What are the best ways to research for Qantas/oneworld round the world premium economy redemption to the US & Europe?

I want to start planning for a trip now for Christmas 2016. I am trying to estimate costs, best way of using points, etc. as it’s not something I’ve done before.

We’d like to travel premium economy for the longer flights.

We currently have 440,000 QFF points, and will obviously have more by the time we can book.

The plan is to spend about 3 days in each location:  Melbourne AU > New York US  > Reykjavik IS > Dublin IE > Manchester UK (need to be here for Christmas day) > London UK > Melbourne AU

Can anyone offer suggestions as to the best way of researching what’s available? Is https://rtw.oneworld.com useful? Should I just bite the bullet & use a travel agent?

Thanks in advance for any help offered

I agree that is far too packed a schedule with 3 days in each place , especially when moving between different time zones. You’ll be very tired all the time. It’s better to spend more time in less places.

The first thing I’d say is flying all the way around the world to spend 3 days each in some of these destinations is not really worth it given the amount of travel required. I’d strongly suggest just getting a flight from Melbourne to Europe in business class on using your QFF points. Premium economy return would be around 400,000 points, and business would be around 510,000 points (if you can get more points in a short time frame). Then you can explore most of your destinations with more time to spare (excluding NYC).

Based on the number of points, your best bet would be to piece together a oneworld Class Reward on Qantas. There is an extensive guide on this website here (https://www.pointhacks.com.au/qantas-round-the-world-classic-award-guide/ ). A premium economy RTW would be 210,000 points each, so you would appear to have enough. The additional taxes will be around $1500 each.

The trickiest thing will be availability. Trying to find seats for two people during one of the busiest times of the year on multiple segments which are some of the most popular/difficult (e.g. Oz to USA) is going to be very challenging!

You will need to research availability yourself on all the segments, using oneworld carriers only. The best way to do this is using BA Executive Club, Qantas and AAdvantage search engines, in that order. The most difficult one is Reykjavik. I can’t think of any oneworld carriers from NYC > Reykjavik. However, AirBerlin does fly from Reykjavik to Berlin (although you’d then need to double back to get to Dublin). BA occasional flies from Reykjavik to LHR, which you could then get a flight to Dublin.  Given this, you might want to be flexible about whether you really need to go to Iceland when checking availability.

One potential itinerary I’ve come up with could be:

  • Melbourne > NYC on Qantas (via LA) or Cathay (via Hong Kong)
  • NYC > Dublin on American (via Boston)or BA (via LHR)
  • Dublin > Manchester (pay separately)
  • Manchester > London (pay separately)
  • London > Melbourne on Qantas (via Dubai), BA (via several stopovers) or Qatar (via Doha)
Alternatively you could just target some of the bigger segments using one-way awards, which would be the same process outlined above.

It is doable, but will be require a LOT of searching and a high degree of flexibility.