideal.

Hmmm, Bora Bora (Tahiti) is nice (I've heard but not visited there yet)....there are two InterContinental properties on Bora Bora (Thalasso Spa and Le Moana) with another on Moorea (Resort and Spa Moorea). Final IC hotel is Resort Tahiti at Papeete. I think it's safe to say none are cheap. There may be cheaper ones, but I'm no experrt. Perhaps StevePER will find this thread...
 

tinky

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Lindsay Wilson said:
Hmmm, Bora Bora (Tahiti) is nice (I've heard but not visited there yet)....there are two InterContinental properties on Bora Bora (Thalasso Spa and Le Moana) with another on Moorea (Resort and Spa Moorea). Final IC hotel is Resort Tahiti at Papeete. I think it's safe to say none are cheap. There may be cheaper ones, but I'm no experrt. Perhaps StevePER will find this thread...
Thanks very much for your thoughts.

Would anyone know if I can use frequent flyer points to fly to Tahiti or Bora Bora? I know that Qantas flies to Papeete (using a codeshare I believe) but this option doesn't appear in the drop down list for destinations when I'm selecting a multi destination frequent flyer flight.
 

Evan

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tinky said:
Thanks very much for your thoughts.

Would anyone know if I can use frequent flyer points to fly to Tahiti or Bora Bora? I know that Qantas flies to Papeete (using a codeshare I believe) but this option doesn't appear in the drop down list for destinations when I'm selecting a multi destination frequent flyer flight.
I don't know about Bora Bora but if QF has a flight out that way you should be able to get tickets on it but you will need to ring the customer service people for an assisted booking. It seem QF don't put all possible destinations on the booking engine, but you can still redeem flights to some of them.

Only issue is 2500 points assisted booking fee, you could try and argue you shouldn't pay it because you have no choice but to call them but seem people have not had much luck using this line.

Evan
 

Kiwi Flyer

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tinky said:
Thanks very much for your thoughts.

Would anyone know if I can use frequent flyer points to fly to Tahiti or Bora Bora? I know that Qantas flies to Papeete (using a codeshare I believe) but this option doesn't appear in the drop down list for destinations when I'm selecting a multi destination frequent flyer flight.
Yes a codeshare on Air Tahiti Nui. You'll need to book awards by phone. Tahiti is nice, although there are other hidden gems in South Pacific which I think are nicer. Everything is very expensive. On some programs, PPT is a great deal for awards (or even earning) from Australia/NZ.
 

Kiwi Flyer

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Evan said:
Only issue is 2500 points assisted booking fee, you could try and argue you shouldn't pay it because you have no choice but to call them but seem people have not had much luck using this line.
That cuts no dice with QFF (or NZ Airpoints either for that matter). Some people have been successful in arguing for destinations to be added to online tool, which would then avoid the assisted booking fee. But don't count on this.
 

wantok

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tinky said:
One final question please. Does anyone have any suggestions/recommendations of what tropical island we could go to which will have reasonably nice weather at that time of the year. Bearing in mine we would need to meet the 2 other airlines quota for a RTW FF Freebie (and a trip to Las Vegas will be included in the itinerary).

thanks again :)
Why not look at Fiji, flights are higher in frequency between Aus and Fiji. There is a huge amount of accommodation in Fiji from the mainland to the outer islands, and some are extremely good value for money.

Tahiti is stunning, but V.Expensive, New Cal is ok, not quite as expensive as Tahiti but..... Cook Islands are nice and easy, but no OW flights, same with Samoa (unless FJ ex Fiji).

If its your first trip to the islands, Fiji is probably a very safe bet.
 

Kiwi Flyer

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tinky said:
PPT? sorry newbie factor :p

thanks for your thoughts
Sorry. PPT is the airport code for Papeete, Tahiti.

On some programs, eg United Mileage Plus this is same zone as rest of pacific islands. So economy from anywhere in Australia to Tahiti is only same award cost as trans-tasman, for example.
 

StevePER

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tinky said:
Would anyone know if I can use frequent flyer points to fly to Tahiti or Bora Bora? I know that Qantas flies to Papeete (using a codeshare I believe) but this option doesn't appear in the drop down list for destinations when I'm selecting a multi destination frequent flyer flight.
The only way to get to Bora Bora is to fly to Papeete first and then get an Air Tahiti domestic flight. This domestic flight is expensive, like everything else in French Polynesia.

Unfortunately you can't use frequent flyer points on codeshare services unless they're operated by a Qantas partner airline, which Air Tahiti Nui is not. However, you can use AAdvantage miles to fly Air Tahiti Nui, or United Mileage Plus miles to fly Air New Zealand. It is quite economical to purchase either AAdvantage or United Mileage Plus points and then redeem them for a business class trip to Tahiti.

I actually think your money is better spent going somewhere else; we're only going because it makes a good stopover on the way to South America.

Steve
 

tinky

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StevePER said:
The only way to get to Bora Bora is to fly to Papeete first and then get an Air Tahiti domestic flight. This domestic flight is expensive, like everything else in French Polynesia.

Unfortunately you can't use frequent flyer points on codeshare services unless they're operated by a Qantas partner airline, which Air Tahiti Nui is not. However, you can use AAdvantage miles to fly Air Tahiti Nui, or United Mileage Plus miles to fly Air New Zealand. It is quite economical to purchase either AAdvantage or United Mileage Plus points and then redeem them for a business class trip to Tahiti.

I actually think your money is better spent going somewhere else; we're only going because it makes a good stopover on the way to South America.

Steve
Thanks for the advice, I learn so much reading all your posts :) So the flight to Papeete, is that a Qantas flight or is that also only Air Tahiti?

Unfortunately I only have Qantas FF Points and a very small amount of Virgin Velocity point (I used to have Ansett/Star Alliance ones but of course they are no longer).
 

StevePER

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tinky said:
Thanks for the advice, I learn so much reading all your posts :) So the flight to Papeete, is that a Qantas flight or is that also only Air Tahiti?
The options from Australia are Air Tahiti Nui (direct from Sydney), Air New Zealand (via Auckland) or Air Calin (via Noumea). Qantas points don't help with any of these options unfortunately.

Steve
 
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