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Non-stop award space in premium cabins between the US and Australia is one of the toughest things to find out of any frequent flyer award in the world.
And American has been anything but generous with premium cabin international award space generally, except during spurts when they open up space. So when they do you need to act quickly. And when they do for Australia and New Zealand it’s worth paying attention.
Between April 30 and June 4 there are several dates with at least 2 business class award seats available Los Angeles – Auckland. And when there’s business class awards, there’s also upgrade space to buy economy and use Executive Platinum systemwide upgrades (valid from any fare) or miles (with cash co-pay) for business at time of booking.
There’s also some space for the return Auckland – Los Angeles through June 4 as well, though somewhat less than for the US-New Zealand flight.
Los Angeles – Auckland is operated by a Boeing 787-8 with all aisle access fully flat business class and inflight internet.
There’s also a bit of Los Angeles – Sydney space between May 9 and June 4.
Unfortunately there’s almost no Sydney – Los Angeles space.
Of course you can use the Auckland flight and add a Qantas Australia – Auckland connection (or a LAN connection) to travel between the US and Australia.
American’s Sydney flight is operated by a Boeing 777-300ER, my favorite aircraft in their fleet with fully flat all aisle access business class and inflight internet. They’ve also upgraded the catering on this route.
While April and May is no longer peak season, I find the weather especially pleasant in Australia and a great time to visit parts North in the country (though even July in Sydney is quite mild).
American charges 80,000 miles each way between the US and South Pacific in business class.
Your American Express or Citi ThankYou Rewards points from the Citi Prestige Card may be useful here as well because transfer partner Etihad still charges American’s less expensive old pricing.
So you earn these points quickly, and then spend fewer of those points for the same award.
(HT: Marty K.)