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How Should I Use AAdvantage Miles to Fly to Sydney?

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TPG reader Kyle tweeted me to ask:

@thepointsguy – “I’m trying to book business class with American Airlines miles to Sydney (SYD) in November and there are almost zero flights. Is it a lost cause? Any advice?”

If you want to use American Airlines miles to go to Australia, the easy option is to redeem them on Oneworld partner Qantas. However, Qantas doesn’t release a lot of award seats, and the limited availability can often be sporadic throughout the year. So if you don’t see anything today, there’s a chance seats will be released later.

Qantas could be an option if you want to use AA miles to get to Sydney. Photo courtesy of Shutterstock.

The best plan if you aren’t seeing anything now is to set award alerts on Expert Flyer on a number of different dates, so you’ll get an email when Qantas releases availability.

Another option is to try to route through Honolulu on non-alliance partner Hawaiian Airlines. Just keep in mind that Hawaiian’s business class is extremely archaic. I flew that product on SYD-HNL last year and I thought the seat was broken because it only reclined three inches. The food and service was excellent, but the hard product is really out-of-date.

Air Tahiti Nui is also an AAdvantage partner, but availability doesn’t show up online, so you’ll have to call to look for seats. Expert Flyer can also help out with these awards if you set alerts. American doesn’t let you route through the Middle East or Asia, but you could pay a bit more for two awards and add a stopover there along the way.

Our winter months (November/December) are peak season in Australia, so you’ll need to be a bit savvy to find the perfect award!

If you have any other questions, please tweet me @thepointsguy, message me on Facebook, or send me an email at

Citi® / AAdvantage® Platinum Select® World Elite™ MasterCard®

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  • Earn 30,000 American Airlines AAdvantage® bonus miles after making $1,000 in purchases within the first 3 months of account opening*
  • First checked bag is free on domestic American Airlines itineraries for you and up to four companions traveling with you on the same reservation*
  • Enjoy Group 1 Boarding on American Airlines flights*
  • No Foreign Transaction Fees on purchases.1
  • Receive 25% savings on in-flight food and beverage purchases when you use your card on American Airlines flights*
  • Double AAdvantage® miles on eligible American Airlines purchases*
  • Earn 10% of your redeemed AAdvantage® miles back — up to 10,000 AAdvantage® miles each calendar year*
Intro APR Regular APR Annual Fee Foreign Transaction Fee Credit Rating
N/A 14.24% - 22.24%* (Variable) $95, waived for first 12 months* 0% Excellent/Good