Any suggestions on how to maximise Qantas and Velocity points for business upgrade to Europe?

So here is the situation and hoping some creative types can provide some good tips on what I should do in order to fly business for 2 people from anywhere in Australia to anywhere in Europe next June-July (happy to take internal flights in OZ and also in Europe in order to snag business return). I have about 400k Qantas FF points + bronze and 300k Virgin FF points + platinum to try use here. I was hoping I could pay for a flexi economy fare and upgrade using points but given Virgin don’t fly to Europe only through partners my status may not help much here.

Any suggestions on the best approach? Should I be looking at transferring to KrisFlyer and trying to book using points? Does Singapore airlines allow immediate upgrades using points from a paid ticket like Virgin if there is availability?

Hi nomad,

Personally I would do the following.

Use VFF or transfer to Krisflyer to snag a SYD-Europe return for 1 in business with Singapore Airlines via outright redemption.

It costs around  161.5k KF (218k VFF) through Krisflyer or 278k VFF through Velocity (if you can find any availabilities). In summary, redemption via VFF will cost more points but less surcharge, via KF will cost more in surcharge but less points.

I always try to redeem premium tickets outright as I personally don’t have much FF status and I don’t like playing the upgrade lottery game.

However, one problem you may have is finding availabilities since June - July 2017 seats have been open since June/July 2016. However, as your timing seems flexible and there are no indications that you are not travelling alone, you should be able to to find 1 seat that you don’t need to waitlist for in the 61 days, just have to keep looking. I advise to look soon.

Reminder VFF to Krisflyer transfer are instant.

Like you have said, your chances of upgrade through VFF is much better than QF due to status. Aus-Europe is very popular and hence availabilities can be hard to come by. However, do check on Qantas too for what its worth as its is very easy to check for availabilities using the calender view for June/July 2017.

In order to save points or due to lack of points, many would consider upgrades. However, the fact that you need to pay the premium for standard/flex economy and play the chance game to get upgraded doesn’t sound like good game for me. Since, you have the point balance, I would recommend outright redemption if you can find availability.

VFF Plat also allows you to request the release of award seats too if you can’t find any. Check out VFF Plat benefits to confirm. Obviously, you have to book through VFF if you go down this route.

Good luck.

w-hiew is absolutely right, in that probably your biggest obstacle here is going to be getting the availability which you need. Business seats on long haul provide the best value for your points redemptions so they’re hot property, and you’re also looking at peak season which has been on sale already for a little while.

What I think would be an awesome way to go is since you have loyalty and a good amount of points across the two programs, is to do sort of half-half and maybe even do a stop-over somewhere.

I’m thinking in particular you should have much better luck getting business award seats with Qantas to Singapore, and then you could get business award seats Singapore to Europe through Virgin’s alignment with SQ couldn’t you?