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.

If you enjoyed this post, please follow us here or on social media through Facebook, Twitter or Instagram for more travel tips and hacks on how to “Upgrade Your Travels”.

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:

YVR-SEA-LAX (paid)
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

3 Comments on “Trip Introduction: Melbourne, The Gold Coast & Whitsunday Islands, Australia, via Qantas First Class

    • 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.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: