Ideas for Award Seat

4 replies

elemist

Member since 25 Jan 2012

Total posts 10

So i'm heading to the US at the end of the year - looking at leaving Boxing Day. I have a truckload of velocity points ~650,000 to burn, so looking at options for using them. Leaving from Perth and open to where i end up in the US - though ideally LAX or SFO.


Just searching general flights (not awards), the best option seems to be with Air NZ through Auckland to LAX. But from what i've read it's tough to find award seats on Air NZ.. plus you have to call up to check. Also considering transferring points to Kris Flyer and booking with Singapore Air, though it's a longer flight with stop overs which is a pain.

The other alternative was trying to snag Etihad through AUH to JFK, then just booking a normal flight onwards from there.

Doesn't seem to be any availability from Mel/Syd/Bne to LAX with VA either for that matter. Any idea how far in advance they're releasing seats at this stage?

Open to ideas for routing/airline options/suggestions?

smit0847

Member since 30 Aug 2013

Total posts 148

Boxing Day is one of the busiest, if not THE busiest travel day of the year. Whatever you can find that is available now, book it. You won't have the luxury of lots of routing and carrier options.

russell

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

Member since 04 Nov 2011

Total posts 193

Agreed, you would have next to no chance getting seats on Boxing Day. It is the busiest day of the year.

Chris Chamberlin

Member since 24 Apr 2012

Total posts 1,091

Note that you can no longer book Air New Zealand long-haul flights using Velocity points: only NZ domestic and trans-Tasman flights, so for that you'd need to convert to KrisFlyer (but NZ doesn't release a great deal of reward seats anyway).

There's usually no problem getting seats on Boxing Day with Singapore Airlines if you plan ahead (when SQ's Australian flights were loaded into the system for Boxing Day this year, each had 4+ business class reward seats available to KrisFlyer members, but that was months ago, and many of them will have been snapped up now).

I would suggest searching for Gold Coast-Hong Kong with Hong Kong Airlines (a Velocity partner which can be booked online, so no need to call), and then booking Hong Kong-LAX also with Hong Kong Airlines. Depending on the website's quirks you may be able to book this as one itinerary or may need to split onto two separate tickets (so perhaps add a night in HKG in between to be safe). Usually very good availability in business class on both sectors as there isn't a lot of competition for those reward seats from other programs due to HKA's limited partnerships.

They fly an A330 from the Gold Coast and an A350 on HKG-LAX: both have 1-2-1 fully-flat beds and direct aisle access, and through Velocity the co-payment amounts are very low.

It's a good option to keep up your sleeve, because although Velocity doesn't partner with HKA on those LAX flights in terms of earning points and status credits, there's nothing stopping you from booking those flights using points when seats are available.

elemist

Member since 25 Jan 2012

Total posts 10

Thanks for the info, and apologies for the delayed reply - forgot to enable notifications!


So far the best options i've found with availability and cashing in points is still with Singapore Air.. Looking currently at

PER - SIN business
SIN - SFO business

then return

JFK - FRA - SIN first/suites
SIN - PER business

The only thing i'm a little unsure of is the return flights - i've just been reading about SQ launching their direct JFK - SIN flights on their new A350's. Any thoughts on likely rewards availability, and whether i would be better flying first via FRA, than business direct?

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