I really enjoyed my first trip to Sydney. I mean, really enjoyed it. Can’t wait to go back. But, one of the big reasons to take this abbreviated trip Down Under was to get the chance to fly first class on Qantas. Here’s a quick flashback to the earlier posts from my trip:
- Which Lounge At SFO International Terminal?
- Qantas Business Class Review
- Public Transportation In Sydney
- Park Hyatt Sydney
- A Look Inside The Luxurious Suites At Park Hyatt Sydney
- Bridge Climb! Bucket List Item
- The Old Clare Hotel, Chippendale, A Member of Design Hotels (SPG Redemption)
- Qantas First And Business Class Lounges at Sydney Airport
- Qantas First Class Review. 14 Hours Of Luxury
I though it would be helpful for readers to understand how many points and miles I redeemed for my quick trip to Australia (and, how many it would cost you). Here’s a quick breakdown, along with some alternatives to consider:
Business Class Flight to Australia
I redeemed 62,500 miles for a one-way flight on both American Airlines and Qantas Airways. My routing was IAD-DFW-SFO-SYD. My flights to Dallas and San Francisco, whereas my flight to Sydney was operated by Qantas on a 747-400. Part of the reason I chose to book this trip was a strong suspicion these flights would get more expensive (from a miles perspective). That, plus the possibility that Qantas might start limiting first class mileage redemptions to their own elite members.
Half of that equation has come true. That business class ticket involving Qantas to get to Australia will now set you back 80,000 miles for a one-way trip. That’s a hefty price for folks who don’t travel for a living.
Park Hyatt Sydney
The Park Hyatt Sydney is a Category 7 property in the World of Hyatt program, which means it will cost you 30,000 points a night. If you’re a fan of Hyatt, they did recently add a second property to the Sydney market. You can redeem 20,000 points for an award there.
The Old Clare Hotel, Sydney
The Old Clare Hotel is part of the Starwood Preferred Guest program by way of the Design Hotels collection. It’s a Category 5 property in the SPG program. It costs me 12,000 points for a one-night stay.
For very different reasons, I considered both hotels a good value for the points. SPG points are worth more than Hyatt points, so that closes some of the gap between the 2. Park Hyatt Sydney is an unbelievable property in an unbelievable location. Old Clare isn’t nearly as well located, but it’s more affordable. And, it’s a unique, pleasant property to stay at. They even have at least one really cool suite.
First Class Flight From Australia to United States
My one-way flight back from Australia in first class was 72,500 miles. If there’s such a thing as a “sweet spot” in award charts anymore, this was it. Spending 10,000 extra miles to upgrade from business class to first class was well worth it.
This award has taken a heck of an increase since I booked my trip. That one-way flight will now cost you 110,000 miles. And, inventory is scarce.
United Airlines flies to Sydney from LAX and SFO. 70,000 miles scores you a business class seat on a one-way flight. If that’s too rich, coach will set you back 40,000 miles. Air New Zealand is another possibility, at 80,000 miles for a business class award. The United award charts lump first in with business class. To my knowledge, there are no first class options to Australia.
Delta SkyMiles may be able to get you there through a Virgin Australia connection, but I’m not even going to try to guess how many miles it would take for that redemption.
The Final Two Pennies
Most of the major hotel chains have properties available in Sydney. That means it’s easy to defray those costs for a trip Down Under. Finding award seats can be challenging, especially when looking for multiple seats. It’s a good reason to keep an eye on travel blogs, as writers like View From The Wing frequently write when an airlines temporarily open up lots of availability.
I can’t emphasize enough how much I immensely enjoyed visiting Sydney. I can’t wait to go back!
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