I was in a very similar situation however i had Velocity Points to use. looking to fly out December 21 and returning 2nd week of Jan
Trying to find F/J let alone PE was too much of a challenge for me and believe me i checked every day and morning in the lead up and there was never any availability.(melb to sin seemed to be the sticking point)
Singapore like you said either had waitlist or nothing leaving Melbourne. I did see some Star Alliance business availability on Air China but didn’t read the best reviews. And as for Virgin pretty much no hope.
The only way i was able to piece together F or J was to pay $$ MEL > SIN in economy or premium economy, then search from SIN – FRA – JFK, there seemed to be availability on the Star Alliance airlines with the likes of EVA Air, Turkish Airlines(only ones going through Europe) and Air China at a cost of 97,500 KF but im not sure if you can book stopovers using the star alliance.
In the end we ended up booking business with Etihad using the Velocity points. Plenty of availability, 1 stopover in abu dhabi, and business all the way it was a no brainer.
139,000 velocity + $654 in taxes/fees roughly.
So you have a few options but they may not be via Europe
- Etihad like we did if you have Velocity Points Leave Melbourne 4.50pm arrive next day 8.55am. Perfect scenario in our case
- Pay to Singapore and then search SIN>JFK
- Try MEL>SFO/LAX as SIA is also an option( the reason why i didn't go with this one is the timing of the flights. By the time you got to SFO or LAX, then fly to NY it would be around 11pm-Midnight.
Good luck! and hope some of the above info is a bit of help
my next mission is finding a way back to Melbourne haha, SIA is all on waitlist or not available so looks like i’ll be waiting for Etihad dates to become available.