Newbie question: best use of VFF for SYD-YVR

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lissthree

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Have been trawling here for about 2 wks and gathered some really useful info but now find I'm in information overload and wondering if I'm interpreting everything correctly.

Have a family with 5 adult fares and currently planning on o/s holiday to Canada for Xmas( not this year but using this years dates to gather info) with a return leg via HNL so only need a one way fare SYD-YVR. Was planning on 70,000 pt's per tk for a PE reward seat with VA , till I realised they don't release 5 reward seats in PE!! Lesson 1 learnt :(

question: is my best option to buy as many reward PE seats as I can(2-3 but more likely 1 from what I have read here) with VA and then buy the remaining as saver or better economy fares and use pt's to upgrade to PE for SYD-LAX plus then have to buy 5 LAX-YVR fares?

OR

use my VFF to buy as many Air NZ PE reward seats as possible ( approx 92,000 pt's and again assuming they only release 2-3 , more likely 1) and buy 4 cheaper PE seats outright? With Air NZ at least I get to avoid LAX and save money on both the PE seats as they are cheaper than VA plus I also avoid the costs of another flight as Air NZ fly direct to YVR?

Also, has anyone heard if it's hard to get a reward seat on Air NZ when your with your VFF pt's? I rang up a few wks ago and the person I was talking to(who was trying to be helpful and went and checked with his supervisor a few times) said that that leg(SYD-AKL-YVR) never comes up as being available because Velocity prefers that you fly SYD-LAX-YVR instead. But that doesn't make sense or they would be applying that rule to a lot more sectors than just the one I'm interested in??

Thanks in advance for your advice, it will be good to have some experienced people look at this objectively and see if I am interpreting all this newly discovered info correctly:)

Lissthree
 

pythonisman

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I'm not sure about the answers to your questions re: points, but just a thing to consider, Y+ on NZ's 772 is a more cosy 3-3-3 offering, didn't look to offer as much space as VA's Y+ seat. They've got more pitch (41" v 38") but less width (17.8" v 19.5").

I did the SYD-AKL-YVR flight in J earlier this year and it was nice though, avoiding LAX was excellent, as was the service, and I found the timings worked really well to let me get a great sleep and arrive as refreshed as is possible after ~20hrs in transit.
 

AustraliaPoochie

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Same as Pythonisman, I would also avoid the US.
I am an Australian Citizen, so if had the inclination to do it, would either fly via Singapore, the long way round, SQ.
Having to pay USD$14 per person for the ESTA is a pain, more $$$ to spend, and then having to do the eye scan and the finger print scan, and have TSA push me around the proverbial.
According to this https://help.cbp.gov/app/answers/detail/a_id/1094/~/do-i-need-to-apply-for-esta you will need the ESTA even just to transit the US!
Go via Singapore, or via New Zealand as our colleague above did it.
Another option, is to pay for fares, and use the points for something else, points for hotels maybe.
Redeem Points with Accommodation Partners | Velocity Frequent Flyer
 

iambents

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question: is my best option to buy as many reward PE seats as I can(2-3 but more likely 1 from what I have read here) with VA and then buy the remaining as saver or better economy fares and use pt's to upgrade to PE for SYD-LAX plus then have to buy 5 LAX-YVR fares?

Someone else will correct me if I'm wrong - but another thing going against this option is that I am pretty sure that rewards seats and upgrades come from the same bucket. If there are 2-3 reward seats available, once you snap them up - there is unlikely to be any upgrades available on the same flight (at least initially - they might release later - but at Christmas I doubt it).
 
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