Continuing my series on using Miles in the Pacific, I found a few gems when playing around with FlyingBlue searching for flights across the Pacific and within the Pacific.
The gems here are the unique partnership with AirCalin, and a few new boomerang pricing tricks.
And remember FlyingBlue is now a transfer partner of all the major banks that have good points earning credit cards. Chase UR points, Amex MR points, Citi TY points, and SPG points. You have a lot of earning options, and there are lots of burning options.
Best miles redemptions:
- US to Tahiti (Noumea) = 30,000 oneway
- Boomerang to NOU via SYD = 30k
- Flights within the Pacific = 15k oneway
- + Boomerangs to get the 15k pricing on other routes
- See Best Use of FlyingBlue Miles
Not shown on the map:
- Flights from Asia to the Pacific, that I’ll mention below or in the SkyTeam section
Booking: First, you can actually search and book flights on AirFrance.us / FlyingBlue.com.
The only award chart I know of is the one I made here.
Unfortunately, as you can see on the map, there are really only two flights that go from the US to Australia / Oceania – LAX to Sydney on Delta, and LAX to Tahiti on Air France. Frankly, you’re more likely to get seats on the Tahiti.
(LAX to Tahiti (or NOU) on AirFrance is 30k miles each way).
However there are two interesting aspects of using FlyingBlue miles in the Pacific. 1) Intra Pacific flights on Air Calin, and 2) Boomerangs.
One thing that started me looking into this post is Stefan mentioning AirCalin. FlyingBlue is really growing on me as a SkyTeam option, and I appreciate when foreign airlines are actually usable online. And in this case AirCalin also shows up online when using FlyingBlue miles.
Although, it’s funny I never looked into it more, because in a roundabout way, I mentioned AirCalin as a throwaway to NOU to get a cheaper ticket to Sydney two years ago in my Best Use Of Flying Blue Miles.
Flights within the South Pacific are 15k miles, which is the same great deal as AA miles.
Unfortunately AirCalin is the only partner, with limited routes. But AirCalin has some cool routes, and 15k is an awesome price – can get you from Tahiti to Sydney for only 15k!
Flights from Japan to South Pacific are only 25k miles. So Tokyo to Noumea for 25k, and then you could do NOU to SYD for 15k. Or even NOU to LAX for 30k.
AirCalin also has NOU to Tokyo and Osaka. But, I’ll mention more Asia routes via SkyTeam later in the series.
Stopovers aren’t bookable online, although apparently they are allowed on roundtrips, although I’ve never booked one.
If they are bookable though, a stopover in Noumea would be great! Sydney to Fiji with a stopover in Noumea would be a steal.
I already mentioned US to NOU is 30k, even when you route through Sydney – which US to Sydney would normally cost 50k, that’s a 20k savings! However, I found a few new boomerang options.
The boomerang concept is what happens when prices are really cheap within a region, but there are no supporting flights to actually make those routes within the region. So FlyingBlue routes you through a different region that would normally be more expensive, but gives you the lower price.
Again, intra-Pacific flights are really cheap (again 15k), but there aren’t a lot of options, although in reviewing SkyTeam options I saw plenty through Asia. So I picked two Pacific airports that only connect via Asia.
Here’s an example:
Sydney to Taipei, Taiwan (TPE) is 40k miles + $71.
But, Sydney to Palau (ROR) via Taipei is 15k miles + $71.
It’s cheaper to go from Sydney to Palau via Taipei than it to go direct to Taipei. And there are of course similar variations, starting in MEL or ending in GUM, it’s about the same.
Another example could be starting in Fiji going to Sydney for 15k miles.
Unfortunately Business Class is 37.5k (not a savings compared to AA or UA), increases fee, and has almost no availability.
Tons of credit cards to earn miles with, and tons of good uses of their miles.
In the case of Pacific travel, FlyingBlue miles are really bad for getting from the US to Australia and most of the Pacific, but AirCalin is a great option for getting from Sydney to islands, or island hopping.