Perth to Vegas – family style using points

Perth would have to be close to being the most remote city in the world when it comes to travel to Las Vegas. With a minimum of three flights required, organising a good fare with nice connections is always going to be a tough ask. Doing the same thing with points is even tougher. This week we look at how on member did exactly that, not just for a solo traveller or couple, but for a family of 4 adults and two toddlers, using points, and in Business class!

Thanks to everyone here, I learnt about flying in the pointy end for a little over economy prices when I joined 2 years ago.

After doing a similar trip in 2012 flying Qantas via Melbourne in economy my husband said we could go back to Las Vegas for the SEMA show but he wouldn’t fly economy….challenge accepted!

In February this year the 40% Alaska air miles promo came out. I had 2 skype calls to Alaska’s reservation team to ensure I could get 5 business award seats on the flights we needed.

I had enough Qantas points and since partner awards charge 10% cash fares for infants, it made it cheaper to use 280,000 qantas points and just pay taxes for miss1 rather than the 10% cash fare which would have been around $1000 (I paid $500 in taxes for her with cx and $800 taxes for my husband). He was lucky enough to get Business awards for all 4 flights.

While the distance was always going to be an issue for Perth travellers, things were not helped by the gradual removal of all but temporary seasonal services from Qantas international. Fortunately, Cathay Pacific is a partner of both Qantas and Alaskan Airlines, so the option to travel via Hong Kong came into play.

As mentioned recently in our knowledge centre article on frugal premium cabin flying, Alaskan Airlines is one of a number of airlines that offer points for purchase with bonuses at different times of the year. With a bonus promotion in play, our member took the step to purchase the points needed for 3 adults and one toddler, all 480000 of them, or $12000 worth.

Had all the flights organised and unfortunately with Alaska you can’t hold any flights so once I had it all worked out, I went ahead and purchased the 480,000 points that would be required. After 24 hours nothing had come through. Waited until 48 and still nothing…,then 72 hours I started to get worried as I had paid that money and was hoping to god that award seats would still be available! After a few calls to Alaska and their risk team, the points processed . They told me that no one had ever purchased that many miles from the 1 account before.

Travelling on points is not always easy to book, and things can go wrong further down the track. How did our traveller go, did the gamble pay off and what did they learn from the experience, join the journey. Follow the discussion HERE.


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