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.

 

 

Vancouver (YVR) to New York (JFK) with Miles from Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer / Star Alliance

18 July, 2016

The fees for a one-way business class award ticket to get on the direct Air Canada flight from Vancouver to New York are only USD 10.

Source: http://www.pointhacks.com.au/reviews/air-canada-business-class-vancouver-new-york/
Roundtrip in Economy25,000
Roundtrip in Business40,000
Roundtrip in First Class60,000
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Montreal (YUL) to Zurich (ZRH) with Miles from Aeroplan (Air Canada) / Star Alliance

9 July, 2016

Here is a write-up on Milesopedia about the Montreal-Zurich route with Swiss, using Aeroplan miles [in French].
Roundtrip in Economy60,000
Roundtrip in Premium Economy75,000
Roundtrip in Business110,000
Roundtrip in First Class140,000
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Zurich (ZRH) to Split (SPU) with Miles from Aeroplan (Air Canada) / Star Alliance

8 July, 2016

The Zurich to Split itinerary can be redeemed on Star Alliance partner Croatia Airlines, which has a direct flight between the two cities. Fees and surcharges for the direct flight are CAD 72. 
Roundtrip in Economy30,000
Roundtrip in Business60,000
Roundtrip in First Class75,000
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Abu Dhabi (AUH) to Singapore (SIN) with Miles from topbonus (airberlin, NIKI) [Partners]

4 July, 2016

Topbonus members can redeem flights with Etihad, which has an interesting route network to Asia. What's more flights from AUH to the Gulf States, South Asia and South East Asia require the same number of miles! The round-trip Etihad flight from Abu Dhabi to Singapore incurs fees of only EUR 41.

Source: http://meilenoptimieren.com/beste-airberlin-topbonus-praemienfluege/ [in German]
Roundtrip in Economy (must be single carrier)40,000
Roundtrip in Business (must be single carrier)80,000
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Frankfurt (FRA) to Dallas-Fort Worth (DFW) with Miles from topbonus (airberlin, NIKI) [Partners]

4 July, 2016

The direct American Airlines connection from Frankfurt to Dallas can be booked with topbonus miles. AA does not charge fuel surcharges so that the return redemption has fees of only EUR 140. Düsseldorf to Chicago is another direct AA flight that can be booked for this same overall fee.

Source: http://meilenoptimieren.com/beste-airberlin-topbonus-praemienfluege/ [in German]
Roundtrip in Economy (must be single carrier)60,000
Roundtrip in Business (must be single carrier)120,000
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Seattle (SEA) to Miami (MIA) with Miles from topbonus (airberlin, NIKI) [Partners]

4 July, 2016

Award fees for flights with the same partner carrier are a little different than if multiple carriers are required. You can cross the USA from Miami to Seattle with American Airlines for 15,000 miles one-way and only EUR 13 in fees.

Source: http://meilenoptimieren.com/beste-airberlin-topbonus-praemienfluege/ [in German]
Roundtrip in Economy (must be single carrier)30,000
Roundtrip in Business (must be single carrier)60,000
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Honolulu (HNL) to Miami (MIA) with Miles from topbonus (airberlin, NIKI) [Partners]

4 July, 2016

As long as you use only American Airlines the fees for the itinerary from Miami to Honolulu are only EUR 26 in fees for the round trip.

Source: http://meilenoptimieren.com/beste-airberlin-topbonus-praemienfluege/ [in German]
Roundtrip in Economy (must be single carrier)40,000
Roundtrip in Business (must be single carrier)80,000
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New York (JFK) to Panama City (PTY) with Miles from topbonus (airberlin, NIKI) [Partners]

4 July, 2016

You can use all American Airlines flights to reach Panama City (e.g. with a connection in Miami), the fees will be approximately EUR 60 for the round-trip. The Central America / Caribbean zone can be seen here.

Source: http://meilenoptimieren.com/beste-airberlin-topbonus-praemienfluege/ [in German]
Roundtrip in Economy (must be single carrier)40,000
Roundtrip in Business (must be single carrier)80,000
  Share Your Knowledge

Miami (MIA) to Buenos Aires (EZE) with Miles from topbonus (airberlin, NIKI) [Partners]

4 July, 2016

Miami is the hub for American Airlines flights to South America. The fees for a round-trip award ticket to Buenos Aires in economy class are EUR 50.
 
Source: http://meilenoptimieren.com/beste-airberlin-topbonus-praemienfluege/ [in German]
Roundtrip in Economy (must be single carrier)70,000
Roundtrip in Business (must be single carrier)140,000
  Share Your Knowledge

New York (JFK) to Hong Kong (HKG) with Miles from topbonus (airberlin, NIKI) [Partners]

4 July, 2016

The fees for a round-trip award ticket from North America to the Far East  in economy class are a reasonable EUR 58. A possible connection between New York and Hong Kong (for AA flights) is Dallas (DFW).
 
Source: http://meilenoptimieren.com/beste-airberlin-topbonus-praemienfluege/ [in German]
Roundtrip in Economy (must be single carrier)100,000
Roundtrip in Business (must be single carrier)200,000
  Share Your Knowledge

 

 

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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]