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
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!
23 December, 2016
Toronto (YYZ) to New York (LGA) with Avios from [OLD v2] British Airways Executive Club / oneworld
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.
21 December, 2016
Amsterdam (AMS) to Zandery (PBM) with Miles from Flying Blue (Air France, KLM) / SkyTeam
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.
19 December, 2016
Anchorage (ANC) to Oranjestad (AUA) with Miles from Flying Blue (Air France, KLM) / SkyTeam
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.
18 December, 2016
Halifax (YHZ) to Oranjestad (AUA) with Miles from Flying Blue (Air France, KLM) / SkyTeam
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.
18 December, 2016
New York (JFK) to Honolulu (HNL) with Miles from Flying Blue (Air France, KLM) / SkyTeam
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.
15 December, 2016
Sydney (SYD) to Doha (DOH) with Miles from American Airlines AAdvantage [oneworld / Partners]
Redemption availability is pretty good for Qatar flights from Australia when booking with American Airlines miles.
14 December, 2016
Toronto (YYZ) to Cologne (CGN) with Miles from Aeroplan (Air Canada) / Star Alliance
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.
12 December, 2016
New York (JFK) to Frankfurt (FRA) with Miles from Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer
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!
12 December, 2016
New York (JFK) to Singapore (SIN) with Miles from Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer
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.
12 December, 2016