Tips for a newbie please- do you convert points to VA or SQ for Europe?

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carls888

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Hi
we have 2M+ citibank points and have decided to use them to fly to Europe next year. I would love some tips on ow many to transfer at a time, when to book the reward seats and who to fly with for "bang for your buck." We have flown SQ and VA many times internationally, so have no real preference.

We think we will be going Business class as we think we will have more chance of obtaining 2A2C in that category. What do you think?

We want to fly into either France or Italy.

I would appreciate any comments or advice you have for me please.

Thanks

C
 

albatross710

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Hi
we have 2M+ citibank points and have decided to use them to fly to Europe next year. I would love some tips on ow many to transfer at a time, when to book the reward seats and who to fly with for "bang for your buck." We have flown SQ and VA many times internationally, so have no real preference.

We think we will be going Business class as we think we will have more chance of obtaining 2A2C in that category. What do you think?

We want to fly into either France or Italy.

I would appreciate any comments or advice you have for me please.

Thanks

C

January 2013 I took 4A into LHR and out of CDG on SQ J. I think anything can be done on SQ miles PROVIDED you have flexibility. That may not always be possible if you have school age kids. In the case of our trip with both of our offspring finished school we flew 'out' on Australia Day weekend.
 

carls888

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Thanks albatross710, school is not a worry as we homeschool due to travelling a lot. So flexibility is ok. This trip is for pleasure rather than business, so we have decided to cash in some points. Did you book over the phone or online? Did you transfer all the points across in one transaction?
 

Plutonus

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It's less points to do it online with SQ (15% discount).
 

tharaka

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With Virgin, they offer 10-15% Bouns points on transfers from time to time.. + you can book on Singapore or Etihad with Virgin points - meaning more availability!
 

carls888

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With Virgin, they offer 10-15% Bouns points on transfers from time to time.. + you can book on Singapore or Etihad with Virgin points - meaning more availability!
Thanks sooooo much. I did not know that they could be used on different airlines with VA. I think that will suit us better then we have more options of trying to gain 2A2C seats on one flight.

There is so much information on here that when I have been researching I was becoming overwhelmed, and much of it did not pertain to exactly what I needed to know.

Is it true that VA points do not expire but SQ ones do after 3 years?

C
 

dajop

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Before transferring get an idea of what is available for your preferred dates of travel, as no point in transferring if no chance of availability. Also whilst Virgin can access EY and SQ services (or VA to AUH and then EY from there), SQ have access to Star Alliance awards and Thai is usually quite generous with premium cabin availability so worthy of consideration.

Also, taxes much much less using Etihad/VA but points required will be greater. It will be 250k points return using VA points on EY and at most 190k return using SQ points on star alliance (15 percent lower on SQ if booked online, to most of its destinations and lower again if into Rome, Amsterdam and Copenhagen, and as low as 123k return booked to Istanbul, but low chance of availability for 4 people).
 
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tharaka

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To confuse you a bit more; Singapore is Star Alliance and they too have affiliated air lines :) But, I prefer Etihad + Singapore option as they're both top class airlines compared to many other Star Alliance options. Also, availability offered across Star Alliance is poor compared to Etihad's availability.

But advantage with going Singapore (therefore Star Alliance) is if you plan to book flights within Europe, you'll have many options with cities..

I've also found that Etihad fuel + carrier surcharges to be cheaper compared to Singapore..

If you're planning to fly mid-late next year, I'd wait until Virgin offers their Bonus points and transfer.
 

wxxnxs

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VA does not charge YQ (fuel surcharge) but requires more points, SQ charges exorbitant fuel sucharge but requires less points. If you want to fly with SQ, then Krisflyer is your only choice, as SQ do not release its F/J class to partners.
 

dajop

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Vas SQ do not release its F/J class to partners.

Not completely true for J class. But it does restrict availability, which makes redeeming difficult. Basically most partners (including VA I assume) do not have access to J cabins on A380 or 777-300ER (77W) services, but can get availability on the 777-300's, 777-200's and A330's. However, for the OP, I can't ever recall seeing more than 1 or 2 J seats available via partners on these aircraft (between SIN & Australia) and only 1 (between SIN & Europe.)
 

carls888

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You guys are awesome, thank you so much.
Much to think about.
We are not worried about point for domestic in Europe as we will be mainly going on a train or in a car for that portion.

Is it better to call up or do it online? Obviously the 15% discount on SQ would be huge for 4 people, so an online advantage.

We are very flexible with dates, destinations and forwarding flights as we plan to be away for 2-3 months and will just need to fly in/out of France and Italy. (in one out the other).

When do they normally release dates online? Is it 11 months out? Can you book over the phone earlier?

Also, are we better to book an all in one flight, or in individual sectors, in your experience?

Thanks

C
 
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