Delta charges 160,000 miles roundtrip in business class between the US and Australia.
- American AAdvantage charges 125,000 miles for roundtrip business class but does not permit routing via Asia. Qantas premium cabin awards are very tough to get.
- United MileagePlus charges 130,000 miles for roundtrip business class on United’s own flights, or 150,000 miles on partners.
The biggest drawback for many of using Delta miles is that while Virgin Australia has fantastic award availability between the US and Australia, these awards can even be booked on the Delta website, and no longer adds fuel surcharges to them), finding domestic award availability on Delta flights to get to and from Los Angeles can be tough. If you live in a city serving Los Angeles on Alaska Airlines you may be in better shape.
Many people will find themselves spending 160,000 miles roundtrip just for US – Australia roundtrip, and buying their flights to and from the Los Angeles gateway separately still.
But this could be worth it. Because if you want to take your family to Australia in business class, and you don’t want to route via Asia, awards on Virgin Australia are your best bet.
Just how good is availability?
Virgin Australia operates flights between Los Angeles and Sydney, Melbourne, and Brisbane.
Since I happened to be searching for March 2015 (still peak season, but ~ 9 months off) I thought I’d share what I found.
Here’s a search for four passengers, March 1-29, 2015 for Los Angeles – Sydney and Los Angeles – Brisbane.
And here’s availability for those same dates for four passengers in business class, Los Angeles – Melbourne.
I’ve got a ton of points earned via the Delta Suntrust debit card, so may finally put some of those to good use, visit family, and try out a product I haven’t been on before!