Travelling in April 2023 - need help finding award seats please


Hoping that someone can help me with this search (or let me know if it’s impossible!!)

  • I have booked award seat flights from Sydney to London next March for a wedding and am now trying to get the flights back home
  • We had hoped to return from Barcelona with a stop off to see a friend in Abu Dhabi
  • Apart from the wedding on 3 April, we can shuffle around our other dates. Ideally we would leave Barcelona on 10 April and have 3 days in Abu Dhabi.
  • If it’s easier to depart out of another European city then I’m happy to look at that - just aiming to spend my birthday weekend (8 & 9 April) somewhere nice!
  • 2 Adults
  • Prem Economy or Business
  • Use Velocity Points

Thanks so much - any help gratefully received!

Since Virgin doesn’t allow stop overs, having a break in UAE means booking two seperate tickets.

From Barcelona to Abu Dhabi, you could fly Qatar or Etihad on the day you want. Qatar has no business class seats available for seemingly the whole year. For Etihad, there is some weird married segment logic going on. If you search Barcelona to Abu Dhabi, you will not see any Etihad flights available for redemption, but if you set your destination to nearby Dubai, business class flights from Barcelona to Abu Dhabi will suddenly pop up on Etihad with a BUS connection to XNB which is the Dubai Mall bus terminal. If you book Barcelona to Dubai (costs the same as going to Abu Dhabi, but we already went through why that’s not possible), it will set you back 57,000 points and $720 in surcharges per person. The surcharges sting but that goes with all Etihad redemptions. You could take the bus connection and take a detour to Dubai and then drive/take the bus back again for the wedding (or maybe you have friends there that are going that direction). OR, and this is a bit risky, if you do not check through your luggage or hand carry only, you could just… not take the bus connection.

Alright, let’s look at coming back down under:
Business class is available on the direct from Abu Dhabi to Sydney on the 15th for 2. Economy only for all other dates. Taking that would cost you 104,000 points and $450 in surcharges per person. Weird how this flight has less surcharges than the Europe one!!
Hope this helps!


Thanks so much - this is really helpful!! Off to do some investigating tonight :slight_smile: