How I’m Going To Sydney The Long Way…..

by Zac George

If you read the blog regularly you should know by now that I don’t tend to travel the most direct way. As an example, here’s how I got from Washington to Brisbane with 7 stops. Most of the time when I do long routing it’s either trying a new product or I just love flying a certain product, like flying 30 hours in Etihad First from Washington to Abu Dhabi then onto Brisbane all in one go.

Here is my routing for the next few days.

Virgin Australia 777 Business Class, Melbourne – Los Angeles

First up I’m flying one of my all time favourite products. Virgin Australia’s 777 ‘The Business’. I’ve already reviewed the product but I’ll be flying on the inaugural of the relaunched Melbourne route which is exciting.

I booked the flight at about 9:30 pm and I fly out this morning at 11:30, this was thanks to Virgin consistently releasing award space last minute. This flight was booked with 45,000 Virgin America miles.

Virgin Australia ‘The Business’


Japan Airlines 777 First Class, Los Angeles to Narita

A product I’ve wanted to review for a very long time. I’ll be flying Japan Airlines First Class from LAX to NRT the same day I arrive into Los Angeles from Melbourne.

For this flight, I used 80,000 AAdvantage miles and taxes were $55 USD. I also had to pay a $75 USD expedite fee. This is pretty fantastic value but I would recommend using Alaska Miles as they only charge 70,000 miles.

Japan Airlines First Class (Image – JAL)


Japan Airlines 787 Business Class, Narita to Sydney

I’ll have about 4 hours in Tokyo then I’m back to Sydney. This flight used to be operated by a 777 which always had First award space available but unfortunately, the route is operated by a 787 which doesn’t feature a First cabin.

I’m really hoping the flight will be operated by the Apex suites and they sound pretty fantastic from what I’ve seen and heard. If not it’ll be the aircraft with 2-2-2 seating which won’t be anywhere near as exciting.

For this flight, I used 40,000 AAdvanatge miles and the $55 USD tax was part of this booking.

Japan Airlines Apex Suites (Image – JAL)

I was actually supposed to be in Singapore right now but thanks to a booking error I’m now going to the U.S and Tokyo…. Talk about last minute planning.

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100K April 4, 2017 - 1:13 am

I’m looking for F LAX-Tokyo using AA miles but no JAL flights show up, all year! AA to Europe is almost as bad bc they all go through LHR on BA with big fuel charges.

Zac George April 4, 2017 - 1:16 am

I’d recommend looking for JAL F about 2 weeks – 24 hours before departure. Awards on AA are almost non-existent nowadays.

henry LAX April 4, 2017 - 1:42 am

that’s not too crazy already. I’ve tried to redeem miles once to Melbourne and ended up flying JFK-NRT-BKK-MEL sampling NH F, TG F, and TG J all for just 80k miles.

Zac George April 4, 2017 - 1:47 am

Very Impressive!

Dave April 4, 2017 - 4:31 am

Sounds like a trip I made back in 2014. DFW-LAX on UA; connecting to LAX-ICN on Asiana; connecting to ICN-BKK on Thai Airways; then after an 8 hour layover at BKK, BKK-SYD also on Thai.

Keith April 4, 2017 - 12:06 pm

I do hope you’ll have time to visit Cairns and see The Great Barrier Reef, the rain forests and have a beer with me!

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