Domestic Australia Award Tickets using Virgin America and British Airways Avios Points

I blogged about how I redeemed Virgin America points for an international award ticket to Australia but below are my experiences booking domestic tickets for flights within Australia using points from Virgin America and British Airways.

 

Virgin America Point Redemptions:

I knew from my last experience this wasn’t going to be easy. Multiple calls  to the “burn desk” would be involved and if the agent mentioned they had availability I’d have to make a decision very quickly. All flights below are operated on Virgin Australia’s 737-800 aircraft.

***If you are looking to redeem your Virgin America points with their partners you should do it very soon as they just cut Virgin Atlantic redemptions effective November 13th with no notice. The Alaska merger is impacting Virgin American redemptions already 🙁 ***

OOL (Gold Coast) – SYD (Sydney): Coach availability was sold out for the date range I required but I was able to redeem points for a Business Class seat. It cost 6,000 points and USD $13.10 in taxes. Coach seats were going for AUD $165 (USD $126.50) giving this redemption a value of USD $0.019 per point but given I booked Business Class I received a USD $0.067 per point value. I wouldn’t typically book Business Class for a 1.5hr flight but I’ll take it given the Coach price was very close to the USD $0.022 per point value (Virgin America flight redemption value).

OOL-SYD

OOL-SYD

 

MEL (Melbourne) – HBA (Hobart, Tasmania): Availability was very easy and they offered both Coach and Business options for the date range I required. For a 1.25hr flight I went with Coach. It cost 3,500 points and USD $12.40 in taxes. Coach seats were going for AUD $159 (USD $121.87) giving this redemption a value of USD $0.031 per point.

MEL-HBA

MEL-HBA

 

HBA (Hobart) – SYD (Sydney): Availability was very limited and changed daily. Coach availability was sold out for the date range I required but I was able to redeem points for a Business Class seat. It cost 10,000 points and USD $11.90 in taxes. Coach seats were going for AUD $285 (USD $214.45) giving this redemption a value of USD $0.02 per point but given I booked Business Class I received a USD $0.052 per point value. I wouldn’t typically book Business Class for a 2hr flight but I’ll take it given the Coach price was very close to the USD $0.022 per point value (Virgin America flight redemption value).

HBA-SYD

HBA-SYD

 

SYD (Sydney) – HTI (Hamilton Island) – SYD (Sydney): Availability was very limited and changed daily. This was the hardest route to book due to the limited flights to Hamilton Island. I was able to finally secure flights after calling daily for over a week. It cost 9,000 points and USD $69.40 in taxes. Coach seats on this roundtrip were going for USD $315 giving this redemption a value of USD $0.027 per point. The only issue is on the return flight I have to stop through Melbourne but it does give me a few more hours on Hamilton Island. Note, most accommodations require a 3 night minimum so be very careful when booking just a weekend trip. Hotels with 1 night minimums are often sold out which I discovered after booking my flights 🙁

SYD-HTI

SYD-HTI

 

HTI-SYD

HTI-SYD


 

British Airways Avios Points Redemption:

I wanted to try our Qantas’s A330 Business Class and discovered they offer it on 1 flight a day from Sydney to Melbourne so I decided to book it and the best points to use on this route other than Virgin America points are BA Avios according to www.awardace.com. I transferred my Chase Ultimate Reward points to top off my British Airways Avios account to make this redemption.

SYD (Sydney) – MEL (Melbourne): Availability was very easy and they offered both Coach and Business options for the date range I required. This is a popular route just like SFO-LAX. I went with Business Class to check out the lie flat beds on the A330. It cost 9,000 points and $13.10 in taxes. Coach seats on QF433 were going for AUD $206 (USD $157.89) giving this redemption a value of USD $0.016 per point but given I booked Business Class I received a USD $0.064 per point value. I wouldn’t typically book Business Class for a 1.5hr flight but I’ll take it given I get to review Qantas’s A330 Business Class. Sometimes you just have an itch to try new products!

SYD-MEL

SYD-MEL

 

Have you redeemed points/miles for flights within Australia? Comment below.

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1 Response

  1. February 28, 2017

    […] Qantas’s A330 Business Class and found award availability using British Airways points when I booked this ticket a few months ago. It was a short 1.5hr flight from Sydney to Melbourne but it gave me enough time […]

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