We’re off to Melbourne next month…… cashing in loyalty miles / points

So this has been a good week! A whole lot of things with Touristo have finally come to fruition and an extra bonus bit of good news was the opportunity to tack a family long weekend on to the end of a work function that my husband is attending in Melbourne next month.  We haven’t seen our family who live in Melbourne in ages, so it’s an amazing opportunity to reconnect.  My husband’s flights and 2 nights accommodation are paid for, but I still needed to pay for flights for the Princess, Touristo and myself, plus two more nights accommodation. When I researched all of the available flights, they were all super expensive considering it’s a really short flight mostly due to the lack of flexibility around timing.  Since we are saving for our mega trip at the end of the year, I thought we should probably not go.  Then again, whilst I may not be wealthy in terms of money,  I have banked a significant amount of Qantas points this year, and even though I am saving them for a particular redemption down the track, I could afford to use some of them to go see family.

Next step was checking availability. At the time I wanted to fly down the only seats available were in business class.  I really didn’t want to use that many points because the domestic business class seats in Qantas 737s look to be more like what you would expect from a premium economy seat on an international flight, plus Qantas’s fees and taxes are a joke (American’s reading this: the great thing about using points on your airlines is that your fees and taxes are much, much lower).  Not a great value redemption BUT I really wanted to go, so booked business class there and economy return.  When I was selecting seats for the outbound leg I was a little surprised at the 1 – 2 – 1 configuration. Turns out Qantas is using their retrofitted A330s on this route for some flights and I got lucky with their swanky new business class (image at the top of this article).  Now for us this is AWESOME and TERRIBLE at the same time.  For this flight, I am travelling BY MYSELF with my little buddies.  I really don’t know how this is going to go with everyone in their own pod – it really depends on how the little princess takes to the situation I guess.  Touristo will be fine I suspect as long as he has his CARES Harness, but the Princess…..well depends on the day really!  She is a diva so may take to flying in her own pod quite nicely.  But if worst comes to worst, it’s only a 90 minute flight and there is free wine… so I will survive.

Next point of business, booking accommodation for the 2 extra nights….. Once again I didn’t really want to spend much because once again…….big holiday later in the year. But I happened to have a whole bunch of IHG (Intercontinental Hotel Group) points in my account that I acquired from many hours of doing online surveys as well as from prior stays (this is my major hotel loyalty program because it encompasses everything from Holiday Inn Express through to Intercontinental, and I can transfer points to all the frequent flyer programs I use).  I had planned to transfer these into United miles for another big redemption I have planned……but these points have managed to soften the blow of a really nice hotel stay instead.

So, for the cost of fees and taxes on the flights, we have nabbed ourselves a really nice long weekend away.  Please like on Facebook and Insta to stay tuned for a full run down on this flight, the hotels and activities on this trip.


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