oneworld Award Conditions - Advise & Help

Discussion in 'Qantas Frequent Flyer Program' started by coyote25, Mar 9, 2005.

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  1. coyote25

    coyote25 Established Member

    Aug 14, 2004
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    Hi everyone,

    I'm planning on going on a fairly long trip from November to February. The plan is to go to Europe with a side trip to Hong Kong on the way back. I'll shortly have 130k points and noticed that is the amount you need to book a oneworld award.

    I have several questions I'm hoping you can answer (and some suggestions for the trip). I'm based in Melbourne at present.
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    The conditions seem to say you must use at least two oneworld airlines, can not be more than 35k miles and you are allowed up to 5 free stop overs. I definitely want to go to Rome and Paris (Frankfurt might also be on the compl. list), I've been all the UK so would prefer to aviod in the plan if possible. I'll be working out the other places a little closer but plan to see around 4-5 countries while there (if not more but time is an issue).

    I'm happy to catch trains or bus about once inside Europe. Does anyone have a suggestion on a plan to use this ticket to maximise the value and chances of actually getting a flight close to my date preferences (I know MEL-LDN is always a problem). Or has anyone used this ticket before and has anything I should be mindful of?

    BTW I'm a platinum member so hopefully booking tickets won't be too hard. Never book and award ticket before and I know I have to do this ticket on the phone so hopefully Q staff will be helpful :roll:

    Thanks for any help :D
     
  2. NM

    NM
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    Aug 27, 2004
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    As a QF Platinum member you should not have any problems getting economy award seats. I managed seven of these tickets all on the same itinerary/flights, travelling BNE-LAX//LAS-LAX-DFW-MCO//YVR-LHR-KBP//KBP-LHR-NCL//TXL-HEL//HEL-FRA-HKG-SYD-BNE.

    As a Platinum FF member, they will take economy seats of out T fare bucket as well as the usual X award group. So long as you plan a few months ahead there should not be too many availabity problems.

    Yes, you must use two non-QF OneWorld airlines. We used QF, AA, BA and CX. I suggest you avoid LHR if you don't want to be in the UK - their taxes will add significantly to the cost. Also note that travelling through HKG is currently cheapest as CX and QF have reduced the fuel surcharge for flights to/from HKG. CX hits plenty of European places.

    The best places to go and best way to get around will depend greatly on the timing of your trip. Use the flights for the longest distances and over water segments. The Eurail Passes are good value for getting around the main continental Europe. We used a 15-day pass for travel through France, Monaco, Italy, Switzerland, Austria and Germany. Then we flew from Berlin to Helsinki for our last stopover. Scandanavia is great to see in summer.

    I would use the flights for places like Helsinki (and then ferry to Tallinn), and Athens. Helsinki is the Finn Air (AY) hub so no problems getting to/from there on a OneWorld award. For Athens you will have to use BA from London or IB from Madrid or Barcelona - both well connected with flights and trains.

    Italian and German trains could not be more oposite. The German trains run to schedule and are clean and fast. The Italian trains are often late and subject to stikes etc during the peak summer months - and are not so clean espcially at the end of the journey. At least the Eurail passes get you into First Class.

    When using the trains, we looked for accommodation within walking distance of the main stations. This is usually affordable and available and well located near the city centers.

    Be aware that the OneWorld Award has a hidden catch. Once you fly the first sector, you cannot make any change at all to the remaining segments. So make sure you have appropriate travel insurance that will cover you if you miss a connection or get sick and have to return.
     
  3. coyote25

    coyote25 Established Member

    Aug 14, 2004
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    Thanks NM,

    That should help a great deal. new there had to be a catch ie the not changing anything after the start (not that I'm planning on that) so I better make sure the insurance is good.

    I'll let you know what the routing plans turn out to be. BTW assuming I avoid London and go to Hong Kong on the way back what is the best oneworld airline destination into Europe?

    Thanks again. :D
     
  4. NM

    NM
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    Well that depends on the time of year and what you want to see and do. in summer, I recommend Helsinki with a ferry trip over to Tallinn. The French south coast is good (Nice) and well connected by train with Paris and Monaco. I loved parts of Italy - Venice is a must for me, and Rome is good for historic sightseeing. Austria is also a must for me - we loved Salzburg.

    Note that although BA operates to Paris, there are louge access issues unless you are flying BA Club Europe (business class) or are a BA Gold or Silver card holder. OneWorld Sapphire/Emerald will not get you into the BA lounge in Paris (its actually operated by AF). So I would avoid flying through Paris - use the train. We stayed at the Novotel Hotel next to Gare de Lyon (main train station for southbound trains), and from there can walk along the river to Notradame and pick up the tour busses from there.

    If wanting to avoid London, then you need to look for Finn Air and Iberia destinations. So that means flying through Helsinki (AY) and Madrid/Barcelona (IB).

    If I was doing this trip, I would try to get to Ireland as well. We missed it on our trip as we just ran out of time with only 3 months away from home.
     
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