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November LAX-SYD/BNE Biz Award
I’m planning on taking a honeymoon trip to Australia this November. Ideal dates would be Nov 13 – Nov 26, but I’m flexible by +/- 1 day on each end. I’m wanting to book 2 business class awards for those days, but obviously there’s no availability right now. I can get enough SPG points to transfer to Elevate if those seats become available. It would take me a couple more months to get those points. I have enough SPG points today to book 2 Econ seats and there’s a lot of availability there. I also have 207k AA points, but haven’t really pursued that route due to high redemption levels with no saver awards.
My questions are this:
1. Would you risk not booking a ticket until the last 7 days before I want to leave for the honeymoon once Virgin releases seats to partners? I would have to transfer the SPG points before that 7 day period so they would be there as soon as I need them.
2. Should I book 2 economy tickets today at least getting my Fiancé and I on the flight and hope for 2 business class seats to come available? With VA can you cancel an award and book the biz class award with no fees? Or can I just upgrade and is a lot more points to upgrade vs. booking a business class award.
3. Are there any viable options with the 207k AA points? I haven’t been able to find anything in my searching.
For the next 10 days VA only has 1 day open with J class to Australia. Plus you’d have to wait to book the return while you were there hoping something opened up. Risky as best.
In my opinion Australia/New Zealand are the hardest rewards to get, from all programs (although I’ve found a way to get *A all the time). Here’s an idea.
Buy R/T discounted fare to either Sydney or Auckland on AA. Probably run you about $1K each. Then upgrade on the discounted fare for 25,000 points and $350 each way. Or full fare economy 15,000 points no co-pay each way. This way you are locked in. If you went to AKL you could use your SPG points to get a VA flight from AKL to SYD/BNE as those are most likely plentiful.
I know this requires paying for tickets, but you get points for the travel and you will still have some left over for another use. However, if you decide to do this, before you buy the tickets contact AA to see if the fares are upgradeable.
With [USER=2121]@MarkS[/USER]’s recommendation, check Expert flyer (or call AA) to make sure there is upgrade space available.
Have you considered StarAlliance via United or Aeroplan miles? Chase’s UR points all transfer to United and Amex’s MR points transfer to Aeroplan. I’m seeing saver space available for LAX-SYD round trip on Asiana and Air China on your dates. United charges 80k for J and 130k for F per person in each direction.With United’s routing rules I think you can also include SYD/BNE-AKL on the award as well for no additional miles.
You can use AA miles for SYD-BNE though BA Avios are a good option as well. LAN has a SYD-AKL 5th freedom flight operated by a 787, better than the 737’s that QF uses. There is 7(!!!) J saver award seats available on 11/22
Yeah I was hoping to avoid spending the cash. That’s a good option that I hadn’t thought about. So that’d run me about $2500 + 50k points for both flights round trip. Using 145k SPG points for the new virgin business class still tempts me.
I don’t have a ton of UR, maybe 30k and zero Amex MRs. Most of my points are in Citi TY, SPG and AA.