Trip Introduction: Melbourne, The Gold Coast & Whitsunday Islands, Australia, via Qantas First Class
This post is one chapter on our trip to Australia’s Great Barrier Reef, Melbourne with The Great Ocean Road, exploring The Yarra Valley and the beaches of The Gold Coast via Qantas First Class. This trip was booked using Alaska Airlines Mileage Plan. For more information on how this trip was booked, please see our trip introduction here. For other parts of the trip, please see this index.
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Trip Introduction: Melbourne, The Gold Coast and The Whitsunday Islands – Great Barrier Reef via Qantas First Class
Alaska Mileage Plan continues to impress me as one of the most valuable frequent flier point currencies. The tricky part is being able to use them. Over the recent years, MrsWT73 has been on the circuit from Vancouver to Germany. Since she’s been travelling in paid business class, and since most of our personal travel is using points, getting access to an alliance of lounges in One World or Star Alliance hasn’t been front of mind since reward tickets in business already have lounge access. Under these circumstances, we’ve been crediting to the alliance free Alaska Mileage Plan that offers a generous 250% for British Airways fares, in addition to a 100% MVP Gold status bonus. As a result, the trips to and from Europe from our home of Vancouver have added up quite quickly.
I had been wanting to take advantage of the excellent 70K Qantas First Class award for quite some time with the added bonus of being able to depart Australia through the Qantas First Class lounge in Sydney Australia. I had a difficult time finding availability, but eventually found seats for 2 coming back on the Qantas Sydney to Dallas flight in First Class. We didn’t have a way to get to Australia so we locked in an Air Canada Aeroplan Business award for 80,000 Aeroplans’ and $533 CAD in surcharges on the Air Canada Vancouver Brisbane B787 non stop in business class. About 3 weeks later, the award availability gods were smiling down on us and availability surfaced on the usual Los Angeles – Melbourne flight in First Class. We cancelled our Aeroplan award for $150 and rebooked into Qantas First Class via Alaska Mileage Plan with a tag on flight to Hamilton Island in Business Class using the Alaska stop over. Unfortunately, Alaska never opened up reward space between Vancouver and Los Angeles (or it was already spoken for) so we had to position to Los Angeles on a paid Alaska ticket.
The routing ended up looking like this:
LAX – MEL – HTI (Alaska Mileage Plan Award)
PPP – BNE (paid)
BNE – SYD – DFW – SEA – YVR (Alaska Mileage Plan Award)
I hope you’ll follow along on another great trip…
Read More From This Trip
- Introduction: Melbourne & Whitsunday Islands, Australia via Qantas First Class
- Alaska Airlines First Class: Vancouver – Seattle
- Alaska Airlines Premium Class: Seattle – Los Angeles
- Marriott LAX, Los Angeles, USA
- To Malibu for Lunch, California, USA
- Qantas First Class Lounge: Tom Bradley International Terminal Los Angeles, USA
- Qantas First Class: Los Angeles – Melbourne
- Westin Melbourne, Australia
- City Visit: Melbourne, Australia – Part I
- City Visit: Melbourne, Australia – Part II
- The Yarra Valley, Victoria, Australia
- The Great Ocean Road and the 12 Apostles, Victoria, Australia
- Qantas Business Lounge: Melbourne
- Qantas Business: Melbourne – Hamilton Island
- Qualia Luxury Resort, Hamilton Island, Australia
- Pebble Beach at Qualia Luxury Resort, Hamilton Island, Australia
- Cruise to The Great Barrier Reef, Hardy’s Reef, Australia
- The Great Barrier Reef via Hamilton Island Air Helicopter
- Whitehaven Beach and Hill Inlet, Australia
- Virgin Australia: Prosperine – Brisbane
- Surfers Paradise Marriott Resort and Spa (Gold Coast), Australia
- Surfers Paradise, Gold Coast, Australia – Part I
- Surfers Paradise, Gold Coast, Australia – Part II
- Qantas Business Lounge: Brisbane
- Qantas Business Class: Brisbane – Sydney
- Pier One Sydney by Autograph Collection, Sydney, Australia
- Qantas First Class Lounge: Sydney Kingford Smith, Sydney, Australia
- Qantas First Class: Sydney – Dallas
- American Express Centurion Lounge: Dallas Fort Worth, Texas, USA
- Alaska Airlines First Class: Dallas – Seattle
- Alaska Airlines Flagship Lounge: North Satellite – Sea Tac, Seattle, USA
- Alaska Airlines: Seattle – Vancouver
I can see I just travel too little on somebody elses dime – so I never will have the points to go first class down under.
Congratulations and thanks for being the first comment on the blog! It seems you’ve traveled a few miles yourself. As they say, every mile counts so it’s never too late to start collecting.
I have traveled a bit but had to pay for my own planetickets ☺