One of the toughest award redemptions for US-based frequent flyers is Australia. It’s a long flight. It’s a premium route. Airlines are loathe to make saver award space available up front. So when it opens up I try to alert you.
Right now United’s non-stop flight from Los Angeles is available once we enter the slower season. While Sydney will likely have highs around the 60s, it’s actually an amazing time to visit the Great Barrier Reef and Daintree Rainforest outside of Cairns, North Queensland.
Here’s an availability calendar for United’s Los Angeles – Sydney non-stop for two passengers. Solid lines show coach saver award space and dotted lines show business class.
Dates with dotted lines bring up the United flight at 80,000 miles each way per person in business class.
Availability for the return flight, Sydney – Los Angeles, is actually even a little bit better.
You’ll pay 80,000 miles per person one way for the return as well, and as usual taxes returning to the US are higher than for US departures.
Chase points transfer to United, or you can book these awards with points in any other partner program like Aeroplan or ANA (American Express transfer partners), Singapore Airlines (Chase, American Express, and Citi transfer partners), or Avianca LifeMiles (which frequently sells miles cheap and indeed has a sale on now).