Award Space on New American Airlines Flight to Australia

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As I shared here, American Airlines is launching new service between LAX and Sydney beginning on December 17th via a code-share with Qantas using a 777-300ER with lie-flat seats in first and business class.  The flight goes on sale today, and not only does that mean you can purchase a ticket if you are in the market for paying with cash, but award seats are now available as well.

American Airlines to Sydney

Well, technically award seats are available, but if you are looking to score award seats in a premium cabin then be ready to pay up because saver space isn’t looking good at the moment.  Here is what I found based on some award searches this morning.

Award Space on American Airlines Service from LAX  – Sydney:

  • There is some saver space in economy available on a variety of dates.  These awards are 37,500 miles each way.

Economy award space American to Sydney.jpg

  • Some of the nonstop economy saver space you see will be the Qantas operated flights.
  • The business class Anytime award prices seems to start at 140,000 miles each way.

Business Class Award Space to Sydney.jpg

  • When you look through the calendar and think you have found a saver business class seat, it is most likely a flight operated by Hawaiian Airlines that goes through Honolulu, though always be sure and double check.  You can select nonstop only flights to avoid that option from displaying.
  • First Class Anytime award prices start at 180,000 miles each way
  • Award availability on the return from SYD – LAX is more or less the same as on the outbound leg of the journey.
  • I do not currently see any business or first class availability on the new American operated flights at the saver level in either direction.  If there was space it would be 62,500 miles in business class and 72,500 miles each way in first class.
  • However, I did find a tiny bit of business class and first class saver award space on Qantas operated flights, especially those going through San Francisco.

Award Space to Sydney.jpgAward seats to Australia for families are one of the toughest, if not the toughest, award out there – especially in a premium cabin.  I have a post with some tips on how to find premium cabin award seats to Australia here, and we have our own success story here.  That said, it isn’t easy and you need patience, persistence, and flexibility to pull it off for a family needing multiple seats…or just really good luck.  Fingers crossed this new route loosens up some more award availability in the future!

I’d love to hear if you were able to snag any seats on this new route!

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  1. The only way to get a family in front to Oz is on Virgin Australia. Delta miles are the most efficient way to book this. I’ve seen plenty of VA flights with 4 business seats available for low miles awards. Hoping for any meaningful low-miles availability on AA or QF (or even DL metal) is a futile exercise.

  2. Forget the availability of awards space at sAAver levels for 4 people in a Premium Cabin to SYD—there is currently zlich availability for even 2 passengers in Business or First the entire month of December 2015 and January 2016 at sAAver levels. [or on Qantas]

    The new American has arrived.

        • Laura R:

          Indeed, availability is beyond sparse on AA metal for 2 or more seats in a Premium cabin at a sAAver level, regardless of when wants to travel to Australia on AA metal.

      • CDKing:

        Well, I was holding out some hope that when AA would open the route that they’d initially release some seats— like 2 seats on some days, which didn’t used to be uncommon with AA.

        After all on February 21, 2014, MommyPoints had an article, with article of UA opening up tons of space on new US-OZ flights– even in Premium cabins, when they introduced new routes to Australia. At the time of the article AA was really good about having award space on their own metal to countless destinations worldwide on their own metal.

        Clearly, since the merger AA has become very stingy about releasing awards seats in Premium cabins on their own metal, even the last minute.

        Sad that UA is now less stingy with saver level awards than AA, who has their own metal flying to OZ, as well as QANTAS. So not just one carrier to burn miles, but two carriers.

        To me, such an expectation is much more realistic than say—paying $500 each way in Business Class from Washington D.C. to Spain.

        • CDKing:

          Was also expecting to see some upgrade inventory available, even in low season.

          I have yet do find a single date where C inventory on AA’s LAX-SYD has greater availability than 0.

  3. Australia is stressing me out. I have to get 3 people there. This is impossible on AA (or Qantas) unless you want to fly in coach. I have one ticket on hold until midnight tonight. It is from CVG (Imagine that!) to Cairns in business. My husband would fly on that and my son and I would use DL/Virgin the day before to fly to Cairns in business. (out of LAX and I would have to use SW to get to LAX)

    Of course this would be easier if I had enough DL miles for 3 roundtrip business tickets. But I don’t. So our choices are to separate, likely not only flights but days as well. Or all fly together in coach.

    This is further complicated by the 4 nights I have on hold at the Radisson Blu in Sydney using the Bonus Night with Club Carlson. If I change the date, I will lose the Bonus Night benefit.

    I’m starting to wonder if Australia is even worth it. I’m even traveling in “low” season! (June 2016)

    I’m starting to think there are other places I would rather go.

    • If you have lots (and lots) of AA miles (roughly 100,000 each way each person), you can do two awards, one to Hong Kong (Cathay) and then Hong Kong to Australia (more options). Also allows you a stop over for as long as you like in Hong Kong, since they are two different tickets. Cathay releases a lot of front cabin availability a year out.

        • Yes I know…and I considered that. But I’m not willing to “waste” the miles on that. Last year we flew to and from Thailand in coach. It wasn’t fun, but we can do it again if we have to.
          I know I can get one way to Australia in business class so that will ease the pain a bit.
          But sometimes I think, if we can endure coach both ways that will leave more miles left over for another trip!
          What is more important in this case? The destination or the journey?

  4. Blog content like this is like a newspaper headline that reads “Dog bites man”. If it was newsworthy it might read “Man bites Dog”, or even more unlikely, “Premium award Space to Australia is Wide Open”.

  5. I am no stranger to economy flights and have no problem stretching out my miles in return for not being able to stretch out my legs while flying. However, business class or economy, the point is mostly moot because award flights to Australia from ANYWHERE in any cabin is basically non existent! On a 2 month trip throughout S.E Asia and the South Pacific, we flew to 14 separate destinations (9 completely on points). Guess which section we had to pay out the wazoo for? (I’ll give you a hint: it wasn’t the cheap-o flight in Vietnam!) And it wasn’t for lack of points, it was that even over a year out, there was NO availability!

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