How to Use Miles to Get to  Australia from the U.S.

How to Use Miles to Get to Australia from the U.S.

When you earn miles you should always try to maximize them by flying the farthest you can using the awards available by your airline. One country that provides great value since its is about 14 hours away flying time from the U.S. west coast is Australia.

When thinking about traveling to Australia from the U.S., consider landing in the cities with nonstop service:

  • Brisbane
  • Melbourne
  • Sydney

Then you think about the airlines serving the routes with nonstop service and then connecting service. After that you look at the airlines that are members of your airline’s frequent flyer program as you can redeem miles either directly from your own airline or on the partner airlines.

Airlines serving Australia from the U.S. with nonstop service

  • American Airlines (oneworld)
    • Los Angeles, CA (LAX) to Sydney (SYD)
  • Delta Air Lines (SkyTeam)
    • Los Angeles, CA (LAX) to Sydney (SYD)
  • Qantas (oneworld)
    • Brisbane (BNE) to Los Angeles, CA (LAX)
    • Dallas/Ft. Worth, TX (DFW) to Sydney (SYD)
    • Los Angeles, CA (LAX) to Melbourne (MEL) and Sydney (SYD)
    • San Francisco, CA (SFO) to Sydney (SYD)
  • United Airlines (Star Alliance)
    • Los Angeles, CA (LAX) to Melbourne (MEL) and Sydney (SYD)
    • San Francisco, CA (SFO) to Sydney (SYD)
  • virgin australia
    • Brisbane (BNE) to Los Angeles, CA (LAX)
    • Los Angeles, CA (LAX) to Sydney (SYD)

Non_Stop_Service_From_Brisbane_To_USA
Brisbane offers nonstop service to the U.S.

Airlines serving Australia from the U.S. with connecting service

  • Air Canada (Star Alliance)
    • Los Angeles, CA (LAX) to Vancouver, BC Canada (YVR) to Brisbane (BNE)
    • Los Angeles, CA (LAX) to Vancouver, BC Canada (YVR) to Sydney (SYD)
    • San Diego, CA (SAN) to Vancouver, BC Canada (YVR) to Brisbane (BNE)
    • San Francisco, CA (SFO) to Vancouver, BC Canada (YVR) to Sydney (SYD)
    • Seattle, WA (SEA) to Vancouver, BC Canada (YVR) to Sydney (SYD)
  • Air New Zealand (Star Alliance)
    • Houston, TX (IAH) to Auckland, New Zealand (AKL) to Brisbane (BNE)
    • Houston, TX (IAH) to Auckland, New Zealand (AKL) to Melbourne (MEL)
    • Houston, TX (IAH) to Auckland, New Zealand (AKL) to Sydney (SYD)
    • Los Angeles, CA (LAX) to Auckland, New Zealand (AKL) to Brisbane (BNE)
    • Los Angeles, CA (SFO) Auckland, New Zealand (AKL) to Melbourne (MEL)
    • Los Angeles, CA (LAX) to Auckland, New Zealand (AKL) to Sydney (SYD)
    • San Francisco, CA (SFO) to Auckland, New Zealand (AKL) to Brisbane (BNE)
    • San Francisco, CA (SFO) to Auckland, New Zealand (AKL) to Melbourne (MEL)
    • San Francisco, CA (SFO) to Auckland, New Zealand (AKL) to Sydney (SYD)
  • Asiana (Star Alliance)
    • San Francisco, CA (SFO) to Seoul, South Korea (ICN)
  • Fiji Airways
    • San Francisco, CA (SFO) to Nandi, Fiji (NAN) to Sydney (SYD)
  • Hawaiian Airlines
    • San Francisco, CA (SFO) to Honolulu, HI (HNL) to Sydney (SYD)
    • Los Angeles, CA (LAX) to Honolulu, HI (HNL) to Brisbane (BNE)
  • Korean Air (SkyTeam)
    • Los Angeles, CA (LAX) to Seoul-Incheon, South Korean (ICN)

You can even get more adventurous and take any of the following carriers, connect in their hubs and head to Australia. You can typically connect in any of the large Asian hubs. The award cost may be a little different though since you may be traversing two separate regions.

Redeem miles for ticket to Australia with airlines of your airline’s frequent flyer program
Redeem miles for ticket to Australia with airlines of your airline’s frequent flyer program

  • ANA (Star Alliance)
    • San Francisco, CA (SFO) to Tokyo-Haneda (HND) to Sydney (SYD)
  • Cathay Pacific (oneworld)
    • Los Angeles, CA (LAX) to Hong Kong (HKG) to Brisbane (BNE)
    • Los Angeles, CA (LAX) to Hong Kong (HKG) to Melbourne (MEL)
    • Los Angeles, CA (LAX) to Hong Kong (HKG) to Sydney (SYD)
  • China Airlines (SkyTeam)
    • Los Angeles, CA (LAX) to Shanghai-Pudong, People’s Republic of China (PVG) to Melbourne (MEL)
  • China Eastern Airlines (SkyTeam)
    • Los Angeles, CA (LAX) to Taipei, Taiwan (TPE) to Melbourne (MEL)
  • China Southern Airlines (SkyTeam)
    • Los Angeles, CA (LAX) to Guangzhou, People’s Republic of China (CAN) to Melbourne (MEL)
  • Japan Airlines (oneworld)
    • Los Angeles, CA (LAX) to Tokyo-Narita (NRT) to Sydney (SYD) [an overnight may be required]
  • Singapore Airlines (Star Alliance)
    • San Francisco, CA (SFO) to Singapore (SIN) to Brisbane (BNE)
    • San Francisco, CA (SFO) to Singapore (SIN) to Sydney (SYD)
    • San Francisco, CA (SFO) to Singapore (SIN) to Melbourne (MEL)

Plus you can mix airlines that are in the same alliance. As an example, you can take American Airlines to Honolulu and then take Qantas from Honolulu to Sydney.

So you have a lot of options if you remember that you can earn the miles on say United in the Mileage Plus program and redeem them on a carrier that connects to Australia from the U.S. As an example, you can take Air New Zealand from San Francisco to Auckland and then to Sydney or take their flight that stops in Fiji then to Australia. The possibilities are endless really.

Although Alaska Airlines does not serve Australia, they have partnerships with airlines that do, which is fantastic as you can earn the miles in their Mileage Plan program and redeem them on these partners. Its a great list of partners and you have several cabins and redemption levels. Let’s take a look:

Cathay Pacific
One-wayRound-trip
Economy40 000
80 000
Premium Economy47 500
95 000
Business60 000
120 000
First Class
80 000
160 000

Delta
One-wayRound-trip
Economy
100 000100 000
Business Elite
160 000
160 000


Fiji AirwaysOne-way
Round-trip
Coach
40 000
80 000
Business
55 000
110 000

Korean Air
One-way
Round-trip
Coach
85 000
85 000
Business
125 000
125 000

QantasOne-wayRound-trip
Coach42 50085 000
Premium Coach47 500
95 000
Business55 000
110 000
First Class
70 000140 000

^ add 10,000 additional miles if aircraft has both First and Business class and First Class Award is chosen. Note: This route only has two-cabin aircraft
* add 20,000 additional miles if aircraft has both First and Business class and First Class Award is chosen. Note: This route only has two-cabin aircraft
~ add 50,000 additional miles if aircraft has both First and Business class and First Class Award is chosen. Note: This route only has two-cabin aircraft

In comparison, here is what it will cost you in mileage redemption on the airlines with service from the U.S. to Australia if redeemed directly.

American AirlinesOne-way
Round-trip
Economy Class
40 000
80 000
Business Class
80 000
160 000
First Class
110 000
220 000

Delta Air Lines
One-way
Round-trip
Economy Class
60 000
120 000
Economy Class (Delta Comfort)
57 500
115 000
Partner Economy Class
45 000
90 000
Business Class (Delta One)100,000/110,000
200,000/220,000


Hawaiian AirlinesOne-way
Round-trip
Economy Class
60,000-100,000120,000-200,000
First Class105,000-210,000210,000-420,000

QantasOne-wayRound-trip
Economy45 000
90 000
Premium Economy72 000
144 000
Business96 000
192 000
First144 000
288 000

UnitedOne-way
Round-trip
Economy Class
40,000/85,000
80,000/170,000
Business/First Class70,000^/175,000*
140,000"/350,000`
Star Alliance Partners First Class80,000~
160,000'

Virgin AustraliaOne-wayRound-trip
Economy
44 800
89 600
Premium Economy71 700
143 400
Business Class95 500
191 000

^ add 20,000 additional miles if aircraft has both First and Business class and First Class Award is chosen. Note: This route only has two-cabin aircraft
* add 40,000 additional miles if aircraft has both First and Business class and First Class Award is chosen. Note: This route only has two-cabin aircraft
~ add 100,000 additional miles if aircraft has both First and Business class and First Class Award is chosen. Note: This route only has two-cabin aircraft

You can book these awards on the airline’s website or contact them via phone. Note that for Fiji Airways, Hawaiian Airlines and Qantas, you can book those via American Airlines’ website since they are partners. Similarly you can book Virgin Australia on Delta’s website using your Delta miles. You have to go to Virgin Australia’s site to book their award seats.

Some things to remember

A visa is required. You can get one online for select citizenships including U.S. or at the airport at check-in.

Australia is in the southern hemisphere so the seasons are the opposite of the U.S. so pack accordingly.

Summary

You can get to Australia for as little as 40,000 miles each way in economy class, not bad at all considering the length of the journey and the adventure on the other end. It’s essential that you check all the possibilities as you can see there are plenty. One other thing to check is to see if your award allows you any free stopovers in the connecting cities, so you can have two vacations in one. Have fun heading to Australia.