The Ultimate Guide To United Miles: Part 11 – All The Ways To Get To Australia, New Zealand, & Oceania!

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Australia, New Zealand & Oceania can be a difficult region to visit on miles and points, but United miles are flexible enough to make it a bit easier.

That’s because United allows you to fly from North America to Australia, New Zealand & Oceania via Asia.  While the journey might be longer, award availability is easier to find on these routes.

The Ultimate Guide To United Miles Index

The Best Tip for Searching on United.com

Don’t forget to change your search results to show you 50 flights (instead of the default) when you search on United.com

Step 1 – Click On “Advanced Search”

Go to United.com and click on “Advanced Search” at the bottom of the award search page.

United Miles To Australia, New Zealand And Oceania

Step 1 – Click on “Advanced Search”

Step 2 – Change “Number of Flights to Display” To “50”

Click on the drop-down box by the “Number of Flights to Display” and change it from the “Default” to “50

United Miles To Australia, New Zealand And Oceania

Step 2- Increase the Number of Flights to Display to 50

You will see MANY more flight options this way!

How To Use The Information In This Post

You could rely on United.com to find you awards seats to Australia, New Zealand & Oceania.  And United’s website is pretty good.  But it is unlikely to find every possible option on using United miles to Australia, New Zealand & Oceania.

If you’re really commited to finding award seats to Australia Australia, New Zealand & Oceania and don’t want to hire an award booking service, you could search for award seats on many of the routes below.

The information below will help you find the long-distance flight to Australia, New Zealand & Oceania.

Once you find the long-distance flight to Australia, New Zealand & Oceania, you should start searching for flights to your final destination in Australia, New Zealand & Oceania.  And then from your US departure city to the gateway (i.e. where the flight to Australia, New Zealand & Oceania departs from the US).

Australia & South Pacific Award Routes

Today, we will go over finding award flights from North America to Australia, New Zealand & Oceania.

United splits the South Pacific into two regions:

  • Australia or New Zealand which includes Australia, New Zealand, and the Norfolk Islands
  • Oceania which includes American Samoa, Cook Islands, Fiji, Federated States of Micronesia, French Polynesia, Guam, Marshall Islands, New Caledonia, Northern Mariana Islands, Palau, Tonga, Vanuatu, and Western Samoa

Here is the chart for one-way awards between mainland North America and Oceania or Australia or New Zealand.

United Miles To Australia, New Zealand And Oceania

One-Way Award Chart Between Mainland North America And Oceania or Australia or New Zealand

For one-way awards from the U.S., Alaska, or Canada to Australia or New Zealand, you will pay:

  • 40,000 miles each way in economy (35,000 miles from Hawaii)
  • 67,500 miles each way in Business Class (62,500 miles from Hawaii)
  • 80,000 miles each way in First Class (72,500 miles from Hawaii)

For an award from the U.S., Alaska, or Canada to Oceania, you will pay:

  • 35,000 miles each way in economy (25,000 miles from Hawaii)
  • 60,000 miles each way in Business Class (40,000 miles from Hawaii)
  • 75,000 miles each way in First Class (50,000 miles from Hawaii)

North American To The South Pacific

Let’s first look at the direct options available between North America and the South Pacific using United miles!

1.  United

United flies from Los Angeles and San Francisco to Sydney, Australia.  The Los Angeles to Sydney flight continues onward to Melbourne.

However, you cannot book just the Sydney to Melbourne segment with United miles unless you also fly the San Francisco to Sydney or Los Angeles to Sydney flight.

United Miles To Australia, New Zealand And Oceania

You Can Fly On United From Los Angeles Or San Francisco To Sydney And Then Melbourne

Award availability can be hit or miss with these flights so it’s always good to check first!

2.  Air Canada

Air Canada flies between Vancouver and Sydney.  This can be a good flight to check for award flights, especially from the Midwest or East Coast of North America.

United Miles To Australia, New Zealand And Oceania

Air Canada Flies Between Vancouver And Sydney

3.  Air New Zealand

Air New Zealand flies from Auckland to Los Angeles (2 times per day), San Francisco, Vancouver, and Honolulu (3 times per week).  They also fly once per week between Los Angeles and the Cook Islands (Avarua).

United Miles To Australia, New Zealand And Oceania

Air New Zealand Offers Several Flights Between Auckland And North America

If you fly to Auckland, you can connect from Auckland to other destinations within the South Pacific on Air New Zealand.

United Miles To Australia, New Zealand And Oceania

Air New Zealand Flights To Auckland Connect To Many Destinations In The South Pacific

TIP:  You can fly from North America to Oceania via New Zealand and pay the cheaper Oceania price.

For example, if you book a flight from Los Angeles to Auckland, you’d pay 40,000 miles in coach one-way because Auckland is in the Australia or New Zealand region.

But a one-way economy class ticket from Los Angeles to Nadi, Fiji via Auckland only costs 35,000 miles one-way because Fiji is in the Oceania region!  So you’re saving 5,000 miles by flying to Auckland via the Oceania region.

Example Of Booking On Air New Zealand

Air New Zealand rarely has Business Class seats available, but they have a good number of economy class seats available.

If you’d rather fly directly between the US and the South Pacific, they can be a good option.

A.  Australia

If I want to book a one-way in economy from Los Angeles to Sydney, I can book it via Auckland for 40,000 miles.  Remember that the most important part of an award is getting to the gateway city (i.e. where the flight leaves the US for an international destination).  You can later find other ways to get to your gateway city from your home airport.

That’s because Sydney is in the “Australia or New Zealand” region.

Step 1 – Search For Your Flights

I go to United.com and enter “Los Angeles” as my “From” city and “Sydney” as my “To” city.

Then click “Award Travel” and the “Search” box.  Oh, and don’t forget to extend the search result to 50 flights!

United Miles To Australia, New Zealand And Oceania

Step 1 – Search For Your Flight (Los Angeles To Sydney)

Step 2 – Select Your Flight

I chose the Economy award from Los Angeles to Sydney (connecting in Auckland) on Air New Zealand.

United Miles To Australia, New Zealand And Oceania

Step 2 – Select Economy Class From Los Angeles To Sydney With A Connection In Auckland

I will pay 40,000 miles + $30 one-way in economy from North America to New Zealand.

United Miles To Australia, New Zealand And Oceania

You Can Fly One Way In Economy From North America To Australia Or New Zealand For 40,000 Miles + $30

B.  Fiji

We can also book to Fiji (Nadi) using United miles on Air New Zealand.

We can book North America to Fiji for 35,000 miles, even though it transits New Zealand.  That’s because our destination (Fiji) is in the Oceania region.

Step 1 – Search For Your Flights

I go to United.com and enter “Los Angeles” as my “From” city and “Nadi” as my “To” city.

Then click “Award Travel” and the “Search” box.  Oh, and don’t forget to extend the search result to 50 flights!

United Miles To Australia, New Zealand And Oceania

Step 1 – Search For Your Flight (Los Angeles to Nadi)

Step 2 – Select Your Flight

I chose the Economy award from Los Angeles to Nadi (Fiji) (connecting in Auckland) on Air New Zealand.

United Miles To Australia, New Zealand And Oceania

Step 2 – Select Economy Class From Los Angeles To Fiji

I will pay 35,000 miles + ~$6 one-way in economy from North America to New Zealand.

United Miles To Australia, New Zealand And Oceania

You Can Fly One Way In Economy From Los Angeles To Fiji For 35,000 Miles + ~$6

Booking North America To The South Pacific Via Asia

While many people would like to fly nonstop to Australia, finding available Business Class and First Class seats can be difficult on nonstop flights.  Economy seats are more easily available.

However, it is easier to find Business Class and First Class seats between Asia and Australia.  And economy seats on these routes are also more easily available.

United allows you to book award tickets by traveling via Asia to Australia.  It would be easier to book Business Class seats this way (if that’s how you spend your miles).

More importantly, you can have a stopover in Asia on a round-trip between North America and Australia!

For example, you can fly from the US to Tokyo Japan and stop there for 1 week.  And after 1-week you continue to, say, Auckland, New Zealand!

Routes Between Asia And The South Pacific

1.  Air New Zealand

You can fly to Auckland from:

United Miles To Australia, New Zealand And Oceania

You Can Fly On Air New Zealand To Auckland From Hong Kong, Shanghai, And Tokyo

  • Hong Kong
  • Shanghai
  • Tokyo

2.  Air China

You can fly to the following cities:

  • Sydney from Beijing and Shanghai
  • Melbourne from Shanghai
United Miles To Australia, New Zealand And Oceania

Places You Can Fly On Air China, Asiana, And Eva

3.  Asiana

You can fly to the following cities from Seoul (ICN):

  • Palau
  • Saipan
  • Sydney

4.  EVA Air

You can fly to the following cities from Taipei (TPE):

  • Brisbane
  • Guam

5.  Singapore Airlines

Singapore Airlines flies to several cities in Australia or New Zealand, but Business Class may not be available on their Airbus A380 flights to Sydney and Melbourne.

You can fly to the following cities from Singapore:

  • Adelaide
  • Auckland
  • Brisbane
  • Christchurch
  • Melbourne
  • Perth
  • Sydney

6.  Thai Airways

You can fly to the following cities from Bangkok:

United Miles To Australia, New Zealand And Oceania

Where In Australia And The South Pacific You Can Fly On Singapore And Thai Airways

  • Auckland
  • Brisbane
  • Melbourne
  • Perth
  • Sydney

Booking Via Asia

Let’s book a Business Class trip from New York City to Perth, Australia.  These two cities are on opposite sides of the world, but United miles makes it easy to travel between them.

While we could search each segment at a time, from North America to Asia and then Asia to Australia, I wanted to see if the United website could find the flights by itself.  I searched for an award ticket from New York to Perth on United’s site.

Step 1 – Search For Your Flights

Go to United.com and  entered “New York” as my “From” city and “Perth” as my “To” city.

Then click “Award Travel” and the “Search” box.  Oh, and don’t forget to extend the search result to 50 flights!

United Miles To Australia, New Zealand And Oceania

Step 1 – Search For Your Flight From New York To Perth

Step 2 – Select Your Flight

I chose the Business Saver award from New York to Perth (connecting in Seoul) on Asiana Airlines.

United Miles To Australia, New Zealand And Oceania

Step 2 – Select Your Flight

Of course, United may not find all possible awards, so if you don’t find an award that works, it may be wise to search segment-by-segment.

United Micronesia And The Island Hopper

United flies to many cities in the Oceania region.

In fact, United has a hub in Guam, which is a part of the Oceania region.

You can fly from Guam to:

United Miles To Australia, New Zealand And Oceania

United Destinations From Guam

  • Honolulu (Hawaii region)
  • Hong Kong (South Asia region)
  • Manila (South Asia region)
  • Tokyo, Fukuoka, Osaka, Nagoya, Niigata, Sendai, Sapporo (Japan region)
  • Cairns (Australia or New Zealand region)
  • The “Island Hopper” route (Oceania region)

The “Island Hopper” route from Honolulu to Guam.

United Miles To Australia, New Zealand And Oceania

Island Hopper destinations between Honolulu, Guam, and Manila

These routes mean you can book from the US to Cairns, Australia via Honolulu and Guam.  On a round-trip, you are allowed a stopover, so you could visit Honolulu on the way to the South Pacific!

United Miles To Australia, New Zealand And Oceania

You Could Fly From The US To Australia With Stopovers In Honolulu And Guam

Restrictions

According to The Wandering Aramean, United recently implemented a new rule stating that you could only have 3 connections between North America and Oceania or South Pacific.

That means the maximum number of flights you can have is 4 flights one-way.

This can make it tough to fly from a smaller city in North America to a smaller city in Oceania.  For example, to fly from St. Louis to Queenstown, New Zealand using United miles, one possible routing is:

  • St Louis to San Francisco
  • San Francisco to Los Angeles
  • Los Angeles to Sydney
  • Sydney to Auckland
  • Auckland to Queenstown.

However, this itinerary has 4 connections (5 flights), so it would not be allowed.

One way to get around this is to book a separate ticket from your hometown to the international gateway city, i.e., book a separate ticket from St Louis to San Francisco or Los Angeles.

You could use your Southwest points and Companion Pass or other airline miles to get to San Francisco or Los Angeles from St. Louis.

Sure, this isn’t ideal.  But it could be better than staying at home!

Bottom Line

You can use your United miles to fly to Australia and the South Pacific for only 40,000 miles each way in economy.

Remember that it is easier to find Business Class award seats if you connect in Asia.  You may have to search for these awards segment-by-segment online on United.com or call United to book them.

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32 responses to “The Ultimate Guide To United Miles: Part 11 – All The Ways To Get To Australia, New Zealand, & Oceania!

  1. Thanks for the great information! Australia is on our vacation radar. 🙂

  2. Darius – What’s the best time of the year to go for availability to Australia, New Zealand? Is there ample business class availability in the US summer (Australia winter)? I believe their peak travel season is in the US winter, correct?

  3. Darius,
    This is a great series. Can you please do a post on Africa & the Middle East? I am trying to book round trip to Kenya including some safari & beach time. Thanks!

  4. Question: can you have a stopover in Asia on your way to Australia/NZ/Oceania? And, does this also work for India or just North/East Asia? Thanks!

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  13. @ Steve — North/East Asia stops are allowed to Australia, but you’ll probably not be able to do India since it’s backtracking. You may also run into segment restrictions, since it takes at least 2 flights to get from the USA to India and 2 flights from India to Australia. Plus, you cannot route via the Atlantic to get to Australia.

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  15. Can I do DCA-ICN (stopover)-SYD; NAN-DCA-HNL (at a later date) for 130,000 since the open jaw leaves from Oceania?

  16. ^Disregard since there’s two stopovers and LAX-DCA nonstop is only ran by skyteam/oneworld making too many segments. How can I maximize the two open jaws though?

  17. I am trying to go to Bora Bora and found a one way from ORD to Fiji that stops at New Zealand ,can I just use that segment to New Zealand and not complete it to Fiji so we could spend a few days there before going on to Bora Bora or is there a better way, seeing Star Allaince doesn’t seem to go to Tahiti islands.

    • @Steve – I may have misunderstood your question. If your question asks if you can stopover in Asia to Australia, the answer is yes, as long as it is in North/East Asia as Amol points out. If your question is asking if you can stopover in North/East Asia on the way to India, the answer is yes. But if your question is asking if you can stop in India after departing from the US on the way to Australia, the answer is no.

      @Grant – You can fly from Auckland to Tahiti on Air New Zealand which has twice a week flights.

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  21. What is the best way to get to Tahiti from NYC area in Business or First class using miles?

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  23. Trying to figure out the best trip for family that ends with New Year’s Eve in Sydney next year with a few days in Cairns, Australia and a few days in either Tokyo or New Zealand on the way there. One thought, leaving from LAX/SFO and going to Tokyo, then to Cairns via Guam. Then Cairns to Sydney and back to LAX/SFO. Please advise as I’m stuck on how to do all this using US Air miles or American miles.
    Thanks and I really enjoy your writing.

  24. Lax to figi, the stop at Auckland, can we make it a 3 to 4 day stop over ?

  25. Hi Daraius,
    I have enough miles on AA for 3 return 1st class from SFO to Auckland. I have to purchase in July and am hearing that I may simply not find any space available. I am trying to be as flexible as possible but want to be sure I am going to get 3 tickets. I am open to a 2 week departure date, 1st or Business, any airline, direct or connecting in Honolulu, direct to Australia first. Award bookers are talking like it may be possible and we’ll just see. I’ve saved miles the old fashion way for 7 years and am concerned that I am not doing enough to make sure this happens. What do you think is the likelihood of finding space and what do you suggest I do to make it more likely?
    Any advice is greatly appreciated.
    Sincerely,
    Gary

  26. we will bew flying from charlotte . to Australia then to New Zealand will have about 30 days open .. Some time in 2016. wanting to use our usairways/now united airmiles. Any sugestions. your web site looks helpfull
    THANKS
    ron

  27. I know it’s an old post but could you fly to Australia via United’s new LAX to MEL flight and then add a stopover in Oceania / Hawaii on the way back with Air New Zealand or Hawaiian? Would this be considered Oceania and be 35k per one way and can you combine United, Air New Zealand and Hawaiian in the same award ticket??