End of Year Peak Season USA trip - Cash or QFF Points?

Wanting to travel to USA from December 24 - Late January.

Best I could find was $4800 for two travellers via Qantas. Sydney -> Chicago Return (Need to visit family there)

I have approximately 180 000 worth in Qantas Frequent Flyer Points, which is a discount of approx $1300 when used.

Is there a better way I can use my points. Or should I suck it up and pay the full $4800 fare :(



    You're booking way too early which is why the price is so high. Prices generally only start to actually reflect the loading of the flight about 6-8 weeks out.

    • +2 votes

      it's Christmas. it doesn't get cheaper

      • +1 vote

        we've gone to usa for last 4 xmas school holidays & have found that the cheapest flights are either departing 24, 25 or 29-31 December. We started looking in late January & found from experience, that was cheapest time to book.

        I found I needed 96,000 Qantas points for Brisbane/LA return + $500 for 1 person & doubt you could even get classic award tickets anytime in 2nd half of December.

        Much better airlines than Qantas out there. Flew Virgin to LA & they were great. Have also flown Fiji Airways, who have a great upgrade bidding system called bula bids. From Sydney to LA or San Fran flights can be on same aircraft. Have around 2 hours on ground in Fiji.

        At end of this month Southwest airlines load their flights up to January 6. Think they are now the biggest domestic airline in USA with something like 800 or so 737 aircraft. Flew them a few times & they were different, but good. (you don't get a seat allocation-all about how early you check in up to 24 hours before flight, which determines when your board. You actually get on aircraft without a boarding pass).

        Chicago midway airport is major hub for Southwest. Don't think they fly to O'Hare airport, which is a zoo(way too busy for my liking).

        The whole idea of having to have all flights on one ticket is garbage, plus 24 December is much cheaper than earlier as most people want to get where they are going before 24 December.

        If funds are really tight, think about having a night at LAX or San Fran airports. Must be a hundred hotels with free airport shuttles at each airport, from 1 to 5 star. Split cost in 2, wouldn't cost that much.

  • +1 vote

    You can sell here for $1800 minimum.

  • +1 vote

    I would use points in this case. If you value points at 1cpp and you're using 180k points, then you're "paying" $1800, saving $3k off the cash fare.

    General rule of thumb - Use points for business/first class fares. Only use points for economy fares during peak periods.


    What a rort. I would fly to LA then transfer.

    What's wrong with you?


      It’s literally only $16 cheaper to fly to LA on the required dates…


        not if you get cheapest fare to LAX or SFO & then fly southwest to Chicago Midway. Southwest, although the biggest U.S. airline don't load their flights like most other airlines, who load one day every day. They do blocks of a few months all at one time. At end of this month(1 June our time) Southwest load flights up to January 6. Then a few months later they will load flights beyond January 6.

        As soon as they load their flights, all other airlines adjust their fares downwards.


      Seems the intelligent solution, I had a quick look and there r flights for 1300

  • +1 vote

    $2400 each sounds alight to Chicago to me. For that time of the year, if you're lucky you might get down to $2K each.

    Personally I think points are best used when used for upgrades.


    There is flights to lax using Philippine airlines for 1300 from dec 22-jan26 or 1500 dec24 to jan 26

    Use qff to book a flight to. Chicago for ~10 dollars

    cost 1310

    Why do you have to use qantas ?

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