Just in the process of booking our tickets. Wow what a saga it is turning out to be. It has been complicated by the fact I have a credit I need to use with Qantas from a cancelled business trip in 2010. One condition on the credit is I have to spend as much or more on the new tickets. So I have been able to book my tickets initially I was going to have to fly premium economy to get the price high enough to cover the credit. Apparently you can not leave any credit unused, which sounds a bit strange to me. Anyway I was a little uncomfortable flying in premium economy whilst DW and 2 DD's flew in economy but I thought no problem I will use my points to upgrade them. DW said she had no problem if they flew economy without me but it didn't sit well with me. So I managed Qantas flights for Melb to LA, LA to Orlando(AA Code share), Orlando to NY (AA Flight), NY to LA (Actual Qantas Flight) and LA to Melb. I was happy having been on the NY to LA Qantas flight before it is much better than a domestic US airline flight as you fly in a fully fitted out 747. I then went to book DW tickets was told the prices I had I couldn't upgrade them. So I thought I might as well use my points to pay for some of their flights. I checked various options such as points and pay versus points only and the points only saved me over $2K more than points and pay for the same amount of points. I booked the tickets for LA-Melb return using points, unbelievably the fees and charges still amounts to more than $2K (I had already taken that into account when comparing but still seems excessive and devalues what the points are worth). I had the internal flights booked through TA on the same flights as I am on. He then advised he couldn't book the NY-LA flight so I had to speak to Qantas. I rang Qantas and was advised I could include NY-LA leg for DW and 2 DD's by using points (I am a little short right now) or change the Melb-LA to paid tickets. I could not use points for Melb-LA and pay for the NY-LA ticket. I asked the ticket agent so you are telling me Qantas will not allow me to buy a ticket with cash but I can do so with points. "Yes" was his reply. Now I am hunting around family members to borrow some points so I can secure the tickets. My alternative is to change my flight and book on an internal AA flight instead. Anyway for all the hiccups the flights so far have cost me approx $3K for the 4 of us. So a little pain in the short term hopefully will result in longer term joy.