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Last Minute Awards: Good Things Come to Those Who Wait

Last Minute Awards: Good Things Come to Those Who Wait

Recently, I had a last-minute opportunity to fly Qantas First Class from Los Angeles to Melbourne for some time I had booked off. I’d originally planned to travel to South America during that period; however, I opted to venture to Australia to visit some family instead.

After cancelling my flights and hotel bookings in Argentina and Brazil, I found myself in a situation without a flight home, which I usually try to avoid. At first, I was particularly worried about finding something good, as my return flight fell right in peak holiday travel season in December 2023, and I needed to be back in Canada on a specific date.

As it turns out, being forced to look for last-minute award availability made me much more comfortable with the idea, and it has even shifted my approach to booking redemptions.

Last-Minute Award Availability Is Outstanding

When I wound up with a one-way flight to Australia in early December, I needed to book a return flight that had me back in Canada for my dad’s birthday a few weeks later.

Given that my flight back fell right around the time that many people travel for winter holidays, I initially was concerned that I’d have to brave a 14+ hour flight in economy, since surely all the good business class (and First Class) flights would have been booked up.

However, much to my surprise and delight, I had a bounty of great options at my fingertips that I didn’t expect to find.

For example, we often gasp at the high cost of Air Canada business class flights between Canada and Australia, due to the effects of dynamic pricing. When I ran a search for flights from Sydney and Brisbane to Vancouver, I was expecting to see the usual cost of 400,000+ points for a one-way flight in business class.

Instead, what I found were plenty of business class flights with numerous seats available at the lower end of the dynamic spectrum: 87,500 points from Sydney, and 75,000 points from Brisbane. Flying from Melbourne, the price was at 80,400 points, which was 60,000 points less than economy on the same flights.

I wanted to spend some time on the Gold Coast before coming home, so I wound up booking from Brisbane, and scored an outstanding deal.

The same story holds true for flights with United from Melbourne, Sydney, Brisbane, and even Auckland. I quickly emailed a Points Consulting client to spread the good news, and she was able to book her family of three to this part of the…

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