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.

 

 

Doha (DOH) to Casablanca (CMN) with Miles from AAdvantage [oneworld / Partners]

29 July, 2015

Apparently booking a first class redemption (on Qatar Airways) is possible for this route, even though the rate is not published by AA. See the following article on One Mile at a Time:
http://onemileatatime.boardingarea.com/2015/07/24/does-american-allow-first-class-awards-between-the-middle-east-and-africa/
Roundtrip in Main Cabin60,000
Roundtrip in Business / First110,000
Roundtrip in First Class160,000
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Abu Dhabi (AUH) to Casablanca (CMN) with Miles from AAdvantage [oneworld / Partners]

29 July, 2015

Apparently booking a first class redemption (on Etihad) is possible for this route, even though the rate is not published by AA. See the following article on One Mile at a Time:
http://onemileatatime.boardingarea.com/2015/07/24/does-american-allow-first-class-awards-between-the-middle-east-and-africa/
Roundtrip in Main Cabin60,000
Roundtrip in Business / First110,000
Roundtrip in First Class160,000
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Zurich (ZRH) to Lisbon (LIS) with Miles from Aeroplan (Air Canada) / Star Alliance

27 July, 2015

TAP has a direct flights from Zurich (ZRH) to Lisbon (LIS) and flights seem to be readily available. The 20,000 mile redemption for an economy class ticket is good value. There are fees and a fuel surcharge on TAP, approx. CAD 169.
Roundtrip in Economy25,000
Roundtrip in Business45,000
Roundtrip in First Class60,000
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Frankfurt (FRA) to Rome (FCO) with Miles from Miles & More (Lufthansa) / Star Alliance

7 July, 2015

Intra-European redemptions are not such a great deal due to high fuel surcharges and high airport fees. The fees for the Frankfurt to Rome route are about EUR 50. You can buy a cash ticket for less than EUR 150.

Source:  Using Your Miles The Best Way — Case Lufthansa Miles
Roundtrip in Economy30,000
Roundtrip in Business45,000
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Vienna (VIE) to Brussels (BRU) with Miles from Miles & More (Lufthansa) / Star Alliance

7 July, 2015

Intra-European redemptions are generally not such a great deal due to high fuel surcharges and high airport fees. But the redemption between Vienna and Brussels is not bad because a cash ticket is pretty expensive: EUR 470.
The fees for a one-way ticket on Miles & More are about EUR 70, plus 15,000 miles.

Source:  Using Your Miles The Best Way — Case Lufthansa Miles
Roundtrip in Economy30,000
Roundtrip in Business45,000
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Frankfurt (FRA) to Los Angeles (LAX) with Miles from Miles & More (Lufthansa) / Star Alliance

7 July, 2015

First Class award tickets between Frankfurt and Los Angeles are the way to go! Despite the high surcharges (EUR 630) this is still a great deal.

Source:  Using Your Miles The Best Way — Case Lufthansa Miles
Roundtrip in Economy60,000
Roundtrip in Business105,000
Roundtrip in First Class170,000
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Sao Paulo (GRU) to Tokyo (NRT) with Miles from Miles & More (Lufthansa) / Star Alliance

7 July, 2015

This would be two long haul flights with Lufthansa from Brazil to Germany to Japan. If you can get both of these long haul trips in first class would be even better and the fees would be low due to the "no fuel surcharge" rule in Brazil. So a one-way journey starting in Brazil would only incur EUR 63 in surcharges!

Source:  Using Your Miles The Best Way — Case Lufthansa Miles
Roundtrip in Economy100,000
Roundtrip in Business185,000
Roundtrip in First Class290,000
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San Francisco (SFO) to New York (JFK) with Miles from Delta SkyMiles / SkyTeam

26 June, 2015

According to the Consumer Reports Ultimate Frequent Flyer Guide SFO to JFK is one of the better Delta SkyMiles redemption routes, meaning you get good value for your miles and seat availability is good as well (almost 10%).

Consult the Consumer Report chart for the top US routes here
Roundtrip in Economy Level 125,000
Roundtrip in Economy Level 235,000
Roundtrip in Economy Level 340,000
Roundtrip in Business Level 150,000
Roundtrip in Economy Level 450,000
Roundtrip in Economy Level 565,000
Roundtrip in Business Level 265,000
Roundtrip in First Class / Business Elite Level 165,000
Roundtrip in Business Level 375,000
Roundtrip in Business Level 490,000
Roundtrip in First Class / Business Elite Level 290,000
Roundtrip in Business Level 5110,000
Roundtrip in First Class / Business Elite Level 3120,000
Roundtrip in First Class / Business Elite Level 4135,000
Roundtrip in First Class / Business Elite Level 5150,000
  Share Your Knowledge

Los Angeles (LAX) to New York (JFK) with Miles from Delta SkyMiles / SkyTeam

26 June, 2015

According to the Consumer Reports Ultimate Frequent Flyer Guide LAX to JFK is one of the better Delta SkyMiles redemption routes, meaning you get good value for your miles and seat availability is good as well (almost 15%).

Consult the Consumer Report chart for the top US routes here
Roundtrip in Economy Level 125,000
Roundtrip in Economy Level 235,000
Roundtrip in Economy Level 340,000
Roundtrip in Business Level 150,000
Roundtrip in Economy Level 450,000
Roundtrip in Economy Level 565,000
Roundtrip in Business Level 265,000
Roundtrip in First Class / Business Elite Level 165,000
Roundtrip in Business Level 375,000
Roundtrip in Business Level 490,000
Roundtrip in First Class / Business Elite Level 290,000
Roundtrip in Business Level 5110,000
Roundtrip in First Class / Business Elite Level 3120,000
Roundtrip in First Class / Business Elite Level 4135,000
Roundtrip in First Class / Business Elite Level 5150,000
  Share Your Knowledge

Las Vegas (LAS) to New York (JFK) with Miles from Delta SkyMiles / SkyTeam

26 June, 2015

According to the Consumer Reports Ultimate Frequent Flyer Guide Las Vegas to New York is one of the better Delta SkyMiles redemption routes, meaning you get good value for your miles and seat availability is good as well (almost 9%).

Consult the Consumer Report chart for the top US routes here
Roundtrip in Economy Level 125,000
Roundtrip in Economy Level 235,000
Roundtrip in Economy Level 340,000
Roundtrip in Business Level 150,000
Roundtrip in Economy Level 450,000
Roundtrip in Business Level 265,000
Roundtrip in First Class / Business Elite Level 165,000
Roundtrip in Economy Level 565,000
Roundtrip in Business Level 375,000
Roundtrip in First Class / Business Elite Level 290,000
Roundtrip in Business Level 490,000
Roundtrip in Business Level 5110,000
Roundtrip in First Class / Business Elite Level 3120,000
Roundtrip in First Class / Business Elite Level 4135,000
Roundtrip in First Class / Business Elite Level 5150,000
  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]