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.

 

 

Perth (PER) to Tongatapu (TBU) with Miles from Aeroplan (Air Canada) / Star Alliance

29 June, 2014

The cash fare for a flight from Perth (PER) to Tonga (Nuku’alofa -- TBU) will be roughly USD 1,200. Aeroplan lets you redeem this itinerary within one zone for 30,000 miles plus USD 150 in fees. Look for Air New Zealand as a carrier between these destinations.
Read more at Don't Call the Airline!.
Roundtrip in Economy30,000
Roundtrip in Business55,000
Roundtrip in First Class75,000
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Paris (CDG) to Houston (HOU) with Miles from Flying Blue (Air France, KLM) / SkyTeam

22 June, 2014

The surcharges for this itinerary are just under EUR 200. See the article on 4coinsdumonde.com [in French].
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Nice (NCE) to Montreal (YUL) with Miles from Flying Blue (Air France, KLM) / SkyTeam

22 June, 2014

The surcharges for this trip (calculated via Amsterdam) are EUR 195 for the round trip in economy.
http://4coinsdumonde.com/organiser-son-voyage/budget-vacances/ce-vraiment-interessant-cumuler-miles-flying-blue/
Roundtrip in Economy43,000
Roundtrip in Premium Economy85,000
Roundtrip in Business124,000
Roundtrip in First Class400,000
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Cleveland (CLE) to Orlando (MCO) with Miles from Aeroplan (Air Canada) / Star Alliance

17 June, 2014

Cleveland to Orlando can be a great option for Aeroplan members. Star Alliance partner United has various direct flights from CLE to MCO and the fees are only CAD 15 per economy class award ticket!
Roundtrip in Economy25,000
Roundtrip in Premium Economy40,000
Roundtrip in Business50,000
Roundtrip in First Class70,000
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Toronto (YYZ) to Orlando (MCO) with Miles from Aeroplan (Air Canada) / Star Alliance

22 May, 2014

To avoid high fees, try booking award flights with United.
Another strategy to avoid high fees is to consider flying from BUF instead of YYZ. Typically fees from Buffalo to Orlando are about CAD 30 only.
Roundtrip in Economy25,000
Roundtrip in Premium Economy40,000
Roundtrip in Business50,000
Roundtrip in First Class70,000
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Vancouver (YVR) to London (LHR) with Miles from Aeroplan (Air Canada) / Star Alliance

18 March, 2014

To avoid high fuel surcharges, try booking a flight on United via Newark (EWR) or Chicago (ORD). There will still be the UK Air Passenger duty, but at that is still much less than booking the redemption flight with Air Canada.

See the following article:
http://bc.ctvnews.ca/soaring-flight-fees-almost-1-300-for-a-free-aeroplan-trip-1.1719619

Or try using your Aeroplan points for an SEA-LHR flight, also with United.
Roundtrip in Economy60,000
Roundtrip in Premium Economy75,000
Roundtrip in Business110,000
Roundtrip in First Class140,000
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St.John's (ANU) to Punta Cana (PUJ) with Avios from British Airways Executive Club / oneworld

6 March, 2014

British Airways flies to St.John's (Antigua) from London Gatwick (LGW). The flight then goes on to Punta Cana in the Dominican Republic. This is a nice way to use your avios, ie. for 4,500 avios you can island hop one-way to the Dominican. Inter-caribbean flights are normally much more costly.

This tip comes from Torsten at mightytravels.com.
Roundtrip in Economy Off-Peak8,000
Roundtrip in Economy Peak9,000
Roundtrip in Premium Economy Off-Peak11,500
Roundtrip in Premium Economy Peak13,500
Roundtrip in Business Off-Peak15,500
Roundtrip in Business Peak18,000
Roundtrip in First Class Off-Peak31,000
Roundtrip in First Class Peak36,000
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Marrakech (RAK) to Dakar (DKR) with Miles from AAdvantage [oneworld / Partners]

5 March, 2014

There is no direct oneworld flight between Marrakesh and Dakar. The connection will likely be through Madrid (MAD), which means the connection will lead through an extra zone. This will make the redemption higher than 20,000 (economy) or 35,000 (business).
Roundtrip in Main Cabin20,000
Roundtrip in Business / First35,000
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Toronto (YYZ) to Glasgow (GLA) with Miles from Aeroplan (Air Canada) / Star Alliance

4 March, 2014

To avoid fuel surcharges on redemption flights between Toronto and Glasgow, try redeeming on all United flights: YYZ-EWR-GLA.
United flights currently do not incur surcharges on Aeroplan award tickets.

See also this article in the Toronto Star:
http://www.thestar.com/business/personal_finance/2014/02/28/one_aeroplan_members_2200_flight_reward_shock.html
Roundtrip in Economy60,000
Roundtrip in Premium Economy75,000
Roundtrip in Business110,000
Roundtrip in First Class140,000
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Los Angeles (LAX) to Seoul (ICN) with Miles from Korean Air Skypass / SkyTeam

14 February, 2014

There seems to be a lot of availability for first class award seats on both Korean Air and SkyTeam partner China Southern. Skypass adds fuel surcharges and other fees to the award price so that the total cash out of pocket for a round-trip first class ticket is approx. USD 400.

Source: http://onemileatatime.boardingarea.com/2014/02/14/how-to-redeem-korean-air-skypass-miles/
Roundtrip in Economy80,000
Roundtrip in Business140,000
Roundtrip in First Class180,000
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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]