This is a pretty straight forwards continuation of my “Cheapest Miles To…” series, where I make charts for the cheapest miles to get to a region. All the prices are from North America, and in this case the prices are to Australia and Oceania, which includes basically all the islands in the Pacific (besides Hawaii).
The first chart includes region based prices to Australia/Oceania, then I’ll give a few distance based. After, I’ll talk about the differences between some of the prices, and talk about routes, which is a serious limitation for availability.
|United||70k – 80k||140k – 160k||Star Alliance||Chase UR|
|ANA||75k||120k||Star Alliance||Amex MR, SPG|
|Alaska||80k – 100k||110k – 160k||SPG|
|Air Canada||80k||160k||Star Alliance||Amex MR, SPG|
|Alitalia||100k||150k||SkyTeam||Amex MR, SPG|
|Air France||60k – 100k||150k – 250k||SkyTeam||Amex MR, Citi TY, SPG|
|Korean Air||110k||185k||SkyTeam||Chase UR|
|Singapore||110k||195k||Star Alliance||Amex MR, Chase UR, Citi TY, SPG|
|Virgin Elevate||40k||80k||Amex MR (2:1)|
|Virgin Atlantic||94k||141k||Amex MR, Chase UR, SPG|
Distance Based Miles
Example: LAX – GUM
|Asia Miles||85k||115k||OneWorld||Amex MR, Citi TY, SPG|
|BA Avios||75k||150k||OneWorld||Amex MR, Chase UR, SPG|
Example: JFK – PER
|JAL||120k||150k||OneWorld||Amex MR, Citi TY, SPG|
|BA Avios||125k||250k||OneWorld||Amex MR, Chase UR, SPG|
See the Alaska Award Chart I made to understand that the price you pay in Alaska Miles totally depends on which airline you fly.
Alaska miles prices in economy/business by airline:
- 80k/120k – Cathay Pacific
- 80k/110k – Fiji Airways
- 85k/110k – Qantas
- 85k/125k – Korean
- 80k/120k – Air France/KLM
- 100k/160k – Delta
Air France / Flying Blue
The incredible price of 60,000 Flying Blue Miles is only for “French Polynesia”, which is not just Tahiti but the price applies to New Caledonia.
This does work for oneways and it’s meant to be the price for the Air France routes from LAX to these places, but it ends up working on any airline, even if you route through Sydney or something. Read Best Use of Flying Blue Miles.
Warnings/Ideas with Lufthansa Miles
Just a word of caution for using Lufthansa Miles as they charge more for “3 region awards”, it’s 100k/180k. Now for economy it’s only 10k more each direction, but it’s still an important thing to add. Although, as I’ll mention in a bit, it’s hard to find availability that’s not through Asia, so this may be difficult.
However, if you’re interested in going to “Micronesia”, most islands south of Japan and east of the Philippines, United is a great partner. United uses Guam as a hub and has routes to the west coast USA and to Micronesian islands like Yap and Palau.
Also, at one point I noticed that a oneway to “Oceania” is 40,000 Lufthansa miles… but you could do US to Hawaii for 20,000, and Hawaii to Oceania for another 20,000. This could open up other options or just double your stopovers. See the Trans-Pacific Hopper with Lufthansa Miles.
United has one price for “Australia/New Zealand” and another for “Oceania”. Oceania is cheaper at 70k/140k and Australia is 80k/160k.
But if you’ve read “United Stopover Secrets” you may remember that using a stopover, so you have time in both Australia and an Oceania island, causes the price to choose the cheaper “Oceania” region. In other words, a roundtrip using a stopover, so you spend a week in Sydney and a week in Fiji, would price out at 70,000 miles. Yet, a regular roundtrip ticket to Sydney would price out at 80,000 miles.
This is a pretty cool trick making United miles the cheapest economy flight to Australia.
Award availability is hard to Australia and Oceania. Period. A lot of people have to route through Asia which makes a long flight longer.
So I figured it was worth listing out the routes that do exist and the airlines for each.
- Dallas – Sydney (QF)
- LA – Sydney (QF & AA coming soon)
- LA – Brisbane (QF)
- San Francisco – Sydney (QF)
- Vancouver – Sydney (QF) (seasonal?)
- LA – Melbourne (QF)
- LA – Sydney (UA)
- LA – Melbourne (UA)
- Vancouver – Sydney (AC)
- San Francisco – Sydney (UA)
- Vancouver – Auckland (AC)
- San Francisco – Auckland (NZ)
- LA – Auckland (NZ)
- Houston – Auckland (NZ)
- LA – Rarotonga (NZ)
- Houston – Auckland (NZ) (Coming Soon)
- LA – Sydney (DL)
- Air France from LA to:
- New Caledonia
- Fiji Airways (AA and Alaska)
- LA – Fiji
- Virgin Australia
- LA – Sydney
- LA – Brisbane
- Las Vegas – Sydney
- Hawaiian Airlines via HNL (AA)
- West Coast USA/NYC
- American Samoa
- Air Tahiti Nui
- LA to Tahiti
- Tahiti to New Zealand
Best Uses / Conclusion
First of all, I encourage anyone to check out the List of Airline Stopover Rules. After all you may find yourself needing a stopover in Asia.
As mentioned above, flights that have a stop in Oceania (even with an additional stop in Australia/New Zealand) price out at 70,000 miles. This is not only the cheapest option, but also United never passes on fuel surcharges.
A great option, however, Air New Zealand is the main partner for the region and their award availability is terrible! You can always route through Asia, but it’s just a long flight.
AA is great in not passing on fuel surcharges, having the second best prices, and having the most direct routes with the partner Qantas.
The problem is that you aren’t really allowed to route through Asia to get to Australia, which could be a problem if there aren’t Qantas award seats available. Still the over all best option for most.
You may notice that the best business class is with Alaska Miles, with a roundtrip for 110,000 miles on Qantas or Fiji. Qantas apparently has a good Business Class, plus you can get direct routes. This is a great deal for sure.
Air France to French Polynesia
I forgot to mention that I believe Korean also allows the same 60,000 mile price but only for the direct Air France flight from LA. So maybe not worth advertising as the price to Oceania/Australia.
Either way this is a great deal and when using Flying Blue miles to French Polynesia or New Caledonia, the price is 60,000 miles roundtrip in economy or 30,000 miles for a oneway.
I hope the chart is helpful and saves you miles on your next trip down-under or to the beautiful Polynesian islands.