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Say ‘G’Day, Australia’ with Bonus Miles, Award Discounts

Travel Down Under is looking up. United is discounting Sydney award flights. And American is offering bonus miles for its Australia flights.

Looking to escape the wintry weather blighting much of the U.S.? Maybe it’s time to change hemispheres.

In Sydney, Australia, today’s midday temperature will reach 89 degrees. Daytime temperatures generally average a comfy 79 degrees during January, and 78 degrees during February.

Beats the ice and slush outside your window, right? And if the weather isn’t enticement enough, two major U.S. airlines are offering loyalty-program incentives to fly to Australia, whether you’re looking to earn miles or redeem them.

RELATED: JetBlue Starts New Year with Double Points Promotion

United has just announced a sale on Sydney award flights. And American is offering bonus miles for its flights Down Under.

Discount on United Award Flights

Through January 28, MileagePlus members can book discounted coach-class award flights between the U.S. or Canada and Sydney, for travel between February 2 and June 22, as follows:

  • Sunday – Thursday flights discounted from 80,000 miles roundtrip to 60,000 miles
  • Friday, Saturday flights discounted from 80,000 miles roundtrip to 64,000 miles

Depending on the day of the week, the discounts represent a hefty savings of either 20 or 25 percent.

Bonus Miles for American Flights

Between February 1 and May 31 American AAdvantage members can earn up to 90,000 bonus miles for American-marketed flights between the U.S. and Australia, as follows:

  • 5,000 bonus miles per roundtrip in discount economy (K, M, L, W, V, G, Q, N, O, S booking codes)
  • 15,000 bonus miles per roundtrip in premium or full-fare economy (W, Y, B, H booking codes)
  • 30,000 bonus miles per roundtrip in first or business (F, A, P, J, R, D, I booking codes)

The bonuses may be earned for up to three roundtrip flights during the promotion period.

Registration is required, citing promotion code AUS16.

American’s Los Angeles-Sydney flights normally total around 7,500 miles each way, 15,000 miles roundtrip. In that context, the bonus for first or business class is a winner; the higher-priced economy bonus is decent; and the bonus for discount economy is decidedly paltry.

Of course, any bonus is better than no bonus at all. And don’t forget the weather.

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After 20 years working in the travel industry, and 15 years writing about it, Tim Winship knows a thing or two about travel. Follow him on Twitter @twinship.

By Tim Winship

After 20 years working in the travel industry, and 15 years writing about it, Tim Winship knows a thing or two about travel. Follow him on Twitter @twinship.