Over the last month, Australia has been experiencing some devastating wildfires and it has had a serious impact on the economy, particularly the tourism industry.
Interestingly, Qantas has opened A LOT of award space on it’s nonstop flight between San Francisco (SFO) and Brisbane (BNE) over the course of 2 months – February and March.
This is particularly tempting because arriving in Australia using points and miles in business class (or first class) is tough to say the least.
WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW
I’m not going to write an extended blog because if you have miles and in interest in going to Australia, you may want to book this ASAP! So here are the main details:
- The flight only operates three days per week (Tuesday, Thursday and Sunday in both directions)
- Qantas is a member of the Oneworld alliance, so you should be able to use any frequent flyer program in the alliance to book these flights.
- 3 Best ways to book: American, Alaska, and Asia Miles. Asia miles may be the easiest to earn for many of you as it’s a partner with both Amex and Citi. Caveat: Amex and Citi transfers aren’t instant so be careful as availability could dry up
- Both American and Alaska allow you to add connecting, domestic flights at the beginning or end of your long-haul ones — without any additional miles. However, you would need to find award availability on all segments, which isn’t easy.
- One valuable (and often overlooked) perk with Alaska miles is the ability to make stopovers on international award tickets — even one-way itineraries. This could be a great way to fly to Brisbane, spend a few days, and then connect to another part of Australia for the same award rate.
THE BASICS OF BOOKING
- Alaska Mileage Plan: 55,000 miles
- American AAdvantage: 80,000 miles
- Asia Miles: 90,000 miles to MEL
Taxes/fees (per person):
- One-way: $20-30
- Round-trip: $70-80
HERE ARE THE ALASKA AIRLINES RATES:
HERE ARE THE AMERICAN AIRLINES RATES:
You may be thinking twice because of the wildfires but recognize there are other cities to visit. For example, use Alaska miles to arrive in Melbourne, stay as many days as you want and then continue on to Perth where there are no wildfires.
Regardless, if you have a stash of American, Alaska, or Asia miles, I’d jump on this award space sooner rather than later, as it likely won’t last.
Who has Australia on their bucketlist? Ok, now who is going to Australia?