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- Bookable on Priceline. Tickets purchased from Priceline today are refundable until 11:29pm EST tomorrow. Please see this post for directions on how to cancel these tickets.
- Also bookable on Orbitz or Expedia. Tickets purchased from Orbitz or Expedia today are refundable until 11:59pm PST tomorrow.
- Use a card like Sapphire Preferred or Sapphire Reserve to earn 2 or 3 Chase points per dollar spent and get free travel/medical insurance, trip/luggage delay protection, and more!
You can fly from Chicago to Brisbane, Gold Coast, Melbourne, Sydney, and possibly other cities with this deal.
This fare is available in business class on most Sundays in either direction from now through November. Availability and connections will vary between Priceline and Orbitz, so make sure to search both sites.
Connections from Chicago are available in Auckland on Air New Zealand or in LA or San Francisco on United.
A business class ticket to Australia normally sells for around $7,500.
The Air New Zealand via Auckland flight books into Z class. That would earn 23,820 Aeroplan, ANA, Singapore, or United miles. Or it would earn 38,112 Avianca Lifemiles, Lufthansa Miles & More, or Virgin Atlantic miles.
These fares are not on sale with airline miles, but you can pay for the ticket with “hybrid points” if you have AMEX or Chase points and a Business Platinum or Sapphire Reserve card.
Using AMEX points:
If you have an AMEX Business Platinum Card you can get a 35% rebate of points used.
This flight is bookable as an insider fare for 133,833 points. Plus you’ll get back a rebate of 46,842 points, dropping the total points needed to 86,991. That includes all taxes and you can still earn miles for flying!
If you also have a AMEX Consumer Platinum Card you can use that card and get back an additional 4 points per dollar, or 5,352 points for this ticket, dropping the effective cost to 81,639 points.
Plus you can earn 38,112 Avianca, Lufthansa, or Virgin Atlantic flight miles, dropping the effective cost to as low as 43,527 points.
Using Chase points:
If you have a Chase Sapphire Reserve card you can redeem points for 1.5 cents each towards travel.
You can login to your account and redeem Chase points for travel here. The cost will be 99,888 points round-trip! That rate include all taxes and you will still earn flight miles as well!
Plus you can earn 38,112 Avianca, Lufthansa, or Virgin Atlantic flight miles, dropping the effective cost to 61,776 points.
Kangaroo at Angelsea Golf Club on the Great Ocean Road:
Great Ocean Road, outside Melbourne:
Back in 2010-2011 Mimi and I flew around the world on the now defunct American OneWorld first class round-the-world award for 230K miles. In Australia we used the award to stop off in Melbourne, Sydney, Tasmania, and the Whitsunday Islands. Truly an awesome country!
- 3-5 days in Sydney would give you enough time to experience the phenomenal Park Hyatt, climb the Harbour bridge, check out the Opera House, pet some Koalas and Kangaroos, and have a day in the Blue Mountains.
- 4-6 days in Melbourne would allow for a road trip of the sublime Great Ocean Road and the breathtaking Grampians before going to to Melborune for Shabbos at the excellent Park Hyatt which is around the corner from a great Chabad House. A flight from Sydney to Melbourne is just 4.5K BA Avios with no fuel surcharges.
- 2-4 days in Hamilton Island or Cairns would give you time to snorkel or dive the Great Barrier Reef. If you’re going to Hamilton Island you’ll also be able to check out famous Whitehaven Beach and the Whitsunday Islands. A flight from Sydney to Hamilton Island is 7.5K BA Avios with no fuel surcharges. Sydney to Cairns is 10K Avios.
- We spent 4 nights covering the entire beautiful island of Tasmania without realizing just how much driving that would entail. Doing over a week would have been ideal. A flight from Sydney to Tasmania is 4.5K BA Avios with no fuel surcharges.
- We didn’t make it to more remote places like Uluru, Kangaroo Island, Perth, or the Australian Outback, but perhaps on a future trip? Then again 10K BA Avios can also get you from Sydney to New Zealand. That’s been on my bucket list for a very long time…
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