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Australia – the long way round?
I am cooking up a post pandemic trip for one, to meet friends in Australia.
I already have SYD-HND-JFK on ANA first class booked using lifemiles (a risk but worth it).
My question is, how to get [I]there. [/I]Happy to reposition to anywhere in the US.
Tempted to skip ANA to get some variety. Main contenders so far:
Etihad via AUH (105K Aeroplan) – have never flown, route around the world and a totally different service experience
JAL business via HND (90K Asia Miles) – have never flown, still seems a bit duplicative to ANA, about 3 hours faster than Etihad.
Cathay business via HKG (85K Asia Miles) – Have flown and loved.
I am not seeing (even with Expert Flyer alerts) [I]any[/I] J or F availability on direct flights from the US and totally fine with longer routing. Similarly, not seeing any Qatar availability right now.
What would you do? Any other viable sweet spots I am missing? Should I just suck up economy on a direct flight?
Welcome [USER=7047]@Andy88[/USER] – I hope your plans are for the end of currently available flight schedule. Even with the vaccine the good folks of Oz may not allow Americans in the door until 2022.
That being said the Etihad route would be, as you said, an interesting twist: around the world on an airline you’ve never flown and no cross-over with ANA (whose F was great, BTW).
Thanks for the reply! Yes, i’m looking at November 2021 – aside from the Avianca financial piece I see very little risk in booking something this far out when I can always cancel.
Ok – so far it seems Etihad maybe the most fun option, I was torn between that and my love for Cathay (which is also fewer points).
I’d love to hear any other takes on this!
I’d give Etihad my vote as well – even if their A380s aren’t flying, it would still be a fun option. And, I agree that JAL would be somewhat similar to ANA – in terms of Japanese service and transit/lounge experience in Tokyo.
Also echoing Midsouth’s advice on being wary of when Australia opens to tourists from the US. We are also in the midst of planning a trip there for November 2021, and I am currently only comfortable booking our long-haul flights. We’ve got those taken care of, and will now just wait and see how the next 4-6 months go before booking hotels or domestic flights once we’re there.
Another great opportunity is via Singapore Airlines if you want to go round the world, I had once found availability in Suites from JFK to FRA to SIN, and then their “regular” first class to SYD. I had baked a 2 days stop in Singapore as well.
And for JAL/ANA, I think they still have distinct experiences and I really enjoy both of them. JAL also tends to have some good availability with points starting about 3-4 weeks out usually, when they open more and more of the unsold inventory.
Thanks Clem, I admit if it were possible to fly J or F on Singapore Airlines for anything close to the same amount of points as the above options I’d be all over it… I don’t think I can justify ~40K more for business than JAL.
Great point on JAL vs ANA though. I’m actually seeing J availability right now through Asia Miles so wouldn’t even need to wait…
Like you, I have quite enjoyed my experiences on Cathay. Another consideration depending on the mileage you have available- if you have AA miles, you could always try Qatar’s A350 JFK-DOH-SYD if you like the Mideast routing. If you dont have mileage availability, I would tend to favor the Etihad route, if for no other reason than its something you havent done before. ANA/JAL as the others have said are both good, and JAL gets a nod for availability.