QF upgrade strategy to USA

dvt8

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I am planning a trip from Mel to Miami next year with the intention to book in premium and upgrade to business.

I am trying to work out which QF flight to take to the USA for the best chance of an upgrade.

Should I opt for the A380 to LAX under the assumption that the 787 will be more popular for paid J class leaving the A380 with better upgrade opportunities? Or should I even fly to SFO or Dallas via Sydney?

Of course there wont be a definitive answer. But personal experiences and opinion would be appreciated. BTW, I am QF Platinum and will most likely book during a sale or double status credit promotion.

thanks!
 
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offshore171

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Where are you originating from, the dates of travel, and how many travellers?

General tips are to travel midweek and outside school holidays for the best chances.

I’d try for a midweek on the Dallas flight.
 

dvt8

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Where are you originating from, the dates of travel, and how many travellers?

General tips are to travel midweek and outside school holidays for the best chances.

I’d try for a midweek on the Dallas flight.

Travelling from Melbourne. Im thinking Friday 27th March 2020, returning Monday 13th April (Easter Monday), one traveller. Dates aren't that flexible as joining a cruise from FLL.
 

offshore171

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Those are likely to be very heavy travel days. Literally a Friday and Monday bookending the school hols + Easter.

Working in your favour is Platinum and solo traveller. Get your request in early and you’ll be near the top of what is likely to be a long upgrade list.
 

Quickstatus

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As is the price you pay for your ticket
Plus try to book early to get in the queue early

A380 might be a better bet as some J pax will be applying for upgrade to F opening up some spots for the W to J upgraded
 

Anna

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Good luck. Bear in mind that if you want to fly J the most effective strategy is to buy a J ticket.

As a QF WP with points upgrade request in months earlier, I vividly remember sitting in the front row of W on a QF flight to Santiago looking disappointedly at the half empty J cabin :(. The QF ground staff tried really hard at check in and in the lounge and I even ended up being last to board while they attempted to get me upgraded at the gate but to no avail.
 

madrooster

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I consistently clear more upgrades on QF7/QF8 to/from DFW than any other US route so for FLL, I would look more towards those two flights.
 

offshore171

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As a QF WP with points upgrade request in months earlier, I vividly remember sitting in the front row of W on a QF flight to Santiago looking disappointedly at the half empty J cabin :(. The QF ground staff tried really hard at check in and in the lounge and I even ended

That’s an odd case for sure. The J cabin was half empty and they could not provide a points upgrade?

Did they give an explanation why they couldn’t/wouldn’t fill the seats? Malfunctioning seats or something?
 

Quickstatus

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That’s an odd case for sure. The J cabin was half empty and they could not provide a points upgrade?

Did they give an explanation why they couldn’t/wouldn’t fill the seats? Malfunctioning seats or something?

A commercial decision. Upgrades are not necessarily related to number of empty seats. To keep that cabin premium they prefer passengers to pay for the seats rather than via points. They make the points carrot just big enough to entice loyalty, but not so much that no one will buy the premium seats with cash
 

Anna

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Very likely a commercial decision, but one (with a couple of other similar experiences) which have ever since led me to tell all and sundry that QFF points are not worth bothering with because even as WP you can hardly ever use the points for what you want to use them for. Add in the ridiculous 'taxes' and the QFF program is really a joke IME. For me the illusory benefits of earning QFF points are not enough to entice loyalty. Eg despite a recent QF DSC offer, I took into account convenience and price and booked my upcoming J return to SIN on SQ not QF.
 

dvt8

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I consistently clear more upgrades on QF7/QF8 to/from DFW than any other US route so for FLL, I would look more towards those two flights.

What is the lounge situation like in DFW? I am reading that it isn't great.
 

Silvia

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I tend to get upgrades more often on QF7/8. Midweek flying may help as well.
Ticking also the upgrade last minute box could also improve your chances, but the earlier you join the upgrade queue the better.
 

Silvia

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What is the lounge situation like in DFW? I am reading that it isn't great.
It's not good, but I think DFW AA flagship lounge is coming soon? Once that's opened, I'm assuming that would be your to go place as a WP
 

equus

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Should I opt for the A380 to LAX under the assumption that the 787 will be more popular for paid J class leaving the A380 with better upgrade opportunities? Or should I even fly to SFO or Dallas via Sydney?

Wouldn't expect the A380 to be more popular by that time - since there should be a good chance that the A380 refurb will be well underway by then. Event more of a reason to suggest DFW as the best option - will be more J seats available after refurb, and the freeing up resulting from those upgrading to F as well.
 

justinbrett

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It's not good, but I think DFW AA flagship lounge is coming soon? Once that's opened, I'm assuming that would be your to go place as a WP

It opens this year - Q1 or shortly after.

The current temporary AA premium lounge is fine (don't think QF are using that though, I think they have a different temporary lounge) - about equal to the J lounge in Sydney. But they serve drinks in plastic cups which is weird.

I'd take that temporary lounge over the previous QF lounge - and I can't imagine the temporary associated lounge is any better.

Also for the record (and I'm not saying you implied this, but for others reading) - you only need to be SG to access AA flagship lounges. WP doesn't get you any extra benefits with regards to lounge access.
 

RichardMEL

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I would go for the Dallas flights. Several reasons:

1. Even if not upgraded you get the longest sectors in at least PE and cuts out a bit of time - you can still connect to FLL(or MIA or whatever you prefer) from DFW and arrive in the evening and it's on a couple of hours extra flying (in Y, but hopefullY MCE per status)
2. As noted above pax on the 380 J can be upped to F so one has possibly more chance to get into J
3. A380 operating may or may not have the suites by that point. Probably not, but you never know :)


I would also try to fly oiver BEFORE that Friday. Several reasons:

If you fly on say Wednesday better chance of upgrade and IF weather or other delays get in the way your cruise is not impacted and you can have a day or two with partner in Florida anyway... surely a bonus? :)

For ex I would not plan to fly in on the Friday with a cruise starting Saturday. Not from Oz to the east coast.

Coming back, if you could push back to depart easter Monday or even the Tueday a much better chance for upgrade IMHO.
 
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seanq84

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It opens this year - Q1 or shortly after.

The current temporary AA premium lounge is fine (don't think QF are using that though, I think they have a different temporary lounge) - about equal to the J lounge in Sydney.

Qantas are using the AA premium lounge in Terminal D. I was surprised to be directed there in July 2018 when flying on QF8 as a SG in Y.

I checked the Qantas website at the time (and again a few minutes ago) which confirms this:
Lounge Locations | North America | Dallas Fort Worth International Airport | Associated Lounges
 

serfty

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Get your request in early and you’ll be near the top of what is likely to be a long upgrade list
As a QF WP with points upgrade request in months earlier
To be clear, time of request has not been a factor in the upgrade pecking order for over a decade (with the exception that if it is within a week of the flight and upgrade processing has already commenced).
 
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