Low-cost Qantas business, first class buying US frequent flyer miles

Low-cost Qantas business, first class buying US frequent flyer miles

UPDATE | A new AAdvantage 'buy miles' promotion is underway, this time offering a bonus of up to 100,000 miles on American Airlines mileage purchases plus cash discounts of 10% on the purchase price through August 1 2017 for use on Qantas, Cathay Pacific and other Oneworld airlines.

Given the current, favourable USD:AUD currency conversion rates atop this great bonus offer, you could be flying to Asia in business class for about half the cost of a regular ticket, or even further beyond at great savings as well.

Under the promotion, all purchases of 11,000-20,000 miles are joined by a modest 2,500-mile bonus; buying 76,000-100,000 miles nets a cool 27,500 bonus miles and at the top of the spectrum, 150,000 miles come with the full 100,000 bonus miles on the side.

In between, the bonus you'll get varies based on the exact number of miles purchased, and for maximum value, buying miles at the bottom of each rung – such as 101,000 miles with a 45,000-mile bonus, delivers the lowest costs per mile:

All purchases of 11,000-150,000 miles also attract a 10% discount.

Buying the full swag of 250,000 miles – 150,000 miles with the 100,000-mile bonus – sets you back US$4,311.19 (A$5,422), being around 2.16 Aussie cents per mile.

That's great if you're planning numerous trips, but if a simple return flight from Sydney to Hong Kong, Shanghai or Singapore and back in business class is your goal, spring for just 80,000 miles – bought as 65,000 miles + 15,000 bonus miles with a 10% discount – and you'll pay a lower US$1,885 (A$2,371).

At that rate, you're paying around half the usual asking price for a business class ticket to Asia, and only need to pay the ticket taxes and surcharges on top when you redeem those miles, which usually amount to $100-200, depending on the airline and route you choose.

The normal caveats apply, of course. You may need to do a little searching and have some flexibility in your travel plans to snare these award seats, and solo travellers during off-peak periods will naturally have an easier time of this than when booking a trip for the whole family at Christmas or during Chinese New Year.

Aussies living in Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane have until 2:59pm on August 1 2017 to jump in and take advantage of the deal, while Perth residents can buy miles with the generous bonus until 12:59pm local time on the same date.

The article below, while written when AA's buying and redemption mileage rates were more generous, still serves to explain the general process of buying and using American Airlines AAdvantage Miles to book flights with Qantas and co.

Update by Chris Chamberlin

PREVIOUS | Psst... wanna buy a Qantas business class return ticket to Singapore for $2,400?

How about heading to London in Qantas' Airbus A380 first class suites for $2,700, or flying business class to Los Angeles and back for $4,300?

Rest easy. These are no shonky, shady deals.

It's done by booking the flights via Qantas' US partner American Airlines, which allows you to buy frequent flyer points and then redeem them for travel at a fraction of the usual sticker price, as you would with any other frequent flyer points.

Completely above board and a favourite trick of savvy Australian frequent flyers, the only catch you'll find is that varying government fees and taxes are payable with cash when you book your flights (such as the Australian 'passenger movement charge'), but these are usually kept to a minimum.

It's also best done when American Airlines is running a special promotion which lets you 'bulk buy' AAdvantage miles – American's equivalent to Qantas frequent flyer points – with a side serve of bonus miles, because that reduces the effective cost of buying AAdvantage miles to an exceptionally low level.

You can then use those miles to book award flights on Qantas – or any other Oneworld partner airline such as British Airways, Cathay Pacific, Malaysia Airlines or Qatar Airways – through the American Airlines website or over the phone (+1 800-882-8880).

That's good news on its own, but it gets better: American Airlines is currently selling AAdvantage miles with up to 27,500 bonus miles through to the end of July.

So if you're keen to land a killer airfare deal, here's what you need to know.

Taking AAdvantage of bonus miles

Like many US airlines, American sells miles to help frequent flyers top up their accounts.

AA sells AAdvantage miles in parcels of 1,000 miles starting from US$31.71 (plus a US$30 processing charge per purchase) – although this month's promotion doesn't kick in until you buy at least 16,000 miles, costing US$537.40 including the processing charge.

Here's how the bonus miles are allocated:

  • buying from 16,000 to 30,000 AAdvantage miles nets you a 5,000 mile bonus
  • from 31,000 to 45,000 miles adds 10,000 miles to your tally
  • 46,000 to 60,000 miles boosts your balance by 15,000 miles
  • 61,000 to 75,000 miles scores you 20,000 extra miles
  • while anywhere north of 76,000 miles (US$2,440) comes with a free serve of 27,500 more miles.

Now, time for some caveats.

First up: the purchase of AAdvantage miles is capped at 100,000 miles each calendar year, although bonus miles from deals such as this one aren't counted in that cap.

Assuming you haven't bought any AAdvantage miles this calendar year, your maximum haul under this promotion – including bonus miles – can be as high as 127,500 miles using a strategy we outline later in this article.

Secondly, the bonus miles offer ends at 11:59pm on Friday July 31, US Central Time. That's 2:59pm Sydney time on Saturday August 1, so the clock is ticking!

There's also a catch for new players: you'll need to have been a member of AAdvantage for at least 30 days to buy miles.

Sadly, this means if you're not already an AAdvantage member, you won't be eligible for this month's promotion – but it's worth signing up right now (it's free, after all) so that you're ready for the next bonus miles offer.

How the fares compare

Here's a table comparing a few Qantas routes and their ticket prices against the cost of buying AAdvantage miles under the current promotion.

We've restricted the table to routes requiring less than those maximum 127,500 AAdvantage miles which means listing only one-way trips to London and Los Angeles in first class, as a return journey would exceed what can be bought this time around.

[Click on the table above to enlarge it]

As you can see, using AAdvantage miles to book a Qantas flight makes for massive savings against Qantas' own ticket costs – although it's important to flag that Qantas' flight prices are inclusive of any taxes and fees, while the cost of buying miles is simply that.

Therefore, you'd be wise to budget a few hundred dollars extra per trip in government and airport taxes and fees (payable when you swap those miles for a seat on a flight) on top of the AA 'buying miles' cost, particularly if you're flying to the UK with its hefty Air Passenger Duty (APD) charges.

The mileage costs above are also based on buying only enough miles to cover that single one-way or return flight: buying even more miles may also lower your 'cost per mile' to boost your bargain.

Not just Qantas: BA, Cathay and others too 

The same strategy also applies to other Oneworld airlines such as British Airways, Cathay Pacific, Malaysia Airlines, Japan Airlines and Qatar Airways, whose flights can all be booked through American Airlines.

For example: for A$2,409 you can get 70,000 AAdvantage miles, which covers a return business class trip from Australia to most major Asian cities on any Oneworld airline.

That includes

  • Qantas or British Airways business class return to Singapore
  • Malaysia Airlines business class return to Kuala Lumpur
  • Qantas or Cathay Pacific business class return to Hong Kong
Cathay Pacific business class return between Australia and Hong Kong? Yours for under $2,500 when you use American Airlines' AAdvantage miles

Similarly, you could choose between Qantas, British Airways, Cathay Pacific, Japan Airlines, Malaysia Airlines and Qatar Airways for flying from Australia to London or Europe for the same outlay of points.

That includes the many European cities you can reach from Cathay Pacific's home base of Hong Kong plus the handful of MAS services from Kuala Lumpur to Amsterdam, Paris and Istanbul.

More good news: Australia (and New Zealand, for that matter) count as one zone for redeeming AAdvantage miles against flights, so there's no 'Perth surcharge' or even a 'not living in Sydney surcharge'.

The complete American Airlines AAdvantage Award Chart can be found here

Getting back home from LA, London and Europe

Under the July 2015 promotion, it's possible to buy enough miles for a return trip to any major destination above, but that's not always the case.

For example, some deals may instead offer a discount on the miles that you buy – capped at 100,000/year – rather than a bonus that gives you a boost beyond that line.

In those instances, use low-cost AAdvantage miles to cover one leg of the journey and book the other leg with your existing Qantas frequent flyer points, cash or look at buying miles in either United MileagePlus or Avianca LifeMiles if you're happy to travel with Star Alliance airlines.

A first class flight to London is just $2.770 away if you book your Qantas A380 flight with AAdvantage points

Depending on your budget, you may decide to luxe it up one way in Qantas first class using AA miles and settle for business or even premium economy on the other half of the trip, which you'll book separately.

An alternative is to bridge the gap by adding more AAdvantage miles to your account through AA's raft of partners.

Topping up your AAdvantage miles

Many hotel loyalty programs – including Starwood Preferred Guest – allow you to convert your hotel points into American Airlines AAdvantage miles.

Another option is to quote your AAdvantage frequent flyer number instead of your Qantas Frequent Flyer number on your next Qantas or Oneworld flight, especially if it's a long overseas one.

A few Qantas flights earning into your AAdvantage account might be all that's needed to set yourself up for that first class trip to London.

Three expert tips for buying AAdvantage miles

1. The 'sweet spot' in this deal is at the lower end of each tier because the bonus miles represents a higher portion of your purchased miles.

For example, buying 60,000 miles will get you the same 15,000-mile bonus as buying 46,000 miles.

On the other hand, if you're buying near the top of any mileage bracket consider shelling out a little more to nudge your purchase over the line and score more bonus miles.

2. The best points-per-dollar value isn't at the top of the scale. It actually lies smack in the middle.

Buying up to American Airlines' annual maximum limit of 100,000 miles will cost you US$3,201 and gets you 27,500 bonus miles, for a total of 127,500 miles. That's 2.51 US cents per mile.

But if you buy two packages – the first being 48,000 miles + 15,000 bonus miles and the second being 49,000 miles + another 15,000 bonus miles – you'll wind up with a similar 127,000 miles for US$3,136.

That still leaves you with a decent chunk of usable miles, but drives the overall price down to 2.46 US cents per mile.

3. Our advice is to buy miles only if you have a specific trip in mind, rather than as a hedge against some undetermined trip in the future.

Airlines can and do 'devalue' frequent flyer points or miles from time to time, often with little warning, so don't sit on your balance for too long.

More tips: Five expert strategies for buying frequent flyer miles

How to bulk-buy AAdvantage miles

Log onto the American Airlines' AAdvantage Buy & Share Miles website with your AAdvantage membership number, click the big red Buy Miles button and follow the prompts.

It's a very straightforward process with the opportunity to review your purchase before you lock it in.

Those miles will usually be added to your account within 72 hours, at which time you can jump in and book your flights with Qantas or any other Oneworld airline.

Remember: you have only until 2:59pm Sydney time on Saturday August 1 to place your order and pick up those bonus miles.

How to book your Qantas flight with AAdvantage miles

Once you've bought all of those American Airlines miles, how do you go about using them to book a Qantas flight?

Jump online to the American Airlines website at AA.com, click 'Visit aa.com U.S. Site' at the top, and search for flights on Qantas routes – remember to select the 'Redeem miles' option on the left:

If you want to trade in your miles on flights with some of the AA's other Oneworld partner airlines, such as with Cathay Pacific, you'll need to call American Airlines directly.

The number you need is +1 800-882-8880, and it's open 24 hours a day, although we suggest firing up Skype or any other Internet-based phone service to keep those international call costs under control.

Note that while American Airlines' US Call Centre accepts Australian credit cards, our four-digit postcodes compared to longer five-digit US zip codes often trip up their system. An easy workaround for this is add a zero to the beginning or end of your postcode (for example, the Aussie postcode 2608 becomes a pseudo-ZIP code of 26080 or 02608).

Additional reporting by David Flynn and Chris Chamberlin

More ways to save on business and luxury travel:

Follow Australian Business Traveller on Twitter: we're @AusBT

Tuhin Abhyankar

Tuhin Abhyankar (Tuhin)

While not juggling demands of a full-time consulting job and part-time MBA Tuhin loves to just get on a plane, get up in the air and lose himself in a good book. Oh, and he LOVES finding great deals on seats at the pointy end!
 

19 Comments

  • LR

    LR

    26 Feb, 2014 09:07 am

    WOW a really great tip, thanks for sharing

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  • smit0847

    smit0847

    26 Feb, 2014 09:09 am

    While news stories on this site are usually well researched and well informed, this one is not. You haven't mentioned anything about availabiltity for QF A380 J and F to the US being non-existent for AA members.

    Shame on you David for allowing a story like this - this is no better than a casual blogger who doesn't really know or care about the airline industry.

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  • TheRealBabushka

    TheRealBabushka

    26 Feb, 2014 09:51 am

    smit0847,

    Some very valid points but also an inaccuracy in your comments.

    American Airlines do accept Australian credit cards if you redeem your flights online (via the AA AU portal) for QF,BA, AA and other partner flights supported by the AA award booking engine. If you wish to redeem on other OW or partner airlines (e.g. CX, AY, MH), you will need to call their Fiji/Brisbane call centre (+6107 332906060) who will be able to process your AU registered credit card. There will be a fee of AUD 80 levied for such bookings if you are not an Aadvantage Executive Platinum member or if you are not an Aadvantage Platinum and Gold member redeeming 21 days prior to travel.

    The BIGGEST shortfall to this article would be the lack of candour on the availability of Business and First class redemption bookings on QF. This is not something AA has control over as redemption availability is the prerogative of QF. QF does not seem to release these in sufficient volume to make this entire enterprise worthwhile, IF your sole objective is to redeem Aadvantage mile on QF long-haul Business/First.

    If you however fancy paying 10,000 miles to fly anyway in Australia/NZ in Economy or 17,500 miles to fly anywhere in Australia/NZ in Business, then this is a fantastic programme!

    Given the glut of seats on the AU/SIN sectors (therefore QF releasing more Economy award inventory) , using Aadvantage miles for Economy seats is also a bargain (only 25,000 miles one-way and very low taxes, in comparison to QF). However given the glut, it might be worthwhile just paying for the AU/SIN sectors - a very easy way to earn 60 Status Credit for under AUD 900!

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  • MissBasset

    MissBasset

    10 May, 2015 10:36 pm

    If you need to call the AA call centre, call the US number direct. Don't bother with the Fiji office, they frequently give wrong information. Also fees to do business at the US call centre are much less, and will often waive fees altogether. I really can't see much point in having Fiji. If you are concerned about call costs sign up to Skype. Your calls to the US are not just cheap, they are free!

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  • anonymous

    anonymous

    26 Feb, 2014 09:18 am

    A good deal if you can actually find award seats available on the dates you want to fly, which for premium seats and for more than two people will not be easy.

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  • smit0847

    smit0847

    26 Feb, 2014 09:27 am

    'Not be easy' is an understatement. QF release their award seats to QFF members at 353 days out. At 330 days out they then release any remaining seats to partner airlines like AA. Trying getting 2 x F seats through QFF less than 330 days out to get an idea of whats left for AA.

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  • tt7

    tt7

    26 Feb, 2014 10:41 am

    I agree that getting QF premium seats is not easy.  However, this disparity between QF and AA availability is because QF uses Amadeus, in which inventory is loaded 355 days out, whereas AA uses Sabre, in which inventory is loaded 330 days out.  It is not, AFAIK, because QF is not releasing the seats to other airlines, rather AA can't access what its inventory system doesn't have loaded....

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  • TheRealBabushka

    TheRealBabushka

    26 Feb, 2014 11:18 am

    tt7, are you putting the issue down to timing difference only?

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  • tt7

    tt7

    26 Feb, 2014 11:41 am

    Essentially, yes.  It's possible that there may be 'point of sale' issues that come in to play but the primary issue is that AA can't see anything more than 330 days out .... and by that time, whatever premium award inventory QF has made available is often gone.

    Paid inventory can have point of sale restrictions, that is the inventory you want may be available but only if you're buying/issuing the ticket in location A and not location B. For example, I had a (paid) QF PE ticket LHR-MEL-LHR last year; having flown home to MEL, I wanted to change the date of the return leg and could see that there was 1 seat available in the class I needed.  The QF agent (in Oz) couldn't see it .... until they switched to being ex-UK, at which point the seat was available (i.e., it was available only if you were originating or ticketing ex-UK). It's possible that QF imposes similar restrictions on award seats but I'm not aware of any evidence that they do.  However, that's not to say that they don't ....

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  • TheRealBabushka

    TheRealBabushka

    26 Feb, 2014 11:49 am

    Yes I am familiar with what you're saying. QF inventory do not seem to match inventory identified by Expertflyer.

    But I find it hard to believe that a majority of Z and U inventory released by QF is snapped up in the first 25 days of release. Particularly since it cost so much more to redeem via QFF, I can't imagine the demand being so high to have a great majority of inventory disappear within 3 weeks!

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  • Al Glidden

    AlG

    26 Feb, 2014 09:26 am

    I hear what smit0847 is saying but let's be honest, this is not something for 'amateurs' but for more 'savvy' frequent flyers who are not strangers to award redemptions. I will be buying some miles but not using them for US trips or for couples, but using them to give me low-cost business trips to Singapore and Hong Kong.

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  • michael  mcbryde

    MikeM

    26 Feb, 2014 10:19 am

    Hey Ausbt... great article but you should keep hacks like this under wraps!!!!

    Last week I successfully booked my sister on a QF first flight from London to Melbourne then on to Canberra in Business for $2600 AUD using this promotion... Amazing value.

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  • Mal

    Mal

    26 Feb, 2014 10:42 am

    This is a good deal and I can see some cheap QF and CX flights to HK in my future!

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  • Chris Chamberlin

    ChrisCh

    26 Feb, 2014 11:13 am

    You'll be in a good spot if you add these to your UA miles Mal!

    (Yes, I have a good memory...)

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  • Mal

    Mal

    26 Feb, 2014 11:44 am

    Chris: yes, my travel budget is going to be amazingly low this year thanks to AusBT! And not just 'cheap' flights but doing them in business class and maybe a first class splurge too, now this is the way to travel eh? "Champagne travel on a beer budget!"

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  • skyhawk

    skyhawk

    26 Feb, 2014 11:18 am

    Even better value from New Zealand, AKL/CHC-SYD-SIN is the same 70,000 miles in J as SYD-SIN. Thanks for the heads up!

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  • nix584

    nix584

    26 Feb, 2014 11:48 am

    I did this last year, for about AUD$2000 I did BNE-SIN in QF J then SIN-SYD BA F then SYD-BNE QF J.

    When I bought the miles I got a bonus, which made it totally worthwhile. The only downside was the BA F flight, might as well have been a domestic J flight, I should have come home on QF, also BA charge exhorbitant taxes & fees for redemption bookings.

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  • Nathan Luke Jordan

    nathanjordan

    26 Feb, 2014 12:06 pm

    I purchased miles in a promo last year and again recently in the new year (when they also had a 10% reduction in the actual miles cost, as well as the current about-to-expire deal), and had no probs using my Australian black card to purchase. I will have no issues calling a call centre to then book. I have been monitoring the AA site DAILY for months for a few different flights, and can certainly confirm that U, P, J et al inventory does exist. Like any redemption with any carrier, they are not as plentiful and you may need to be a little more flexible. QF does indeed have quite enough inventory in there, including A380 flights.

    I think (at the moment at least, prior to any devals that occur post the merger with US Airways) that AA redemptions offer fantastic deals for savvy frequent flyers. My platinum status with AAdvantage is just the icing on the cake. I just cannot get over how much cheaper than QF they are for redemptions!

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  • 521303

    521303

    26 Feb, 2014 12:46 pm

    If I have AA membership, and so does my wife, is it possible to buy two "lots" of points, and then do a family swap into one account - giving over 200,000 points in one member name?

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  • Tuhin Abhyankar

    Tuhin

    26 Feb, 2014 12:53 pm

    521303

    Transferring miles between accounts has a cost attached to it(US$ 550 + fees per 50,000 miles) that increases your cost per mile further. Also you are limited to sharing 100,000 miles per year.

    There is however nothing stopping you from buying the maximum possible 104,000 points into each account and using one account for outbound and another for inbound tickets for the one traveller. 

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  • russell

    russell

    26 Feb, 2014 02:01 pm

    Not sure if mentioned but they can also be used for Etihad as they are an American Airlines partner.

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  • Frank

    Frank

    10 May, 2015 03:32 pm

    Russell - have you had experiene in doing this, a quick look at AA website mentions Etihad flights around Europe, and parts of Asia, but not Oz.  I am in Perth and with Qantas not an option, Etihad would be a good option. I believe the OW airlines servicing Perth have little availability.   Regards

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  • enneiviv

    enneiviv

    28 Feb, 2014 12:49 pm

    I have the impression from some of these comments that some people just don't like to share.

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  • osullivan

    osullivan

    9 Jul, 2014 11:55 am

    Hello Tuhin ... I notice now that the only Business Class seats to the US using AA Bonus Points seem to be on Hawaiian Airlines. You can get Economy on Qantas but it does not appear that you can get a Business Class seat - in the past you could.

    Have you noticed this?  Has something changed with the relationships?

    Comment/guidance appreciated

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  • MissBasset

    MissBasset

    18 Dec, 2014 02:28 pm

    If you don't get in first day new tickets are available you will indeed be stuck with Hawaiian! The plan is not to make it too attractive obviously! (see my comments below too!)

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  • MissBasset

    MissBasset

    18 Dec, 2014 10:36 am

    Have marked Jan 2 for buyup, as already at limit for 2014! Very unfortunately, AAdvantage awards SYD-JFK in F  330 days out have suddenly totally dried up! I wonder if this is a seasonal thing, or general tightening up; even an 'enhancement' maybe?

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  • hugowood

    hugowood

    3 Apr, 2015 10:08 am

    Great article!

    You mentioned "There's also a catch for new players: you'll need to have been a member of AAdvantage for at least 30 days to buy miles."

    I guess theres no way around this? I've just signed up but 30 days from now the promotion will be over :(

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  • MissBasset

    MissBasset

    3 Apr, 2015 10:18 am

    The 30 day rule is a new thing, apparently designed to exclude new members like yourself from participating in this offer. 60% is the best bonus I can recall, so it's pretty special! You will be eligible to participate in further offers, which occur every few months.

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  • Tuhin Abhyankar

    Tuhin

    3 Apr, 2015 08:15 pm

    Thank you, MissBasset, the 30 day rule is indeed a new thing. 

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  • jetsetter86

    jetsetter86

    3 Apr, 2015 08:10 pm

    I'm looking at a SYD-HKG trip in Dec 15. When I try the Qantas website I'm only getting availability on Cathay on ~ my selected dates (No QF J availability). I'm happy to travel on Cathay. I thought I'd try out purchasing the AA miles to get a discounted ticket instead of using my QF points. I'm keen to learn from everyone what the availability is like across the partner airlies. On the AA website I'm not getting any CX availability and surprisingly I'm getting limited QF availability but not the dates I want.

    Thoughts and guidance? 

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  • Tuhin Abhyankar

    Tuhin

    3 Apr, 2015 08:17 pm

    If Qantas is showing availability, AA should be able to see that.

    The AA website is set up to show award availability only on a limited number of partners, so I am not surprised that the CX availabilty visible on QF is not visible on AA.

    AA does let you put award bookings on a three day hold, so you could call AA, check availability, get them to put the bookings on hold and then purchase miles. 

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  • Frank

    Frank

    10 May, 2015 03:38 pm

    Good morning Tuhin - Russell above mentions that Etihad though not a OW airline, are a partner airline with AA.  In your experience, would one be able to use their miles for booking for Perth-Europe and return via Etihad?  Their web site is not conclusive about this.  Thanks for your informative article.  Regards  frank

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  • Luvdlux

    Luvdlux

    11 Apr, 2015 06:14 pm

    Hey there!
    ** Syd- LA / NY 2015 QANTAS Routes NOT AVAIL.**
    This would have been amazing however I went over to check it out, signed up for AA Miles membership and proceeded to book a FF awards flight direct from AA using their online booking system (before purchasing the points balance required which you can do after youve selected your flights) and unfortunately I discovered there are no First Class award flights avail between SYD - LA or SYD - NY ALL year 2015, and the ONLY Business class flights avail for these routes are via Honolulu on Hawaiin Airlines whose Busines Class cabin contains no flat skybeds like Qantas, just a large leather chair w minimal recline.  Definitely NO Qantas flight options were available at all.  So this is great in theory but totally fails in real life.  BE WARNED!! 

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  • MissBasset

    MissBasset

    11 Apr, 2015 07:54 pm

    Those days are pretty much gone! Hawaaian is pretty awful for sleep, and their flights leave Sydney around 'bedtime' too! That accounts for the low redemption rate. You may see the odd good Bus. flight, but they are rare and go in minutes. You need to be ultra-flexible too, which most people cant'!

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  • Sam Henry

    inSAMity

    16 Jul, 2015 06:57 pm

    Why not mention the reservation phone number for Aussies? 02 9101 1948 patches you through to the American 1800 number reservation system....or am I mistaken?

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  • MissBasset

    MissBasset

    16 Jul, 2015 10:15 pm

    You will only get put through to the US if the 'local' agent can't answer your enquiry and flicks you off to a US call centre. If this happens consider yourself lucky, the 'local' call centre people are largely incompetent and give wrong or incomplete information. Save time, bypass them, log onto Skype and ting rhe US number first up!

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  • Frank

    Frank

    17 Jul, 2015 01:09 am

    Agree, and if you can see the seats that you want are available on the AA website, go ahead and book them as I did and have just arrived in Singapore having picked up two FC seats LON-SIN only two weeks before the flights.  There must have been a cancellation as I had been looking for a while.

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  • chris stott

    chris stott

    1 Aug, 2015 10:43 am

    I have just joined AA and am already a member of QANTAS FF. I wonder if it is possible to blend points from both programs - ie combine AA purchased points with FF accumulated points when making a booking. Or transfer points from FF to AA, if that provided an advantage in terms of value on conversion to tickets.

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  • Chris Chamberlin

    ChrisCh

    1 Aug, 2015 01:39 pm

    Unfortunately this isn't possible with AA and Qantas, but if you don't have enough points in one program for a return trip, you could book a one way flight with points from one program and another one way flight (to get back home) with points from the other.

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  • Jeremy Kronk

    LivingWater

    6 Apr, 2016 03:04 pm

    Does AA ever have status earning reward flights?

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  • Chris Chamberlin

    ChrisCh

    6 Apr, 2016 03:24 pm

    No. Your best bet is something like this: Get Qantas Gold-grade frequent flyer status with just one trip

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  • Jeremy Kronk

    LivingWater

    6 Apr, 2016 03:27 pm

    Thanks Chris

    , i am already gold, just thinking how their status credit works

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  • R Kohan

    rk1

    13 Apr, 2016 05:33 pm

    Sorry Chris I just wanted to clarify this. If I were to buy AA miles and choose to spend them on codeshare Qantas flights, could I earn QFF and status points? My aim is to reach gold but also get to lifetime silver.

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  • Chris Chamberlin

    ChrisCh

    13 Apr, 2016 05:54 pm

    No - you can neither book Qantas codeshare flights using AA miles nor can you earn status when flying on tickets booked with miles at the standard reward rates.

    (You can still use AA miles to book Qantas flights with a QF flight number, but these will not earn points/status credits.)

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  • R Kohan

    rk1

    13 Apr, 2016 07:37 pm

    Thank Chris. Is a RTW fare with another oneworld carrier such as Finnair or Cathay a way of achieving both QFF and status points?

    (sorry if off-topic but I could not find this with a search)

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  • Chris Chamberlin

    ChrisCh

    13 Apr, 2016 09:27 pm

    Again, you cannot normally earn points/status on tickets booked as award flights, one-way, RTW or otherwise, and can no longer book RTW awards using AA miles.

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