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 Lima (LIM) with Avios from Iberia Plus

3 February, 2015

The fees for the round-trip redemption between Madrid and Peru are EUR 188 in 'Blue Class'.

Source: http://flyingpiggie.com/sp/2015/02/iberia-plus-valor-avios/ [in Spanish]
Roundtrip in Blue Class -- Off-Peak (Economy)51,000
Roundtrip in Blue Class -- Peak (Economy)60,000
Roundtrip in Full Fare Economy Off-Peak76,500
Roundtrip in Full Fare Economy Peak90,000
Roundtrip in Business Off-Peak102,000
Roundtrip in Business Peak150,000
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Madrid (MAD) to Buenos Aires (EZE) with Avios from Iberia Plus

3 February, 2015

The fees for the round-trip redemption between Madrid and Buenos Aires are EUR 224 in business class. This ticket would cost about EUR 2,700 even in low season, if bought with cash.

Source: http://flyingpiggie.com/sp/2015/02/iberia-plus-valor-avios/ [in Spanish]
Roundtrip in Blue Class -- Off-Peak (Economy)51,000
Roundtrip in Blue Class -- Peak (Economy)60,000
Roundtrip in Full Fare Economy Off-Peak76,500
Roundtrip in Full Fare Economy Peak90,000
Roundtrip in Business Off-Peak102,000
Roundtrip in Business Peak150,000
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New York (JFK) to Buenos Aires (EZE) with Avios from Iberia Plus / oneworld

3 February, 2015

The fees for the round-trip redemption between Buenos Aires and New York are EUR 90 with flights on American Airlines. This ticket would cost about a minimum of  EUR 1,500, if bought with cash.

Source: http://flyingpiggie.com/sp/2015/02/iberia-plus-valor-avios/ [in Spanish]
Roundtrip in Economy (must be multi-carrier)60,000
Roundtrip in Economy (must be single carrier)65,000
Roundtrip in Full Fare Economy (must be multi-carrier)90,000
Roundtrip in Full Fare Economy (must be single carrier)97,500
Roundtrip in Business (must be multi-carrier)120,000
Roundtrip in Business (must be single carrier)150,000
Roundtrip in First Class (must be multi-carrier)180,000
Roundtrip in First Class (must be single carrier)225,000
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Toronto (YTZ) to Montreal (YUL) with Miles from Aeroplan (Air Canada) / Star Alliance

28 January, 2015

There are many flights every day between Toronto's Island Airport (YTZ) and Dorval in Montreal (YUL). Seats are often available and surcharges for the round trip redemption are currently CAD 173.
This can be booked one way too, for half the cost in miles and fees.
Roundtrip in Economy15,000
Roundtrip in Premium Economy20,000
Roundtrip in Business30,000
Roundtrip in First Class70,000
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Tokyo (HND) to San Francisco (SFO) with Miles from AAdvantage [oneworld / Partners]

21 January, 2015

Here's a trip report from mightytravels.com:
http://www.mightytravels.com/2015/01/jal-economy-class-review-tokyo-haneda-hnd-to-san-francisco-sfo-jl2/

The recommendation is to book during the very advantageous off-season.
Roundtrip in Main Cabin70,000
Roundtrip in Business / First120,000
Roundtrip in First Class160,000
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Halifax (YHZ) to Istanbul (IST) with Miles from Aeroplan (Air Canada) / Star Alliance

14 December, 2014

Read this article at packinglighttravel.com on tricks on how to best redeem a flight from Halifax to Istanbul. The key is to use Turkish Airlines in order to avoid the high fuel surcharges.
Roundtrip in Economy75,000
Roundtrip in Premium Economy90,000
Roundtrip in Business115,000
Roundtrip in First Class160,000
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Edmonton (YEG) to Istanbul (IST) with Miles from Aeroplan (Air Canada) / Star Alliance

14 December, 2014

When traveling from Edmonton to Istanbul, try routing through Chicago (ORD) in order to avoid the high Air Canada fuel surcharges. The flight to Istanbul from Chicago is with United Airlines and therefore has much lower fees (under CAD 200 for the round trip). Connecting in Toronto (YYZ) with Turkish Airlines is also a good option with lower surcharges.
Read more here.
Roundtrip in Economy75,000
Roundtrip in Premium Economy90,000
Roundtrip in Business115,000
Roundtrip in First Class160,000
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Halifax (YHZ) to Taipei (TPE) with Miles from Aeroplan (Air Canada) / Star Alliance

14 December, 2014

To avoid fuel surcharges on this itinerary, connections through Boston (BOS) and Los Angeles (LAX) are advantageous. The longer flights (with minimal surcharges) will be with United Airlines to LAX and then with Eva Air to Taiwan. Total surcharges will be under CAD 100 for the round trip.
See the article on packinglighttravel.com.
Roundtrip in Economy75,000
Roundtrip in Premium Economy125,000
Roundtrip in Business150,000
Roundtrip in First Class210,000
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Guatemala City (GUA) to Rio De Janeiro (GIG) with Miles from Miles & Bonus (Aegean) / Star Alliance

30 November, 2014

For a Star Alliance economy seat redemption with Copa Airlines between Guatemala (GUA) and Rio de Janeiro (GIG), Aegean's Miles & Bonus charges approximately USD 230 in fees. This fee consists of the Guatemalan sales tax, airport security fees, departure taxes and an Aegean booking fee.


Roundtrip in Economy25,000
Roundtrip in Business42,000
Roundtrip in First Class80,000
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Zurich (ZRH) to Funchal (FNC) with Miles from Aeroplan (Air Canada) / Star Alliance

21 November, 2014

20,000 miles is a great deal for the return flights from Zurich to Funchal (Madeira). The island of Madeira (as well as the Canaries) are often zoned outside Europe for redemption flights -- but not in the case of Aeroplan. Zurich to Funchal typically will require a transfer in Lisbon. To reduce the surcharges try to book part of this itinerary on Swiss (ZRH-LIS), with that the fees are about CAD 150.
Roundtrip in Economy25,000
Roundtrip in Business45,000
Roundtrip in First Class60,000
  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]