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.

 

 

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

14 April, 2016

Award availability to Hawaii is pretty good according the UponArriving.com. The surcharges for using Delta from San Francisco to Honolulu are a a mere USD 5!

Guide to Flying Blue Award Flights (uponarriving.com)
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Houston (HOU) to Lima (LIM) with Miles from Flying Blue (Air France, KLM) / SkyTeam

14 April, 2016

The redemption miles needed to travel from North America to South America with Flying Blue compare very favourably to other programs. The round trip fees between Houston and Lima are USD 105.

Guide to Flying Blue Award Flights (uponarriving.com)
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Houston (HOU) to Santiago (SCL) with Miles from Flying Blue (Air France, KLM) / SkyTeam

14 April, 2016

The redemption miles needed to travel from North America to South America with Flying Blue compare very favourably to other programs. The round trip fees between Houston and Santiago de Chile are USD 90.

Guide to Flying Blue Award Flights (uponarriving.com)
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Zurich (ZRH) to Dubrovnik (DBV) with Miles from Aeroplan (Air Canada) / Star Alliance

7 April, 2016

Croatia Airlines (OU) is a Star Alliance partner and offers direct flights from Zurich to Dubrovnik. The round trip surcharge on this direct flight is CAD 100. Dubrovnik can also be reached with other Star Alliance partners but the fees can be much higher, e.g. with Austrian Airlines through Vienna (VIE) CAD 400!
Roundtrip in Economy30,000
Roundtrip in Business60,000
Roundtrip in First Class75,000
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Zurich (ZRH) to Zagreb (ZAG) with Miles from Aeroplan (Air Canada) / Star Alliance

7 April, 2016

Croatia Airlines (OU) and Swiss (LX) both offer direct flights from Zurich to Zagreb. The round trip surcharge on this direct flight is CAD 100.

Other Star Alliance partners can also be used but the fees can be much higher, e.g. with Austrian Airlines through Vienna (VIE) CAD 400!
Roundtrip in Economy30,000
Roundtrip in Business60,000
Roundtrip in First Class75,000
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Montreal (YUL) to Paris (CDG) with Miles from Aeroplan (Air Canada) / Star Alliance

3 March, 2016

The direct Air Canada flight from Montreal (YUL) to Paris Charles de Gaulle (CDG) will incur almost CAD 600 in fees and surcharges. Swiss has a direct flight to Montreal from Zurich at very low surcharges and United Airlines is also an option for reduced fuel surcharges.
Read more at Milesopedia [in French].
Roundtrip in Economy60,000
Roundtrip in Premium Economy75,000
Roundtrip in Business110,000
Roundtrip in First Class140,000
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Munich (MUC) to Chicago (ORD) with Miles from Miles & More (Lufthansa) / Star Alliance

1 March, 2016

Book business class one-way instead of round-trip, and you will save 1,000 miles due to the fact the Miles & More engine rounds down the amount of miles required for the one-way journey. Make sure the transatlantic portion of the itinerary is with LOT if you want to avoid the high Lufthansa surcharges.

Source: http://meinemeilen.com/top-15-mogliche-miles-and-more-pramienfluge/ [in German]
Roundtrip in Economy60,000
Roundtrip in Business105,000
Roundtrip in First Class170,000
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Christchurch (CHC) to Perth (PER) with Miles from Velocity Frequent Flyer (Virgin Australia) / Redemption Table 1

11 January, 2016

Great use of Velocity points of you can book the business class seats between Perth and Christchurch. The connection is in Melbourne which provides a one-stop connection between the two destinations.

Read a trip report on pointshack.com.au:
http://www.pointhacks.com.au/reviews/virgin-australia-the-business-review-a330-melbourne-perth/
Roundtrip in Economy (rate calculated via MEL)67,600
Roundtrip in Business (rate calculated via MEL)135,200
Roundtrip in First Class (rate calculated via MEL)202,800
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Los Angeles (LAX) to Sydney (SYD) with Miles from Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer

4 January, 2016

Here's a nice write-up from topmiles.com on redeeming KrisFlyer miles to get to Sydney from Los Angeles (via Tokyo and Singapore) in Singapore Airlines first class suite for only 119,000 miles! Fees and surcharges for the one-way journey were USD 480. The trip was booked one-way and with the 15% discount given for online bookings.

Source: https://www.topmiles.com/blog/article/73/my--16-000-christmas-flight-on-singapore-airlines-first-class-suites-for--480
Roundtrip in Economy Saver110,000
Roundtrip in Premium Economy Saver180,000
Roundtrip in Economy Standard200,000
Roundtrip in Business Saver220,000
Roundtrip in Suites / First Saver308,000
Roundtrip in Business Standard320,000
Roundtrip in Suites / First Standard550,000
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Madrid (MAD) to Barcelona (BCN) with Avios from Iberia Plus

22 December, 2015

The Madrid-Barcelona shuttle represents an exception in the Iberia award chart. The YEAR ROUND rates are 9,000 avios for full fare economy and 18,000 avios for business class.
Roundtrip in Blue Class -- Off-Peak (Economy)9,000
Roundtrip in Blue Class -- Peak (Economy)10,000
Roundtrip in Full Fare Economy Off-Peak13,500
Roundtrip in Full Fare Economy Peak15,000
Roundtrip in Business Off-Peak18,000
Roundtrip in Business Peak20,000
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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]