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.

 

 

Bangkok (BKK) to Hong Kong (HKG) with Avios from British Airways Executive Club / oneworld

11 December, 2016

The surcharge for the direct Cathay Pacific flight to Bangkok from Hong Kong is USD 21.
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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Denpasar (DPS) to Hong Kong (HKG) with Avios from British Airways Executive Club / oneworld

11 December, 2016

The surcharge for the direct Cathay Pacific flight to Bali (Denpasar, DPS) from Hong Kong is USD 19.
Roundtrip in Economy Off-Peak20,000
Roundtrip in Economy Peak25,000
Roundtrip in Premium Economy Off-Peak40,000
Roundtrip in Premium Economy Peak50,000
Roundtrip in Business Off-Peak62,500
Roundtrip in Business Peak75,000
Roundtrip in First Class Off-Peak85,000
Roundtrip in First Class Peak100,000
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Frankfurt (FRA) to Toronto (YYZ) with Miles from Aeroplan (Air Canada) / Star Alliance

8 December, 2016

The Frankfurt (FRA) to Toronto (YYZ) route is served directly by Lufthansa. Unfortunately, the fuel surcharges and fees are very high. However, Lufthansa's first class is a great product and it can regularly be redeemed with miles. Overall the cost, even with miles, will be about CAD 1,000!
There are strategies to reduce the fuel surcharge by starting the journey in another country, e.g. Denmark or Norway, for the Copenhagen to Toronto itinerary (via Frankfurt), the fuel surcharge drops to under CAD 300 (per leg).
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 Rome (FCO) with Miles from MilleMiglia Alitalia

8 December, 2016

Generally this itinerary has pretty good availability, even in business class.
See corresponding article here.
Roundtrip in Economy50,000
Roundtrip in Business80,000
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New York (JFK) to Rome (FCO) with Miles from MilleMiglia Alitalia

8 December, 2016

There are multiple daily flights between New York and Rome and generally there is pretty good availability, even in business class.
See corresponding article here.
Roundtrip in Economy50,000
Roundtrip in Business80,000
  Share Your Knowledge

New York (JFK) to Tel Aviv (TLV) with Miles from MilleMiglia Alitalia

8 December, 2016

Excellent value since Israel is zoned in Europe.
See corresponding article here.
Roundtrip in Economy80,000
Roundtrip in Business125,000
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Honolulu (HNL) to Santiago (SCL) with Miles from Aeroplan (Air Canada) / Star Alliance

7 December, 2016

This is an interesting redemption because the flights will invariably route through Canada or the USA. But the redemption from Hawaii to Southern South America is actually cheaper than from continental North America. By using United Airlines and Copa Airlines for the bulk of the flights the surcharges can be kept very low (under CAD 10 one-way).
Roundtrip in Economy80,000
Roundtrip in Premium Economy120,000
Roundtrip in Business140,000
Roundtrip in First Class190,000
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Chicago (ORD) to Stockholm (ARN) with Miles from Aeroplan (Air Canada) / Star Alliance

7 December, 2016

This is fantastic redemption on the SAS direct flight between Chicago and Arlanda (Stockholm). There are only CAD 15 (!!) in surcharges for this round-trip redemption. But even connecting in Copenhagen (CPH) only amounts to a total of less than CAD 60 total surcharges.
Options with United Airlines (for example through Brussels -- BRU) and/or Swiss through Zurich (ZRH) are also very good.
Roundtrip in Economy60,000
Roundtrip in Premium Economy75,000
Roundtrip in Business110,000
Roundtrip in First Class140,000
  Share Your Knowledge

Whitehorse (YXY) to Vancouver (YVR) with Miles from Aeroplan (Air Canada) / Star Alliance

6 December, 2016

According to youngandthrifty.ca this is a very good destination combination for an Aeroplan redemption. The flight to Whitehorse (YXY) from Vancouver (YVR) is a short-haul flight (15,000 miles for the round trip in economy) and the fees are about CAD 100 (compared to approx. CAD 550 for the round trip cash fare).
Roundtrip in Economy15,000
Roundtrip in Premium Economy20,000
Roundtrip in Business30,000
Roundtrip in First Class70,000
  Share Your Knowledge

Toronto (YYZ) to Istanbul (IST) with Miles from Aeroplan (Air Canada) / Star Alliance

6 December, 2016

This route is served by Star Alliance partner Turkish Airlines. The fuel surcharges for Turkish Airlines flights are much lower than on Air Canada or Lufthansa; this is therefore a very attractive redemption.  
Roundtrip in Economy75,000
Roundtrip in Premium Economy90,000
Roundtrip in Business115,000
Roundtrip in First Class160,000
  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]