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Booking LHR—SYD

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  • UKHomeGym

    Can anyone share best practices for trying to reserve the near-impossible-to-book reward flights for LHR—SYD 2023? I’m beginning to receive SeatSpy notifications, but seldom see any availability in Business. I understand I need to call a US BA call centre. Does anyone have any tips, advice or hacks? Thank you.

    NorthernLass

    They’ll be gone by the time you see the SeatSpy alert – you need to be online or on the phone at midnight when the seats are released. There are numerous threads and articles on here (search the BA forum) with tips on the best way to do this, it’s worth spending a bit of time doing your research to be able to put the best strategy together.

    NorthernLass

    Just looking at Seatspy there are several PE seats available next November (not the worst way in the world to travel), plus 2 in CW returning on the 10th.

    polly

    Depending on dates, nab the 2 CW tkts, and maybe fly on QR avios Lon/EU to Oz. We are also looking at Oz on QR for a wedding next winter. Not a bad option. But can’t use our 241 tho. It’s just such a busy limited route for us avios hunters.

    Whatsthepoint

    I snaffled a companion voucher booking both ways in 2019. Was flexible in my dates and called US number at midnight UK on the relevant days. Easy as that!

    NorthernLass

    Ah, but there weren’t 2 years of pent up demand to contend with back then!

    Londonsteve

    If you don’t benefit from any vouchers, is it actually better to book on Qatar on the Sydney route, even though it’s 3 sectors and not 2? I’m aware the on board experience on Qatar will be better compared to BA, just wondered if there’s actually a cost advantage to booking it as a single flight with BA hence why so many people seem to prefer this option.

    masaccio

    Since you didn’t mention 241, just do a multi-carrier award. Unless you are staying only in NSW, I guess you don’t want to fly into And out of SYD anyway. Add in some easy-to-get cross country on Qantarse and you are done.

    UKHomeGym

    Hi, thank you all for your replies. I am new to this so excuse all the questions. I have two companion vouchers so will use one. @masaccio I’ll be visiting family in Melbourne so do plan to head out of NSW, travelling with partner and child. We’re looking for an outbound flight in the first week of Dec 2023, inbound a month later. So while I call the US office and book the outbound flight, does it mean that I need to wait until 355 days before my inbound flight to book the return flight? I don’t mind if it’s 2 or 3 sectors but not more than that. Finally, is it the 1800 AIRWAYS number? Thanks again.

    NorthernLass

    Yes you’ll have to wait until the inbound flights are released then add them. As you’re using a companion voucher you’re restricted to BA flights only, so no multi-carrier. I think SYD is currently only via SIN?

    You might need a plan B, though, as I imagine an awful lot of people will be wanting to visit Australia for Xmas 2023.

    NorthernLass

    Also how old is the child? If over 2 of course you will need 3 seats which is even more difficult. A quick insomniac’s check of SeatSpy is showing only 1 x J and 2 x PE left for T-355, with 2 of each available for return that day, and demand will be even higher for December.
    I’ve never called at T-355 but I think someone posted recently that it’s better to call Japan as it’s the start of the working day there, rather than the end. I imagine if you google you will get a list of phone numbers, they are on here somewhere as well.

    masaccio

    Serious question – why bother call for the outbound at all? Are you not more likely to secure tickets online? I get it for the return.

    NorthernLass

    Some people say that they find calling just before midnight or 1 am lets them get through security and the agent can get the seats in their “basket” and this secures them during the booking process, unlike when you book online and you can lose them up till the point your payment goes through. I’m not usually after hen’s teeth routes like SYD but I did once lose 3 x J seats to MIA during check out which was crushing!

    Seagull

    Some people say that they find calling just before midnight or 1 am lets them get through security and the agent can get the seats in their “basket” and this secures them during the booking process, unlike when you book online and you can lose them up till the point your payment goes through. I’m not usually after hen’s teeth routes like SYD but I did once lose 3 x J seats to MIA during check out which was crushing!

    I booked 4xJ LHR-SIN returns via 2×241 for next August at T-355 earlier this year and found the US call centre very helpful. Outbound achieved on first time but took 2 nights calling to get the returns. Called about 10 mins before hand as they typically answer quickly and is then enough time to get through security and explain what you want to do. We then counted down the seconds until midnight together until he hit the “enter” key! Final tip is use Skype as it’s free.

    VerdantBacon

    We fly LON – Australia on reward fairly often and you definitely should call a few mins before midnight to get through the security process and have the agent ready to put a hold on the flights as soon as they come up. LON-SYD with BA in December is very competitive, I would not try and book this online at all, I doubt you will have a chance at getting from booking to payment as fast as an agent can hold them over the phone. Also don’t rely on things like seatspy, you know for sure seats will be released at midnight, there’s no need to wait for a 3rd party website to tell you this, hours too late

    NorthernLass

    I’m after seats to NAS in December 2023, happily for me I will be in Florida when they are released so will only need to be online at 7 pm and not midnight!

    Rob
    HfP Staff

    Remember that Qatar Airways is 180k return in Business Class to Australia or NZ, and you don’t have this fight for availability. Better than using 300k and a 241 on BA, even if you could get seats ….

    truthbetold

    At least they guarantee availability on BA even if hard to get them. Qatar has no guarantee afaik. However it’s a massive win if you can get the Qatar (also available to other airports)

    Mikeact

    I’m after seats to NAS in December 2023, happily for me I will be in Florida when they are released so will only need to be online at 7 pm and not midnight!

    Still happy to fly BA I see ! Shame your Easyjet are not over there!

    Rob
    HfP Staff

    At least they guarantee availability on BA even if hard to get them. Qatar has no guarantee afaik. However it’s a massive win if you can get the Qatar (also available to other airports)

    Qatar offers guaranteed availability.

    NorthernLass

    @Mikeact – avios plus voucher, obviously! Also not really any other option from MAN, of course, on one PNR. You do seem to be oddly focused on this …

    EasyJet long haul would be an interesting prospect. Though Ryanair are actually much better for leg room unless you can get row 1.

    Harry T

    It’s worth realising that BA business class is terrible and their surcharges on redemptions make them very poor value, especially on this route. Qatar are vastly superior and offer very attractive redemption rates for travel between UK/Europe and Australia. It’s also considerably easier to find QR redemption availability to Australia. I would not fly BA on a route where QR is a sensible option.

    Metty

    As has been mentioned previously on the forum, there is plenty of Business Class Avios availability to SYD – and other very popular BA destinations – for flights departing the UK regions, connecting via LHR when using *only* the new BA Amex Premium Plus Companion voucher.

    via LHR to SYD using Avios

    I’d imagine that many folks reading this would not be averse to starting a trip in e.g. Inverness. Non-HfP readers likely less keen. My partner actually believed me that going to Hawaii starting in Cairo, via LHR, JFK and LAX was a good idea, but that’s another story.

    headsphere

    So how do you even see Qatar availability at all? I’ve linked my BA and my Qatar accounts and searching for J seats one year out from Doha to Akld comes up with nothing. I can see some economy availability from London on BA.com but nothing at all on Qatar’s website. Is it like the BA flights where they disappear at midnight? Is there a trick I’m missing here?

    VerdantBacon

    So how do you even see Qatar availability at all? I’ve linked my BA and my Qatar accounts and searching for J seats one year out from Doha to Akld comes up with nothing. I can see some economy availability from London on BA.com but nothing at all on Qatar’s website. Is it like the BA flights where they disappear at midnight? Is there a trick I’m missing here?

    Search from London on QR website, just did a search for a few random days in Sep and Oct and found plenty

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