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upgrade from economy to business using points

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TravFF

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Jan 9, 2006
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Greetings,

I figure there's an answer to this somewhere on the net and this is the best place to find it!

I am looking to fly MEL -> JNB in mid-September, returning mid-October. It seems that if I take a QF flight then I may either fly MEL-PER-JNB or MEL-SYD-JNB where the latter is on Qantas and the former is on South African Airways.

My thinking is that I've got ~105K points and I might be able to use them to upgrade from economy to business class if it's possible. We're planning to get married whilst in Africa and it'd be nice to fly at least one way in some comfort. We're accepting that we have to fly economy the other way since, well, we're not sufficiently loaded with cash given we're budgetting for a considerable amount of money on wedding and honeymoon whilst in Africa. We might have to fly economy both ways if we get rejected for an upgrade request but it seems like a good time to use points so we're investigating.

When buying an economy ticket, do we need to purchase a particular class of economy fare to upgrade or is any economy fare okay to request an upgrade from?

We could be slightly flexible with the return flights (well, a couple of days) so what's the best way to work out which flight would offer the best chance of an upgrade? Anything with no business seats booked at the moment is not particularly accurate because we're so far from the departure time but maybe there's a day with better odds (eg: Saturdays rather than Tuesdays)?

Thanks in advance!
 

Kiwi Flyer

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Sep 24, 2004
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5,453
Congrats TravFF on your upcoming nuptials.

Red-edeals are not upgradeable using points.

Domestic flight upgrades may be confirmable in advance (subject to availability), whereas international flight upgrades are standby only.

You need flights with low loads in business class. Generally mid-week is better than Friday through Monday (since those are peak business travel days).

Upgrading SYD-JNB one way costs 56k points per person, SYD-MEL one way 8k per person but hardly worth it, MEL-PER one way 16k per person, PER-JNB one way 48k per person (but unlikely to be successful on a codeshare flight).
 

NM

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You cannot upgrade the SA-operated codeshare flight PER-JNB using QF FF points. Can only upgrade if the flight is operated by QF and has a QF flight number.

I suggest you waitlist for both directions. If the outbound comes through, then just cancel the return waitlist. Better to be on both lists that just hope for one.

If you have a family member who has Platinum FF status with QF, then you can do a family transfer of up to 100,000 points (per year) to them, and have them request your upgrade from their account and the request goes to the top of the waitlist. The waitlist is serviced based firstly on the FF status of the account paying the points and then by the date/time the waitlist as joined.
 

baswitzer

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Jan 3, 2007
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Is it possible to use QFF points to upgrade an AA economy fare? If so how do you go about doing this?
 

serfty

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baswitzer said:
Is it possible to use QFF points to upgrade an AA economy fare? If so how do you go about doing this?
No.

Only way to use QFF points to travel in F/J on AA is to book First/Business award flights in the first place.
 

TravFF

Junior Member
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Jan 9, 2006
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32
All,

Thanks for the responses. We subsequently discovered that the exact flights and dates we wanted had FF seat availability so we decided to ditch the plan for a possible upgrade and just take one definite "free" return ticket instead.

On the downside, we discovered a matter of hours later that we'd stuffed up big time by not reading our new credit card insurance details closer. A ticket obtained through redemption of FF points is covered under the card's insurance but only if FF points from that card had been transferred in the past. I could have transferred them over but had enough points in the account since we went for a return trip not an upgrade so left them in the credit card account. Bugger! Now I have to pay for travel insurance.

The additional pain in the neck is that since the other ticket was purchased and mine was a FF redemption, the other ticket is not technically travelling with me and covered by insurance either since the first ticket doesn't fall under the guidelines of the insurance. Thus, we have to buy travel insurance for both of us. There's a $750 error right there. :shock: On the other hand, I note that if we had waited for the two days it would take to get the points transferred across to the QFF account we would have missed the one remaining QFF seat on the plane we wanted so it would have been more expensive to wait. Still can't help feeling pangs of remorse though - damn brochure was only a few feet away but never occurred to me to read it because I've never had a card that covered travel insurance matters before.

Moral: Read your credit card travel insurance conditions far more thoroughly. Ouch! :mad::mad:
 

markis10

Veteran Member
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Nov 25, 2004
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TravFF said:
Thus, we have to buy travel insurance for both of us. There's a $750 error right there. :shock: .....Moral: Read your credit card travel insurance conditions far more thoroughly. Ouch! :mad::mad:
If you are going to spend $750 on travel insurance then I suggest having a look at the annual frequent flyer insurance option, I have a QBE policy that costs $500 for a family that covers you for the whole year and also covers you for lost frequent flier points etc. If you do a lot of flying for work it may well be tax deductable for you as well, bringing the cost down!
 

serfty

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TravFF said:
... There's a $750 error right there. :shock: ...
:shock:

:confused: :confused:

If you had done some searching here about travel insurance you would have found some far better options.

e.g. Travel Insurance Direct - Travel Insurance for Australians would have supplied a policy for $119pp if less than one month (mid September to mid October) or $142pp for up to 5 weeks.
 

TravFF

Junior Member
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serfty,

Thanks for the tip about that link. I agree they're cheaper and under other circumstances we'd pursue that option. We considered them in the past but alas, they rejected us last time we wanted to buy from them due to pre-existing medical conditions. Similarly, other companies either reject outright or won't include medical so we're limited to a smaller range of companies and have to pay more. It's annoying when some fool at an insurance company deems you sufficiently defective that they won't insure you. I mean, sure I'm not perfect but I'm still of moderately excellent quality... :rolleyes:
 

serfty

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I understand; :-|

in a similar vein about 10 years I was offerred some inexpensive Life Insurance on behalf of aon of the major banks. After I indicated on the application form that both my Parents were diabetic the insurance was offered at 5x the advertised premium. Nada! They wanted something for nothing ...

FWIW, my wife is Diabetic with Hypertension, both controlled and both not a life issue. To date, TID have been happy to cover her travels at no additional premium.
 
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