Hi K – love the site.
A couple weeks ago (4 Nov), Qantas had a 5-day sale with 50% off Classic seats to US. Seemed like a great deal (although I happened to be in the US on hols at the time – bad timing:-()….but anyway, was wondering if they (or even Velocity) have done something similar for Europe in the past?
Thanks Michael. Appreciate the comments. I did forget the 10% code – thanks for reminding me!
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TBH, I looked into that offer and it wasn’t as sweet as it seemed. Yes, the point needed at 48000 return to LAX was very good, but they charge $680 in taxes and surcharges. That promo was for economy class only.
I just looked at VA’s ticket BNE to LAX, 1 adult and 2 children for next April school holiday was $2695.08 for direct flight, and $2609.01 via Sydney on the return leg. That works out to be ~$870-895 pp! (Of course, I applied the promo code GPR23 and got 10% discount.) So that 48000 points only saves you just over $200 which I didn’t think was a good deal.
Ok, to answer your question. VA don’t really put fuel surcharges on their redemptions and the tax to LA is probably just over $100. There isn’t that much profit margin, so VA has never done a discount that big (and probably will never), they usually just do 15% discount.
Also note that VA doesn’t fly to Europe themselves, but codeshared with Etihad and Singapore airlines. VA has to “buy” tickets from them for award seats (even though at a huge discount that’s not accessible to the public), so they almost never offer discounts on partner awards. (I said almost, because you never know what will happen).
But don’t feel bad that you missed out the Qantas offer. As I analyzed above, it’s really a false advertisement and the devil is in the details. They charge more on surcharges. (It’s like some ebayers, sell iPhone for $200, but shipping is $800). It’s better value to buy revenue tickets.
Only thing I’d also add is that Velocity are unlikely to offer a redemption discount to Europe as they do not fly there directly. This means they would be discounting partner awards, which I have never seen – this would cost them real money if they did so, as they have to pay their partners for partner redemptions.
Qantas might do it, but given their frequency of flights is once daily to London only, I think it’s unlikely – there’s no need to discount as supply and demand are probably fairly well matched.
Oh, didn’t realize you were enquiring for QF to Europe as well. Same, QF only flies to London and all others are codeshared with Emirates. So unlikely to have such discount (not saying they won’t, but I’ve never seen it before). But even if they do, watch out for surcharges, it may not be as lucrative as it seems.