What to do use points or pay for flights?

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JamieB

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I am going to Hong Kong in early December and Los Angeles in late march next year.
I have 600,000 QF points, not much status and only bronze QFF card
The options I'm facing are as follows
Do I pay for either one of the flights?
Do I pay for flights then upgrade to Business using points?
Do I just book the flights with points?
Which option would maximise the value of points?
I must admit I am a little confused as to which is the best option?
Also when you upgrade from Economy to business is the upgrade garanteed?
 
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JamieB, some thoughts on your questions:
I am going to Hong Kong in early December and Los Angeles in late march next year. I have 600,000 QF points, not much status and only bronze QFF card.
Yes, you're right, not much status but a truckload of points...

Do I pay for either one of the flights?
I'd be looking to buy both trips. I'd think your chances of finding U seats for HKG in Dec would be worse than the proverbial needle in a haystack. also, have you looked at the opportunity to fly to SFO (better award seat availability) then get a SFO/LAX flight.

Do I pay for flights then upgrade to Business using points?
That's the best use of points, as the points used for upgrades is significantly less than using total points for the trip. I only use my points for upgrades, or to take an award seat where the ordinary fare is prohibitively expensive. You also continue to accrue SC's for the paid class of travel.

Do I just book the flights with points?
No, see my answer above.

Which option would maximise the value of points?
Look at the value for a J ticket (less what you have paid) versus the number of points needed for the upgrade. The number of points for the LAX flight will be higher, but so is the airfare.

I must admit I am a little confused as to which is the best option?
You aren't by yourself, we all are...there is no easy or correct answer, as everybody's position is different.

Also when you upgrade from Economy to business is the upgrade garanteed?
Where the upgrade has been confirmed by Qantas, yes, it's guaranteed.
 

serfty

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Lindsay Wilson said:
...
Also when you upgrade from Economy to business is the upgrade garanteed?
Where the upgrade has been confirmed by Qantas, yes, it's guaranteed.
Note that for international flights, you will not know if your upgrade has been confirmed "until you check in".

If you can find any seats, it might be better to use points to book directly into business class. Also, Cathay Pacific may have more award business seats available (for HKG at least) than Qantas.

FWIW, note that Qantas have a 50% bonus point promotion for (paid) travel between Australia and Hong Kong or Singapore for travel Oct 5th - Dec 2nd. (Not that you appear to be in need of an extra few thousand points).
 

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The answer is one that only you can provide. It will depend on many factors, including:
  • Do you have the spare cash to pay for the flights
  • Are you saving your FF points for a specific goal
  • How much future travel do you expect to do, including business and pleasure
For me, it is rarely worth using points for domestic flights. I would tend to pay for my flight (and hence earn more SCs and FF points) and use my points for my faily members who have no hope of making any status anyway.

And like Lindsay, I also tend to use my points for internetional long-haul upgrades when I can get them. That is where I find best value.
 
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