Win $50: help me book a 280k QF J RTW award for mid this year | Australian Frequent Flyer
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Win $50: help me book a 280k QF J RTW award for mid this year

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Isochronous

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I have suddenly found myself with a lot of time off mid this year, and I would like to challenge the laws of probability and find a way to book myself a 280k J award to chew up the QFF points in anticipation for a possible move to BAEC or another oneworld programme - and also because as we learned from AN, carrying a lot of points in any programme is a risk.

I have had a cursory glance at the limited QFF engine and found flights here and there, and I suspect with enough searching, a workable combination might still be possible. These would be the only paramaters on the itinerary:

1) I am based in HKG and home is MEL. I am tied up in HKG untl 18/6.
2) I need to be in SYD on 23/8
3) I need to be back in HKG by end of August/early Sept at the very latest - but I am flexible on positioning flights and whether I buy a separate cash fare/award fare for some of these
4) After 18/6 I would like to spend some time back in MEL before setting off.
5) Starting point for the itinerary is flexible. Obviously HKG and Australian ports are the obvious candidates, but I have no qualms flying to elsewhere in Asia/NZ/ME etc if it would help on a separate ticket, whether it be a cheap Y ticket or burning some leftover QFF
6) I predominantly want to spend time in Europe, with a focus on Eastern Europe (Budapest/Vienna) and Scandinavia.
7) How I get to Europe, and how I leave (whether through the Americas, or backtracking through Asia/ME/Africa) - I am totally flexible with this.

If anyone comes up with a workable itinerary that I successfully book, the winner will receive $50 as a token of my gratitude via EFT or cheque, however they might prefer, and enormous gratitude on my part.

Questions/comments etc via post/PM most welcome.
 

Alanslegal

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I think the easiest method is to call Qantas. They would be able to help you with flights including potentially for the 'opening' of award space as a WP member.

However that said, there is a thread for this purpose.

Flight Search Assistance
 

Isochronous

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I think the easiest method is to call Qantas. They would be able to help you with flights including potentially for the 'opening' of award space as a WP member.

However that said, there is a thread for this purpose.

Flight Search Assistance
That sounds like a marathon phone call...although in the end I might want to ask for an extra J seat on a DFW/LAX flight or MEL-DXB.
 

whatmeworry

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6) I predominantly want to spend time in Europe, with a focus on Eastern Europe (Budapest/Vienna) and Scandinavia.
To be honest Hungary and Austria are really central Europe. Most Countries in that that middle band are Slavic/Germanic so does that mean you want to visit central European Slavic/Germanic countries?
 

Isochronous

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To be honest Hungary and Austria are really central Europe. Most Countries in that that middle band are Slavic/Germanic so does that mean you want to visit central European Slavic/Germanic countries?
I suppose that is correct. But I think the main thing is to get a J award flight into Europe, and from there I can always pay for trains or internal flights separately before then exiting Europe to Americas/Asia/Africa.

BTW, can I confirm that the routing rules for the 280k J award are:,

1. Up to 35,000 miles of total flights, including surface sectors
2. Cap on number of flights - 10? 15?
3. Must I go in a continuous direction? e.g. Aus-Asia-Europe-America-Asia-Aus or can I backtrack, e.g. Aus-Africa-EU-Asia-Aus?
 

Danger

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I suppose that is correct. But I think the main thing is to get a J award flight into Europe, and from there I can always pay for trains or internal flights separately before then exiting Europe to Americas/Asia/Africa.

BTW, can I confirm that the routing rules for the 280k J award are:,

1. Up to 35,000 miles of total flights, including surface sectors
2. Cap on number of flights - 10? 15?
3. Must I go in a continuous direction? e.g. Aus-Asia-Europe-America-Asia-Aus or can I backtrack, e.g. Aus-Africa-EU-Asia-Aus?
To the best of my knowledge:

1) Yes.
2) No cap.
3) No. Because it's not a round the world fare it doesn't require flying entirely westward or entirely eastward.
 

vetrade

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BTW, can I confirm that the routing rules for the 280k J award are:,

1. Up to 35,000 miles of total flights, including surface sectors
2. Cap on number of flights - 10? 15?
3. Must I go in a continuous direction? e.g. Aus-Asia-Europe-America-Asia-Aus or can I backtrack, e.g. Aus-Africa-EU-Asia-Aus?
35,000 miles (56,315km)
Can have up to 16 flight segments (land segments are not included in this)
Don't have to go in one direction with a OW RTW award - in this regard it is different to a paid OW RTW fare.
Can only transit through the same city a maximum of twice.
Can only have one stopover in any individual city
 

mrdctau

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I did a self-drive holiday a few years ago in and out of Berlin taking in Germany, Poland, Czech, Slovakia, Hungary and Austria and it was brilliant.

I'm thinking something like HKG-MEL-DOH-TXL-HEL-NRT-SYD-HKG (29823 miles). This assumes stops in Melbourne, Berlin, Helsinki and Sydney so you could either take a stopover in Doha or Tokyo or tack on a return trip somewhere within 2500 miles (Greek Isles for example) from Berlin. Another thing you could think about is at the end of the trip do a <24 hours overnight stop in Melbourne to see your family which only counts as a transit.

I think it's inevitable that you'll need to ring QF and burn 6000 points to do a phone booking, but in my experience they are happy to stay on the phone for as long as it takes and if you can't get a workable trip booked, there's no charge.
 

Alanslegal

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Someone can correct me re; backtracking and entering the same country twice however just off the top of my head whether something like this is workable:

hkg-mel(stop 18/6)-xdxb-hel(stop)-prg(stop)-xmad-jfk(stop)-xlax-syd(stop 28/8)-hkg

also i was trying to maximise legs with flights on the QF380 (mel-dxb, lax-syd, syd-hkg), there's also a segment on AY, IB and AA so would meet the other carrier requirements.
 

mrdctau

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Someone can correct me re; backtracking and entering the same country twice however just off the top of my head whether something like this is workable:

hkg-mel(stop 18/6)-xdxb-hel(stop)-prg(stop)-xmad-jfk(stop)-xlax-syd(stop 28/8)-hkg

also i was trying to maximise legs with flights on the QF380 (mel-dxb, lax-syd, syd-hkg), there's also a segment on AY, IB and AA so would meet the other carrier requirements.
Nice plan, but I'd be surprised if you could find award seat for JFK-SYD in August.
 

jetpack

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This is a valid itinerary and has availability as at now. It has MH segments though so it can only be booked via the call centre and not online.

20 JUN MH 449 HKG KUL
20 JUN MH 147 KUL MEL

30 JUN MH 128 MEL KUL
30 JUN QR 845 KUL DOH
30 JUN QR 077 DOH TXL

Fly Air Berlin from TXL to Europe

Fly Finnair from Europe to HEL

18 AUG AY 089 HEL BKK
19 AUG QF 024 BKK SYD

02 SEP QF 465 SYD MEL
02 SEP CX 178 MEL HKG
 

Isochronous

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Nice plan, but I'd be surprised if you could find award seat for JFK-SYD in August.
That's what I thought too, although exUS availability should have a slightly greater chance than exAUS. Other options are to fly from the US back to Japan/HK/Asia, or even down to SCL for a SCL-SYD flight (although I know this QF flight is pretty popular).

Has anyone tried searching for UL availability yet now they are in oneworld?
 

Isochronous

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Isochronous is a WP so he could kindly ask the WP desk to open up award space, it is worth a shot.

What is the success rate of doing this - and would it be a case of calling to book the 280k award over the phone and asking them to hold seats on all the other sectors pending the request?

Also wondering if my chances are higher asking for which of LAX-MEL, LAX-SYD, LAX-BNE, and DFW-BNE. I've never tried the DFW service but I like the idea of seeing the new LAX lounges. Otherwise I will just take CX back to HKG.

Also surface segments count to the 35,000 miles don't they?
 

Grooba

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What is the success rate of doing this - and would it be a case of calling to book the 280k award over the phone and asking them to hold seats on all the other sectors pending the request?
Success rate, no idea. Ring up and try your chances as I believe that is what everyone does.

Also wondering if my chances are higher asking for which of LAX-MEL, LAX-SYD, LAX-BNE, and DFW-BNE. I've never tried the DFW service but I like the idea of seeing the new LAX lounges. Otherwise I will just take CX back to HKG.
If you had to ask, LAX-BNE would be your best bet.

Also surface segments count to the 35,000 miles don't they?
http://www.australianfrequentflyer.com.au/community/qantas-frequent-flyer-program/oneworld-award-140k-280k-420k-8228-34.html#post1038928

I'd highly recommend spending a few minutes reading through (and searching where applicable) the main thread covering your exact request/questions.

http://www.australianfrequentflyer.com.au/community/qantas-frequent-flyer-program/oneworld-award-140k-280k-420k-8228.html

More than likely what you are wanting to know has already been covered.

Good luck with your booking at such short notice.
 

Isochronous

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On Monday night I will start to resolve my plans - thanks for the suggestions and I will follow through on the promised cash reward if I book your suggestion (and if I rely on part of your suggested itinerary/flights, I will still offer something).

Am thinking now of routing HKG-SIN-EU-CPT-EU-US-Asia broadly speaking. I want to see a friend in SIN for a few days, and I figures I can from SIN take a cheap exSIN BA PE fare pre June 30 which will get the old SCs for QFF.

Does AA do a direct flight from the US to Sth Africa? Or would my only options be QR/AY/BA?
 

vetrade

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Does AA do a direct flight from the US to Sth Africa? Or would my only options be QR/AY/BA?
There are no direct flights by any OW airline into SA from the US. From the US you can either fly to JNB or CPT via LHR with BA or you can fly QR via DOH. CX and QF fly to JNB but, of course, their flights are no good if you're coming from the US. Award seats to CPT are virtually non existent from my experience (CPT is a much too popular holiday destination so BA doesn't see the need to have awards available). JNB is completely different since it is mainly a business destination - award seats are readily available from London, as are Comair (BA) flights from JNB - CPT - so if CPT is where you want to go it's easy to get a connection from JNB.
QR only flies to JNB from DOH. They don't fly to CPT and they don't connect to JNB from the US via LHR.
There are a variety of AA, BA and QR options to get to either LHR or DOH from the US from several US cities.
 

Isochronous

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There are no direct flights by any OW airline into SA from the US. From the US you can either fly to JNB or CPT via LHR with BA or you can fly QR via DOH. CX and QF fly to JNB but, of course, their flights are no good if you're coming from the US. Award seats to CPT are virtually non existent from my experience (CPT is a much too popular holiday destination so BA doesn't see the need to have awards available). JNB is completely different since it is mainly a business destination - award seats are readily available from London, as are Comair (BA) flights from JNB - CPT - so if CPT is where you want to go it's easy to get a connection from JNB.
QR only flies to JNB from DOH. They don't fly to CPT and they don't connect to JNB from the US via LHR.
There are a variety of AA, BA and QR options to get to either LHR or DOH from the US from several US cities.
I don't mind - gotta use those 35,000 miles and 16 sectors up! Happy to fly via JNB if required - another lounge to sample!
 

Isochronous

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I'm using awardnexus and I can't find any DOH-JNB/DOH-CPT or LHR-JNB/CPT availability. This is for early August - do BA or QR do any late releases, or does awardnexus miss anything?
 

support

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