Tutorial – Transfer Flybuys Points To Velocity

For a few weeks now Flybuys and Velocity have been running a promo for a 15% bonus on points when transferring. I decided I may as well transfer them over and get some value out of them rather than leave them with Flybuys.

This post will explain how to transfer your Flybuys to Velocity points.

First of all, you need to log into Flybuys and click ‘Rewards.’ You’ll see the Velocity points transfer now button; you press that.

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Next is the page where you select how many points you want to transfer. The terms and conditions are located on the side of the page.

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Now I have selected how many points I want to transfer; I’m ready to continue.

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You need to link your Flybuys, and Velocity account for the process to happen. You can link them on the confirmation page or on your Velocity profile. The process is very easy and works immediately

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And that’s the whole process, and it’s fast and very efficient. The thing I most like about the transfer is that the points post to you Velocity account instantly!

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Tutorial – Use AAdvantage Miles For Cheaper Qantas Redemptions

Without a doubt, my favourite frequent flyer program would still have to be American Airlines AAdvantage. The program offers some fantastic value, always has miles on sale and has some brilliant redemption partners.

I’ve talked about the program a little bit for Etihad first class redemptions, but today I am going to talk about redeeming these miles for Qantas redemptions.

First of all here are the award charts from the Pacific for Oneworld and partner airlines:

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How to find availability

To find Qantas availability you have a few options:

AAdvantage

AAdvanatge has an award calendar that is simple and easy to use. However, the calendar often shows “Phantom Space” which means that it will show seats available, but they aren’t actually there, to confirm double or triple check on British Airways, Qantas, and Expertflyer. You’ll want to select the blue tabs which are saver awards.

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British Airways

British Airways is what I normally use to confirm that the seat are actually there, In this case, they are there.

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What Qantas flights can I redeem for?

The big difference between using Alaska miles and AAdvantage miles is that with AAdvantage you can redeem points for any Qantas flight, unlike Alaskan where you can only redeem for Qantas flights domestically and USA flights.

How do I get AA miles?

There are two main ways to get AA points in Australia.

  • Crediting QF flights to AA

Crediting QF flights to AA used to be quite valuable, but with changes this year, you won’t get that many points which is disappointing.

  • Buying miles

This is how I afford most of my long-haul travel. American constantly offer very large bonuses when buying miles. You can buy 150,000 miles a year but look when the sales are on, and you could get much more for the same price.

American are currently offering a large bonus of 100,000 miles which alone is enough for Qantas first class to Dubai.

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Bottom Line

If you are planning travel soon and want to travel in business or first with Qantas or any other AAdvanatge partner, I would definitely recommend purchasing miles. The offer ends November 28, and you must have an account older than 30 days.

What I *Now* Use For International Calls And Data (I learned the hard way)

This is a post I’ve meant to write for sometime, and I’m happy to finally be able to write it. A question I get asked often is “what do you use for calls, texts, and data overseas” well I’ve learned the hard way, and now I know what to do without going broke. Thanks, Telstra :/

Previously I have just used my home sim which is with Telstra because It was simple and easy and the plan I have gives international data, calls, and texts. What I didn’t realize was how fast the cost of international data could rise… Now this wasn’t using it all day; this was an hour worth of browsing.

How nice of Telstra to send me travel pass information at the end of my trip!

How nice of Telstra to send me travel pass information at the end of my trip!

So after nearly having a heart attack I decided to investigate and find a plan or sim that wouldn’t make me go broke. And I decided to try a T-mobile pre-paid sim.

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I decided to purchase an Unlimited T-mobile sim which includes the following:

  • Unlimited talk, text, and data starting with up to 3GB of 4G LTE
  • The freedom to buy a new device or bring your own
  • Coverage on T-Mobile’s Nationwide 4G LTE network
  • The ability to stream as much music as you want with Music Unlimited
  • Great prices for bigger data appetites

I paid just over $100 for the sim, and I can happily say that I won’t ever be using Telstra overseas again. The data is LTE, so it’s lightning fast, and the coverage is absolutely fantastic!

I would recommend this sim to anyone from other countries, and if I were a U.S citizen I would switch to T-mobile (Don’t worry I tried but I need to be a citizen)

Bottom Line

After spending time with the sim, I have been so impressed by how well it works, and I am a very satisfied customer.

Tutorial – Understanding Fare Buckets And Fare Codes

Wouldn’t it be so amazing to see how many business class seats are left for sale or what’s the chance of my upgrade clearing? Well, fortunately,  there are program’s enabling everyday people to do this.

Expertflyer and KVS Tool are programs that will change how you fly.

Each program has different levels of membership which may seem expensive at first but is definitely worth it!

If you’ve flown before you may notice a letter on your boarding pass. This is known as a ‘booking or class code.’ Airlines have a large list of all different letters, and they are all unique.

As an example, these are all of Qantas’s booking codes.

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All airlines will have different codes so you’ll need to make sure you’re looking at the airline’s list.

A few things to note:

  • Not all fare’s earn points and status credits/EQM’s
  • Not all fares are upgradeable
  • Not all fares have the same change/cancellation policy

Expertflyer however, does the hard work and will simplify all the codes into a bucket. This is what it will look like:

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If you look at the Available Classes table you’ll see a series of numbers and letters that look very similar/identical to this:

J9 C9 D9 I0 Y9 B9 H9 K9 M9 L9 V9 S9 N9 G0

For Qantas (Domestic) flights:

Classic Flight Reward (Economy) – X

Red-e Deal (Economy) – E, G, L, N, O, Q, S, V

Flexible (Economy) – B, H, K, M, Y

Classic Flight Reward (Business) – U

Business – D, I

Flexible Business – C, J

For Qantas (International) flights:

Classic Flight Reward (Economy) – X

Economy Sale – N, O, Q

Economy Saver – G, K, L, M, S

Economy Flex – B, H, Y

Classic Flight Reward (Premium Economy) – Z

Premium Economy Sale – T

Premium Economy Saver – R

Premium Economy Flex – W

Classic Flight Reward Business – U

Business Sale/Saver – D, I

Business Flex – C, J

Classic Flight Reward (First) – P

First Sale/Saver/Flex – A, F

If you see either a U, Z or P fare open, you can request an upgrade on an eligible fare and your upgrade may be confirmed instantly.

The fare bucket won’t show every single fare code, but it will shorten them down, and you’ll be able to see if the particular fare you’re after is available.

Expertflyer will also show Award or Redemption seats and if one isn’t showing you can enter your email for when one opens up.

Both programs also give you the ability to see the seat maps and which seats are taken and empty. Blocked seats are usually reserved for elites, bassinets, etc..

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Bottom Line

I use these tool’s everytime I fly, and it’s such a fantastic tool to have. Even if you don’t travel frequently, it is still a worthwhile product to buy.

Using Alaska Airlines Miles For Cheaper Qantas Redemptions

akairplan

For a long time now it’s been known that sadly Qantas does not have the most valuable frequent flyer program. This isn’t the best for frequent flyers but now a lot of airlines are following and going Revenue based. However there are ways to get cheaper Qantas redemptions.

First of all lets look at the 3 award charts for the Qantas program.

1st chart:

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This chart is for Qantas Classic Rewards (Worldwide). This is for Qantas, Airnorth, Fiji Airways, Air Vanuatu, American Airlines, Emirates, Jetstar and Qantaslink.

2nd Chart:

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The second chart is for Qantas partner rewards (Worldwide) This is for Airberlin, Aer Lingus, Air Niugini, Alaska Airlines, British Airways, Cathay Pacific Airways, China Eastern, Dragonair, El Al, Finnair, Iberia, Japan Airlines, Jet Airways, Malaysia Airlines, Qatar Airways, Royal Jordanian, S7 Airlines, SriLankan Airlines and LATAM.

3rd chart:

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The third chart is for Oneworld awards (Roundtrip) This applies to all Oneworld airlines.

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As you can see from the charts shown, these awards require a large amounts of miles. Every frequent flyer program is valued differently so some will have a lot more value than others. However there are some programs that aren’t in an alliance but hold significant value for their partners and one of them is Alaska miles.

Alaska Airlines Mileage Plan

First of all lets look at their partner airlines,

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As you can see by the partner list 6 airlines are in Oneworld alliance, quite impressive for an airline that doesn’t belong to an alliance!

Apart from the range of partners there also some fantastic features in the Alaska program.

  • You can buy miles

This may not be a big thing for other countries, but for Australian’s this is a fantastic way to get miles quickly and easily. But that’s not all, there is no limit to the amount you can buy! Unlike AAdvantage which limits you to 150,000 per calendar year there is no limit to how many Alaskan miles you can purchase. You buy miles in lots of 60,000 then if you choose purchase as many lots as you want.

Buying Miles

Buying Miles

 

  • You can have a free stopover

Yes, this is awesome, and this isn’t just for roundtrip tickets one way awards also get a stopover.

Image source -https://blog.alaskaair.com/2016/04/21/international-stopovers/

Qantas Redemptions

Now lets talk about how to use these miles for Qantas redemptions domestically and internationally.

The chart below is for redemptions within Australia. I love the routing rules of the program because Sydney to Perth in business class is 20k miles, Brisbane to Sydney is also 20k miles in business. This is where the program is amazing. The same amount of miles for a longer flight.

Qantas Domestic Chart

Qantas Domestic Chart

 

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Qantas Hawaii Chart

Availability for all U.S and Canada flights in business and first is extremely limited so if you come across it take it immediately.

Qantas USA Chart

Qantas USA Chart

 

Qantas Canada Chart

Qantas Canada Chart

Qantas availability is very unpredictable and can be very difficult to get for some routes. Short haul domestic is very easy to pick up, medium haul like Perth is moderate but can be difficult at peak times, Hawaii is incredibly difficult and the U.S and Canada is also difficult in First and Business however premium economy is quite easy to pick up.

Another strange fact about Qantas is their Oneworld partners often release more Qantas availability then Qantas themselves.

Summery

If you’re wanting cheaper Qantas business redemptions Alaskan miles is a great alternative. Over the next few days I will also cover other programs that can be used.