Just wondering if those more experienced can offer some advice, I would like to know how to take advantage of getting an award flight where the return flight is greater than 353 days out.
Specifically, I’m hoping to get 2 business class reward flights flying Qantas from Sydney to Vancouver mid December returning late January. Given that this is a popular period I’m expecting that the only chance of getting a reward business flight (ideally flying direct) would be to snap up the seats once Qantas makes them available (being 353 days in advance). Although I can potentially jump on to purchase the December Syd to Van leg I don’t think the return Van to Syd will be available given that I want to return in Jan (as it is a period that is more than 353 days in advance).
Is my only option to get a one way award flight then update the flight once the return becomes available (should there be another award flight)? Is there any other way of doing this? The goal is to get an award return flight. I suspect the other option is to get an award one way flight and pay for a return but I also assume to price would be hefty given that one leg is a return.
I could be wrong with all my statements so any advice is much appreciated.
I agree that you book your outbound flight as soon as it’s available & then book a separate return flight with points when that sector becomes available, if you were to later add in the return flight (when available) you would end up paying a fee for the change to your original booking
One other option worth considering if either sector isn’t solely available with QF is to turn it into a Oneworld booking. For 280k pts each you get business class on any Oneworld carrier, upto 5 stopovers & unlimited transfers. You need to go to at least 3 continents & use 3 Oneworld carriers. I’m only mentioning this as I usuall find good availability with Cathay via HK when travelling to the US – and I actually prefer their product to QF. So if you can get your preferred QF flight in only one direction, you could consider going via HK for the other. You could also use AA for any internal flights in the USA depending on your exact travel plans.
Emjoy your trip
I’m assuming you’re booking with Qantas points?
You do not need to book a return ticket when using Qantas points. A flight with Qantas points costs the same whether it is one way or return. As such, there is no difference in points whether you book it together or separately (unlike programs such as Asia Miles which is less points to book return).
You don’t need to ‘update’ your flight. You will just be booking two one-way tickets on separate bookings: SYD>VAN and VAN>SYD.
So basically, go ahead and book the flight to Vancouver if it becomes bookable and then hope you can be one back to Sydney when those flights become bookable.
I did a bit of investigation because I’m in the exact same boat when it comes to flying SYD-YVR Return. Happy to be corrected, but this is what I’ve found.
By US/Canadian law (or possibly the generally accepted practice it’s not quite clear) international flights with domestic North American legs are supposed to offer the same baggage allowance as the first flight that appears on the ticket.
If flying SYD-YVR the flight from LAX-YVR should give you the same 2 x 23kg allowance as SYD-LAX. However an important point, your additional allowance as a FF or Club Member DOES NOT get transferred to any non Qantas Flight .. not QF but actual Qantas/Qantas Link flights. Therefore you wont get your additional allowance LAX-YVR (or return) and if you choose to fly SYD-LAX (or return) on AA you wont get your additional allowance there either, however Emirates is the exception.
So based on “first flight on the ticket” if you buy SYD-LAX-YVR in one transaction and then later buy YVR-LAX-SYD on another your return flight will have a baggage limit based on the YVR-LAX flight? Depending on your ticket this could be significantly less?
The final piece. When it comes to flying Qantas SYD-LAX a bike is simply a piece of luggage, so if you stay under weight you can take 2 bikes! Therefore the rest of the flights should also allow 2 bikes. However if you fly AA from SYD-LAX there is a limit of 1 bike pp and it counts as a piece of luggage.
If I’ve misinterpreted anything I would love to know.
I’m waiting on some FFpoints to clear so I can press the button. 🙂
Thanksfor the prompt response. Much appreciated!
Is there any advantage to booking a reward flight as a return trip rather than 2 single journeys? eg fees, club member benefits such as luggage limits etc.
For example heading out it would be QF followed by AA but on return it would be AA AA, I was concerned that I might lose benefits on the return leg if it was booked separately?
For QF (at least), there are no benefits AFAIK.
FF programs such as Asia Miles have lower than 2 x one way for redemptions. QF return = 2 x oneway.
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