Planning first trip to Europe... on miles

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severus

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My family and I are planning our first trip to Europe for three people (December 20 (yup, 2014) and returning January 24). Ideally, would love to fly business at the cost of economy, but even if we could just get one leg on miles, that would be great :)

1. Currently looking at these routes:
SQ SYD-LHR (business, 95K x 3 KFF if going by business saver rate)
CX Rome - HKG (business, 70K x 3 Asia miles) - SYD (business, 45K x 3 Asia miles)
Is there a better route / ways to use FF miles on this trip?

2. I'm hoping to buy miles during promotion (just joined Alaska Miles & AA) and earn miles through Citi Signature. Also perhaps, getting Amex plat edge (no chance of referral bonus ever coming back?) for petrol & grocery. We do have considerable spend overseas, so other than Bankwest, is there a reward card that offers no foreign transaction fee?

3. I have never redeemed miles before and we are newish KFF & Asia miles members. Not even sure if I need to transfer enough points to each person's account or can I consolidate & make a booking for three?

Thank you! I know it's a pretty tall order & most likely, there won't be any availability in December, but it'd be interesting to see how far I could get by then... One can dream :rolleyes:
 

severus

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Hi Spruce, I haven't actively looked but seems it's $22k for business open jaw. My family is keen for business for long hauls. I thought buying miles at promotion rate might be a more economical way of flying business (as long as there's availability). How's TG for long haul flights?
 

travelislife

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Can you avoid LHR (say, Manchester)? Expensive airport to use.

I am pretty sure the APD is the same regardless of airport which will be the main charge on business class airfares departing the UK.
 
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severus

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I am pretty sure the APD is the same regardless of airport which will be the main charge on business class airfares departing the UK.

Yup, I checked & the amount of miles required is the same. We plan to start from London & make our way down to Italy.
 

RooFlyer

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Yup, I checked & the amount of miles required is the same. We plan to start from London & make our way down to Italy.

Its not the amount of miles, its the cash taxes and charges the airline may levy in addition to the miles. Not all airlines pass on the same quantum of course; Qantas is very high; AA is relatively low; not sure about SQ.

And its not just APD; I believe that's a government levy so yes, it will be the same. I'm mainly talking about the charges the airport owner imposes on the airlines and the pax.

But you seem fixed on your plans, so such advice seems moot.
 

smit0847

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Have you checked availability? I'd be surprised if you could even find 3 x Y award seats to Europe on Dec 20, let alone 3 x J.
 

severus

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Its not the amount of miles, its the cash taxes and charges the airline may levy in addition to the miles. Not all airlines pass on the same quantum of course; Qantas is very high; AA is relatively low; not sure about SQ.

And its not just APD; I believe that's a government levy so yes, it will be the same. I'm mainly talking about the charges the airport owner imposes on the airlines and the pax.

But you seem fixed on your plans, so such advice seems moot.

Ah that makes sense. I didn't account for the surcharges & taxes. Our itinerary is pretty flexible at this point & we could always train it from Manchester to London. Tentative plan is just to start at English speaking country & give allowance for jet lag etc for first few days. I will look into the smaller airports, thanks! :)
 

medhead

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The plan seems to be to depart Europe from Rome. UK APD shouldn't be an issue.

Fee free banking = Citibank Plus.
 

severus

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Have you checked availability? I'd be surprised if you could even find 3 x Y award seats to Europe on Dec 20, let alone 3 x J.

Admittedly didn't go further from checking the miles needed for SYD-LHR. My initial plan was to pay for economy (and accrue the miles) but paid business seems quite steep. Seems like savers award rate for SQ is on waitlist for 3 J on that date. May decide to fly into alternative airport if there is no availability to LHR.

Do you guys think that my current plan to boost miles through Citi/Amex & buying miles at promo rate is good enough?
 

smit0847

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Admittedly didn't go further from checking the miles needed for SYD-LHR. My initial plan was to pay for economy (and accrue the miles) but paid business seems quite steep. Seems like savers award rate for SQ is on waitlist for 3 J on that date. May decide to fly into alternative airport if there is no availability to LHR.

Do you guys think that my current plan to boost miles through Citi/Amex & buying miles at promo rate is good enough?


I would check availability before spending anymore time and money. I think you are going to be extremely disappointed. If everyone could fly business for the price of economy they would.
 

severus

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I would check availability before spending anymore time and money. I think you are going to be extremely disappointed. If everyone could fly business for the price of economy they would.

Thanks, I'll look into it. I'm not trying to earn miles just for this particular trip, so it's okay. I'm keen to learn more about earning & redeeming miles. Best case scenario, we get to fly one leg on miles. Worst case, we'll fly business on Cathay and accrue the miles for future trips, which isn't bad at all, aside from the $ of course :)
 

ozbeachbabe

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Have a look at www.skyscanner.net for prices ex SIN (or select whatever city ex Asia). You may want to buy a cheaper economy fare to fly ex Aust to SIN then pickup a cheap J ex SIN to Europe & back. The cheapest airfare in J is on Air India who have just joined the Star Alliance.

The price is AUD2,116.00 pp return including taxes. You would need to overnight in DEL on the return sector after arriving from LHR. I've never flown on AI before however if you've flown J on CX before you're probably going to be a tad disappointed.


Outbound journeyOUTBOUND - Sat, 20 Dec 2014

Air India AI381
Air India
AI381
09:15
SIN Singapore Changi
Departure
5h 45
12:30
DEL Delhi
Destination
5h 45
Connect in airport
Connection
2h 15
Connect in airport | 2h 15
Air India AI111
Air India
AI111
14:45
DEL Delhi
Departure
9h 40
18:55
LHR London Heathrow
Destination
9h 40
Arrives: Sat, 20 Dec 2014 Journey duration: 17h 40


Return journeyRETURN - Thu, 22 Jan 2015

Air India AI112
Air India
AI112
21:30
LHR London Heathrow
Departure
8h 20
11:20 (+1)
DEL Delhi
Destination
8h 20
Connect in airportLong wait
Connection
12h 45
Connect in airport | Long wait | 12h 45
Air India AI380
Air India
AI380
00:05 (+1)
DEL Delhi
Departure
5h 25
08:00
SIN Singapore Changi
Destination
5h 25
Arrives: Sat, 24 Jan 2015 Journey duration: 26h 30





 
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