SYD/LAX reward space

By Tom-125 | Sep 22, 2017, 03:18 PM
Hi all,
I’ve collected enough points for a return business class reward flight from SYD to LAX... only I hadn’t realised when I started collecting velocity points for this very purpose (I have family in California) quite how scarce these are.

It seems to be that there is close to zero availability 3-12 months out, but seats open up nearer the time. I’m fine with that and can be flexible. However finding an out and a return 10-14 days apart is nigh on impossible. I have found some one way availability... but then a single for the return sector costs nearly as much as a full return ticket for the same dates.

Has anyone got any advice? Is it worth ringing the call centre (I’m platinum if that helps) to see if they have availability for the return not shown on the website, or if there’s a cheaper booking class for the return sector to go with the reward outward sector?

Thanks

Tom
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By markpk | Sep 22, 2017, 04:59 PM
You haven't noted what time of the year you're trying to book so it may be due to school holidays, seasonal demand, or even the US trade show/conference season. Also working against you in Virgin's small number of flights...
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By hutch | Sep 22, 2017, 05:06 PM
Doesn't virgin price reward tickets as one-way? So couldn't you just book separate one-way flights?
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By julius-grafton | Sep 26, 2017, 12:22 PM
Try from Melbourne and Brisbane, then book a domestic flight separate. There are more seats open from those ports than from Sydney. But good luck - I gave up on this several years ago!
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By Jazzop | Sep 26, 2017, 02:46 PM
I've never seen VA business seats up for points. Never. If you want to use FF points for the US, then commit to Qantas. One option to try (am not sure if it's possible though) is to call their partner line and see if you can get seats on Delta.
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By Jazzop | Sep 26, 2017, 02:47 PM
Try from Melbourne and Brisbane, then book a domestic flight separate. There are more seats open from those ports than from Sydney. But good luck - I gave up on this several years ago!
I fly from BNE, and it's the same problem for us. Plus, there is now one less flight per week from BNE, so even less seats.
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By ChrisCh | Sep 26, 2017, 03:28 PM
I've never seen VA business seats up for points. Never. If you want to use FF points for the US, then commit to Qantas. One option to try (am not sure if it's possible though) is to call their partner line and see if you can get seats on Delta.

If Delta seats are available, they'll show up online - but it's rare that they're released. I didn't believe they did until one randomly popped up one day when searching!

Virgin Australia does have some reward availability to LAX, but it can also be rare as it's a popular route. If you're interested, we compared reward availability with Qantas and Virgin across a range of routes earlier this year (including to LAX): you can find our report here.
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By antkleve | Sep 29, 2017, 01:52 PM
I've managed to get them quite a few times the day before the flight. That's the only way that I've been able to redeem them.
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By Tom-125 | Sep 29, 2017, 04:57 PM
You haven't noted what time of the year you're trying to book so it may be due to school holidays, seasonal demand, or even the US trade show/conference season. Also working against you in Virgin's small number of flights...
Any time really, avoiding the obvious Christmas/Easter etc, but I was looking for any two week period over the year.
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By Tom-125 | Sep 29, 2017, 04:58 PM
Doesn't virgin price reward tickets as one-way? So couldn't you just book separate one-way flights?
Yup but the one way price is not half the return price.... often more like 80%!
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By Tom-125 | Sep 29, 2017, 05:00 PM
I've never seen VA business seats up for points. Never. If you want to use FF points for the US, then commit to Qantas. One option to try (am not sure if it's possible though) is to call their partner line and see if you can get seats on Delta.

If Delta seats are available, they'll show up online - but it's rare that they're released. I didn't believe they did until one randomly popped up one day when searching!

Virgin Australia does have some reward availability to LAX, but it can also be rare as it's a popular route. If you're interested, we compared reward availability with Qantas and Virgin across a range of routes earlier this year (including to LAX): you can find our report here.
Thanks everyone, good suggestions re Delta and Bris/Mel. I’ll carry on looking!
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