Adelaide to Rome Business/First Class May 2018

By thefancyman | Apr 20, 2017, 07:05 PM
Would much appreciate if someone could give me some pointers on the best way to book a trip for two people, from Adelaide to Rome in Business (or First Class if possible) in May next year. I currently have a QANTAS Frequent Flyer Card (Bronze) with 300,000pts and a Virgin Velocity Card which carries a small balance of 15,000pts. I have someone who would be happy to swap my 300,000 Qantas points for Velocity points if that helps things. Any help much appreciated, thanks in advance.
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By henrus | Apr 20, 2017, 07:50 PM
With the number of points you've got, you can forget first class (if you want first class all the way and for 2 people).

Even on Velocity you won't have enough points assuming you do transfer them with someone. Just make sure the person is actually a relative (one which is on the list) and be prepared to demonstrate the relation or risk losing all the points you've transferred.

I'll provide 2 suggestions (both without transferring to Virgin Australia)

My best suggestion would be to book Economy on an A330 to Singapore (some like a flight via Melbourne with Qantas). Book this in a Saver/Flexi class which can be upgraded with points so if you happen to get enough between now and when you fly you can then upgrade it.

Then use your points to book 2 return emirates business flights between Singapore via Dubai to Rome. It will cost 336,000 points (so you'll need to find 36,000 points between now and when you book). Expect taxes to be somewhere between $1000-2000. You'll at least fly Business class on the longer legs.

The other suggestion is to do the same thing as above but instead, use Hong Kong as your stopover point. A Qantas flight (via Brisbane, Sydney or Melbourne) would do the trick and also allow for a future upgrade. 2 Cathay Pacific business class tickets from Hong Kong to Rome return can be yours for 312,000 points (you'll need to find 12,000 points between now and then or purchase them for $388. Taxes should only be a few hundred dollars. 

Maybe there is a better way than what I've suggested and maybe others can comment on that. 
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By RealKid | Apr 20, 2017, 07:51 PM
Generally, you cannot "swap" points between programs, and strategically booking flights for someone in exchange for some sort of consideration is against the rules of many programs.

300,000 points is not enough to get two people to Rome and back, although it is sufficient for one person, so you could buy the second business class ticket and split the cost.

Reward seats typically open about a year in advance, so you should search for your tickets in a month or so.  Your best options from Adelaide on Qantas points are one stop options with Cathay Pacific (bookable online with Qantas) or Qatar Airways (call to book).

Alternatively, you may consider using your Qantas points to book return business class tickets for two people to and from a destination in Southeast Asia.  Certain ports (such as Bali and Bangkok) often have very reasonable return airfares in business class to cities in Europe (sometimes as low as $2,000 return).  This could make more financial sense than booking one award ticket and one paid ticket all the way to Europe, and could potentially give you a nice stopover as well if you're not too pressed for time.
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By drsimon50 | Apr 20, 2017, 08:05 PM
Use qantas points with emirates from Adelaide to Rome? Just a thought
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By thefancyman | Apr 20, 2017, 11:03 PM
Thanks all for your advice, it's much appreciated.

@henrus Thanks, that at least gives me a starting point. The problem is, at least with my short time experimenting with the Qantas Booking page, it is very hard to find availability for these flights. I did try to use Expertflyer to find these flights (obviously not on the exact dates, as those flights are too far away), and was unsuccessful as I was only able to search using Airline, as opposed to frequent flyer program. I have already signed up for the ANZ Frequent Flyer Black card, so that gives us 75,000 points, and my partner and I are prepared to sign up for more if necessary. Do these extra points change our situation? 

@RealKids Thank you for your suggestions. The latter definitely sounds better, but I would prefer one ticket all the way (even if it does involve a layover) to avoid things getting too complicated.

@drsimon50 That would be ideal, the problem is finding availability, if someone would be able to give me some tips for that, that would be perfect.
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By kimshep | Apr 21, 2017, 10:00 AM
Just as a secondary research option .. Chris has written an excellent article (yesterday) on how he did his honeymoon to Europe and back, on approximately 320,000 QF points in J Class. Go to the 'Home' page on AUSBT, look to the left and scroll down to 'Expert Guides'. Voila .. "How I Did ....". This might give you some additional ideas and strategies.
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By Damien00 | Apr 21, 2017, 11:10 AM
I'd echo Henrus's suggestion and get yourself to Singapore or Hong Kong and then get an award J flight from there for the longer section of the flight. You're still a few points short of this but there may be a way to get this through a current Credit Card bonus offer or maybe a Epiqure Wine offer.

Obviously with HK you could do a direct flight to Rome on Cathay (which would be pretty nice) and you're only 12K points short of this for a return flight for 2.?

With Singapore you'd have to go via Dubai making the trip 2 stops and would require slightly more points. But then again EK may have better award availability.

I'd book the outbound and return flights separately. The outbound will become available sooner and if you don't have a lot of flexibility on dates then snap them up while you can, otherwise they may disappear by the time the return flights get released.?

Also Italy is a pretty small country and the train system is excellent! If you have trouble with getting flights for Rome then consider flying in or out of a different city and get the train to Rome.?
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By Looking | Apr 21, 2017, 10:16 PM
I went Syd - CDG, FCO - Syd last August with CX using QFF points. The points required was far higher than if I had used QF, I think it consumed an 300 000 points, but the taxes were just $225 or so.

If it was me I would firstly look at the options adl - SEA with cash in economy and then  a cheap business class with cash. Ideally with Finnair to earn enough for a proper business class ticket the following year.
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