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Using points to buy business class to AUK
I am planning 2 weeks in New Zealand and 2 in Australia. I have about 360k miles between my Mileage plus 100k, Chase Freedom 38k and Sapphire Reserve 220K. I have been stalking United hoping the 80K business class would open up but the only routes I have seen have 2-3 stopovers. Air New Zealand has a Non stop from Chicago ORD to AUK. I can barely cover the business saver so the 200K everyday is out of the question. Is there any chance business saver will open up? Or should I pay for an upgradable ticket – maybe premium economy – and use my miles to upgrade? Also hoping to fly back from Melbourne to Chicago. Thanks!!!
United has been relatively consistent with opening seats up much closer to departure as they realize they would otherwise go unsold. So, if you are comfortable waiting til the last minute, that’s an option.
Otherwise, booking in advance you might be forced to connect in Asia at the saver level.
Patrice, Air Nz is very stingey with its own awards. I wouldn’t be counting on award space on their new route (I wish they would as I’m based in Ord).
United however has a ton of seats available close in from Sydney to the USA (Houston, San Fran and La). Last week I flew back with my two kids and had my choice of days. Same with routes out to Australia. Probably could do a $400 return flight paid between Auckland and Sydney.
Availability through Asia used to be good on Asiana and occasionally comes about on ANA. Very hard to search for November and December unfortinaltu. Peak times.
Btw i actually liked United business, especially in the bulkhead row (knowing that puts me in the minority).
If you are solo then Singapore does offer availability through Asia. I did it last year alone through Singapore from SFO. a week before rhe departure tons s my waitlisted awards opened up (including suites to Sydney).