Turkish Business Class award space is widely available from this summer through the beginning of next year to Europe. You can book award space for up to eight people in Business Class on routes from America to Turkey and beyond with United miles, Asiana miles, Aeroplan miles, Lifemiles (of Avianca), and many other Star Alliance miles.

Where Turkish Flies

Turkish currently flies from eight American cities to Istanbul, and adds Atlanta to the list in about a month: San Francisco, Los Angeles, Houston, Chicago, Miami, Washington D.C (Dulles), Boston and New York.

Screen Shot 2015-10-26 at 1.17.52 AM
Atlanta begins May 16, 2016

From Istanbul, you can connect to over 100 countries. Turkish Airlines has destinations in more countries than any other airline in the world.

The Product

Turkish’s long haul flights feature flat bed Business Class on a variety of planes that either have a 2-4-2 configuration or 2-2-2 configuration. The 2-4-2 configuration is not ideal since no seat has both aisle access and a guarantee that no one will climb over it during the flight. The 2-2-2 configuration is preferable as you can choose a seat in the middle aisle which would guarantee no one climbs over you. At the end of the day though, a fully flat bed and great catering should overcome the moderate inconvenience of the 2-4-2 configuration.

Screen Shot 2016-04-06 at 12.16.10 PM

Read this trip report of Turkish Business Class from Washington D.C. to Istanbul to get a more detailed perspective on Turkish Airlines’ product.

Award Space

Award space is excellent July through February from most Turkish gateways in the United States to Istanbul in Economy and Business Class for up to eight people.

Chicago to Istanbul: for 8 people

Screen Shot 2016-04-05 at 6.10.46 PM

For the return flight back to Chicago, about half the amount of days are available in Business Class.

Atlanta to Istanbul: for 8 people (route starts 5/16/16)

Screen Shot 2016-04-05 at 6.14.38 PM

Space in Business Class for the return back to Atlanta is just as widely available.

Houston to Istanbul: for 8 people

Screen Shot 2016-04-05 at 6.48.34 PM

Space in Business Class for the return back to Houston is just as widely available except in July and August.

Miami to Istanbul: 8 people

Screen Shot 2016-04-05 at 7.03.35 PM

For the return flight back to Miami, about half the amount of days are available in Business Class.

Boston to Istanbul: 8 people

boston to istanbul

For the return flight back to Boston, the same amount of space is available in Business Class with the exception of August and September.

New York to Istanbul: 8 people

nyc to istanbul

For the return flight back to New York, about half the amount of days are available in Business Class.

The exceptions I see are:

  • the Los Angeles and San Francisco to Istanbul routes are spotty with Business Class seats up until September, but from September through February availability is wide open for up to 8people; for the return flight back to Los Angeles there is plenty of space in Business for up to 8 people, and for the return flight back to San Francisco September through February has tons of Business Class seats
  • the Washington D.C. to Istanbul route has few Business Class seats available except in August, January and February for up to eight people; for the return back to Washington D.C. there is plenty of space in Business from September through February

Best Miles to Use

Any Turkish award space you see on united.com is equally bookable with any Star Alliance miles. Here are the cheapest Star Alliance miles to Europe:
Screen Shot 2016-04-05 at 5.24.03 PM

Aeroplan (loyalty program of Air Canada) divides Europe into two regions– the cheaper region is for Western Europe and the more expensive is Eastern Europe, so travel to Turkey is 57,500 Aeroplan miles each way in Business Class. United and United Partner are separate categories because United charges more miles to fly premium cabins on partner redemptions.

Asiana, ANA, Lufthansa, and Singapore collect fuel surcharges on Turkish award flights. Aeroplan, United, Avianca, and Copa do not. I would use Asiana miles or Aeroplan to book an award on Turkish Airlines to Europe. A roundtrip Business award between the US and Istanbul costs 80,000 Asiana miles + $412.66 ($340 in fuel surcharges). The same award would cost 115,000 Aeroplan miles + about $77 (only taxes and fees, no fuel surcharges).

If you want to book the Turkish space to somewhere outside of Europe, check out this comparison of Star Alliance award charts to all regions of the world.

United, ANA, LifeMiles (Avianca), and Aeroplan display Turkish Airlines award space on their websites. If you want to book with another type of miles, search united.com and call the airline whose miles you want to use in order to book.

Example Award

In 2011, I flew from Los Angeles to Entebbe/Kampala, Uganda on Turkish, then returned from Nairobi to Los Angles with a stopover in Istanbul. This was a cash ticket in economy, and the flight from Los Angeles to Istanbul was the most painful of my life because I couldn’t fall asleep despite exhaustion.

You could book the same trip with miles in Business Class at the moment.

Screen Shot 2015-10-26 at 1.23.25 AM

It would cost 160,000 United miles + $79, or fewer miles with other types of miles.

How to Get the Miles

The Starwood Preferred Guest personal and business credit cards from American Express come with 25,000 bonus Starpoints for spending $3,000 and $5,000 respectively in the first three months of cardmembership. Starpoints transfer at a 1:1 ratio to Japan Airlines Mileage Bank.

Both Asiana and Aeroplan, my top two choices of miles to use to book Turkish Airlines, are 1:1 transfer partners of Starwood Preferred Guest.

Aeroplan is also 1:1 transfer partner of Membership Rewards, which you can earn from The Platinum Card from American Express Exclusively for Mercedes-Benz. It comes with 50,000 Membership Rewards after spending $3,000 in the first three months. Membership Rewards transfer to around 20 hotel and airline programs including Delta, Singapore, and British Airways.

The card has a $475 annual fee in the first year. But it comes with huge benefits like airline fee reimbursement, airport lounge access, and hotel status. Be aware that the “regular” Platinum card is worse than this offer because it has a smaller sign up bonus and only a $25 lower annual fee.

For more info on setting up and maximizing the benefits, see Get the Most Out of Your Platinum Card.

Landing Page: Platinum Card from American Express Exclusively for Mercedes-Benz

Bottom Line

Turkish Airlines award space is wide open from the United States to the rest of the world from July 2016 through the February of 2017. You can book it with any type of Star Alliance miles, but some of the best deals are with Asiana and Aeroplan to Europe.

Hat Tip View from the Wing

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Editorial Disclaimer: The editorial content is not provided or commissioned by the credit card issuers. Opinions expressed here are author’s alone, not those of the credit card issuers, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the credit card issuers.

If you liked this post, sign up to receive one free daily email every morning with all of the day’s posts! You can also follow MileValue on Twitter and Facebook.

Earn 50,000 bonus points (worth $800 in American Airlines flights) after spending $3,000 in the first three months on the Citi Prestige® Card. Plus get a $250 Air Travel Credit each calendar year, free airport lounge access worldwide, and your fourth night free on hotel stays. Why I got the card.

I use united.com for most of my award searches when redeeming Star Alliance miles because it shows most Star Alliance partners’ award availability, but it does have some drawbacks. Namely, it doesn’t show all partners and it sometimes displays phantom award space–award space will show as available but in reality, it doesn’t exist.

Screen Shot 2015-05-20 at 9.14.50 PM
Star Alliance Airlines Whose Award Space I Want to Search

The best way to confirm Star Alliance award space is using the All Nippon Airways (ANA) search tool. ANA’s tool is trickier to use, but it’s the most reliable. The website and search tool’s interface has undergone some changes since the last time I wrote about how to use the ANA search tool three years ago, so I’m rewriting that post today to clarify any doubts.

First of All, Great News!

ANA no longer restricts members from using it’s award search tool for a lack of miles in their account. Anyone can search Star Alliance availability as long as you are signed up as a member of the ANA Mileage Club— no more annoying work arounds necessary!

Using the ANA Award Search Tool: Step-by-Step Guide

1. If you haven’t already, sign up for a ANA Mileage Club account here. Though this page looks like a credit card application (no annual fee!) simply click “Apply Here” at the bottom of the screen.

ANA mileage club sign up2. After filling in your pertinent information, you will be assigned a Mileage Club frequent flyer number and a password. Once you are signed up and logged in, you can access the award search tool directly from the ANA home page, just click Award Booking in the bottom right corner of the regular flight reservation box.

ANA homepage, award booking box

3. You will then be taken to the ANA Award search tool, where you can start searching for your desired Star Alliance award. Check the bubble next to “Compare seat availability +/- 3 days.”

ana search tool

4. Checking the bubble next to Compare seat availability +/- 3 days will show you a week’s worth of availability.

LAX to Tokyo ANA

5. Occasionally a search will turn up this ugly error message, but it only means the specific day and class you searched for doesn’t have a seat available. Click Confirm and the rest of the week’s availability will display.

Mia to Bue error, confirm anyways ANA

6. Choose your dates for both legs.

LAX to tokyo, day specific selection

7. And then select your preferred flight schedule for both legs.

If you don’t have the sufficient mileage in your Mileage Club account, a box will pop up like this:

lack of mileage ANA

8. Just click Confirm and it will allow you too see all the details anyways.

Displayed will be the summarized flight itinerary, the price of the award in miles as well as taxes, fees, and fuel surcharges….

ANA itinerary, payment breakdown

…and the award type descriptions, with convenient links to the corresponding award chart/rules. The baggage limitations are also displayed. (This is only important if you are redeeming ANA miles.)

award type bagge ANA

A Common Glitch

I received this pop-up multiple times while choosing the flight itineraries for my preferred days of travel:

wonky error ANA

It seems like you can ignore the error message if the previous screen said there were flights available on the day you’ve selected.

LAX to Tokyo ANA

Try to select the date again, and you may see the space and no error message.

In my experience, even if you keep getting the error message, there is award space on the flight. (You can check this by calling United and asking the agent if the flight has award space. I did that for the example of a Business Class seat from Los Angeles to Tokyo above, and there was indeed award space available.)

Can I Plug in my City Pairs and Expect ANA to Come up With Good Itineraries?

No. ANA’s search tool has improved somewhat over the years, but searching Kansas City <-> Mumbai likely won’t yield anything usable. You should search segment-by-segment (like Newark to Mumbai on Air India and Kansas City to Newark on United.)

How do I search multiple segments?

There’s no short cut to this with ANA’s search tool unfortunately. You’ll need to search every segment separately.

This seems tedious. Any shortcuts?

Searching United.com is faster but can sometimes display false positives and negatives as previously detailed in my post about phantom award space. United’s site is a great place to get routing ideas while confirming them using ANA’s tool.

Do ANA miles have any value?

This is outside the main scope of this post, which is how to SEARCH ON ANA.COM to USE ANY STAR ALLIANCE MILES.

But yes, since you ask, ANA miles have plenty of value.

Though ANA assesses fuel surcharges on all Star Alliance partner flights except United, their chart has some great sweet spots that allow for low mileage redemptions. Check out how ANA’s chart compares to other types of Star Alliance miles here: Comprehensive Spread Sheets of Eight Star Alliance Award Charts.

Bottom Line

ANA’s search tool is the final word on Star Alliance availability. If united.com displays the space but you don’t see it on ANA’s site, the award isn’t bookable.

The only requirements to use ANA’s search tool are a Mileage Club membership and a little bit of patience to do the segment-by-segment searching. Once you find award space on ana.com, you can book it with the Star Alliance miles that offer the cheapest award price to where you’re going. Find that out here.

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Editorial Disclaimer: The editorial content is not provided or commissioned by the credit card issuers. Opinions expressed here are author’s alone, not those of the credit card issuers, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the credit card issuers.

If you liked this post, sign up to receive one free daily email every morning with all of the day’s posts! You can also follow MileValue on Twitter and Facebook.

Earn 50,000 bonus points (worth $800 in American Airlines flights) after spending $3,000 in the first three months on the Citi Prestige® Card. Plus get a $250 Air Travel Credit each calendar year, free airport lounge access worldwide, and your fourth night free on hotel stays. Why I got the card.

Updated 1/29/16 to reflect new Aeroplan award prices effective for awards booked 12/15/15 or later.
Updated 10/6/15 to reflect new ANA award prices effective for awards booked 10/15/15 or later.

In the last few weeks, I have published some comparative charts of Star Alliance award charts. I’m putting all of those charts into this post for easier reference.

You can use any type of Star Alliance miles to book almost any Star Alliance flight. (Swiss, Lufthansa, and Singapore hold back some premium cabin award space for their own members. United gives extra award space to elites and United cardholders.) The 27-member alliance has more than a dozen frequent flyer programs, many of which offer good or great deals on some routes.

Screen Shot 2015-05-20 at 9.14.50 PM

I’ve taken the time to make a comprehensive spread sheet of eight programs’ award prices from North America:

  • United (on United flights and on partner flights)
  • Copa
  • Asiana
  • Singapore (on Star Alliance partner flights)
  • Avianca LifeMiles
  • Air Canada Aeroplan
  • Lufthansa Miles & More
  • ANA

These programs were chosen because they all have at least some awards that are really cheap. And other than Copa and LifeMiles, Americans can easily get all these miles through transferable points programs:

  • United: Ultimate Rewards
  • Copa: no easy way to get the miles yet, but the program is brand new
  • Asiana: SPG
  • Singapore: ThankYou Points, Ultimate Rewards, Membership Rewards, SPG
  • LifeMiles: buy miles for 1.5 cents each
  • Aeroplan: Membership Rewards, SPG
  • Lufthansa: SPG
  • ANA: Membership Rewards, SPG

There are other Star Alliance programs into which Americans can transfer miles–Citi ThankYou Points transfer 1:1 to EVA and Thai miles–but their charts don’t offer any value compared to the eight I’ve selected.

Of course, the charts below only captures one part of an award: its mileage price. The routing rules and fuel surcharges matter too. Here are a few big things that applies to all charts:

  • United, Copa, and LifeMiles never collect fuel surcharges. All the others collect fuel surcharges on most awards.
  • All programs allow one way redemptions for the prices listed on the charts except ANA. It only allows roundtrip redemptions for double the price on the chart. I used its fictitious “one way price” that you can’t actually book just to more easily compare to the programs that do allow one way bookings.

For specific information on fuel surcharges to each region and other important routing rules, click on the individual posts where I really analyzed awards to each region.

Searching and Booking the Awards

A truism of miles is that–with few exceptions–award space is equally available to all partners. One corollary is that you can search any award search engine that displays an airline’s award space, and if space is there, you can book it with any partner.

All Star Alliance partner award space is searchable on aeroplan.com. Here’s how to search for award space on aeroplan.com. All the award space you find there is bookable with all the miles discussed in this post. Ignore the price quoted on aeroplan.com. You will pay the price on the award chart of the miles you’re using.

To book, call the airline whose miles you’re using (or go to their website to book online if you can.) Feed the agent the award space you found on aeroplan.com.

The Charts

Below the award charts show the one way price in thousands of miles from the United States mainland to the region listed for the eight types of miles listed. For information on slashes, click the links above to get more information.

Within Mainland United States and Canada

Screen Shot 2015-09-06 at 3.42.55 PM

Alaska

Screen Shot 2015-09-06 at 3.44.14 PM

Hawaii
Screen Shot 2015-09-06 at 3.44.25 PM

Mexico, Central America, and the Caribbean

Screen Shot 2015-10-06 at 12.29.00 AM

Northern South America

Screen Shot 2015-10-06 at 12.29.12 AM

Southern South America

Screen Shot 2016-01-28 at 9.30.52 AM

EuropeScreen Shot 2016-01-28 at 9.31.05 AM

Middle East

Screen Shot 2015-09-10 at 4.28.47 AM

Africa

Screen Shot 2015-09-10 at 4.29.08 AM

North Asia

Screen Shot 2015-09-14 at 7.41.47 AM

Southeast AsiaScreen Shot 2015-10-06 at 12.30.44 AM

Indian SubcontinentScreen Shot 2015-10-06 at 12.30.58 AM

Australia and New Zealand

Screen Shot 2016-01-28 at 9.33.06 AM

Oceania

Screen Shot 2016-01-28 at 9.33.16 AM

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Editorial Disclaimer: The editorial content is not provided or commissioned by the credit card issuers. Opinions expressed here are author’s alone, not those of the credit card issuers, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the credit card issuers.

If you liked this post, sign up to receive one free daily email every morning with all of the day’s posts! You can also follow MileValue on Twitter and Facebook.

Earn 50,000 bonus points (worth $800 in American Airlines flights) after spending $3,000 in the first three months on the Citi Prestige® Card. Plus get a $250 Air Travel Credit each calendar year, free airport lounge access worldwide, and your fourth night free on hotel stays. Why I got the card.

5

Because you can use any type of Star Alliance miles to book any Star Alliance flight, I’ve put the eight best Star Alliance award charts into one spreadsheet. Check out why I chose these eight award charts and how Americans can get these miles here. Check out the cheapest awards within the mainland USA, to Canada, to Hawaii, and to Alaska, the cheapest awards to Latin America and the Caribbean, the cheapest awards to Europe, the cheapest awards to Africa and the Middle East, the cheapest awards to North Asia, the cheapest awards to Southeast Asia, and the cheapest to the Indian Subcontinent.

Today let’s look at the cheapest Star Alliance Awards to the Australia, New Zealand, and Oceania.

Remember, the spread sheets in this post only capture one part of an award: its mileage price. The routing rules and fuel surcharges matter too. Where relevant, I will note those as we go through the regions, but here are a two big things that apply to all charts:

  • United, Copa, and LifeMiles never collect fuel surcharges. All the others collect fuel surcharges on most awards.
  • All programs allow one way redemptions for the prices listed on the charts except ANA. It only allows roundtrip redemptions for double the price on the chart. I used its fictitious “one way price” that you can’t actually book just to more easily compare to the programs that do allow one way bookings.

Cheapest Awards to Australia and New Zealand

For awards starting in the mainland United States and flying to the Australia and New Zealand, these are the prices:

Screen Shot 2016-01-28 at 9.33.06 AM

United has two award charts. The cheaper one for flying United (or mostly United if you follow these rules) and the more expensive one is to fly its partners.

Fuel Surcharges

United, Copa, and LifeMiles don’t collect fuel surcharges on award tickets.

Asiana, ANA, and Singapore don’t collect fuel surcharges on awards on United-operated flights. They do collect fuel surcharges on all other flights that have fuel surcharges as part of a normal cash ticket.

Lufthansa collects fuel surcharges on all flights that have fuel surcharges as part of a normal cash ticket.

Aeroplan collects fuel surcharges on Air Canada and Air New Zealand flights. Aeroplan does not collect fuel surcharges on United flights.

You can figure out the fuel surcharges by calling the airline whose miles you want to use or just looking on ITA Matrix. Take fuel surcharges into account when determining which miles to use.

Best Deals

The ideal award for an American would be to fly United flights from Los Angeles or San Francisco to Australia. These flights are surcharge-free with all the types of miles discussed here except Lufthansa miles.

For United flights, ANA has the cheapest awards (remember that ANA awards must be roundtrip) in economy and Business. United miles are the cheapest in First Class, but United will soon have Dreamliners with no First Class on all Australia routes.

Cheapest Awards to Oceania

For awards starting in the mainland United States and flying to Oceania, these are the prices:

Screen Shot 2016-01-28 at 9.33.16 AM

United has two award charts. The cheaper one for flying United (or mostly United if you follow these rules) and the more expensive one is to fly its partners.

Fuel Surcharges

United, Copa, and LifeMiles don’t collect fuel surcharges on award tickets.

Asiana, ANA, and Singapore don’t collect fuel surcharges on awards on United-operated flights. They do collect fuel surcharges on all other flights that have fuel surcharges as part of a normal cash ticket.

Lufthansa collects fuel surcharges on all flights that have fuel surcharges as part of a normal cash ticket.

Aeroplan collects fuel surcharges on Air New Zealand flights. Aeroplan does not collect fuel surcharges on United flights.

You can figure out the fuel surcharges by calling the airline whose miles you want to use or just looking on ITA Matrix. Take fuel surcharges into account when determining which miles to use.

Best Deals

United has a lot of flights throughout Oceania. Here are its flights from Guam. It also has some from Honolulu.

Screen Shot 2015-09-21 at 10.53.01 PM

For United flights, United has the cheapest economy awards and ANA has the cheapest Business Class awards (remember that ANA awards must be roundtrip).

Searching and Booking the Awards

A truism of miles is that–with few exceptions–award space is equally available to all partners. One corollary is that you can search any award search engine that displays an airline’s award space, and if space is there, you can book it with any partner.

All Star Alliance partner award space is searchable on aeroplan.com. Here’s how to search for award space on aeroplan.com. All the award space you find there is bookable with all the miles discussed in this post. Ignore the price quoted on aeroplan.com. You will pay the price on the award chart of the miles you’re using.

To book, call the airline whose miles you’re using (or go to their website to book online if you can.) Feed the agent the award space you found on aeroplan.com.

Getting the Miles

ANA miles and United miles are the best to the Australia, New Zealand, and Oceania.

ANA miles are a 1:1 transfer partner of SPG Starpoints (or 20k Starpoints to 25k ANA miles), and a 1:1 transfer partner of American Express Membership Rewards.

United miles can be earned on the personal, business, and Club cards from Chase. United is also a transfer partner of Chase Ultimate Rewards.

Bottom Line

ANA and United offer the best deals on United flights to Australia, New Zealand, and Oceania.

For the most part, all Star Alliance partners have access to the same award space on all airlines. There are differences in routing rules and fuel surcharges, so pay attention to more than just the mileage price when deciding which miles to use to book your award.

 

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Editorial Disclaimer: The editorial content is not provided or commissioned by the credit card issuers. Opinions expressed here are author’s alone, not those of the credit card issuers, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the credit card issuers.

If you liked this post, sign up to receive one free daily email every morning with all of the day’s posts! You can also follow MileValue on Twitter and Facebook.

Earn 50,000 bonus points (worth $800 in American Airlines flights) after spending $3,000 in the first three months on the Citi Prestige® Card. Plus get a $250 Air Travel Credit each calendar year, free airport lounge access worldwide, and your fourth night free on hotel stays. Why I got the card.

7

Because you can use any type of Star Alliance miles to book any Star Alliance flight, I’ve put the eight best Star Alliance award charts into one spreadsheet. Check out why I chose these eight award charts and how Americans can get these miles here. Check out the cheapest awards within the mainland USA, to Canada, to Hawaii, and to Alaska, the cheapest awards to Latin America and the Caribbean, the cheapest awards to Europe, the cheapest awards to Africa and the Middle East, the cheapest awards to North Asia, and the cheapest awards to Southeast Asia.

Today let’s look at the cheapest Star Alliance Awards to the Indian Subcontinent.

Remember, the spread sheets in this post only capture one part of an award: its mileage price. The routing rules and fuel surcharges matter too. Where relevant, I will note those as we go through the regions, but here are a two big things that apply to all charts:

  • United, Copa, and LifeMiles never collect fuel surcharges. All the others collect fuel surcharges on most awards.
  • All programs allow one way redemptions for the prices listed on the charts except ANA. It only allows roundtrip redemptions for double the price on the chart. I used its fictitious “one way price” that you can’t actually book just to more easily compare to the programs that do allow one way bookings.

Cheapest Awards to Indian Subcontinent

For awards starting in the mainland United States and flying to the Indian Subcontinent–the definition of which varies slightly by program–these are the prices:

Screen Shot 2015-09-21 at 10.20.34 AM

United has two award charts. The cheaper one for flying United (or mostly United if you follow these rules) and the more expensive one is to fly its partners.

Fuel Surcharges

United, Copa, and LifeMiles don’t collect fuel surcharges on award tickets.

Asiana, ANA, and Singapore don’t collect fuel surcharges on awards on United-operated flights. They do collect fuel surcharges on all other flights that have fuel surcharges as part of a normal cash ticket.

Lufthansa collects fuel surcharges on all flights that have fuel surcharges as part of a normal cash ticket.

Aeroplan collects fuel surcharges on many partners with service to the Indian Subcontinent. Aeroplan does not collect fuel surcharges on Air India or United flights.

You can figure out the fuel surcharges by calling the airline whose miles you want to use or just looking on ITA Matrix. Take fuel surcharges into account when determining which miles to use.

Best Deals

ANA has by far the cheapest awards (remember that ANA awards must be roundtrip), but you will pay fuel surcharges unless you fly United. United Business Class for 115,000 miles roundtrip from the United States to Delhi or Mumbai is a steal.

If you want to completely avoid fuel surcharges, book with United miles. United Business and First Class are very cheap at 70,000 and 80,000 miles one way. Or you can connect on partners for only 80,000 miles one way in Business Class.

Searching and Booking the Awards

A truism of miles is that–with few exceptions–award space is equally available to all partners. One corollary is that you can search any award search engine that displays an airline’s award space, and if space is there, you can book it with any partner.

All Star Alliance partner award space is searchable on aeroplan.com. Here’s how to search for award space on aeroplan.com. All the award space you find there is bookable with all the miles discussed in this post. Ignore the price quoted on aeroplan.com. You will pay the price on the award chart of the miles you’re using.

To book, call the airline whose miles you’re using (or go to their website to book online if you can.) Feed the agent the award space you found on aeroplan.com.

Getting the Miles

ANA miles and United miles are the best to the Indian Subcontinent.

ANA miles are a 1:1 transfer partner of SPG Starpoints (or 20k Starpoints to 25k ANA miles), and a 1:1 transfer partner of American Express Membership Rewards.

United miles can be earned on the personal, business, and Club cards from Chase. United is also a transfer partner of Chase Ultimate Rewards.

Bottom Line

ANA offers really cheap awards to the Indian Subcontinent that are all the more attractive if you can avoid fuel surcharges by flying United. Otherwise, United’s chart to the region is very good.

For the most part, all Star Alliance partners have access to the same award space on all airlines. There are differences in routing rules and fuel surcharges, so pay attention to more than just the mileage price when deciding which miles to use to book your award.

 

------------------------------------------------------------

Editorial Disclaimer: The editorial content is not provided or commissioned by the credit card issuers. Opinions expressed here are author’s alone, not those of the credit card issuers, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the credit card issuers.

If you liked this post, sign up to receive one free daily email every morning with all of the day’s posts! You can also follow MileValue on Twitter and Facebook.

Earn 50,000 bonus points (worth $800 in American Airlines flights) after spending $3,000 in the first three months on the Citi Prestige® Card. Plus get a $250 Air Travel Credit each calendar year, free airport lounge access worldwide, and your fourth night free on hotel stays. Why I got the card.

Because you can use any type of Star Alliance miles to book any Star Alliance flight, I’ve put the eight best Star Alliance award charts into one spreadsheet. Check out why I chose these eight award charts and how Americans can get these miles here. Check out the cheapest awards within the mainland USA, to Canada, to Hawaii, and to Alaska, the cheapest awards to Latin America and the Caribbean, the cheapest awards to Europe, the cheapest awards to Africa and the Middle East, and the cheapest awards to North Asia.

Today let’s look at the cheapest Star Alliance Awards to Southeast Asia.

Remember, the spread sheets in this post only capture one part of an award: its mileage price. The routing rules and fuel surcharges matter too. Where relevant, I will note those as we go through the regions, but here are a two big things that apply to all charts:

  • United, Copa, and LifeMiles never collect fuel surcharges. All the others collect fuel surcharges on most awards.
  • All programs allow one way redemptions for the prices listed on the charts except ANA. It only allows roundtrip redemptions for double the price on the chart. I used its fictitious “one way price” that you can’t actually book just to more easily compare to the programs that do allow one way bookings.

Cheapest Awards to Southeast Asia

For awards starting in the mainland United States and flying to Southeast Asia, these are the prices:

Screen Shot 2015-09-15 at 8.13.55 AM

I’ve only included the award chart for flying United partners since United only flies to Singapore in the region

Fuel Surcharges

United, Copa, and LifeMiles don’t collect fuel surcharges on award tickets.

Asiana, ANA, and Singapore don’t collect fuel surcharges on awards on United-operated flights. They do collect fuel surcharges on all other flights that have fuel surcharges as part of a normal cash ticket.

Lufthansa collects fuel surcharges on all flights that have fuel surcharges as part of a normal cash ticket.

Aeroplan collects fuel surcharges on Air Canada, ANA, Thai, and Asiana flights. Aeroplan does not collect fuel surcharges on Air China, Singapore, and United flights.

You can figure out the fuel surcharges by calling the airline whose miles you want to use or just looking on ITA Matrix. Take fuel surcharges into account when determining which miles to use.

Best Deals

ANA has by far the cheapest awards (remember that ANA awards must be roundtrip), but you will pay fuel surcharges unless you fly United. United Business Class for 115,000 miles roundtrip from the United States to Singapore is a steal. ANA’s prices are so low, fuel surcharges may even be worth paying. You can go to Southeast Asia for 115,000 miles roundtrip in Business Class, when the cheapest fuel-surcharge-free award is 156,000 LifeMiles.

If you want to completely avoid fuel surcharges, book with United miles. You can pay 80,000 miles one way in Business Class.

If you don’t mind buying miles, LifeMiles offers fair prices to Southeast Asia with no fuel surcharges.

Searching and Booking the Awards

A truism of miles is that–with few exceptions–award space is equally available to all partners. One corollary is that you can search any award search engine that displays an airline’s award space, and if space is there, you can book it with any partner.

All Star Alliance partner award space is searchable on aeroplan.com. Here’s how to search for award space on aeroplan.com. All the award space you find there is bookable with all the miles discussed in this post. Ignore the price quoted on aeroplan.com. You will pay the price on the award chart of the miles you’re using.

To book, call the airline whose miles you’re using (or go to their website to book online if you can.) Feed the agent the award space you found on aeroplan.com.

Getting the Miles

ANA miles, United miles, and LifeMiles are the best to Southeast Asia.

ANA miles are a 1:1 transfer partner of SPG Starpoints (or 20k Starpoints to 25k ANA miles), and a 1:1 transfer partner of American Express Membership Rewards.

United miles can be earned on the personal, business, and Club cards from Chase. United is also a transfer partner of Chase Ultimate Rewards.

LifeMiles can be purchased. Right now, they are on sale for a very cheap 1.4 cents each.

Bottom Line

ANA offers really cheap awards to Southeast Asia that are all the more attractive if you can avoid fuel surcharges by flying United. Otherwise, United’s chart to the region in partner Business Class is fair, and there are no fuel surcharges on any United awards. If you want to fly ANA or Asiana First Class, I’d book with LifeMiles.

For the most part, all Star Alliance partners have access to the same award space on all airlines. There are differences in routing rules and fuel surcharges, so pay attention to more than just the mileage price when deciding which miles to use to book your award.

 

------------------------------------------------------------

Editorial Disclaimer: The editorial content is not provided or commissioned by the credit card issuers. Opinions expressed here are author’s alone, not those of the credit card issuers, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the credit card issuers.

If you liked this post, sign up to receive one free daily email every morning with all of the day’s posts! You can also follow MileValue on Twitter and Facebook.

Earn 50,000 bonus points (worth $800 in American Airlines flights) after spending $3,000 in the first three months on the Citi Prestige® Card. Plus get a $250 Air Travel Credit each calendar year, free airport lounge access worldwide, and your fourth night free on hotel stays. Why I got the card.

7

Because you can use any type of Star Alliance miles to book any Star Alliance flight, I’ve put the eight best Star Alliance award charts into one spreadsheet. Check out why I chose these eight award charts and how Americans can get these miles here. Check out the cheapest awards within the mainland USA, to Canada, to Hawaii, and to Alaska, the cheapest awards to Latin America and the Caribbean, the cheapest awards to Europe, and the cheapest awards to Africa and the Middle East.

Today let’s look at the cheapest Star Alliance Awards to North Asia. The award charts I’ll be comparing define North Asia very differently and sometimes split the area into more than one region, so if an award price intrigues you, search for its award chart to find its definition of North Asia.

Remember, the spread sheets in this post only capture one part of an award: its mileage price. The routing rules and fuel surcharges matter too. Where relevant, I will note those as we go through the regions, but here are a two big things that apply to all charts:

  • United, Copa, and LifeMiles never collect fuel surcharges. All the others collect fuel surcharges on most awards.
  • All programs allow one way redemptions for the prices listed on the charts except ANA. It only allows roundtrip redemptions for double the price on the chart. I used its fictitious “one way price” that you can’t actually book just to more easily compare to the programs that do allow one way bookings.

Cheapest Awards to North Asia

For awards starting in the mainland United States and flying to the Middle East, these are the prices:

Screen Shot 2015-09-14 at 7.41.47 AM

 

Let me explain a few things:

  • United has two award charts. The cheaper one for flying United (or mostly United if you follow these rules) and the more expensive one is to fly its partners.
  • The left of the slashes within United’s and Copa’s columns are prices to Japan. The right of the slashes are the prices to the rest of North Asia.
  • ANA has two separate prices for awards to Japan depending on your routing. Those are the first two numbers in each cell. The most expensive price in each cell is its price to Korea, China, Taiwan, and Philippines.
Fuel Surcharges

United, Copa, and LifeMiles don’t collect fuel surcharges on award tickets.

Asiana, ANA, and Singapore don’t collect fuel surcharges on awards on United-operated flights. They do collect fuel surcharges on all other flights that have fuel surcharges as part of a normal cash ticket.

Lufthansa collects fuel surcharges on all flights that have fuel surcharges as part of a normal cash ticket.

Aeroplan collects fuel surcharges on Air Canada, ANA, and Asiana flights. Aeroplan does not collect fuel surcharges on Air China, Singapore, and United flights.

You can figure out the fuel surcharges by calling the airline whose miles you want to use or just looking on ITA Matrix. Take fuel surcharges into account when determining which miles to use.

Best Deals

ANA has by far the cheapest awards (remember that ANA awards must be roundtrip), but you will pay fuel surcharges unless you fly United. United Business Class for 85,000 miles roundtrip from the United States to Japan is a steal. ANA’s prices are so low, fuel surcharges may even be worth paying. You can go to China for 95,000 miles roundtrip in Business Class, when the cheapest fuel-surcharge-free award is 150,000 LifeMiles.

If you want to avoid fuel surcharges on all airlines, United’s 80,000 mile price for partner Business Class is fair. If you want to fly partner First Class, like Asiana’s awesome First Class on its A380 (trip report), book with LifeMiles. You can pay 90,000 LifeMiles one way in First Class instead of 120,000 United miles.

Screen Shot 2015-09-14 at 7.39.00 AM Screen Shot 2015-09-14 at 7.39.04 AM

 

Searching and Booking the Awards

A truism of miles is that–with few exceptions–award space is equally available to all partners. One corollary is that you can search any award search engine that displays an airline’s award space, and if space is there, you can book it with any partner.

All Star Alliance partner award space is searchable on aeroplan.com. Here’s how to search for award space on aeroplan.com. All the award space you find there is bookable with all the miles discussed in this post. Ignore the price quoted on aeroplan.com. You will pay the price on the award chart of the miles you’re using.

To book, call the airline whose miles you’re using (or go to their website to book online if you can.) Feed the agent the award space you found on aeroplan.com.

Getting the Miles

ANA miles, United miles, and LifeMiles are the best to North Asia.

ANA miles are a 1:1 transfer partner of SPG Starpoints (or 20k Starpoints to 25k ANA miles), and a 1:1 transfer partner of American Express Membership Rewards.

United miles can be earned on the personal, business, and Club cards from Chase. United is also a transfer partner of Chase Ultimate Rewards.

LifeMiles can be purchased. Right now, they are on sale for a very cheap 1.4 cents each.

Bottom Line

ANA offers really cheap awards to North Asia that are all the more attractive if you can avoid fuel surcharges by flying United. Otherwise, United’s chart to the region in partner Business Class is fair, and there are no fuel surcharges on any United awards. If you want to fly ANA or Asiana First Class, I’d book with LifeMiles.

For the most part, all Star Alliance partners have access to the same award space on all airlines. There are differences in routing rules and fuel surcharges, so pay attention to more than just the mileage price when deciding which miles to use to book your award.

 

------------------------------------------------------------

Editorial Disclaimer: The editorial content is not provided or commissioned by the credit card issuers. Opinions expressed here are author’s alone, not those of the credit card issuers, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the credit card issuers.

If you liked this post, sign up to receive one free daily email every morning with all of the day’s posts! You can also follow MileValue on Twitter and Facebook.

Earn 50,000 bonus points (worth $800 in American Airlines flights) after spending $3,000 in the first three months on the Citi Prestige® Card. Plus get a $250 Air Travel Credit each calendar year, free airport lounge access worldwide, and your fourth night free on hotel stays. Why I got the card.

4

Because you can use any type of Star Alliance miles to book any Star Alliance flight, I’ve put the eight best Star Alliance award charts into one spreadsheet. Check out why I chose these eight award charts and how Americans can get these miles here. Check out the cheapest awards within the mainland USA, to Canada, to Hawaii, and to Alaska and the cheapest awards to Latin America and the Caribbean.

Today let’s look at the cheapest Star Alliance Awards to Africa and the Middle East.

Remember, the spread sheets in this post only capture one part of an award: its mileage price. The routing rules and fuel surcharges matter too. Where relevant, I will note those as we go through the regions, but here are a two big things that apply to all charts:

  • United, Copa, and LifeMiles never collect fuel surcharges. All the others collect fuel surcharges on most awards.
  • All programs allow one way redemptions for the prices listed on the charts except ANA. It only allows roundtrip redemptions for double the price on the chart. I used its fictitious “one way price” that you can’t actually book just to more easily compare to the programs that do allow one way bookings.

Cheapest Awards to the Middle East

For awards starting in the mainland United States and flying to the Middle East, these are the prices:

Screen Shot 2015-09-10 at 4.28.47 AM

Let me explain a few things:

  • United has two award charts. The cheaper one for flying United (or mostly United if you follow these rules) and the more expensive one is to fly its partners.
  • All the miles except Lufthansa allow transit in Europe for the same price as direct flights to the Middle East. Transiting Europe would trigger a more expensive “3 regions” award on the Lufthansa chart.
  • LifeMiles blocks Lufthansa First Class awards.
Fuel Surcharges

United, Copa, and LifeMiles don’t collect fuel surcharges on award tickets.

Asiana, ANA, and Singapore don’t collect fuel surcharges on awards on United-operated flights. They do collect fuel surcharges on all other flights that have fuel surcharges as part of a normal cash ticket.

Lufthansa collects fuel surcharges on all flights that have fuel surcharges as part of a normal cash ticket.

Aeroplan collects fuel surcharges on Air Canada, Lufthansa, Austrian, TAP, and LOT flights. Aeroplan does not collect fuel surcharges on Air New Zealand, Brussels, Ethiopian, SAS, Singapore, Swiss, Turkish, Egyptair, South African, and United flights.

You can figure out the fuel surcharges by calling the airline whose miles you want to use or just looking on ITA Matrix. Take fuel surcharges into account when determining which miles to use.

Best Deals

ANA and Singapore have by far the cheapest awards (remember that ANA awards must be roundtrip), but you will pay fuel surcharges. You can eliminate those by flying United to the Middle East. United’s destinations are Dubai, Kuwait, Bahrain, and Tel Aviv. You can greatly lower fuel surcharges by flying United to Europe and connecting there to a different partner to the Middle East.

If you want to completely avoid fuel surcharges, book with United miles. You can pay 80,000 miles one way in Business Class or 70,000 if you fly United Business Class to Europe and connect to a partner in economy to the Middle East.

Cheapest Awards to Africa

For awards starting in the mainland United States and flying to Africa, these are the prices:

Screen Shot 2015-09-10 at 4.29.08 AM

 

Let me explain a few things:

  • United has two award charts. The cheaper one for flying United (or mostly United if you follow these rules) and the more expensive one is to fly its partners.
  • Singapore, LifeMiles, Aeroplan, and Lufthansa divide Africa into North and South. Consult their charts for the exact region definitions.
  • LifeMiles blocks Lufthansa First Class awards.
Fuel Surcharges

United, Copa, and LifeMiles don’t collect fuel surcharges on award tickets.

Asiana, ANA, and Singapore don’t collect fuel surcharges on awards on United-operated flights. They do collect fuel surcharges on all other flights that have fuel surcharges as part of a normal cash ticket.

Lufthansa collects fuel surcharges on all flights that have fuel surcharges as part of a normal cash ticket.

Aeroplan collects fuel surcharges on Air Canada, Lufthansa, Austrian, TAP, and LOT flights. Aeroplan does not collect fuel surcharges on Air New Zealand, Brussels, Ethiopian, SAS, Singapore, Swiss, Turkish, Egyptair, South African, and United flights.

You can figure out the fuel surcharges by calling the airline whose miles you want to use or just looking on ITA Matrix. Take fuel surcharges into account when determining which miles to use.

Best Deals

ANA and Singapore have by far the cheapest awards (remember that ANA awards must be roundtrip), but you will pay fuel surcharges. You can eliminate those by flying United to Africa, but its only destination is Lagos. You can lower fuel surcharges by flying United to Europe and connecting there to a different partner to Africa.

If you want to completely avoid fuel surcharges, book with United miles. You can pay 80,000 miles one way in Business Class or 70,000 if you fly United Business Class to Europe and connect to a partner in economy to Africa.

Searching and Booking the Awards

A truism of miles is that–with few exceptions–award space is equally available to all partners. One corollary is that you can search any award search engine that displays an airline’s award space, and if space is there, you can book it with any partner.

All Star Alliance partner award space is searchable on aeroplan.com. Here’s how to search for award space on aeroplan.com. All the award space you find there is bookable with all the miles discussed in this post. Ignore the price quoted on aeroplan.com. You will pay the price on the award chart of the miles you’re using.

To book, call the airline whose miles you’re using (or go to their website to book online if you can.) Feed the agent the award space you found on aeroplan.com.

Getting the Miles

ANA miles, Singapore miles, and United miles are the best to Europe.

ANA miles are a 1:1 transfer partner of SPG Starpoints (or 20k Starpoints to 25k ANA miles), and a 1:1 transfer partner of American Express Membership Rewards.

Singapore miles are a 1:1 transfer partner of Ultimate Rewards, Membership Rewards, ThankYou Points, and Starpoints.

United miles can be earned on the personal, business, and Club cards from Chase. United is also a transfer partner of Chase Ultimate Rewards.

Bottom Line

There are better options to fly Star Alliance flights to Africa and the Middle East than using United miles.

Singapore and ANA offer really cheap award charts that are all the more attractive if you can avoid or reduce fuel surcharges. Otherwise, United’s chart to the region is fair, and there are no fuel surcharges on any United awards.

For the most part, all Star Alliance partners have access to the same award space on all airlines. There are differences in routing rules and fuel surcharges, so pay attention to more than just the mileage price when deciding which miles to use to book your award.

------------------------------------------------------------

Editorial Disclaimer: The editorial content is not provided or commissioned by the credit card issuers. Opinions expressed here are author’s alone, not those of the credit card issuers, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the credit card issuers.

If you liked this post, sign up to receive one free daily email every morning with all of the day’s posts! You can also follow MileValue on Twitter and Facebook.

Earn 50,000 bonus points (worth $800 in American Airlines flights) after spending $3,000 in the first three months on the Citi Prestige® Card. Plus get a $250 Air Travel Credit each calendar year, free airport lounge access worldwide, and your fourth night free on hotel stays. Why I got the card.

21

Because you can use any type of Star Alliance miles to book any Star Alliance flight, I’ve put the eight best Star Alliance award charts into one spreadsheet. Check out why I chose these eight award charts and how Americans can get these miles here. Check out the cheapest awards within the mainland USA, to Canada, to Hawaii, and to Alaska and the cheapest awards to Latin America and the Caribbean.

Today let’s look at the cheapest Star Alliance Awards to Europe.

Remember, the spread sheet in this post only captures one part of an award: its mileage price. The routing rules and fuel surcharges matter too. Where relevant, I will note those as we go through the regions, but here are a two big things that apply to all charts:

  • United, Copa, and LifeMiles never collect fuel surcharges. All the others collect fuel surcharges on most awards.
  • All programs allow one way redemptions for the prices listed on the charts except ANA. It only allows roundtrip redemptions for double the price on the chart. I used its fictitious “one way price” that you can’t actually book just to more easily compare to the programs that do allow one way bookings.

Cheapest Awards to Europe

For awards starting in the mainland United States and flying to Europe, these are the prices:

Screen Shot 2016-01-28 at 9.31.05 AM

Let me explain a few things:

Fuel Surcharges

United, Copa, and LifeMiles don’t collect fuel surcharges on award tickets.

Asiana, ANA, and Singapore don’t collect fuel surcharges on awards on United-operated flights. They do collect fuel surcharges on all other flights that have fuel surcharges as part of a normal cash ticket.

Lufthansa collects fuel surcharges on all flights that have fuel surcharges as part of a normal cash ticket.

Aeroplan collects fuel surcharges on Air Canada, Lufthansa, Austrian, TAP, and LOT flights to Europe. Aeroplan does not collect fuel surcharges on Air New Zealand, Brussels, Ethiopian, SAS, Singapore, Swiss, Turkish, and United flights to Europe. (And yes all those airlines fly from the United States to Europe.)

You can figure out the fuel surcharges by calling the airline whose miles you want to use or just looking on ITA Matrix. Take fuel surcharges into account when determining which miles to use.

Best Deals

If you want to fly United, the cheapest way to book it (and with no fuel surcharges) is with Asiana miles. Paying 40k miles one way in flat bed Business Class or 50k in First Class is outrageously cheap. If you don’t want to burn SPG points/Asiana miles, you can book a cheap roundtrip with ANA miles in United economy or Business Class and pay no fuel surcharges. Singapore miles are a good option for a one way in United economy.

If you want to fly Lufthansa First Class to enjoy the First Class terminal, use Asiana miles. You’ll pay 50,000 miles and around $300 one way. Your backup plan is to use 62,500 Aeroplan miles plus the same fuel surcharges. United would not collect the fuel surcharges, but it would charge 110,000 miles one way, so I wouldn’t use United miles.

If you want to fly to Western Europe, Aeroplan miles offer a great deal at 45,000 miles each way, and several partners are surcharge-free. If you book a roundtrip, you can even enjoy two stopovers other than your destination.

My rich friends, who want to fly Business Class to Europe but don’t already have miles, use LifeMiles to buy a ticket each way in Business Class for about $1,000.

Searching and Booking the Awards

A truism of miles is that–with few exceptions–award space is equally available to all partners. One corollary is that you can search any award search engine that displays an airline’s award space, and if space is there, you can book it with any partner.

All Star Alliance partner award space is searchable on aeroplan.com. Here’s how to search for award space on aeroplan.com. All the award space you find there is bookable with all the miles discussed in this post. Ignore the price quoted on aeroplan.com. You will pay the price on the award chart of the miles you’re using.

To book, call the airline whose miles you’re using (or go to their website to book online if you can.) Feed the agent the award space you found on aeroplan.com.

Getting the Miles

Asiana miles, ANA miles, Singapore miles, Aeroplan miles, and LifeMiles are the best to Europe.

Asiana miles are a 1:1 transfer partner of SPG Starpoints, which means you can transfer 20,000 Starpoints to 25,000 Asiana miles.

ANA miles are a 1:1 transfer partner of SPG Starpoints (or 20k Starpoints to 25k ANA miles), and a 1:1 transfer partner of American Express Membership Rewards.

Singapore miles are a 1:1 transfer partner of Ultimate Rewards, Membership Rewards, ThankYou Points, and Starpoints.

Aeroplan miles area 1:1 transfer partner of SPG Starpoints (or 20k Starpoints to 25k ANA miles), and a 1:1 transfer partner of American Express Membership Rewards.

LifeMiles can be purchased for as little as 1.35 cents each through September 15, 2015.

Bottom Line

There are much better options to fly Star Alliance flights to Euorope than using United miles.

For the most part, all Star Alliance partners have access to the same award space on all airlines. There are differences in routing rules and fuel surcharges, so pay attention to more than just the mileage price when deciding which miles to use to book your award.

 

------------------------------------------------------------

Editorial Disclaimer: The editorial content is not provided or commissioned by the credit card issuers. Opinions expressed here are author’s alone, not those of the credit card issuers, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the credit card issuers.

If you liked this post, sign up to receive one free daily email every morning with all of the day’s posts! You can also follow MileValue on Twitter and Facebook.

Earn 50,000 bonus points (worth $800 in American Airlines flights) after spending $3,000 in the first three months on the Citi Prestige® Card. Plus get a $250 Air Travel Credit each calendar year, free airport lounge access worldwide, and your fourth night free on hotel stays. Why I got the card.

13

Because you can use any type of Star Alliance miles to book any Star Alliance flight, I’ve put the eight best Star Alliance award charts into one spreadsheet. Check out why I chose these eight award charts and how Americans can get these miles here. Check out the cheapest awards within the mainland USA, to Canada, to Hawaii, and to Alaska.

Today let’s look at the cheapest Star Alliance Awards to Latin America and the Caribbean.

Remember, the spread sheets in this post only captures one part of an award: its mileage price. The routing rules and fuel surcharges matter too. Where relevant, I will note those as we go through the regions, but here are a two big things that apply to all charts:

  • United, Copa, and LifeMiles never collect fuel surcharges. All the others collect fuel surcharges on most awards.
  • All programs allow one way redemptions for the prices listed on the charts except ANA. It only allows roundtrip redemptions for double the price on the chart. I used its fictitious “one way price” that you can’t actually book just to more easily compare to the programs that do allow one way bookings.

Cheapest Awards to Mexico, Central America, and the Caribbean

For awards starting in the mainland United States and flying to Mexico, Central America, or the Caribbean, these are the prices:

Screen Shot 2015-09-08 at 1.38.12 PM

The lower price in the Copa column is if you fly Copa metal. That is the best deal to the region overall. The lower prices in the LifeMiles column are for Mexico and the Caribbean. The higher prices are for Central America.

There are no fuel surcharges on any of the Star Alliance flights to these regions, and there’s very little variation in these charts, so I’d mostly burn the miles or transferable points I valued the least.

United States to Northern South America

For awards starting in the mainland United States and flying to Colombia, Venezuela, Peru, and Ecuador, these are the prices:

Screen Shot 2015-09-08 at 1.38.27 PM

 

The lower prices in the Copa column are if you fly Copa metal.

Again, no one collects fuel surcharges on these awards, so use Copa or Asiana miles. If you don’t have them, United miles offer a fair deal. Lufthansa and Singapore offer such terrible deals because they have all of South America in one region.

United States to Southern South America

For awards starting in the mainland United States and flying to Brazil, Argentina, Chile, Uruguay, Paraguay, and Bolivia, these are the prices:

Screen Shot 2016-01-28 at 9.30.52 AM

The lower prices in the Copa column are if you fly Copa metal.

Again, no one collects fuel surcharges on these awards, so use Copa, Asiana, or ANA miles–ANA miles for roundtrips only remember.

Searching and Booking the Awards

A truism of miles is that–with few exceptions–award space is equally available to all partners. One corollary is that you can search any award search engine that displays an airline’s award space, and if space is there, you can book it with any partner.

All Star Alliance partner award space is searchable on aeroplan.com. Here’s how to search for award space on aeroplan.com. All the award space you find there is bookable with all the miles discussed in this post. Ignore the price quoted on aeroplan.com. You will pay the price on the award chart of the miles you’re using.

To book, call the airline whose miles you’re using (or go to their website to book online if you can.) Feed the agent the award space you found on aeroplan.com.

Getting the Miles

Asiana miles, Copa miles, and ANA miles are the best to Latin America and the Caribbean.

Asiana miles are a 1:1 transfer partner of SPG Starpoints, which means you can transfer 20,000 Starpoints to 25,000 Asiana miles.

ANA miles are a 1:1 transfer partner of SPG Starpoints (or 20k Starpoints to 25k ANA miles), and a 1:1 transfer partner of American Express Membership Rewards.

Copa’s new ConnectMiles program doesn’t have an associated credit card, nor does it partner with any transferable points, nor does it sell its miles cheaply. For the moment, you can only get Copa miles the hard way, butt-in-seat.

 

Bottom Line

There are much better options to fly United, Air Canada, Copa, Avianca, and TACA flights to Latin America and the Caribbean than using United miles.

For the most part, all Star Alliance partners have access to the same award space on all airlines. There are differences in routing rules and fuel surcharges, but there are no fuel surcharges on any flights in this post.

 

------------------------------------------------------------

Editorial Disclaimer: The editorial content is not provided or commissioned by the credit card issuers. Opinions expressed here are author’s alone, not those of the credit card issuers, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the credit card issuers.

If you liked this post, sign up to receive one free daily email every morning with all of the day’s posts! You can also follow MileValue on Twitter and Facebook.

Earn 50,000 bonus points (worth $800 in American Airlines flights) after spending $3,000 in the first three months on the Citi Prestige® Card. Plus get a $250 Air Travel Credit each calendar year, free airport lounge access worldwide, and your fourth night free on hotel stays. Why I got the card.

15

You can use any type of Star Alliance miles to book any Star Alliance flight. The 27-member alliance has more than a dozen frequent flyer programs, many of which offer good or great deals on some routes.

Screen Shot 2015-05-20 at 9.14.50 PM

I’ve taken the time to make a comprehensive spread sheet of eight programs’ award prices from North America:

  • United (on United flights and on partner flights)
  • Copa
  • Asiana
  • Singapore
  • Avianca LifeMiles
  • Air Canada Aeroplan
  • Lufthansa Miles & More
  • ANA

These programs were chosen because they all have at least some awards that are really cheap. And other than Copa and LifeMiles, Americans can easily get all these miles through transferable points programs:

  • United: Ultimate Rewards
  • Copa: no easy way to get the miles yet, but the program is brand new
  • Asiana: SPG
  • Singapore: ThankYou Points, Ultimate Rewards, Membership Rewards, SPG
  • LifeMiles: buy miles for 1.5 cents each
  • Aeroplan: Membership Rewards, SPG
  • Lufthansa: SPG
  • ANA: Membership Rewards, SPG

There are other Star Alliance programs into which Americans can transfer miles–Citi ThankYou Points transfer 1:1 to EVA and Thai miles–but their charts don’t offer any value compared to the eight I’ve selected.

Of course, the spread sheet only captures one part of an award: its mileage price. The routing rules and fuel surcharges matter too. Where relevant, I will note those as we go through the regions, but here are a few big things that applies to all charts:

  • United, Copa, and LifeMiles never collect fuel surcharges. All the others collect fuel surcharges on most awards.
  • All programs allow one way redemptions for the prices listed on the charts except ANA. It only allows roundtrip redemptions for double the price on the chart. I used its fictitious “one way price” that you can’t actually book just to more easily compare to the programs that do allow one way bookings.

Cheapest Awards Within Mainland United States and Canada

For awards starting in the mainland United States or Canada and staying there, these are the award prices.

Screen Shot 2015-09-06 at 3.42.55 PM

The lower prices in the Lufthansa column are for awards just within the continental United States. The higher price is for an award from the United States to Canada.

There are no fuel surcharges on any of the United or Air Canada flights within North America, so you can just focus on using the miles that offer the lowest price. Most of the programs agree what a domestic award should cost. The exceptions are the great prices offered by Lufthansa and the Business Class discount when flying a Singapore award.

The fanciest Business Class within the United States is on United’s routes from Newark to Los Angeles and San Francisco. These feature fully flat beds.

United States to Alaska

United is the only airline that charges extra for a flight to Alaska, so the rest of this chart is the same.

Screen Shot 2015-09-06 at 3.44.14 PM

Again, no one collects fuel surcharges on these awards, so use Lufthansa or Singapore miles.

United States to Hawaii

Here are the prices from the United States mainland to Hawaii.
Screen Shot 2015-09-06 at 3.44.25 PM

The reason that Singapore is highlighted as the cheapest and that Asiana has an asterisk is one weird routing rule that trips up Asiana awards to Hawaii. From Asiana’s routing rules: “Transit is available only on routes for which MPM is specified by IATA.” United doesn’t publish an MPM on routes from the United States to Hawaii, specifying the cities you can transit instead.

Screen Shot 2015-09-07 at 11.59.53 AM
United’s Fare Rules from Philly to Honolulu. No MPM listed, just cities you can transit.

If that all sounded like gobbledygook to you, the upshot is that the prices listed on the Asiana chart are for direct United flights only. If you have a layover, like flying Philadelphia to Los Angeles to Honolulu, the award breaks into two, and you pay Asiana’s intra-North America price plus USA-to-Hawaii price. Yes, Asiana phone agents really do this in practice.

There are no fuel surcharges on any of the United flights to Hawaii, so you can just focus on using the miles that offer the lowest price. So if you need a layover to get to Hawaii, Singapore awards are the best option. Lufthansa awards are a good deal too. ANA awards are a good deal if you are flying roundtrip, since one way awards are not permitted for 20k/34k miles.

Searching and Booking the Awards

A truism of miles is that–with few exceptions–award space is equally available to all partners. One corollary is that you can search any award search engine that displays an airline’s award space, and if space is there, you can book it with any partner.

All Star Alliance partner award space is searchable on aeroplan.com. Here’s how to search for award space on aeroplan.com. All the award space you find there is bookable with all the miles discussed in this post. Ignore the price quoted on aeroplan.com. You will pay the price on the award chart of the miles you’re using.

To book, call the airline whose miles you’re using (or go to their website to book online if you can.) Feed the agent the award space you found on aeroplan.com.

Getting the Miles

Singapore and Lufthansa miles are the best within the United States, Canada, Alaska, and Hawaii.

Singapore miles are a partner of every transferable points program. Cards I like that earns points that transfer:

  • Citi ThankYou® Premier Card40,000 bonus ThankYou Points after $3,000 in purchases made with your card in the first 3 months the account is open. The card also earns 3x points on travel and gas and 2x points on dining and entertainment
  • Citi Prestige® Card: 50,000 bonus ThankYou Points after $3,000 in purchases made with your card in the first 3 months the account is open. The card also comes earns 3x points on airfare and hotels and has a host of benefits like lounge access and $250 in free airfare per year.
  • Sapphire Preferred: 40,000 bonus points after spending $4,000 in the first three months. 2x on dining and travel.
  • Ink Plus (business card): 50,000 bonus points after spending $5,000 in the first three months. 5x on office supplies and telecom bills.
  • Whichever Membership Rewards card (Platinum or Gold, personal or business) is offering a big 50,000, 75,000, or 100,000 point sign up bonus

Lufthansa miles are an SPG transfer partner, and Lufthansa offers Americans a co-branded credit card from Barclaycard. The bonus alternates between 20,000 and 50,000 miles, and right now it is 20,000.

Bottom Line

There are much better options to fly United and Air Canada flights within North America than using United or Aeroplan miles. Singapore and Lufthansa offer the cheapest rates on flights to Hawaii, Alaska, and within the continental United States.

For the most part, all Star Alliance partners have access to the same award space on all airlines. There are differences in routing rules and fuel surcharges, but there are no fuel surcharges on any flights in this post.

 

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Editorial Disclaimer: The editorial content is not provided or commissioned by the credit card issuers. Opinions expressed here are author’s alone, not those of the credit card issuers, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the credit card issuers.

If you liked this post, sign up to receive one free daily email every morning with all of the day’s posts! You can also follow MileValue on Twitter and Facebook.

Earn 50,000 bonus points (worth $800 in American Airlines flights) after spending $3,000 in the first three months on the Citi Prestige® Card. Plus get a $250 Air Travel Credit each calendar year, free airport lounge access worldwide, and your fourth night free on hotel stays. Why I got the card.

This post is part of a series about how to maximize value when transferring your Citi ThankYou Points to airline partners.

Singapore Airlines has two award charts when redeeming its KrisFlyer miles. There is one award chart to fly Singapore and its subsidiary SilkAir and one award chart to fly Star Alliance partners. This is a post about sweetspots on the Star Alliance chart. Here is the post about sweetspots on the Singapore/SilkAir chart.

Singapore KrisFlyer miles should have your attention. You can amass a huge stash since you can easily transfer Chase Ultimate Rewards, American Express Membership Rewards, Citi ThankYou Points, or SPG Starpoints to Singapore miles.

Singapore miles can book any Star Alliance partner.

Screen Shot 2015-05-20 at 9.14.50 PM

Singapore awards that fly Star Alliance partners have the following rules:

Singapore awards include fuel surcharges when an identical cash ticket would have fuel surcharges. The only exception is that Singapore does not collect fuel surcharges on United flights ever. If you want to avoid fuel surcharges, book United, Copa, Avianca, and TACA flights.

Search for all the award space for Star Alliance partners on united.com or aeroplan.com. Any Saver award space found there is bookable by calling Singapore Airlines. Here is an Anatomy of an Award post on the entire process of searching and booking.

Without further ado, here are some Star Alliance deals I particularly like:

  • Within the Continental United States, Alaska, and Canada: 20,000 miles in Business or First Class
  • Mainland to Hawaii: 17,500 miles in economy
  • Mainland to Hawaii: 30,000 miles in First Class
  • USA to South America: 50,000 miles in Business Class
  • USA to Europe: 27,500 miles in economy
  • USA to Middle East/North Africa: 57,500 miles in Business
  • USA to Middle East/North Africa: 75,000 miles in First
  • Hawaii to Central America: 17,500 miles in economy, 30,000 miles in Business
  • Hawaii to South America: 25,000 miles in economy, 40,000 miles in Business
  • Intra-South America: 20,000 miles in Business Class
Within the Continental United States, Alaska, and Canada: 20,000 miles in Business or First Class

Whatever United or Air Canada call the best cabin on their two cabin planes, you can book it for 20,000 miles within North America.

Normally domestic First Class on United and Business Class on Air Canada are nothing special, but this award really stands out if you book United’s flat bed p.s. service from Newark to Los Angeles or San Francisco.

This price is 5,000 miles cheaper than United charges for the same award space.

Mainland to Hawaii: 17,500 miles in economy
Mainland to Hawaii: 30,000 miles in First Class

United releases great economy award space to Hawaii and occasional First Class space. The best First Class space to snag is on routes that United operates with flat beds upfront.

These prices are about 1/4 cheaper than United charges for the same award space.

USA to South America: 50,000 miles in Business Class

Singapore puts all of South America into one region. This is a bad price to Northern South America, but a good price to Southern South America (Brazil, Argentina, Chile, Uruguay, Paraguay, Bolivia.)

United charges 55,000 miles each way.

Ideally you’d find award space on United’s flat beds, but realistically there is much more award space on Copa’s flights to South America via Panama. Those only feature recliners unfortunately.

USA to Europe: 27,500 miles in economy

If you find award space on a United flight to Europe, Singapore miles offer a cheaper way to book it than United miles. I booked the start of my current trip to Europe with Singapore miles and wrote this post on the booking.

USA to Middle East/North Africa: 57,500 miles in Business
USA to Middle East/North Africa: 75,000 miles in First

Look at these prices (economy/Business/First one way):

  • Singapore charges 27.5k/65k/85k to Europe
  • Singapore charges 37.5k/57.5k/75k to the Middle East
  • United charges 30k/57.5k/80k to Europe
  • United charges 42.5k/70k/90k to the Middle East

In case you need to brush up on your geography, the Middle East is quite a bit farther away than Europe, but Singapore charges fewer miles for a Business Class or First Class award to the Middle East than to Europe.

Screen Shot 2014-07-30 at 3.15.11 AM

United flies to three destinations in the Middle East:

  • Washington-Dulles to Dubai
  • Washington-Dulles to Kuwait to Bahrain

We can use the Singapore sweetspot to book United’s Middle East flights cheaply in Business Class or First Class or to save miles on awards between the United States and Europe.

We can also use Singapore miles to book a United flight to Europe plus a partner flight to the Middle East. Skip the flight to the Middle East and enjoy the miles saved from the hidden city ticketing. This will incur fuel surcharges on the flight from Europe to the Middle East.

More Info: Hidden City Ticketing on Singapore Awards to Europe and Middle East

Hawaii to Central America: 17,500 miles in economy, 30,000 miles in Business
Hawaii to South America: 25,000 miles in economy, 40,000 miles in Business

Singapore Airlines’ award chart has Hawaii and Central America are in the same region!

Screen Shot 2014-06-24 at 1.53.37 AM

That means Hawaii to Central or South America is cheaper than the mainland United States to those places. Take advantage with creative awards from your home airport to Hawaii and to Central/South America all on one super cheap award.

More Info: How non-Hawaiians Can Take Advantage of Hawaii to Central America and South America Awards

Intra-South America: 20,000 miles in Business Class

Considering all of South America to be one region has this big benefit. I’ve booked myself two awards from Colombia to Argentina for way too cheap.

More Info: Anatomy of an Award: Using Singapore Miles to Save 20,000 Miles within South America

Getting Singapore Miles

Ultimate Rewards, Membership Rewards, and ThankYou Points transfer 1:1 to Singapore miles with a 12-36 hour delay.

SPG points transfer 1:1 to Singapore miles, and for every 20,000 Starpoints transferred, you get 5,000 extra Singapore miles.

The best cards to rack up Singapore miles are the:

  • Citi ThankYou® Premier Card40,000 bonus ThankYou Points after $3,000 in purchases made with your card in the first 3 months the account is open. The card also earns 3x points on travel and gas and 2x points on dining and entertainment
  • Citi Prestige® Card: 50,000 bonus ThankYou Points after $3,000 in purchases made with your card in the first 3 months the account is open. The card also comes earns 3x points on airfare and hotels and has a host of benefits like lounge access and $250 in free airfare per year.
  • Sapphire Preferred: 40,000 bonus points after spending $4,000 in the first three months. 2x on dining and travel.
  • Ink Plus (business card): 50,000 bonus points after spending $5,000 in the first three months. 5x on office supplies and telecom bills.
  • Whichever Membership Rewards card (Platinum or Gold, personal or business) is offering a big 50,000, 75,000, or 100,000 point sign up bonus

Bottom Line

Singapore miles are excellent for booking awards on Star Alliance carriers when the award has no fuel surcharges and Singapore charges fewer miles than United for an identical award.

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Editorial Disclaimer: The editorial content is not provided or commissioned by the credit card issuers. Opinions expressed here are author’s alone, not those of the credit card issuers, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the credit card issuers.

If you liked this post, sign up to receive one free daily email every morning with all of the day’s posts! You can also follow MileValue on Twitter and Facebook.

Earn 50,000 bonus points (worth $800 in American Airlines flights) after spending $3,000 in the first three months on the Citi Prestige® Card. Plus get a $250 Air Travel Credit each calendar year, free airport lounge access worldwide, and your fourth night free on hotel stays. Why I got the card.

9

Scandinavian Airlines (SAS), a Star Alliance partner, operates a flight six days per week between Houston and Stavanger, Norway.

Screen Shot 2015-08-24 at 1.48.53 PM

The flight is operated by a 44-seat, all Business Class 737 with angled-flat seats in Business Class. Award space is excellent on the route for the next eight months.

The route interests me for its unique aircraft, unique onboard layout, and the fact that it serves the second closest airport to Trolltunga in Norway.

Award Space

Both directions show a similar pattern of award space. You can book the flight most days between now and the end of April 2016, after which it is mysteriously unavailable for awards.

The flight to Norway leaves at 9:45 PM and arrives the next day at 2:15 PM.

Screen Shot 2015-08-24 at 1.04.46 PM

Award space looks like this for most of the next eight months.Screen Shot 2015-08-24 at 1.05.01 PM

Then award space abruptly ends on April 28.Screen Shot 2015-08-24 at 1.06.23 PM

The return to the United States looks very similar.

Screen Shot 2015-08-24 at 2.25.54 PM

The late afternoon flight has award space almost every day except Tuesdays when it doesn’t operate.
Screen Shot 2015-08-24 at 1.08.41 PM

Award space suddenly runs out April 28, 2016.
Screen Shot 2015-08-24 at 1.09.06 PM

Connections

Since Houston is a United hub, it should be very easy to connect to this flight from throughout North America. Here is a sample itinerary from Los Angeles.

Screen Shot 2015-08-24 at 1.49.59 PM

Connections in Stavanger are also very possible. Here are the SAS flights from Stavanger.

Screen Shot 2015-08-24 at 1.02.16 PM

Certainly connecting to Oslo or Bergen is very easy.
Screen Shot 2015-08-24 at 1.07.00 PMScreen Shot 2015-08-24 at 1.07.31 PMThe place I most want to visit in Norway is Trolltunga. It is 4 hours by bus from Bergen’s airport and 6 hours by bus from Stavanger’s.

Screen Shot 2015-08-24 at 1.18.29 PM
Source: http://www.visitnorway.com/en/product/?pid=149585

Booking the Award

You can book all the award space in this post with any Star Alliance miles by calling the appropriate airline or booking on its website. Here are the award prices for a one way Business Class award (in bold if there are NO fuel surcharges on the award):

  • Asiana: 40k miles
  • Aeroplan: 45k miles
  • Lufthansa: 52k miles
  • LifeMiles: 63k miles
  • Singapore: 65k miles
  • United: 70k miles

 

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Editorial Disclaimer: The editorial content is not provided or commissioned by the credit card issuers. Opinions expressed here are author’s alone, not those of the credit card issuers, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the credit card issuers.

If you liked this post, sign up to receive one free daily email every morning with all of the day’s posts! You can also follow MileValue on Twitter and Facebook.

Earn 50,000 bonus points (worth $800 in American Airlines flights) after spending $3,000 in the first three months on the Citi Prestige® Card. Plus get a $250 Air Travel Credit each calendar year, free airport lounge access worldwide, and your fourth night free on hotel stays. Why I got the card.

18

Aeroplan is Air Canada’s spun-off loyalty program. Aeroplan.com is an awesome search engine that displays award availability on almost all Star Alliance flights.

You should know how to use aeroplan.com whether or not you ever plan to redeem Aeroplan miles because you shouldn’t necessarily search the website of the miles you’re using. You should just search the website that is easiest and best at displaying award availability. Any award availability shown at aeroplan.com will be bookable with Aeroplan, United, Singapore, ANA, Lufthansa, and Avianca miles.

Aeroplan.com is usually my backup search engine. I start my searches for Star Alliance award space at united.com because you can search without signing in, its two-month calendar is useful, it shows most partners, and it’s pretty good at finding available space.

I also use the ANA search tool to if I want to be sure whether there is space on an award segment or not because it is the most accurate Star Alliance search engine. Complete guides on how to perform those searches can be found here:

There are a few instances, however, when it makes sense to search for Star Alliance award availability on aeroplan.com:

Screen Shot 2014-07-18 at 8.50.04 PM
Star Alliance members courtesy of staralliance.com

Aeroplan.com is better for those airlines simply because united.com doesn’t display their award space at all.

Aeroplan’s search engine has also been programmed better than United’s to find itineraries with multiple connections. I frequently find award space on aeroplan.com for two or three layover itineraries that I did not find on united.com. That’s why I always search aeroplan.com before moving on to more complicated segment-by-segment searching.

  • How do you go about searching for award availability on Aeroplan.com?
  • Are there any limitations when using Aeroplan.com?
  • If United.com is flawed, why shouldn’t you just use Aeroplan.com for all Star Alliance searches?
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Editorial Disclaimer: The editorial content is not provided or commissioned by the credit card issuers. Opinions expressed here are author’s alone, not those of the credit card issuers, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the credit card issuers.

If you liked this post, sign up to receive one free daily email every morning with all of the day’s posts! You can also follow MileValue on Twitter and Facebook.

Earn 50,000 bonus points (worth $800 in American Airlines flights) after spending $3,000 in the first three months on the Citi Prestige® Card. Plus get a $250 Air Travel Credit each calendar year, free airport lounge access worldwide, and your fourth night free on hotel stays. Why I got the card.

Award space is still available on several Star Alliance flights to Europe this summer!

Tons of space is bookable with United miles, Lufthansa miles, or miles from any other Star Alliance carrier.

A lot of people are contacting the MileValue Award Booking Service saying they’d love to head to Europe this summer but are resigned to waiting until next summer if there’s no space. Good news! On some routes, there is plenty of space for 2-8 people in economy, business, and first class.

2 people Jun Jul Bos Fra

  • What routes still have premium cabin award space to Europe this summer?
  • What route has award space for eight people to Europe this summer?
  • Is there award space on direct flights from the West Coast to Europe?
  • What’s available this week?
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Editorial Disclaimer: The editorial content is not provided or commissioned by the credit card issuers. Opinions expressed here are author’s alone, not those of the credit card issuers, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the credit card issuers.

If you liked this post, sign up to receive one free daily email every morning with all of the day’s posts! You can also follow MileValue on Twitter and Facebook.

Earn 50,000 bonus points (worth $800 in American Airlines flights) after spending $3,000 in the first three months on the Citi Prestige® Card. Plus get a $250 Air Travel Credit each calendar year, free airport lounge access worldwide, and your fourth night free on hotel stays. Why I got the card.

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