Deal Alert: Great Delta One Award Availability to Australia
Update: Some offers mentioned below are no longer available. View the current offers here.
There appears to be great award availability to Australia with Delta, including flights in Delta's business class product, Delta One. Straight to the Points reports that there's plenty of space between Los Angeles (LAX) and Sydney (SYD) in Delta One, a route that rarely sees this type of award inventory in premium cabins. Even better, there seems to be more than one seat available on each flight, so you and a companion could both sit in the front of the aircraft for the lengthy journey.
Right now Delta operates an older 777-200 with a standard lie-flat business class seat in a herringbone configuration on the LAX-SYD route. But the carrier is supposed to replace it with a retrofitted 777-220 featuring the new Delta One Suites at the end of March.
Your best bet to book this is to use Virgin Atlantic miles, with flights from LA costing just 75,000 miles one-way, or from the rest of the US starting at 95,000 miles and up. You can instantly transfer points from Amex Membership Rewards, Citi ThankYou, and Chase Ultimate Rewards to Virgin Atlantic. It's best to call Virgin and put the award on hold before you transfer miles, preventing you from getting burned if the seats are gone by the time the miles are in your account.
If you have a hoard of Delta miles that you want to offload, you can fly from 120,000 SkyMiles one-way. While that may seem like a lot, award rates usually go for double or triple that. Rather save your miles or bring a friend along? You can fly round-trip in economy from just 64,000 SkyMiles — considerably below Delta's standard price.
You may have to do a bit of searching, but after a few clicks using Virgin's flexible date search, you should find what you're looking for.
Here's an extra treat: I just performed a search with United for nonstop business class flights from LAX-SYD, and there was solid availability there too. May, June and August is where you'll find the most dates.
Routes: LAX/SFO/DTW/SEA and likely more to SYD
Cost: From 75,000 Virgin miles in Delta One plus taxes/fees starting at $28 one-way, 64,000 SkyMiles round-trip in economy
Travel Dates: April through September
Purchase By: Within the next day or two
Pay Taxes/Fees With: The Platinum Card® from American Express (5x on airfare booked directly with the airline), Citi Prestige Card (5x on airfare on plus excellent trip delay insurance), Citi Premier® Card, Chase Sapphire Reserve Card, American Express® Gold Card (3x on airfare) or Chase Sapphire Preferred Card (2x on travel)
Here are a few examples of what you can book:
Los Angeles (LAX) to Sydney (SYD) for 64,000 Delta miles + $110 in taxes and fees round-trip nonstop in Delta Economy:
Seattle (SEA) to Sydney (SYD) for 64,000 Delta miles + $116 in taxes and fees round-trip in Delta Economy:
Los Angeles (LAX) to Sydney (SYD) for 75,000 Virgin Atlantic miles + $28 in taxes and fees one-way nonstop in Delta One:
Detroit (DTW) to Sydney (SYD) for 97,500 Virgin Atlantic miles + $28 in taxes and fees one-way in Delta One:
Los Angeles (LAX) to Sydney (SYD) for 150,000 Virgin Atlantic miles + $110 in taxes and fees round-trip nonstop in Delta One:
San Francisco (SFO) to Sydney (SYD) for 195,000 Virgin Atlantic miles + $116 in taxes and fees round-trip in Delta One:
Los Angeles (LAX) to Sydney (SYD) for 240,000 Delta miles + $110 in taxes and fees round-trip nonstop in Delta One:
Maximize Your Purchase
Don’t forget to use a credit card that earns additional points on airfare purchases, such as The Platinum Card® from American Express (5x on flights booked directly with airlines or American Express Travel), Citi Prestige Card (5x on airfare on plus excellent trip delay insurance), Chase Sapphire Reserve Card, American Express® Gold Card, Citi Premier® Card (3x on airfare) or the Chase Sapphire Preferred Card (2x on all travel purchases). Check out this post for more on maximizing airfare purchases.