Booking award tickets always seems to be a race against time because of miles devaluation and changes to award rules. Lots has changed since my last list of favorite mileage redemptions and flight awards.
In the following, RT means Round Trip.
Table of Contents
Best awards using US Airways Dividend Miles
1) 110,000 miles RT for business class US to Africa on Qatar Airways (or with Cathay Pacific)
2) 90,000 miles RT US Airways Central America to South-East Asia on Qatar Airways (or Cathay Pacific)
3) Flying within the (generously-defined) South-East Asia Zone for 30,000 miles RT with Qatar
There are no fuel surcharges with US Airways Dividend Miles, so you have many partners to choose from. Make sure you book before the end of March 2015, as these awards will go away when the program is integrated into the AAdvantage program.
Best Awards using American Airlines AAdvantage
4) From Alaska to the southern tip of South America – 100,000 miles RT in business class on LAN/American Airlines
5) From Alaska to Lima (or anywhere else in Peru) for 60,000 miles RT in business class LAN/American Airlines
6) From anywhere in the US to South-East Asia (which stretches as far as Colombo, Sri Lanka) for 130,000 miles RT in first class on Cathay Pacific
7) Off-peak economy awards from/to Europe and South America for 40,000 RT on various carriers
8) From Western Europe (e.g. Azores) as far as the Maldives for 60,000 RT in business class on Etihad or Qatar Airways
There are no fuel surcharges with AAdvantage unless you are flying British Airways (although there is no reason to).
9) San Francisco to Hong Kong for 70,125 miles and ~$100 one-way in first class
Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer is a transfer partner of Citibank ThankYou Rewards, Chase Ultimate Rewards, American Express Membership Rewards and Starwood Starpoints as well as probably any other mileage currency out there. So this one is really easy to get now.
10) Los Angeles to Tokyo in Singapore Airlines Suites (First) Class (A380) for 74,375 miles and ~$200
Most of the value with Aeroplan is now with flights to Europe. There are two Europe zones – 1 and 2. Flights on a number of Star Alliance airlines to Europe incur no fuel surcharges. 45,000/52,5000 miles will get you to Istanbul in business class one-way on Turkish Airlines. Aeroplan is an American Express Membership Rewards 1:1 transfer partner.
Optimized for tons of stop-overs
This is the work of Drew – unbeknown to me, JAL and ANA allow a lot of stopovers at NO extra charge.
11) Get up to 7 stopovers within a 4,000 mile one-way trip for 25,000 in economy and 45,000 in business class with JAL
JAL charges fuel surcharges, so fly with Air Berlin, LAN and AA/US in the Americas.
12) Up to 4 stopovers for a RT (the ANA definition of a Round Trip is slightly different)
ANA also charges fuel surcharges, so fly United in the US or find Star Alliance carriers with small surcharges (e.g. Singapore Airlines).
ANA Mileage Club is an American Express Membership Rewards 1:1 transfer partner.
British Airways Avios
13) Avios are good for use on Aer Lingus in business class from Dublin to the US from 50,000 Avios one-way. There's no fuel surcharges on Aer Lingus.
14) Any Avios usage on Alaska Airlines – e.g. the 12,500 one-way redemptions from the West Coast to Hawaii are great value
British Airways is partnering with American Express Membership Rewards and Ultimate Rewards as a 1:1 transfer partner.
15) Flying Blue Promo Awards for just 12,500 miles to Europe + $100. They usually make more sense to Europe because of the lower fuel surcharges than for the return
Bonus: Any mileage redemptions beginning in Brazil
For instance, Singapore Airlines from Brazil to Europe to Asia to Sydney in first class for ~112,000 KrisFlyer miles and $37 in taxes and fees.
What will your next trip be?