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American or United to Australia?
My wife and I have accumulated over 200,000 Chase Ultimate Rewards points. We are planning a trip to Australia in 2020. We want to fly in business class. Our next step is to both get credit cards from either American or United. We are open to flying on either carriers partner airlines. In your opinion, which is the easiest/best path to follow?
Whichever has award space, as awards to Australia are hard to come by.
If you can each manage to pick up the Citi AAdvantage, CitiBusiness AAdvantage, Barclays AAviator and Barclays AAviator Business cards, that’ll be at least 230k AA miles per person. If you dont mind splurging, you can fly Qatar or Etihad via the Middle East to get to AUS.
But if you don’t want to fly the long way to Australia you *may* be better off collecting cards that earn (or transfer) to United miles. With AA you have to fly straight from the US to Oceania and trying to find two premium cabin tickets on the same flight can be tricky – though don’t forget about Fiji Air, which often has two seats available as soon as the calendar opens. (Use the Alaska Air site to check.) But UA will let you route via Asia and there are a lot more options there both in terms of airlines and routes.
As the others have said, much will depend on who has the award space. The case for AA is the ‘long route’. As MidSouth says, AA will generally want you to fly directly from the US, while UA will allow routing through Asia. That said, if you could get to a non-US gateway city, your options open up.
For myself, since I am lifetime gold with AA, I would focus on OneWorld carriers. But thats just me.
For Business class, definitely consider routing through Asia. Any of ANA, Asiana, EVA, Thai or Singapore (or even United’s new 777-300ER) are a joy to fly in Business. Well worth the extra time to get to Australia. Just avoid Air China