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Frequent Flyer Miles US-Australia

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Frequent Flyer Miles US-Australia

I have miles with Amex which can be used with B.A., Jet Blue, Virgin Atlantic, Virgin America, Delta and ANA. Which charges fewest miles from LAX of SF to Australia for business class?

UK
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1. Re: Frequent Flyer Miles US-Australia

I appreciate why you are asking but there isn't a simple answer to your question.

Factors that complicate it will be;

Conversion rate of your Amex points into an airmiles scheme - it might not be 1:1 in all cases, and even if it is, sometimes there are times when its a much better rate, from double even to triple that. So you need to convert at the right time.

Time of year, blackout dates, type of award, difference between first and business. For example, with American, it might be its 50k miles each way but limited availability, 62.5k miles in first (limited), but double those rates for unlimited availability.

Actual availability. Lets say that Delta miles needed are 50k but American are 60k (limited), however you may look on the Delta website and see no availability at all for the next year, whereas on the American website there is lots of availability.

Bottom line, you have a lot of homework to do ! I'd start by looking on the respective websites for flight availability, see what it looks like over the period you are looking, no point picking Acme airlines because their rates are so low, and then finding out that there is never any availability.

One last thing, for non US carriers, in particular BA,Virgin and ANA I'd have thought that it would be difficult or impossible to find flights between USA to Oz, you'd have to do it on partner airlines so might as well be using the partners direct. I'd have thought that American and Delta were your best bet, maybe Sky Blue, dont know them.

UK
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2. Re: Frequent Flyer Miles US-Australia

ps monitor the Flyertak forums for info on when the Amex conversion rate bonuses are going on, if at all. I suggest the Delta and American Airlines ones would be of most use to you. Possibly Jet Blue also.

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3. Re: Frequent Flyer Miles US-Australia

Thanks so much. Delta has availability but when I tried a test run at a reservation, they wanted 370K miles per ticket or about the usual 3.5 cents/mile. I'll keep trying.

UK
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4. Re: Frequent Flyer Miles US-Australia

I have never had any interaction with Delta, but I do know that a lot of people on Flyertalk call Delta airmiles "Sky Pesos" presumably because of those large numbers :-)

Houston, Texas
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for Air Travel, Business Travel
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9,225 posts
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5. Re: Frequent Flyer Miles US-Australia

"Thanks so much. Delta has availability but when I tried a test run at a reservation, they wanted 370K miles per ticket"

That's why they call them "SkyPesos", and also why there is availability.

Edited: 12 January 2013, 22:13
Toronto, Canada
6 posts
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6. Re: Frequent Flyer Miles US-Australia

Hi roberttuchmann,

I am not sure that all the airlines you mention have flights b/w California and Australia. What's more the different frequent flyer programs calculate the rates differently. For example, with ANA you would have to fly on the Star Alliance partners to get from California to Australia; ANA's Star Alliance rates are based on distance flown, i.e. they could vary depending on how you are routed. And Virgin America e.g. has a calculation scheme based on converting points to dollars so that essentially all seats become available for frequent flyers, as long as they have enough points.

Also, AmEx cards have different conversion rates and conversion partners depending on the country the card was issued. An AmEx card from the USA may convert differently than an AmEx card from Australia.

There is a website exactly for this kind of question: milez.biz

All you have to do is punch in your departure and your arrival destination and the tool will calculate the rates between the two cities across the multiple frequent flyer programs. It will also allow you to call up the transfer rates needed to convert from your amex card.

Cheers

ph

7. Re: Frequent Flyer Miles US-Australia

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