Flight-by-Flight Intel

We collect anecdotal information about award flights, organized by destination pairings and frequent flyer program. The information we're interested in is:
  • What are the fees and surcharges that travelers needed to pay in order to book their award flight?
  • How was the availability of a given route(s) when it came to booking the award flight?
  • Are there tricks that program members used in order to optimize their redemption?
  • Which specific flights were used for the award ticket? Are some flights better than others?
  • How does this award ticket compare to other programs and how does it compare to a ticket bought with cash?
  • Are there specific sweet spots in the award tables that one should try to take advantage of?
  • Are there exceptions to the award tables where our calculations are not accurate?
  • What was your overall experience with a particular award ticket?
  • Was it worth cashing your miles in for a given flight?

Let us know if you have intel you would like to share; we're happy to link to your trip reports too! You can on the "comment" button for any of the miles calculations. Or you can just email us through the contact page. We're happy to link to your sources as well.

 

 

Toronto (YYZ) to Halifax (YHZ) with Miles from Aeroplan (Air Canada) / Star Alliance

22 June, 2017

Depending on the connections that are needed to travel between Toronto Pearson and Halifax the fees charged by Aeroplan can very quite a bit. The direct flight incurs fees of about CAD 84, but the fee can go up to CAD 122 if connections are needed (not all connections incur the same fees).

Business class and economy class have the same fees. So the total surcharges for a round-trip flight could be anywhere between CAD 164 to CAD 244.

Flight to and from the Toronto Island Airport (YTZ) can actually be a little cheaper.
Roundtrip in Economy25,000
Roundtrip in Premium Economy40,000
Roundtrip in Business50,000
Roundtrip in First Class70,000
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Toronto (YTZ) to Halifax (YHZ) with Miles from Aeroplan (Air Canada) / Star Alliance

22 June, 2017

A connection in Montreal is needed to travel between Halifax and Billy Bishop Airport in Toronto (YTZ). The fees per one-way segment vary between CAD 78 to CAD 143, depending on the additional connections that are needed.

Business class and economy class have the same fees. So the total surcharges for a round-trip flight could be anywhere between CAD 163 to CAD 286.

Flights to and from Toronto Pearson (YYZ) have similar fees.
Roundtrip in Economy25,000
Roundtrip in Premium Economy40,000
Roundtrip in Business50,000
Roundtrip in First Class70,000
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San Francisco (SFO) to Munich (MUC) with Miles from Aeroplan (Air Canada) / Star Alliance

20 June, 2017

The one-way journey from SFO to MUC can be booked for only CAD 15 in surcharges if booked through Turkish Airlines and connecting in Istanbul.

Business class seats can be difficult to find in the summer months, but United Airlines recently opened a good number of seats for the direct flight between San Francisco and Munich in the summer of 2017.  The one-way fees from the US West Coast to Europe are only CAD 7!

See an article on milecards.com here.
Roundtrip in Economy60,000
Roundtrip in Premium Economy75,000
Roundtrip in Business110,000
Roundtrip in First Class140,000
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Washington (DCA) to Frankfurt (FRA) with Miles from United Mileage Plus / Star Alliance

9 June, 2017

There is pretty good business class availability for flights between Washington and Frankfurt in the summer of 2017; this includes both United (UA) and Lufthansa (LH) flights. The Lufthansa award fee is  a little more than the United flights because they need to be booked as a Star Alliance redemption.

See an article on milecards.com here.
Roundtrip in Economy60,000
Roundtrip in Business140,000
Roundtrip in First Class220,000
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Newark (EWR) to Hamburg (HAM) with Miles from Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer / Star Alliance

9 June, 2017

Business class seats can be difficult to find in the summer months, but Singapore Airlines' Star Alliance partner United Airlines recently opened a good number of seats for the flight between Newark and Hamburg in the summer of 2017.  Hamburg is a convenient destination for Northern Europe and the Mid-West and East Coast are easily accessible from Newark. There is a small chances that you will be on a flight with the new Polaris seats.

See an article on milecards.com here.
Roundtrip in Economy55,000
Roundtrip in Business130,000
Roundtrip in First Class160,000
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San Francisco (SFO) to Munich (MUC) with Miles from United Mileage Plus

9 June, 2017

Business class seats can be difficult to find in the summer months, but United Airlines recently opened a good number of seats for the flight between San Francisco and Munich in the summer of 2017. 

See an article on milecards.com here.
Roundtrip in Economy Saver60,000
Roundtrip in Business Saver115,000
Roundtrip in Economy Standard130,000
Roundtrip in First Class Saver160,000
Roundtrip in Business Standard300,000
Roundtrip in First Class Standard340,000
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Newark (EWR) to Hamburg (HAM) with Miles from United Mileage Plus

9 June, 2017

Business class seats can be difficult to find in the summer months, but United Airlines recently opened a good number of seats for the flight between Newark and Hamburg in the summer of 2017.  Hamburg is a convenient destination for Northern Europe and the Mid-West and East Coast are easily accessible from Newark. There is even a small chances that you will be on a flight with the new Polaris seats.

See an article on milecards.com here.
Roundtrip in Economy Saver60,000
Roundtrip in Business Saver115,000
Roundtrip in Economy Standard130,000
Roundtrip in First Class Saver160,000
Roundtrip in Business Standard300,000
Roundtrip in First Class Standard340,000
  Share Your Knowledge

Boston (BOS) to Copenhagen (CPH) with Miles from Aeroplan (Air Canada) / Star Alliance

27 April, 2017

Aeroplan members can redeem the direct flight on SAS between Boston and Copenhagen very inexpensively (CAD 45 one way). However, this particular route is served by an older Boeing 737 and does not actually have a business class cabin. So it is probably best to save your miles and book only economy. Most other destinations SAS flies to in North America (ARN-ORD or EWR-OSL) are served by the newer Airbus 330-300, which does have a business class cabin (and the fees are still low).
Roundtrip in Economy60,000
Roundtrip in Premium Economy75,000
Roundtrip in Business110,000
Roundtrip in First Class140,000
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Oslo (OSL) to Newark (EWR) with Miles from Aeroplan (Air Canada) / Star Alliance

27 April, 2017

Aeroplan members can redeem the direct flight on SAS between Norway and New York very inexpensively (around CAD 50 one way). Availability seems to be pretty good as well, sometimes on short notice. The direct SAS flight uses the new Airbus 330-300.
Roundtrip in Economy60,000
Roundtrip in Premium Economy75,000
Roundtrip in Business110,000
Roundtrip in First Class140,000
  Share Your Knowledge

Toronto (YYZ) to Duesseldorf (DUS) with Miles from Aeroplan (Air Canada) / Star Alliance

9 April, 2017

A good option to get to Europe for Aeroplan members is to use SAS flights across the Atlantic. SAS does not fly to Canada but it does to Boston, Chicago and New York (EWR). The fees and surcharges on SAS are very low. The one way itinerary from Toronto to Dusseldorf with connections in Boston and Copenhagen is CAD 127 (business or economy).

United and Swiss are also very good options in terms of surcharges, whereas transatlantic flights on Air Canada, Austrian and Lufthansa have high surcharges.
Roundtrip in Economy60,000
Roundtrip in Premium Economy75,000
Roundtrip in Business110,000
Roundtrip in First Class140,000
  Share Your Knowledge

 

 

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We are tracking the following 79 frequent flyer programs:
AAdvantage [AA only] Aer Lingus AerClub Aeroflot Bonus / SkyTeam Aerolíneas Argentinas Plus Aeroplan (Air Canada) / Star Alliance Air Algérie Plus Air Caraïbes Préférence Air Mauritius Kestrelflyer Air Tahiti Nui Club Tiare Alaska Airlines Mileage Plan Alfursan (Saudia) Amigo (Avianca Brasil) / Star Alliance ANA Mileage Club Arik Wings Plus Asia Miles (Cathay Pacific) Asiana Club BalticMiles (AirBaltic) British Airways Executive Club / oneworld Caribbean Airlines Loyalty Clubs Club Premier (AeroMexico) Delta SkyMiles / SkyTeam Dynasty Flyer (China Airlines) / SkyTeam Eastern Miles [dom] (China Eastern) Egyptair Plus / Star Alliance Emirates Skywards Etihad Guest EuroBonus (SAS) Eurowings Boomerang Club EVA Air Infinity MileageLands Finnair Plus Flying Blue (Air France, KLM) / SkyTeam Flying Returns [int'l] (Air India) FlySmiles (SriLankan Airlines) GarudaMiles Gol Smiles (GOL, Varig) Gulf Air Falconflyer Hainan Airlines Fortune Wings Club [dom] Hawaiian Miles Iberia Plus Icelandair Saga Club JAL Mileage Bank [int'l] Jet Airways JetPrivilege [dom] JetStar Classic Flight Rewards [QFF] King Club (Kingfisher Airlines) Korean Air Skypass Kuwait Airways Oasis Club LANPass LifeMiles (Avianca, TACA) / Star Alliance Mabuhay Miles (Philippine Airlines) Malaysia Airlines Enrich / oneworld MEA Cedar Miles Miles & Bonus (Aegean) / Star Alliance Miles & More (Lufthansa)  / Star Alliance Miles & Smiles (Turkish Airlines) MilleMiglia (Alitalia) / SkyTeam OK Plus (Czech Airlines) / SkyTeam Oman Air Sindbad Miles PhoenixMiles [dom] (Air China) Privilege Club (Qatar Airways) Qantas Classic Awards [QFF] Royal Brunei Royal Skies Royal Orchid Plus (Thai Airways) S7 Priority SAA Voyager / Star Alliance Safar Flyer (Royal Air Maroc) ShebaMiles (Ethiopian) Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer Sky Pearl Club [dom] (China Southern) TAM Fidelidade / oneworld TAP Victoria topbonus (airberlin, NIKI) Tunisair Fidelys UIA Panorama Club United Mileage Plus / Star Alliance Velocity Frequent Flyer (Virgin Australia) / Redemption Table 1 Vietnam Airlines Golden Lotus Plus VIPorter Virgin Atlantic Flying Club Xiamen Airlines Egret Club [domestic]