What points / frequent flyer programs to use for Darwin - Shanghai return?

Answered Closed

Hi all

Just wondering if anyone has any preferred or creative ideas for DRW-PVG-DRW? Thanks to your advice I am a member of the AA, USDM, Lifemiles, Alaska and MH FFPs in addition to the usual – QF and VA. Oh, and also Starwood if that helps. Points balances are low so will need to buy points.

Only MH and MI (Silk Air code share with SQ) have J out of DRW. Otherwise it’s QF/VA to SYD/MEL/BNE/PER and then out from there.

Really impressed with the advice/comments I’ve seen on this site.


  • You must to post comments
Great Response

Given you are buying points, you are in practice limited to the two programmes which sell cheaply; Lifemiles and USDM.  I cannot get lifemiles to recognise DRW as a departure city (presumably as MI is not a star alliance member) and the extra comfort of J would be cancelled out by backtracking to the east coast, so it leaves you with MH DRW-KUL, then MH KUL-PVG or CX KUL-HKG-PVG. US should charge 90k return: http://www.usairways.com/en-US/Resources/_downloads/dividendmiles/oneworldawardtravel.pdf

  • Hey Brendan, thanks for that. Very well considered and yes, MI, though SQ in all other respects, is not recognised by Lifemiles.

    I'm not averse to backtracking through the east coast and I have some QF points but finding a QF classic award on SYD direct flight to PVG in October is impossible.

    A few questions:

    1. Is buying USDM better than AA in terms of cost of points, fees, taxes and phone booking?
    2. Does the redemption have to done over the phone? I note the USDM redemption webpage is a lot less user friendly than AA.
    3. If I'm doing a phone redemption through USDM, do I need to check availability on MH and CX websites before booking?
    4. I should have mentioned that I have a few thousand Enrich points, is the points plus pay option worth looking at? I recently used it for a DRW-CAN-DRW trip in J for 1,000 (free signup) points and $2,300. The price on the MH website without points was $3,700. Go figure...

    Thanks again.

  • Jumping in to answer these questions...

    1. Not better or worse, just different. Main difference is USDM requires return redemptions, AA allows one way.
    2. USDM yes, over the phone is usually necessary
    3. I prefer using the British Airways website or AwardNexus
    4. Maybe, you'll have to do the maths on that one!
  • You must to post comments

I would try USDM via Oneworld airlines for 90k points + taxes and fees. Perhaps MH out to KL, then PVG. Or QF to Syd, then QF to PVG. Or CX to PVG via HKG.
Can also use your MH.
depends on how many points you have in your FFPs.

  • Thanks, Jamie.

  • You must to post comments
Showing 2 results