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.

 

 

Madrid (MAD) to New York (JFK) with Avios from Iberia Plus

29 September, 2016

The direct Madrid to New York round-trip flight with Iberia is only 68,000 avios in buiness during the off-peak season (or 34,000 avios one-way). The one-way fees are EUR 107.

Here's a trip report: http://www.aufnachirgendwo.de/blog/review-iberia-a340-600-business-class-madrid-nach-new-york/ [in German]
Roundtrip in Blue Class -- Off-Peak (Economy)34,000
Roundtrip in Blue Class -- Peak (Economy)40,000
Roundtrip in Full Fare Economy Off-Peak51,000
Roundtrip in Full Fare Economy Peak60,000
Roundtrip in Business Off-Peak68,000
Roundtrip in Business Peak100,000
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Seattle (SEA) to San Francisco (SFO) with Avios from British Airways Executive Club [Alaska Airlines Partnership]

29 September, 2016

Here is a step-by-step guide from travelmiles101.com on how to book a Seattle to San Francisco redemption on Alaska Airlines, using British Airways avios. The article also suggests to consider Seattle to Oakland in case there is no availability to San Francisco. The fees for this redemption are USD 5.60 for each leg.
Due to the fact that these flights originate/terminate in the USA, a higher rate actually applies: 15,000 avios for the round trip.

Roundtrip in Economy9,000
Roundtrip in Business18,000
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Seattle (SEA) to Oakland (OAK) with Avios from British Airways Executive Club [Alaska Airlines Partnership]

29 September, 2016

Here is a step-by-step guide from travelmiles101.com on how to book a Seattle to Oakland redemption on Alaska Airlines, using British Airways avios. The article also suggests to consider Seattle to San Francisco in case there is no availability to Oakland. The fees for this redemption are USD 5.60 for each leg.
Due to the fact that these flights originate/terminate in the USA, a higher rate actually applies: 15,000 avios for the round trip. Nonetheless this still represents a very good redemption.
Roundtrip in Economy9,000
Roundtrip in Business18,000
Roundtrip in First Class150,000
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Sydney (SYD) to Bangkok (BKK) with Miles from LifeMiles (Avianca, TACA) / Star Alliance

27 September, 2016

The article below from the Australian Business Traveller explains how buying LifeMiles and then using them for a business or first class seat on the Sydney-Bangkok route with Thai Airways can save approximately 50% off the same ticket bought with cash.

Source: http://www.ausbt.com.au/avianca-lifemiles-unlocks-low-cost-business-first-class-star-alliance-flights
Roundtrip in Economy45,000
Roundtrip in Business80,000
Roundtrip in First Class120,000
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Sydney (SYD) to Vancouver (YVR) with Miles from LifeMiles (Avianca, TACA) / Star Alliance

27 September, 2016

The objective is to get a business class ticket on the direct Air Canada flight from Sydney to Vancouver with your LifeMiles miles. Availability is a bit scarce but even with you buy all the miles required (for approx. AUD 3,300) it will still be much cheaper than buying the ticket outright (approx. AUD 9,000).

Source: http://www.ausbt.com.au/avianca-lifemiles-unlocks-low-cost-business-first-class-star-alliance-flights

 
Roundtrip in Economy80,000
Roundtrip in Business160,000
Roundtrip in First Class222,000
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Sydney (SYD) to Paris (CDG) with Miles from LifeMiles (Avianca, TACA) / Star Alliance

27 September, 2016

For the itinerary between Sydney and Paris Air China (through Shanghai PVG) and Air India (connecting in Delhi DEL) are good options if you're looking to find business class seats.

Source: http://www.ausbt.com.au/avianca-lifemiles-unlocks-low-cost-business-first-class-star-alliance-flights

 
Roundtrip in Economy110,000
Roundtrip in Business170,000
Roundtrip in First Class230,000
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Richmond (RIC) to Chicago (ORD) with Avios from British Airways Executive Club / oneworld

14 September, 2016

Read this step-by-step guide from travelmiles101.com on how to book American Airline flights with British Airways Avios.The article suggests using the aa.com site to find flights first and then switching to the BA site in order to book. The fees for this flight from Richmond to Chicago are USD 5.60.
Roundtrip in Economy Off-Peak13,000
Roundtrip in Economy Peak15,000
Roundtrip in Premium Economy Off-Peak19,000
Roundtrip in Premium Economy Peak22,500
Roundtrip in Business Off-Peak25,500
Roundtrip in Business Peak30,000
Roundtrip in First Class Off-Peak51,000
Roundtrip in First Class Peak60,000
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Frankfurt (FRA) to Chicago (ORD) with Miles from Miles & More (Lufthansa) / Star Alliance

19 August, 2016

This is a route that is occasionally available as a Mileage Bargain (Meilenschnäppchen) for only 55,000 miles for the round trip in business class. The article from meilenoptimieren.com in the link below describes how you (if you're a Germany resident) can collect the necessary miles for this flight. The fees for this flight on Lufthansa are just under EUR 490.

Source: http://meilenoptimieren.com/lufthansa-business-class-flug-langstrecke-beginnerstrategie/ [in German]
Roundtrip in Economy60,000
Roundtrip in Business105,000
Roundtrip in First Class170,000
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New York (JFK) to London (LHR) with Miles from Qantas Classic Awards [QFF]

17 August, 2016

The fee is only AUD 5 for a one-way business class redemption from New York to London on American Airlines. (No fuel surcharges are added to the redemption cost when using American Airlines).

Source: http://www.pointhacks.com.au/reviews/american-airlines-new-york-london-772-business-class/
Roundtrip in Economy45,000
Roundtrip in Premium Economy74,000
Roundtrip in Business100,000
Roundtrip in First Class150,000
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Sydney (SYD) to Canberra (CBR) with Miles from Qantas Classic Awards [QFF]

5 August, 2016

The fees on this short flight between Sydney and Canberra are AUD 55 for the round-trip in business class (yes, it's available!). This business class redemption is not great value for your Qantas points, according to pointshack.au.com.

Source: http://www.pointhacks.com.au/reviews/qantas-717-domestic-business-class-review/
Roundtrip in Economy16,000
Roundtrip in Business32,000
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We are tracking the following 78 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 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 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 LATAM Fidelidade Multiplus / oneworld LATAM Pass LifeMiles (Avianca, TACA) / Star Alliance Mabuhay Miles (Philippine Airlines) Malaysia Airlines Enrich / oneworld MEA Cedar Miles Meridiana Club 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) 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]