These past few months Delta has had outstanding award availability to Australia with no fuel surcharges using their partner Virgin Australia. Several days per week I’ve been able to find at least one seat, but usually two, on the Brisbane (BNE) or Sydney (SYD) flights. The availability is still pretty good, but not as great as it was back in February and March…even though we are heading into winter in Australia. Anyway, a client yesterday asked about using his SkyMiles to fly on China Southern’s A380 from LA to Guangzhou (CAN), on to Ho Chi Minh (SGN) for a few days, and then connecting onwards to Melbourne (MEL). On the return, he wanted Virgin Australia from Sydney (SYD) to LAX. I was able to easily book all segments for 150,000 SkyMiles. We’ve known for sometime about the excellent China Southern availability to Australia via CAN, but I was really surprised by just how good the availability was from Ho Chi Minh to both Sydney and Melbourne. There were several days when there were 4 business and 4 economy tickets available on either flight with no fuel surcharges at all. This is in addition to China Southern having 4 business seats available several times per month on their LAX-CAN flight. This means you could potentially take an Asian / Australian vacation with a family of 4 using a LOW SkyMiles award! Availability on Vietnam and China Southern is easily viewable using Seth’s Wandering Aramean Travel Tools. Of course, don’t expect to be able to find any low level availability on Delta’s own LAX-SYD flight! The obvious warning here is that you will be spending a lot of time on the phone with Delta walking them through your exact flights and making sure they know that VN and CZ are Delta partners. Additionally, the seats on the A330 are NOT lie-flat. Product details here.  See the post below for tips and experiences on using SkyMiles on the CZ A380.

Now, Vietnam Airlines is reducing their route frequencies to both SYD and MEL for the winter, but they will likely go back up for the peak travel season as they did this year.

Unbelievably, it’s been a good few days for booking low level Delta awards. Just on Saturday, I was able to book a low level business award for two to Spain during the prime summer travel season.

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Jeff May 6, 2013 - 8:46 pm

I think VN award also book into revenue buckets so you get miles, but I think they’re changing that also.

adam May 8, 2013 - 2:51 pm

@Jeff – Thanks, didn’t realize that!

DTO May 7, 2013 - 9:31 am

Does China Southern still have fuel surcharge?

adam May 8, 2013 - 2:51 pm

@DTO – With Delta or another partner? No fees currently with DL


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