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.

 

 

Toronto (YYZ) to Chiang Mai (CNX) with Miles from Aeroplan (Air Canada) / Star Alliance

23 December, 2016

To get to Thailand from Toronto you can fly either east or west. And in order to get to Chiang Mai, a minimum of two connections will be needed. If flying east, it is most economical to use Turkish Airlines which will connect Istanbul directly with Bangkok. The complete one-way itinerary to Chiang Mai has fees of about CAD 63. Going west using EVA Air is a great option (through Taipei and Bangkok), the fee for this journey is only CAD 56.

For the flight from Chiang Mai to Toronto, the least expensive we found was with EVA Air's direct flight to Toronto from Taipei, overall fee is only CAD 27. But EVA Air to Los Angeles and then Air Canada to to Toronto was still good with fees of CAD 78.

Booking with Lufthansa, Air Canada and Thai often incurs fees of over CAD 600 each way!

Roundtrip in Economy75,000
Roundtrip in Premium Economy125,000
Roundtrip in Business150,000
Roundtrip in First Class210,000
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Toronto (YYZ) to New York (LGA) with Avios from British Airways Executive Club / oneworld

21 December, 2016

The direct round-trip flight  in economy class between Toronto Pearson and New York La Guardia incurs fees of CAD 67. The flight is operated by American Eagle. One-way bookings are possible as well.
Roundtrip in Economy Off-Peak13,000
Roundtrip in Economy Peak15,000
Roundtrip in Premium Economy Off-Peak19,000
Roundtrip in Premium Economy Peak22,500
Roundtrip in Business Off-Peak25,500
Roundtrip in Business Peak30,000
Roundtrip in First Class Off-Peak51,000
Roundtrip in First Class Peak60,000
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Amsterdam (AMS) to Zandery (PBM) with Miles from Flying Blue (Air France, KLM) / SkyTeam

19 December, 2016

Suriname is in South America (Dutch Guyana) but in the Flying Blue universe it qualifies as part of the Dutch Antilles and it is therefore considered part of the North America zone. KLM has a direct flight between Amsterdam and Paramaribo and the Flying Blue engine shows pretty regular availability. The fees for the round trip flight in economy class are USD 195
Roundtrip in Economy58,000
Roundtrip in Premium Economy115,000
Roundtrip in Business121,000
Roundtrip in First Class400,000
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Anchorage (ANC) to Oranjestad (AUA) with Miles from Flying Blue (Air France, KLM) / SkyTeam

18 December, 2016

This is about as far as you can get within Flying Blue's large North America zone. The round trip between Aruba and Anchorage in Alaska can be redeemed for 25,000 miles in economy, and total surcharges of USD 106 with all flights on Delta Airlines.
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Halifax (YHZ) to Oranjestad (AUA) with Miles from Flying Blue (Air France, KLM) / SkyTeam

18 December, 2016

The Halifax to Aruba round trip can be booked for only 25,000 miles in economy, as they are both in the same redemption zone.
The total surcharges are CAD 275 with all flights on Delta Airlines.
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New York (JFK) to Honolulu (HNL) with Miles from Flying Blue (Air France, KLM) / SkyTeam

15 December, 2016

Flying Blue allows you to fly to Hawaii from North America for only 30,000 miles round trip, or 15,000 miles one-way in economy. The fees for a one-way flight are USD 24.
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Sydney (SYD) to Doha (DOH) with Miles from AAdvantage [oneworld / Partners]

14 December, 2016

Redemption availability is pretty good for Qatar flights from Australia when booking with American Airlines miles.

Source: http://www.pointhacks.com.au/qatar-points-redemption-guide/
Roundtrip in Main Cabin85,000
Roundtrip in Business / First160,000
Roundtrip in First Class200,000
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Toronto (YYZ) to Cologne (CGN) with Miles from Aeroplan (Air Canada) / Star Alliance

12 December, 2016

In order to avoid the high surcharges that Lufthansa charges, flights with a connection in Istanbul (Turkish Airlines, CAD 73 in one-way surcharges) or Warsaw (LOT Polish) are possible. Turkish has a direct flight to Cologne from Istanbul. Another possibility is to transfer in the USA and use a United Airlines flight across the Atlantic.
It may also be worth looking into flights to Dusseldorf (DUS) or Frankfurt (FRA) instead.
Roundtrip in Economy60,000
Roundtrip in Premium Economy75,000
Roundtrip in Business110,000
Roundtrip in First Class140,000
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New York (JFK) to Frankfurt (FRA) with Miles from Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer

12 December, 2016

Singapore Airlines serves the New York JFK to Frankfurt route with the A380. Singapore Airlines allows one-way redemptions and you can get a 15% discount by booking online to bring the cost for traveling in the first class suite down to 57,375 miles plus USD 203!

Source: https://www.topmiles.com/blog/article/74/how-to-book-singapore-airlines-first-class-suites-for-under--500
Roundtrip in Economy Saver45,000
Roundtrip in Economy Standard80,000
Roundtrip in Premium Economy Saver90,000
Roundtrip in Business Saver130,000
Roundtrip in Suites / First Saver152,000
Roundtrip in Business Standard160,000
Roundtrip in Suites / First Standard260,000
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New York (JFK) to Singapore (SIN) with Miles from Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer

12 December, 2016

Singapore Airlines serves the New York JFK to Singapore route with the A380 (via Frankfurt). Singapore Airlines allows one-way redemptions and you can get a 15% discount by booking online to bring the cost for traveling in the first class suite down to 93,500 miles! Fees and surcharges for the one-way journey will be around USD 200-300.

Source: https://www.topmiles.com/blog/article/74/how-to-book-singapore-airlines-first-class-suites-for-under--500
Roundtrip in Economy Saver80,000
Roundtrip in Premium Economy Saver140,000
Roundtrip in Economy Standard150,000
Roundtrip in Business Saver184,000
Roundtrip in Suites / First Saver240,000
Roundtrip in Business Standard270,000
Roundtrip in Suites / First Standard450,000
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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]