With American Airlines’ new flights between Sydney and Los Angeles now on sale, frequent flyers have a new way to use their hard-earned points when visiting the United States.
However, at the time of writing only economy seats are available at the best-value Classic Reward rates – or 'MileSAAver' awards via AA’s own AAdvantage program – while business and first class flights will set you back a considerably large number of points.
For example, you can snap up a one-way economy ticket from Sydney to LAX via the Qantas website by searching for Classic Rewards as your normally would...
... or via the AA website for AAdvantage members with points to burn:
While you'd ordinarily need 62,500 AA miles for a one-way MileSAAver trek in business class or just 72,500 miles to swan your way there on a first class MileSAAver flight, you won't find either of those awards available just yet.
Booking one of these seats as a more-expensive AAnytime award chews through 140,000-215,000 AA miles for a one-way journey to Los Angeles in business class, or between 180,000 and 240,000 miles for first class:
Through Qantas Frequent Flyer the same is an even-higher 877,000 points for a one-way business class ticket using 'points plus pay', or 1.2 million points for first class: again, one-way.
(Points plus pay is comparable to AA's AAnytime award, in that it allows you to book any available seat with your points, but requires considerably more points than a traditional frequent flyer award booking.)
We'd expect AA to unlock its own business and first class MileSAAver awards sooner or later, which in turn would give Qantas Frequent Flyer members an opportunity to book the much more favourable Classic Rewards on AA's Sydney flights.
Whenever that happens you’d need 96,000 Qantas Points for a one-way business class ticket from Sydney to Los Angeles or 144,000 points for AA’s comfortable first class suite, plus taxes and fees.
That’s also no more than the number of Qantas Points you’d need to book a flight on the Red Roo's own aircraft to the home of Hollywood, so you'd be free to pick and choose the best option for your schedule.
Finally, savvy travellers might also be tempted to bulk buy American Airlines AAdvantage miles to score heavily discounted flights, but it's a trick that doesn't make financial sense until those business and first class MileSAAver awards hit the shelves.
- American Airlines Sydney-Los Angeles flights now on sale
- Up close with AA' Sydney-Los Angeles first class suites
- What you'll get flying in AA's Sydney-LAX business class
- Five expert tips for buying miles and frequent flyer points
- What you need to know about AA’s Sydney-LA flights
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