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Answers (8)

Flying from the US to Thailand and Cairns, Australia

Flying from the US to Thailand and Cairns, Australia

  1. Alan Parker

    Hi Lucky,
    I’d like to take my family of 5 to visit Thailand and NE Australia for a summer trip and was wondering what you’d recommend as the best awards programs to use for getting there from Nashville, TN.

    Thanks

  2. David W

    Off the bat I would recommend Alaskas miles on Cathay. You can book one way from us to Hong Kong, stopover and continue to cairns. During your stopover in Hong Kong, you can buy a cheap paid flight to Bangkok and back. For the return, you can use Alaska miles as well, on Qantas or Fiji. You can also fly Cathay and route thru Hong Kong again.

  3. Alan Parker

    Thanks David.

  4. David W

    United also has decent routing rules that could work for your situation. [URL]http://www.travelcodex.com/2015/06/award-routing-rules-on-united-airlines/[/URL]

  5. Anonymous

    Hi [USER=1779]@Alan Parker[/USER], and welcome! Are you thinking this summer, or next summer? And are you considering economy, or trying for business class?

    Putting together a trip for five people is challenging, but not impossible — much of it may come down to where you can get miles, and who has space.

  6. thelongroadau

    The Cathay with AS miles plan might work, as at certain times of year Cathay can be good with award availability in business, premium economy and economy. They also have multiple flights a day from many destinations to HK, so you if you can split your party, you might only need to split for a few hours. Downside is that you’d need to get yourself to and from a US city that Cathay or Alaska serves.

    A Star Alliance award might work, as there’s lots of ways to get to Thailand, and from there both Thai and Singapore Airlines fly to Brisbane, which isn’t far off, and other places such as Sydney or Melbourne, and in SQ’s case Darwin. You might even be able to do it as one award with a stopover in one direction. You will have [I]a lot[/I] of routing options this way, you might even find someone like Air India or Thai has 5 seats on some flights.

    I know for sure that a round trip Star Alliance award with Singapore Airlines you are permitted one stopover, though you’d need nearly a million miles to get 5 people round trip in business class. You might even find that SQ allows SilkAir segments on a Star Alliance award, which would allow you to get direct to Cairns.

    There are likely many other airlines that allow a stopover on a round trip Star Alliance Award, but I don’t know this for sure, do your own research.

    Another alternative is a different type of Singapore Airlines award, one for their own flights, which would be about 10% fewer SQ miles, and you could get your last segment all the way to Cairns (on SilkAir from Singapore). You would need to get a stopover in Singapore (free on round trip, $100 per person on a one way), and nest a round trip to Thailand within this stopover. There are lots of cheap budget airline airfares to lots of places in Thailand from Singapore, and as most flights are 2-3 hours, this is probably the way to go if this is the option you take. Note also that under this plan you’d again have to get yourself to and from a city that Singapore Airlines serves (in your case seems Houston or JFK are closest, though they also fly to LA and San Francisco).

    Fewer miles again still on an SQ-only SQ award and you could get yourself as far as Bali, and from there get a cheap Jetstar flight to Cairns or nearby Townsville, and also other budget airlines going to Bangkok.

    With all of these options a slightly different way to do it would be to do it as two one ways, one to/from Asia, one to/from Cairns, and then get yourself between them on a separate ticket. For a cash ticket, It would be possible to do this fairly cheaply via Bali. For an award from Thailand to Cairns (or somewhere nearby) there are probably several ways to do it, none of them with an obvious advantage.

    Lastly, and only put it last as it’s the one I know the least about, but a Oneworld award fare might be of use as it will in theory get you from your nearest airport served by American, all the way to Cairns. Again, there will be a million routings to explore, and there are likely several Oneworld airlines that offer a suitable award ticket. Some of these options might even be a RTW ticket.

    Sorry to present a million options, but there really are a million ways to skin this cat. If you tell us which miles you currently have, and how many, we might be able to narrow it down.

  7. Alan Parker

    [QUOTE=”Tiffany, post: 15458, member: 7″]Hi [USER=1779]@Alan Parker[/USER], and welcome! Are you thinking this summer, or next summer? And are you considering economy, or trying for business class?

    Putting together a trip for five people is challenging, but not impossible — much of it may come down to where you can get miles, and who has space.[/QUOTE]

    Thanks Tiffany,
    I’d be fine with traveling economy and would like to go either next summer or fall (2017).

    I have about 100,000 miles with American that I got through the Citi Bank AAdvantage Platinum Card. I also have 4 nights at a Hilton through the Citi Hilton Honors Reserve Card.

    I have received and used the points from my Citi Thank You Premier Card.

    Any suggestions on what promotions would help get us there would be much appreciated.

    Thanks,
    Alan

  8. Alan Parker

    [QUOTE=”thelongroadau, post: 15465, member: 659″]The Cathay with AS miles plan might work, as at certain times of year Cathay can be good with award availability in business, premium economy and economy. They also have multiple flights a day from many destinations to HK, so you if you can split your party, you might only need to split for a few hours. Downside is that you’d need to get yourself to and from a US city that Cathay or Alaska serves.

    A Star Alliance award might work, as there’s lots of ways to get to Thailand, and from there both Thai and Singapore Airlines fly to Brisbane, which isn’t far off, and other places such as Sydney or Melbourne, and in SQ’s case Darwin. You might even be able to do it as one award with a stopover in one direction. You will have [I]a lot[/I] of routing options this way, you might even find someone like Air India or Thai has 5 seats on some flights.

    I know for sure that a round trip Star Alliance award with Singapore Airlines you are permitted one stopover, though you’d need nearly a million miles to get 5 people round trip in business class. You might even find that SQ allows SilkAir segments on a Star Alliance award, which would allow you to get direct to Cairns.

    There are likely many other airlines that allow a stopover on a round trip Star Alliance Award, but I don’t know this for sure, do your own research.

    Another alternative is a different type of Singapore Airlines award, one for their own flights, which would be about 10% fewer SQ miles, and you could get your last segment all the way to Cairns (on SilkAir from Singapore). You would need to get a stopover in Singapore (free on round trip, $100 per person on a one way), and nest a round trip to Thailand within this stopover. There are lots of cheap budget airline airfares to lots of places in Thailand from Singapore, and as most flights are 2-3 hours, this is probably the way to go if this is the option you take. Note also that under this plan you’d again have to get yourself to and from a city that Singapore Airlines serves (in your case seems Houston or JFK are closest, though they also fly to LA and San Francisco).

    Fewer miles again still on an SQ-only SQ award and you could get yourself as far as Bali, and from there get a cheap Jetstar flight to Cairns or nearby Townsville, and also other budget airlines going to Bangkok.

    With all of these options a slightly different way to do it would be to do it as two one ways, one to/from Asia, one to/from Cairns, and then get yourself between them on a separate ticket. For a cash ticket, It would be possible to do this fairly cheaply via Bali. For an award from Thailand to Cairns (or somewhere nearby) there are probably several ways to do it, none of them with an obvious advantage.

    Lastly, and only put it last as it’s the one I know the least about, but a Oneworld award fare might be of use as it will in theory get you from your nearest airport served by American, all the way to Cairns. Again, there will be a million routings to explore, and there are likely several Oneworld airlines that offer a suitable award ticket. Some of these options might even be a RTW ticket.

    Sorry to present a million options, but there really are a million ways to skin this cat. If you tell us which miles you currently have, and how many, we might be able to narrow it down.[/QUOTE]

    Thanks so much for all this great information. Looks like I have some homework to do.

    I currently have 106,284 American miles that I received from the Citi Bank AAdvantage Platinum card (I doubled up for both my wife and me). I also have 4 nights at a Hilton that we received from the Citi Hilton HHonors Reserve Card.

    I’ve already received and used the points for the Citi Thank you Premier Card (headed to Turks and Caicos later this month! yeah!).

    Any suggestions on what promotions would help get us there would be much appreciated.

    Thanks,
    Alan

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