Honeymoon Trip 2017 - Is it better value to redeem business class seats directly or use points to upgrade from premium economy?

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Hi Everyone,

I’m seeking some advice from those more experienced than me on the best way to use my reward points in the hope of upgrading to a business class ticket to Europe for my honeymoon in July 2017.

My current points status is:

Qantas Frequent Flyer = 228,000 points (Bronze Status)

Velocity Frequent Flyer = 70,000 points (Red Status)

American Express Membership Rewards = 59,000 points

At this stage I’m yet to book my flights with any Airline for our trip to Europe. My ambition is to try and use the points I have to either pay in full or subside upgrades to business class seats on the flight to Europe (I’m not too worried about taking economy on the return flight home).

A couple questions I have that I’m hoping the forum can answer:

• Based on the points I currently have which airline is likely to give me the best value for my points for business class (or premium economy as a minimum) seats?

• Is it better value to purchase a premium economy seats first and then use the points to upgrade to business class or does it make no difference in terms of value for points?

Thanks in advance for your help!

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Great Response

I’d say an outright award redemption (compared to an upgrade) is the best option. What is your departure city, what city(s) are you happy to fly into and what specific dates do you want to depart? I can then help recommend some options.

  • Hi there,

    Departure City is Melbourne and we are looking to fly in to London. As for departure date we are looking somewhere between 17-21 July 2017. Thanks in advance for your assistance ?

  • There are a couple of options.

    1. Sydney to Dubai to London for 256,000 QFF for both on Emirates on 17 July.
    2. Cathay Pacific Melbourne to Hong Kong for 304,000 QFF and then to London on 17 July 2017.

    You don’t have enough points for either flight unless you have an Amex Platinum Charge and can transfer them to Qantas. You’d also then to purchase some more points from Qantas or Amex. If your Amex points aren’t able to be transferred with Charge, then there aren’t too many options available unless you can somehow get access to the points from somewhere else, like a family transfer?

    Another option is to fly from Melbourne to Sydney to Dubai in business on Qantas for 96,000 QFF each. There are two seats available on 20 July 2017. You could then either:
    – pay for economy to London; or
    – transfer your Amex points to Singapore and redeem a Star Alliance flight to London in business for 50,000 KF points for you both (e.g. Swiss Air Dubai-Zurich-London). You can search for Star Alliance flights on united.com before calling Singapore Air to book.

    I’d move very quickly if you want any of these seats as they’ll be taken very soon.

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Regarding your last point, I speak from the Qantas experience. Upgrades are only confirmed 24 hours before departure so it’s a risk. They’re also allocated in order of flyer status. Being bronze your chances are slim. Secondly you intend to fly during peak.  Unfortunately I’d say almost all rewards seats are now gone in business.

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