We don’t know exactly when international borders will re-open, or when it’ll make sense to travel to any given spot. But booking award travel now for 2021 makes all the sense in the world, since mileage tickets are flexible and it’s possible to cancel and get your miles back if you need to.
Right now there are some great opportunities to use your miles for the whole family on Qatar Airways QSuites from San Francisco to travel to the Mideast, Africa, or region around India as well as to travel on the new Qantas Chicago – Brisbane flight. Space is generally available throughout 2021, and by the second half of the year we could be past the current unpleasantness. (HT: Robb)
West Coast QSuites For The Whole Family
Throughout 2021 there’s great business class award availability from San Francisco to Doha for four passengers flying Qatar Airways QSuites, one of the two best business class products in the world. Doha is a useful connecting point to parts of Africa as well as India and the Maldives.
You can book non-stops to Doha, India or the Maldives for 70,000 AAdvantage miles each way. What’s fantastic here is to find the West Coast award space and when you travel with four people, dividers between four seats come down and you all share an enclosed space together.
Doha is currently closed to most travelers. Their guest worker communities may have hit herd immunity with two-thirds of those populations having had the virus. Qatar has the highest per capita confirmed cases in the world, but relatively few deaths as the virus ran through a younger population. The airport, though, remains open to international transit.
Availability runs throughout 2021 until end of schedule. So you can book out as far as September. The world is likely to look very different, and much closer to normal I think, by then. It could be a great time to book a post-Covid celebratory holiday. And of course using miles, and redemption fee waivers, you can cancel with little penalty.
Non-Stop Qantas Business Class Award Space
Also throughout 2021 there’s great Qantas business class award space on the new Chicago – Brisbane non-stop flight for four passengers. First, here’s availability on the route for two:
Four doesn’t offer as much space but availability is consistently there each month.
Historically U.S. – Australia non-stop is one of the toughest awards, although space into Brisbane is a bit easier to come by. Flying non-stop from Chicago makes the East Coast an easy connection.
Alaska Airlines charges just 55,000 miles each way between the U.S. and Australia. American AAdvantage charges 80,000 miles.
Brisbane Skyline, Credit: Kgbo via Wikimedia Commons
I happen to keep my eye on Brisbane flights because while I have family in Sydney I’ve also got family living in a beach town where Brisbane is the closest international airport. It’s not clear at what point in 2021 Australia’s international borders may widely re-open. It seems likely to be the second half of the year but could be later in the second half. I may book a couple of these for fall, because it’ll give me a family visit to look forward to.