What is the cheapest/best way to get to Frankfurt from Adelaide in February 2019?

Hi all,
I’ve been reading about Lifemiles and Qantas points.
I’m hoping for some advice.
I’m looking at 4 return tickets Adelaide to Frankfurt in February next year.
Of course, I’m wanting the best way financially to get there.
For those that travel frequently…
What is the cheapest route to get there?? ie direct to frankfurt or stopovers or travel to nearby less popular town etc
Would buying lifemiles be best?
I’ve looked into points, but with the additional cost, I’m not sure it seems worthwhile.
Is there a website where I can purchase frequent flyer points to my advantage?

Any help would be gratefully accepted.

Hi Christine,

First of all I think that with some very select exceptions flying as directly as possible is always a bit more expensive, and this will certainly be true for you in Adelaide. The golden rule of air travel is competition keeps the prices down, and there’s only a dozen international services from Adelaide that could get you there in one stop, so I’m virtually certain it will cost you a little more to fly one-stop with say Qatar, Emirates or Cathay than it would to connect via Sydney.

I’m not sure buying Avianca Lifemiles will do you any good in Adelaide, as most one-stop services are with airlines like Cathay, Qatar or Emirates who are all Qantas partners. Unless something has changed SQ are the only star alliance member flying one stop out of Adelaide where those points would do you any good.  If you looked to redeem a seat from say Sydney or Melbourne you’d probably be able to find something, but once you account for the separate ADL - MEL/SYD return tickets which is probably $250 - $400pp I’m not sure it’s a good deal. Factor into that also that if you are buying a separate paid ticket to meet an award seat, you will have to build into your connection a margin for error to account for potential delays, so it’s not just adding a 2 hour flight to Melbourne - it’s increasing your total journey by near enough to 6 hours I’d suggest.

I would be interested to know if when you mean four seats, you mean four business or economy seats, but in either case - Qantas points would be the only feasible way to get there with points in my opinion. Qantas points could be redeemed on the Emirates, Qatar or Cathay pacific one-stop services, to travel via London with Malaysian airlines (they don’t fly one-stop to anywhere other than London), or for any number of services which would have you connect via busier international ports like Perth, Melbourne or Brisbane. The catch is that unlike lifemiles there is no way to top up your points by buying them, however Qantas have any number of ways to earn without flying so you’d be able to add to your points relatively easily.

Honestly - February is the lowest of low seasons. It’s not school holidays, it’s cold and miserable in Europe, the demand on seats is basically as low as it ever gets so the paid fares should be very reasonable. If you don’t have enough points I would suggest bite the bullet and pay for the seats this time; you would pay as much or more once all is said and done to buy the points if you don’t have ready access to them already. Credit the points to your program of choice (I’d suggest Qantas) and they can help you next time, but buying points outside of purchase promo’s for economy seats in low season doesn’t make sense.

Since you’re on a points website, I’ll assume that you’re hoping to use points for the tickets.

Finding four seats on the same flights may be a stretch. You might need to split the group and travel separately to make it all work - either through different cities or on different dates or times. But if you’re flexible and patient, you can get lucky. And as mentioned, February is low season.

Buying Lifemiles can work out cheaper than paying for premium cabin seats, particularly during a promotion, and if my sums are correct this could mean paying around $3600 per person for a return business class ticket from Australia to Europe. But I would argue that it’s more hassle than the saving is worth. Lifemiles can be complicated and frustrating, particularly for someone who doesn’t have a lot of experience in points redemptions, and I’m guessing you fit into that category, which is why you’re posting here?

Online options to buy frequent flyer points to your advantage are limited… The best buying deals are generally bonus promotions (Lifemiles has offered various bonus deals that see miles as cheap as 1.35 US cents per mile), or big sign-up bonuses for new credit cards.

I’m not familiar with Adelaide Airport, but I think Singapore Airlines is your only one-stop option with Lifemiles. Singapore Airlines often limits reward seat availability to those not booking through their own KrisFlyer program. If you can’t find anything with Singapore Airlines you could try getting to Melbourne, Sydney, Perth or Brisbane first, and then flying Thai Airways (or other Star Alliance carrier) from there to Frankfurt. With Qantas points, you could try flying via Doha on Qatar Airways. Both Thai and Qatar offer other destinations in Europe to consider if you are struggling to find Frankfurt flights that suit.

The cheapest route to get there… It’s all much the same when it comes to points, just watch out for flights via London Heathrow which imposes notoriously high taxes. If you want to buy tickets with money rather than miles, I can see one-stop flights for $1200 with Singapore Airlines or Qatar in economy, I would say these are both good choices. Cheap paid business class flights often have two stops to go from Adelaide to Frankfurt, with one in Asia and another in the Middle East or Europe, and they start at $5000.