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Any chance of using airmile points for a flight from USA to Australia?

Any chance of using airmile points for a flight from USA to Australia?

Old Oct 18th, 2010, 07:08 AM
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Any chance of using airmile points for a flight from USA to Australia?

I have 150,000 American Airlines Advantage points and was hoping to use them for 2 return flights from Buffalo to Australia (any airport but I tried Sydney). When I use Kayak, it can find me a route from BUF to Australia on American Airlines but when I use the AA website and check "Redeem Points" it says no flights are available.

I checked Qantas airlines and they say you can use AA points to fly Qantas but I can't figure out how many points I need.

Any idea how many points an Economy return flight would be?

Planning for a Dec 2012 trip. Have never redeemed airmile points for overseas flights so any advice is much appreciated!

Enjoy-la!
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Old Oct 18th, 2010, 07:53 AM
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Go to http://www.aa.com/i18n/disclaimers/a...rtnerChart.jsp for a chart of the miles you'd need. It will tell you that you need 37,500 miles for a one-way ticket in economy, so 4 x 37,500 = 150,000 miles for two round-trip tickets in economy.
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Old Oct 18th, 2010, 08:28 AM
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if you are traveling in Dec 2012 it's way too soon to book award tickets - they usually open 330 days out.
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Old Oct 18th, 2010, 08:58 AM
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rizzuto, thx a mint for that...exactly what I was looking for but for some reason could not find.

mztery, you're a mindreader! I was also wondering about that but didn't want to make the post too long...thx!

Fodorites are so kind - much appreciated!

Enjoy-la!
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Old Oct 18th, 2010, 09:41 AM
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I have to warn you that it is very hard to find a flight to Australia where frequent flyer miles cal be used, especially in their summer months. I tried on the first day flights were available (330 days out) and could only find one flight in a five day window. Qantas was impossible, but the one I finally got was a Delta flight. You will need to be somewhat flexible on dates and search as soon as the time period you are interested in can be booked.
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Old Oct 18th, 2010, 10:39 AM
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"but when I use the AA website and check "Redeem Points" it says no flights are available"

When the time comes that you do try to book your flights, you won't be able to do it on AA's website. You'll have to call AA, since you'll be using another airline to get to Australia.
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Old Oct 19th, 2010, 03:46 AM
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You can earn AA miles if you fly Air Pacific from LAX to Fiji and on to Australia (or New Zealand). As mentioned, flights get very expensive during Australia's summer months and using FF miles can be almost impossible. But it is a long flight so you may want to just purchase a ticket and earn more miles. Air Pacific was about half the price of Qantas during the Christmas/New Year break. You will need to mail your boarding passes to AA.
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Old Oct 19th, 2010, 05:33 AM
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Thx a mint for these great tips - much appreciated! I've already pasted them into my booking notes

Enjoy-la!
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Old Oct 19th, 2010, 07:34 AM
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Actually getting redemption seats on Qantas has gotten a bit easier of late. For example, I can see economy seats in both directions in February and March of 2011; in the past these would have been harder to find. I suspect Qantas' use of A380s on some US routes has added a lot of seats.

One can see availability using Qantas' own frequent flyer program's website. You can join for free and see their award calendars (which also include partner flights on Air Pacific or Air Tahiti - both of which are also eligible for AA mileage redemption.) I haven't encountered a case where a flight shown as available on the Qantas website wasn't available for bookings using AA miles. However, one does have to phone AA to use AA miles - it can't be done online (at least as of now.) http://www.qantas.com.au/fflyer/dyn/program/welcome

One complicating factor is that Qantas allows its own FF members to book 360 days out, not 330, while AA can only go 330. That means Qantas members "get the jump" on advance bookings. However, it's important to note that Qantas, like all airlines, does not release its total award inventory on the first date possible (i.e. D-330/360.) Instead, seats are released into redemption inventory when and only when the airlines' computer models suggest that the sales patterns for seats on given flights on given days are such that the airline can "afford" to put them into that inventory. That's why it's essential to check back every so often - things can and do open up.
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Old Oct 20th, 2010, 12:35 PM
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Gardyloo - thx a mint for the extra tips and explanation; all new to me. I'll sign up for Qantas' miles program and in Jan check out what's available in Dec 2011 as a 'test run'. I know things can change year to year, but it'll be good to have see it in action since I'm new to this

Enjoy-la!
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