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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.

Honolulu (HNL) to San Juan (SJU) with Miles from Flying Blue (Air France, KLM) / SkyTeam

Read the pointsguy.com's article on creative ways to use Flying Blue miles. Hawaii is zoned together with the Caribbean, which opens up some interesting possibilities. Surcharges and fees are very reasonable on American carriers.

The Top Uses of Flying Blue Miles

17 June, 2016

Singapore (SIN) to Paris (CDG) with Miles from Flying Blue (Air France, KLM) / SkyTeam

The fees from Singapore to Paris are approximately USD 160 for the round-trip.

The Top Uses of Flying Blue Miles

17 June, 2016

Paris (CDG) to Manila (MNL) with Miles from ANA Mileage Club / Star Alliance

This itinerary booked with ANA Star Alliance partners Eva Air through Taipei incurred total round-trip fees of USD 270.

Source: https://www.topmiles.com/blog/article/51/review--eva-air-business-class--royal-laurel----paris-to-taipei

15 June, 2016

Edinburgh (EDI) to Zurich (ZRH) with Miles from Aeroplan (Air Canada) / Star Alliance

There are no direct Star Alliance flights between Edinburgh and Zurich. The best option is to connect in Brussels (BRU) with Brussels Airlines and Swiss.  Another option is the use SAS and connect in Copenhagen (CPH).
The total fees are about CAD 145 for the round trip ticket (SAS being the slightly less expensive option).

10 June, 2016

Glasgow (GLA) to Zurich (ZRH) with Miles from Aeroplan (Air Canada) / Star Alliance

There are no really good Star Alliance connections between Glasgow (GLA) and Zurich (ZRH). Generally two connections are needed and they usually involve Lufthansa and Brussels Airlines. Fees typically hover around CAD 400 and more for the round trip.

A better option may be to fly between Zurich and Edinburgh.

10 June, 2016

Toronto (YYZ) to Glasgow (GLA) with Miles from Aeroplan (Air Canada) / Star Alliance

Air Canada Rouge recently added a new direct flight from Toronto (YYZ) to Glasgow (GLA). This flight is offered 3 times a week. It can be booked with miles as well and incurs fees of about CAD 579 in economy class. A less expensive option is to book with United through Newark (EWR), which only has fees of about CAD 290 for the round trip ticket.

10 June, 2016

Tokyo (NRT) to Denpasar (DPS) with Miles from Flying Blue (Air France, KLM) / SkyTeam

Intra-Asian flights can be a good way to redeem flights on Flying Blue -- there are two Asia zones and an India zone:

NRT to DPS is available on a direct flight with Garuda Indonesia.
See a pointsguy.com article on this redemption.

1 June, 2016

Dublin (DUB) to Istanbul (IST) with Miles from Flying Blue (Air France, KLM) / SkyTeam

Intra-European flights can be a good way to redeem flights on Flying Blue -- Europe is divided into three zones:

See a pointsguy.com article on this redemption.

1 June, 2016

Madrid (MAD) to Miami (MIA) with Avios from British Airways Executive Club / oneworld

If you're using avios to get from Madrid to Miami, the Iberia online booking engine seems to show more availability (especially in business class) than the British Airways engine. What's more Iberia flights booked directly on iberia.com carry approximately 75% less taxes than when they are booked on ba.com.

Source: http://www.headforpoints.com/2016/05/31/did-you-know-iberia-com-shows-more-iberia-business-class-avios-seats-than-ba-com/

31 May, 2016

Madrid (MAD) to Miami (MIA) with Avios from Iberia Plus

If you're using avios to get from Madrid to Miami, the Iberia online booking engine seems to show more availability (especially in business class) than the British Airways engine. What's more Iberia flights booked directly on iberia.com carry approximately 75% less taxes than when they are booked on ba.com.

Source: http://www.headforpoints.com/2016/05/31/did-you-know-iberia-com-shows-more-iberia-business-class-avios-seats-than-ba-com/

31 May, 2016