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Answers (12)

Australia to USA

Australia to USA

  1. Anonymous

    While there seems to be alot of advice on how to search and book award travel from USA to Australia, I can find nothing on the best ways to search and book one way premium cabin awards FROM Australia (in this case SYD) to USA. I have healthy point balances in both UR and AAdvantage – so I have diligently searched AA.com and United.com for award availability and can only find “full fare” award space. I have also looked at booking fare tickets via the UR travel redemption portal. Am I missing any other tricks/techniques?

  2. OCTinPHL

    [QUOTE=”KahunnaTravel, post: 68003″]While there seems to be alot of advice on how to search and book award travel from USA to Australia, I can find nothing on the best ways to search and book one way premium cabin awards FROM Australia (in this case SYD) to USA. I have healthy point balances in both UR and AAdvantage – so I have diligently searched AA.com and United.com for award availability and can only find “full fare” award space. I have also looked at booking fare tickets via the UR travel redemption portal. Am I missing any other tricks/techniques?[/QUOTE]

    Hi Kahunna,

    For when are you searching? Awards to/from Australia / NZ on AA are probably the most difficult to come by for AAdvantage members. But I have found a couple days scattered throughout the summer (here) with J MilesAAver availability – 80k miles. Are you using the full-month search on aa.com – click on multi-city search, even though you are searching one-way only. Hope this helps.

  3. rickyw

    The same logic, tips and tricks apply to US to Australia as Australia to US. It’s just a very difficult route to find space.

  4. MidSouthSkier

    Keep in mind that the QF award calendar is actually open 2-3 weeks before AA allows bookings at 330 days out. That gives people with QF miles and BA Avios (and possibly other programs) access to award seats before AA even opens the calendar. I’ve booked award space twice now and my advice is to be flexible. Don’t lock into SYD-LAX. Be open to flying from MEL or BNE even if it requires a positioning flight. Also look for seats to SFO, YVR and DFW. Get from one continent to the other and then work out the details. Remember that AA will allow you to change routing and dates as long as your origin & destination remain the same. So if you find, say, SYD-BNE-SFO-LAX, book it and if SYD-LAX ever opens up anywhere close to your dates, just call and change. Don’t make any non-refundable hotel or rental car reservations so you’ll be able to change those too.

  5. KahunnaTravel

    Thanks for the replies. I’m specifically looking for SYD to CMH on 10/20/20 one way for 2 passengers. I really don’t have alot of flex on this as it represents the return leg of a cruise from HNL to SYD allowing for 4 days in SYD for sightseeing, etc. Because my wife is the other passenger, “exotic routings” just aren’t in the cards. Trying to keep the total travel time blocked at under 26 hours. I have over 600K UR and 800K AA. Explored using the UR to book AC premium economy via YVR/YYZ, but even though it’s priced at $1569/person on the AC website, the UR travel folks refused to book it at that price – wanting $4300/person. So much for the value of using UR to buy tickets outright. AA right now is pricing business/first at 175K/person.

  6. MidSouthSkier

    What about getting a cash-back card or one that erases travel charges? There are a few different flavors of those. If you can swing the Capital One business card and get the 200K points the bonus alone would erase $2000 worth of charges. When you add in the amount you’d spend to get that bonus you’d have enough to cover the PE tickets by mid-year. You can do things like using the card to buy Visa gift cards and then using those Visa gift cards to buy money orders that you can use to pay your mortgage/rent which can help meet the hefty spend requirement for the 200K bonus.

  7. rickyw

    Honestly, with 800k AA points on hand, I’d book the most convenient routing on AA for 175k. That’s not a terrible price… they wanted 400k for me for a flight home for Europe for us in June 2020.

  8. OCTinPHL

    [QUOTE=”rickyw, post: 68027, member: 1436″]Honestly, with 800k AA points on hand, I’d book the most convenient routing on AA for 175k. That’s not a terrible price… they wanted 400k for me for a flight home for Europe for us in June 2020.[/QUOTE]

    Is 175k to fly AA in J a ripoff? Sure it is. But 2x for oneway tickets when he has 800k AAdvantage miles – do it. But also look

  9. OCTinPHL

    [QUOTE=”KahunnaTravel, post: 68025, member: 6259″]Thanks for the replies. I’m specifically looking for SYD to CMH on 10/20/20 one way for 2 passengers. I really don’t have alot of flex on this as it represents the return leg of a cruise from HNL to SYD allowing for 4 days in SYD for sightseeing, etc. Because my wife is the other passenger, “exotic routings” just aren’t in the cards.[/QUOTE]

    Your problem, for lack of a better term, is that all AA (and Qantas/OneWorld) award travel from SYD to US is extremely hard to come by. I know you don’t want ‘exotic’ routings, but you can get from SYD to HKG on either Qantas or Cathay Pacific for ~$2100 in J and ~$890 in PE. From HKG to CMH there is MilesAAver (70k) award space from HKG – XXX – CMH (on both AA and CX), but your total travel time is going to be about 32 hours. Use your Chase URs to pay for PE on Qantas to get to HKG, then use AAdvantage miles to CMH. Or just pay the 175k AAnytime awards. Or use $$ for SYD to HKG and you can earn some more AAdvantage miles. 😉

  10. RTBones

    If its me, knowing how tight award availability is, I might try to get to HKG in PE with cash to earn a few more miles, then use miles from there. Alternatively, you could try miles out of BNE or MEL, which would mean a relatively short domestic hop from SYD (which I would also use cash for). I dont know how much less (if any) than 175K miles it would be, though. At the end of the day, do you value convenience more (which sounds like paying 175K miles would be) or are you really keen to hold onto as much of your 800K as you can?

  11. KahunnaTravel

    Thanks for all the replies. I ended up booking the the SYD-LAX-CMH routing for 175K per person for its convenience and lack of any real other options that didn’t involve routings and layovers my wife would just not understand. 40 years ago, that wouldn’t have been a problem, but age causes you to value convenience more than economy sometimes. As it is, I’m something of a “serial saver” when it comes to points/mile and have never subscribed to the “earn and burn” philosophy. Having been semi-retired for 12 years now, I manage to travel about 30-35K miles – all domestic – per year. 80% are for business reasons, and 90% of those are on WN. As a result, I have banked over 600K UR, 800K AAdvantage, 38K SkyMiles, 1.5 million Rapid Reward (with companion pass), 975K IHG points, 2.1 million Hilton points, and 250K Hyatt. So I guess I can afford to spend some. Funny thing, as it turns out, the 175K seems to be something of a bargain. AA presently wants 368K a ticket for 10/19, 199K for 10/21, and 375K for 10/22.

  12. OCTinPHL

    [QUOTE=”KahunnaTravel, post: 68066, member: 6259″][…]I have banked over 600K UR, 800K AAdvantage, 38K SkyMiles, 1.5 million Rapid Reward (with companion pass), 975K IHG points, 2.1 million Hilton points, and 250K Hyatt.[/QUOTE]

    Nice stash! 🙂 I’m envious.

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