Which of these 2 options would you recommend for flying to Europe with two young kids?


I am planning to fly to Europe with 2 little kids.

After reading and educating myself about points, reward flights, credit cards, buying points etc I came up with 2 different scenarios to be able to fly as comfortable as possible considering I am not flying alone. My ideal destination airports would be either Vienna or Budapest. Flying either around April or September.

Option 1

The route between SYD and VIE/BUD with Qatar, Emirates, Etihad with 1 stop only. Or SYD - BUD with Singapore and Swiss with 2 stops (Singapore, Zurich). Ideally in Business but not exactly certain I would have enough points for this. My plan is to buy Avios for all 3 of us from Qatar when on promotion.

The main worry here is that according to forum posts I read AUS - EU reward ticket possibility is apparently very difficult. Even for people with enough points. This route would be better option as there is only one stopover, I am looking at flights to get us to EU fast and without long stopovers.

Can I please ask if it is possible to book reward flight considering it is for 3 people or should I just forget about this option? I dont want to risk, buy Avios and end up with no ticket.

Option 2

Take flight to these 5 Asian cities : Singapore, Jakarta, Manila, Bangkok, Kuala Lumpur.

Take economy to one of these cities and then (hopefully) take business from Asia to EU. Apparently it is easier to book reward flight from Asia than from Australia. For this I shortlisted following airlines : Saudia, Qatar, Turkish, Finnair, Etihad, Emirates, Austrian, EVA air.

Do you think any of my options are realistic? Could you please provide any suggestions or opinions?

Thank you very much.


Option 2 will generally give you more options with award seats. However, award seats are still not (never) a guarantee. The cons are you will need to pay for the positioning flight and adding another stop is not great with young kids. Especially if you are flying on a separate booking, it is likely advisable to leave a decent buffer between flights in case of any unplanned delays causing you to miss the subsequent flights. This introduces more costs (accommodation) and time. However, some will prefer to break up the trip; whereas some would rather bite the bullet and get from A to B in the shortest amount of time and transit.

With any plans to purchase points/miles for award seats, please run through the scenario to make sure you have a good chance of finding the required award seats. 3 will generally be harder to find compared to 2.

I’d suggest doing some test searches for award seats. Last I heard, the situation is fairly dire with flights to EU, especially out of Australia. You don’t need to have the required points to search. Try searching for 2 or 3 seats to give you a feel of what is available.

I don’t like your chances out of Australia but you might have better luck out of Asia.

Like you have mentioned, best not to be stuck with points that you paid but couldn’t use. No one would be able to give you the confidence or guarantee of award seats. It will unfortunately be a risk you would have to calculate and take on your own. So best to see what’s there at the moment and see whether there is any patterns.

Good luck.

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Hello and thank you for your feedback.

Yes , with option 2 I would definitely allow a lot of time between flight or book a hotel for 1 night. As you suggested I will start to check award flight availability. Is it ok to focus on Qatar, Emirates and Etihad only? Or scan all other airlines I mentioned in my first post?

Regarding option 1 - Is it a good deal to pay with points for economy flights? Most articles I read was advising to spend points for Business or First class.
Also, if I dont have any points with particular airline, is it allowed simply buy enough points for my flights and (if lucky) redeem these “fresh” points for my desired flights?

With credit cards - is there some “pattern” when they release cards with big bonuses? When looking at some Amex deals sometimes the same type of card has 50k points bonus, then later no bonus, then again 30k bonus…

I would choose a few airlines that you could purchase points/miles for at a reasonable price. I.e. work out which airline program sells points regularly at a discount; work out how many points are required for the route/class you are after; check the list of partner airlines you can redeem the points for; compare the price of buying points (plus flight taxes) vs just buying a normal ticket with cash.

In my opinion, using points for economy flights is fine as long as you accept the costs to earn the points (whether that’s from credit card spend, flying or buying points) is meaningfully lower than the cost for the economy flights. Some economy flights can be very expensive over peak periods. However, this rarely become sensible to buy points to fly economy flights. You will have to calculate the cents per point (CPP) for your earning vs spending.

I’ve not heard of programs limiting the use of newly bought points. I’ve only heard of programs limiting the buying of points until after some months.

I personally don’t know of any patterns for big credit card signup promotions. They come and go and will be some every few months. They may not be for the cards you are initially interested in. There is always the case of signing up to a credit card and there is a more lucrative offer in the following week for the same card. You win some you lose some.

Thank you very much for your post and useful information.

If you have the time to save points you could go Singapore Airlines from aus to Vienn using velocity or amex. Singapore has good availability to Europe and does sometimes release >3-4 business class seats.

As whiew said do some test searches.

If you’re flexible with stop overs and or long transits and departure airports from aus, you might have more luck.

Some airlines have more flights into a city which means more reward availability. So check multiple airports in Europe and then you can train or fly the final leg with cash.

Good luck!

Thank you for your suggestion.

I did join KrisFlyer and performed some test searches but whatever date I put from Sydney to Vienna the result is always no seats. Is it because I have zero points with them?

SQ does not fly to Vienna. It would be easier to get seats to Frankfurt, Zurich or Munich.

I have found seats Syd - Muc on August 31 for 154,000 miles (this allows for a stopover in Singapore) or on August 28 for 130,500 miles (no stopover allowed). Note these are waitlist seats and I believe that they do clear.

As long as you have an active Krisflyer account it should be possible to see seat availability, even if you do not have the points in your account.

Sadly, clicking the Star Alliance tab did not reveal any options to get to Europe.

If you wish to get to Vienna directly, pick an airline that flies there directly (Qatar, Emirates etc).

An option for you to consider is to get a Velocity Rewards Card and use that as they have numerous airlines that they tie up with. It may then be possible to get a seat via Velocity and 2 seats via Qatar directly on the same flights.

Would love to hear from you on how you go.

Thanks for your post and suggestion.

I tried today again and it is showing a lot of seats but all “waitlist”. I had to do some reading on what this actually means as I am new to this.

But I found available seats SYD-SIN return in business for 137k point so maybe this can be option if SYD - EU is not available. And then fly from SIn with other airlines - Qatar, Turkish, Finnair…