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 London (LHR) with Avios from Iberia Plus

22 December, 2015

The Madrid-London flight represents an exception in the Iberia award chart. The PEAK rates are 15,000 avios for Blue Class, 22,500 full fare economy and 30,000 avios for business class. The OFF-PEAK rates are 13,000 avios for Blue Class, 19,500 full fare economy and 25,500 avios for business class.
Roundtrip in Blue Class -- Off-Peak (Economy)15,000
Roundtrip in Blue Class -- Peak (Economy)16,500
Roundtrip in Full Fare Economy Off-Peak22,500
Roundtrip in Full Fare Economy Peak25,000
Roundtrip in Business Off-Peak30,000
Roundtrip in Business Peak33,000
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New York (JFK) to Los Angeles (LAX) with Miles from Alaska Airlines Mileage Plan [Delta Air Lines Partnership]

16 December, 2015

This specific transcontinental flight between New York JFK and Los Angeles (LAX) costs 65,000 miles in Business/First, not the regular 50,000.
Roundtrip in Coach25,000
Roundtrip in Business / First50,000
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New York (JFK) to San Francisco (SFO) with Miles from Alaska Airlines Mileage Plan [Delta Air Lines Partnership]

16 December, 2015

This specific transcontinental flight between New York JFK and San Francisco (SFO) costs 65,000 miles in Business/First, not the regular 50,000.
Roundtrip in Coach25,000
Roundtrip in Business / First50,000
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New York (JFK) to Seattle (SEA) with Miles from Alaska Airlines Mileage Plan [Delta Air Lines Partnership]

16 December, 2015

This specific transcontinental flight between New York JFK and Seattle costs 65,000 miles in Business/First, not the regular 50,000.
Roundtrip in Coach25,000
Roundtrip in Business / First50,000
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Zurich (ZRH) to Montreal (YUL) with Miles from Aeroplan (Air Canada) / Star Alliance

7 December, 2015

If you can get a seat on the direct Swiss flight between Zurich and Montreal, this is a great redemption on Aeroplan. Round-trip fees are around CAD 90.
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 Toronto (YYZ) with Miles from Aeroplan (Air Canada) / Star Alliance

30 November, 2015

Try booking the flight between Toronto and Zurich through Montreal (YUL) on Swiss. Fees and surcharges are only CAD 90 for the round trip. 
Roundtrip in Economy60,000
Roundtrip in Premium Economy75,000
Roundtrip in Business110,000
Roundtrip in First Class140,000
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Madrid (MAD) to Quito (UIO) with Avios from Iberia Plus

22 November, 2015

The direct Iberia flight from Madrid to Quito in economy costs about EUR 650 (round trip) if bought with cash only. The fees to redeem the same with avios are about EUR 194. The redemption is even better if you're traveling in business class, the fees here are EUR 214.

Source: https://apeadero.es/2015/11/vuelos-casi-gratis-con-el-programa-de-puntos-de-iberia/ [in Spanish]
Roundtrip in Blue Class -- Off-Peak (Economy)42,500
Roundtrip in Blue Class -- Peak (Economy)50,000
Roundtrip in Full Fare Economy Off-Peak64,000
Roundtrip in Full Fare Economy Peak75,000
Roundtrip in Business Off-Peak85,000
Roundtrip in Business Peak125,000
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Dar Es Salaam (DAR) to Zurich (ZRH) with Miles from United Mileage Plus / Star Alliance

14 November, 2015

Here's a trip report for a business class redemption on Star Alliance partner Swiss from Dar to Zurich. Dar has a number of Star Alliance options of which Swiss seems to be the best.

http://www.mightytravels.com/2015/11/swiss-business-class-review-dar-es-salaam-dar-to-zurich-zrh-a330-lx-294/
Roundtrip in Economy60,000
Roundtrip in Business110,000
Roundtrip in First Class200,000
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Chicago (ORD) to Hong Kong (HKG) with Miles from AAdvantage [oneworld / Partners]

11 November, 2015

You can book the Chicago to Honk Kong itinerary on AA's partner airline Cathay Pacific. The fees for a one-way redemption are about USD 55.

Source: https://www.topmiles.com/blog/article/10/my--10-000-one-way-flight-on-board-cathay-pacific---s-first-class-seat-for--130
Roundtrip in Main Cabin75,000
Roundtrip in Business / First140,000
Roundtrip in First Class220,000
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Sydney (SYD) to Singapore (SIN) with Miles from Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer

30 September, 2015

Excellent value for KrisFlyer miles if you can get the direct flight from Sydney to Singapore in business class. The fees on the flights were approximately AUD 290.

Read a trip report on pointshack.com.au:
http://www.pointhacks.com.au/reviews/singapore-airlines-sq232-a380-business-class-review/
Roundtrip in Economy Saver56,000
Roundtrip in Premium Economy Saver90,000
Roundtrip in Economy Standard110,000
Roundtrip in Business Saver116,000
Roundtrip in Suites / First Saver160,000
Roundtrip in Business Standard180,000
Roundtrip in Suites / First Standard300,000
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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]