FlyerTalk Forums - View Single Post - Forbes Story on Skymiles Redemption on Premium Class Award travel
Old Aug 29, 19, 12:33 pm
  #9  
ijgordon
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Join Date: Apr 2001
Location: NYC
Posts: 24,093
Originally Posted by xliioper View Post
Premium cabin awards are definitely higher, but coach is a mixed bag. I did DTW-MBJ this past winter for 18K RT. Rates were definitely not that low back in 08/09. You can currently do DTW-LHR for 46K miles RT and NYC-LHR for 22K RT this fall. I believe that low-level TATL awards had increased to 60K RT by 08/09. The reality is that people FT are heavily skewed to people mostly/only doing premium awards. Outside of FT, there are lots more people/Medallions who don't have a problem with doing coach awards.
Agreed that FT focuses on the premium class awards, and the truth is that those were BY FAR the best way to get value out of your miles in the past. Of course there was always debate about the "real" value you were achieving, because most of us would never consider paying the $8k r/t in cash for a 100k US-Europe ticket that calculates at $0.08/mile in value. Or one of the most egregious examples would be JFK-HKG on Cathay in First Class using AA miles -- I think it was maybe 155k give or take on a $25k r/t (!) ticket (though you could do a 1-stop for like $16k). 16 cents per mile!

I think also back then (before the GFC) it was harder to find more "affordable" premium fares outside of the summer/holiday fare sales to Europe, and certainly any time to Asia. But now it's not hard to find NYC-Europe for ~$2500-3000 r/t at nearly any time if you plan right, and even at 160k (award sales aside), that's only 1.5-1.9c of value per mile. Better than many redemptions on DL today, but arguably still a lot worse than in the past.
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