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Posted (edited)

No - not the O cruise prices...

 

Usually, I can handle “sticker shock” without much upset.
But earlier this week, I did multiple ITA Matrix searches (followed by specific airlines’ searches) for a mock multi-city booking SFO-AKL and SYD-SFO for non-stop Bizclass for late 2021 since it’s too early for early 2022.
There were very few non-stop options and the “cheapest” of them was $10k+\- per per person (up to $15k pp for United Polaris, which is usually worth the extra $$). Want to use points instead? Try  360k points per person for Star Alliance members.
At this rate, I don’t think OZ/NZ need to worry about a foreigner invasion.

Bottom line of my post: Before you pull that cruise “trigger,” check the airfare parameters.

Edited by Flatbush Flyer
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Europe for Winter 2021 and Summer 2022 are still "economical"...57,500 one way business class PDX -VCE and PDX - OSL

 

 

 

 

 

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19 minutes ago, Flatbush Flyer said:

No - not the O cruise prices...

 

Usually, I can handle “sticker shock” without much upset.
But earlier this week, I did multiple ITA Matrix searches (followed by specific airlines’ searches) for a mock multi-city booking SFO-AKL and SYD-SFO for non-stop Bizclass for late 2021 since it’s too early for early 2022.
There were very few non-stop options and the “cheapest” of them was $10k+\- per per person (up to $15k pp for United Polaris, which is usually worth the extra $$). Want to use points instead? Try  360k points per person for Star Alliance members.
At this rate, I don’t think OZ/NZ need to worry about a foreigner invasion.

Bottom line of my post: Before you pull that cruise “trigger,” check the airfare parameters.

Yeah, some time back I fiddled around with biz class European fares, points and dollars,  and all but choked. We felt we had accumulated tons of points but perhaps not. No big purchases and no intl travel of course. When we returned from Buenos Aires late 2019 I used $$$ and points to WAITLIST for Polaris. It did clear and now I'm spoiled. Had a glass of sparkling wine and went to sleep. Spoiled, do you hear?!?!?

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This might make Silversea a bargain, since they offer included Economy air and $1,999 each way upgrade to Business [also many choices of included shore excursions in every port].

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Posted (edited)
9 minutes ago, Host Jazzbeau said:

This might make Silversea a bargain, since they offer included Economy air and $1,999 each way upgrade to Business [also many choices of included shore excursions in every port].

That sounds good.

Have they relaxed their strict dress code - a deal breaker for me.

Edited by Paulchili
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10 minutes ago, Paulchili said:

That sounds good.

Have they relaxed their strict dress code - a deal breaker for me.

I don't like to play dress up either, but it doesn't seem too terrible [for men anyway].  A dark suit would seem to satisfy the most stringent requirements. 

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32 minutes ago, Host Jazzbeau said:

I don't like to play dress up either, but it doesn't seem too terrible [for men anyway].  A dark suit would seem to satisfy the most stringent requirements. 

Leaves me out. To each their own I guess.

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Funny , I played with going to Sydney BC just today. Prices we’re running around $14K! 😳 About twice a few years back. Even PE was incredibly high. 
 

Going to SA has also jumped in the last couple of months. 

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2 hours ago, Flatbush Flyer said:

No - not the O cruise prices...

 

Usually, I can handle “sticker shock” without much upset.
But earlier this week, I did multiple ITA Matrix searches (followed by specific airlines’ searches) for a mock multi-city booking SFO-AKL and SYD-SFO for non-stop Bizclass for late 2021 since it’s too early for early 2022.
There were very few non-stop options and the “cheapest” of them was $10k+\- per per person (up to $15k pp for United Polaris, which is usually worth the extra $$). Want to use points instead? Try  360k points per person for Star Alliance members.
At this rate, I don’t think OZ/NZ need to worry about a foreigner invasion.

Bottom line of my post: Before you pull that cruise “trigger,” check the airfare parameters.

Delta kicked off dynamic award pricing several years ago, and United followed suit in 2019 so the points required can be all over the map.   I can tell you that in 2019, after this change, I was able to get biz class awards using  UA miles at "normal" saver levels to Australia returning from AKL, but I was not flying the route you indicate since I am on the east coast, and I did not fly on UA, but rather on Star Alliance partners.  It took some perseverance on my part.   FWIW, award travel to Australia/NZ in business class is one of the most coveted, and therefore, most challenging to find, made more difficult still if your dates of travel are constrained by dates of your cruise.

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1 hour ago, Host Jazzbeau said:

This might make Silversea a bargain, since they offer included Economy air and $1,999 each way upgrade to Business [also many choices of included shore excursions in every port].

Air Bargain? Cheaper? Perhaps. But remember that the economy air is built in to the cruise fare. Add to that your $4k RT upgrade and the total would be about right for many destinations using “second tier” airlines and indirect bizclass flights. 

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Posted (edited)
37 minutes ago, the mice said:

FWIW, award travel to Australia/NZ in business class is one of the most coveted, and therefore, most challenging to find, made more difficult still if your dates of travel are constrained by dates of your cruise.

I agree - it has been that way for some time.

The last couple of times I was able to get J awards on Cathay via HKG. Granted, it is not non-stop but manageable in J and still better IMO than Y or even PE on a direct flight.

Last year I found 2 J awards on AA from SFO to BNE -I couldn’t believe my luck - but the cruise was cancellled.

YMMV

Edited by Paulchili
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15 minutes ago, Paulchili said:

I agree - it has been that way for some time.

The last couple of times I was able to get J awards on Cathay via HKG. Granted, it is not non-stop but manageable in J and still better IMO than Y or even PE on a direct flight.

Last year I found 2 J awards on AA from SFO to BNE -I couldn’t believe my luck - but the cruise was cancellled.

YMMV

Yes, flexibility on the route is key to finding award space, and it often won't open up when the schedule does.   I wanted to start in Melbourne, and ended up getting a J award from Vancouver to Melbourne on AC, so we just booked a cheap Y ticket to YVR, overnighted and met some friends before our nontop YVR-MEL.   On the return from AKL, we were originally scheduled to fly AKL-SYD (overnight layover)-SFO-EWR.  However, about 2 weeks prior to departure, Air NZ opened up super rare J seat awards AKL-IAH so was able to switch and tack on a Y flight to LGA.   Both flights on the long legs were so worth it.

 

Flying from SFO to OZ or NZ nonstop really limits the options, driving up the $$ and the award miles and award availability.

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I always figured J awards/prices are on a somewhat exponential curve according to the length of the flight.  The longer the flight, the more the value of J seats.  I think of them as having an hourly rate, which used to be about $200/hour for medium length flights for the premium over Y.  But when you get to those nonstops from SFO to ANZ, it's more like $300/hour.

 

Being in SF area is a bit of a mixed bag; it's nice to have nonstops to so many locations, but the thinner schedule means you don't have the competition and options that you would get from LAX.

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right now Australia and NZ airfare prices are astronomical (in premium cabins) because of supply/demand.

 

 The people that absolutely have to get there (and are permitted) will pay whatever is required.

 

Once Australia/NZ open up for tourism, prices will return to normal.

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14 hours ago, Host Jazzbeau said:

$1,999 each

from where to where? We were booked on a Silversea Galapagos trip but I didn't look at business as it's only a five hour flight. 

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been hunting for MCO -EZE for our Antarctica cruise.  Try to get a decent Biz price for last three months or use FF miles.  Was able to to books some PE space using miles but cheapest PE on UA or AA was 2K pp.  Today was on the Amex site (which uses the IATA engine) and found Biz (P class) at $2K RT with the domestic leg in ECO on the way down.  Jumped on that one. 

 

Paul -- No Silversea did not change the formal policy.  Still one night of 7 is formal.

By the way just like O the excursions are no free ride.   They did up the price comparing both with and without for Japan -- about $85 pp per port.  The Business class to Asia (with the "free economy ) is about $5248 pp.  Generally you probably can find something similarly priced -- as I will be hunting next month for our Japan cruise.

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I checked a lot of the business class tickets from LAX and Dallas to SYD.  My intent  was to go to Sydney for a couple days, then to Auckland for the cruise .  The cruise was Auckland to Sydney, thus I'd end in Sydney.  The best non stop prices from LAX were $6-7k.  If you  willing to connect through Hong Kong, Seoul, Tokyo or Hawaii (yes Hawaii) you can generally the prices that are  just north of 4k.  Hawaiian Air had 4k biz class seats a couple times and the connection is fairly easy.  I read Hawaiian Air biz class isn't bad, never taken it.  

 

The Silversea biz class is a good deal if its a non stop flight.  In some cases it also includes transfers & 1 night hotel.

 

Aloha

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8 minutes ago, RetiredandTravel said:

I checked a lot of the business class tickets from LAX and Dallas to SYD.  My intent  was to go to Sydney for a couple days, then to Auckland for the cruise .  The cruise was Auckland to Sydney, thus I'd end in Sydney.  The best non stop prices from LAX were $6-7k.  If you  willing to connect through Hong Kong, Seoul, Tokyo or Hawaii (yes Hawaii) you can generally the prices that are  just north of 4k.  Hawaiian Air had 4k biz class seats a couple times and the connection is fairly easy.  I read Hawaiian Air biz class isn't bad, never taken it.  

 

The Silversea biz class is a good deal if its a non stop flight.  In some cases it also includes transfers & 1 night hotel.

 

Aloha

Going through Hong Kong suggests Cathay Pacific. I wasn’t impressed.

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I saw the Hawaiian Air flights when I was looking at prices like that.  It would allow NY - HNL, then HNL to SYD, and after the cruise AKL to HNL and HNL to NY (all on Hawaiian Air).  But when I mentioned this to my TA, she said those HNL to AKL or SYD flights are new and probably temporary while other airlines have cut back.  That's too bad, because I was really looking forward to the layover at the Hilton on Waikiki Beach.

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20 minutes ago, Host Jazzbeau said:

I That's too bad, because I was really looking forward to the layover at the Hilton on Waikiki Beach.

Better yet, head over to the Halekalani Hotel for the the best coconut shrimp and top it off with the most fabulous coconut cake in the world. I love Honolulu :))

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17 minutes ago, Flatbush Flyer said:

Going through Hong Kong suggests Cathay Pacific. I wasn’t impressed.

 

 

Yes many are through Hong Kong on Cathay Pacific.  If you don't like the airline its not for.

 

I have no experience with them.

 

It used to be a good airline, recently got a decent review from the points guy.  You may never get out of Hong Kong but thats a different story.

 

https://thepointsguy.com/reviews/cathay-pacific-a350-business-class-hkg-ewr/

 

Right now non stop prices from LAX to SYD are $7k - 7.5 k, non Cathay connecting flights 5-6 so the Silversea looks like a good deal.

 

Air Canada occasionally has good deals from Toronto or Vancouver.  Can use AMEX miles.

 

 

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Posted (edited)
28 minutes ago, Host Jazzbeau said:

I saw the Hawaiian Air flights when I was looking at prices like that.  It would allow NY - HNL, then HNL to SYD, and after the cruise AKL to HNL and HNL to NY (all on Hawaiian Air).  But when I mentioned this to my TA, she said those HNL to AKL or SYD flights are new and probably temporary while other airlines have cut back.  That's too bad, because I was really looking forward to the layover at the Hilton on Waikiki Beach.

 

 

What the heck just go to Hawaii.  Its closer and the vaccination rate is way higher.  Vax rate in Australia/NZ is really low according to the NYT.

 

https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2021/world/covid-vaccinations-tracker.html

Edited by RetiredandTravel
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