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Award space is wide open in Virgin Australia Business Class between the United States and Australia during February and March 2015 for 160,000 Delta miles roundtrip.

Premium cabin award space between the United States and Australia on direct flights on United and Qantas is scarce, so this Virgin Australia award space is all the more valuable.

Since 2012, Delta has not collected fuel surcharges on Virgin Australia flights. Roundtrip Delta awards between the United States and Australia cost 100,000 miles in economy and 160,000 miles in Business Class. Virgin Australia Business Class features flat beds that get rave reviews.

  • Where does Virgin Australia fly?
  • How good is the award space?
  • How can you collect Delta miles quickly?

Virgin Australia Routes

Virgin Australia has daily flights from Los Angeles to Sydney, Melbourne, and Brisbane with connections from those three airports through Australia and New Zealand.

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Getting to and from Los Angeles with Saver award space can be difficult since Delta is notoriously stingy. Don’t forget to search Delta flights in economy and business and Alaska Airlines flights in economy and business also.

Delta awards between the United States and Australia or New Zealand cost 100,000 miles roundtrip in economy and 160,000 miles in business. The economy price is extremely high compared to the 75,000 charged by American Airlines and 80,000 by United and US Airways.

The 160,000 miles in business that Delta charges is also the highest price. US Airways charges 110,000 miles, American charges 125,000 miles, and United charges 140,000 to 160,000 depending on whether the flights are on United or a partner.

Delta miles are worth less than American, United, and US Airways miles, though, because Delta releases fewer award seats, has worse partners, and has an expensive award chart. Because Delta miles are worth less than competing miles, I think 160,000 Delta miles roundtrip for Virgin Australia Business Class is fair.

Award Space to Australia

Award space to Australia in premium cabins on United’s, Air Canada’s, and Qantas’ direct flights is extremely rare.

Often to get to Australia in business class, you have to route through Asia, which adds a huge amount of time to the trip.

Virgin Australia is the exception. Virgin Australia offers great premium cabin award space, even during the peak time to travel, the Australian Summer (December to March.)

For Summer 2015, I did some award searches on Virgin Australia’s flights. I didn’t find any award space in January 2015.

But I found excellent award space from February 21, 2015 through March on all three routes.

You can search Virgin Australia award space at The search results page shows Virgin Australia flights, and you can book them with a few clicks. However the search results calendar doesn’t factor in Virgin Australia space, making it hard to search a week or month quickly. For more on this problem, see A Major Problem with and The Only Solution.

I searched dates more quickly at Award Nexus, a site that charges for award searches. Days with Business Class award space for 1+ passenger list the route(s) with award space.

I searched February 18 – 24, and there was space on at least one route every day from February 21 – 24.

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I searched March 3 – 13, and there was award space ever day, often on two routes.

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Getting Delta Miles

Delta miles can be collected from any Delta co-branded credit card, any Membership Rewards earning credit or charge card, and any Starwood Preferred Guest credit card.

Unfortunately, all such cards are issued by American Express, so you are limited in how many such cards you can get at once.

Fortunately, one person can pretty easily get 160,000 Delta miles exclusively from credit card sign up bonuses.


Earn 75,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening.

Just getting started in the world of points and miles? The Chase Sapphire Preferred is the best card for you to start with.

With a bonus of 75,000 points after $4,000 spend in the first 3 months, 5x points on travel booked through the Chase Travel Portal and 3x points on restaurants, streaming services, and online groceries (excluding Target, Walmart, and wholesale clubs), this card truly cannot be beat for getting started!

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