What is the point of miles?

Old Mar 11, 19, 2:30 am
  #1  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Mar 2019
Programs: klm
Posts: 12
What is the point of miles?

I only ask as when ever I try to book an award ticket I end up giving up and paying for a normal flight.
quick example:
Trying to book a transatlantic flight to the Americas
-5 months in advance
-cost of economy flight return 581 euros inc. taxes and extras like luggage
- award ticket same flight ( approximate numbers)
- 118000 miles plus 300 euros
- Miles and cash - 125000 miles and 600 euros cash. so more than a normal fare and the priviledge of no XP

This seems to happen when ever I try to use my miles for any destination I need to get to.
I do not understand how an award ticket can end up costing more than the normal fare when both in economy.?
What is the advantage of having miles if I can never use them?
How when I read these forums does everyone else get what seem to be better deals and use of their miles?

Stautus is : Platinum ( a few years worth)
adutchuser is offline  
Old Mar 11, 19, 9:38 am
  #2  
 
Join Date: May 2015
Location: Warsaw/Berlin
Programs: Flying Blue Platinum / Accor ALL Gold
Posts: 1,274
Originally Posted by adutchuser View Post
This seems to happen when ever I try to use my miles for any destination I need to get to.
its not an uncommon feeling , ''redemptions costs'' increased a lot during the last few years and miles earnings decreased in inverted way , so you need to fly more and spend more to earn same amount of miles

Originally Posted by adutchuser View Post
I do not understand how an award ticket can end up costing more than the normal fare when both in economy.?)
with award ticket , airmiles dont earn money ''directly'' , so there should be a ratio which is profitable for them

eg : buy a normal ticket to argentina for 1000 dollars which gives you 100 miles.

Then you will redeem your miles to buy a award ticket to go to sweden , that will make your 100 miles be worth 50 dollars . because the flight to stockholm cost 400 miles , and of course dont forget the 100/150 euros of fees/taxes and so on....

Compare this to the 200 dollars for the full price ticket to sweden , now you understand where is the trick

You need to know a bit history of aviation and frequent flyers program , then you will understand that these programs are like cash machine for airlines , but on the other end they need to give less and less real benefits , in order to decrease spendings and maximise profits

Originally Posted by adutchuser View Post
What is the advantage of having miles if I can never use them?
now you start to understand the ''scam'' , but again its linked to evolution of these frequent flyers programs , dont think its just flying blue or KLM , all the industry is going this way , maximise rentablity to the maximum

Originally Posted by adutchuser View Post
How when I read these forums does everyone else get what seem to be better deals and use of their miles?
Neo , thats because you need to be smarter than the matrix . Now you are a member of flyer talk it mean you took the good pill and you want to know the truth . I was an ignorant like you in 2014 but a friend introduced me to the world of frequent flyers and i started to read this forum

It helped me avoid a lot of mistakes and optimise my trips/spendings like i never imagined

Originally Posted by adutchuser View Post
Stautus is : Platinum ( a few years worth)
so it mean you are a ''passive elite customer'' , which is not pejorative or bad , it mean you had to fly a lot , spent a big amount of money (or your company maybe) and you never worried about such topic . to summarize you are perfect customer for an airline

Originally Posted by adutchuser View Post
I only ask as when ever I try to book an award ticket I end up giving up and paying for a normal flight.
quick example:
Trying to book a transatlantic flight to the Americas
-5 months in advance
-cost of economy flight return 581 euros inc. taxes and extras like luggage
- award ticket same flight ( approximate numbers)
- 118000 miles plus 300 euros
- Miles and cash - 125000 miles and 600 euros cash. so more than a normal fare and the priviledge of no XP
you need to compare all options , and even flights with other airlines (skyteam or not) , cause today loyalty is not rewarded , just fly with whats the most convenient for you (we all have different criteria and needs)

in my case iam often flying skyteam , not by choice , but because thats the cheapest way to go to places where i have to fly( bizness or leisure ) and the most obvious choice is a skyteam airline

so by preparing a complex strategy i can spend the less money possible for leisure trips (when company/customer pay i dont care) and try to earn a max of miles

thanks to monthly promo awards i was , for instance , able to fly twice to united arab emirates with KLM for 20000 miles or central america for less than 30k miles

Last edited by fifty_two; Mar 11, 19 at 10:03 am
fifty_two is offline  
Old Mar 11, 19, 10:16 am
  #3  
FlyerTalk Evangelist
 
Join Date: Mar 2008
Location: Netherlands
Programs: Platinum: KL Gold: A3 Rust: BA
Posts: 25,493
Originally Posted by adutchuser View Post
I only ask as when ever I try to book an award ticket I end up giving up and paying for a normal flight.
Miles are better spent on business class long haul - unless you are making a last minute economy booking where the cash price is huge, or buying a one-way ticket for a route where they charge a premium for one ways.

Remember, though, you are not comparing like for like in your example. For your cash ticket, you have limited or no flexiblity. With your mileage ticket, you can cancel for a fee (€42). Of course, this is often not necessary, as many (most?) economy tickets sold have little to no flexibility, and therefore most economy ticket purchasers never consider/require flexibility in their bookings - but it still is something to bear in mind when making your comparison.

Of course, if booking the cheapest possible ticket is your goal, then you shouldn't be limiting yourself to AFKL anyway in the first place!

It also pays to be very flexible when booking with miles. You should instead book with miles when it makes sense to do so, or when you can be totally flexible on when/where to go - rather than deciding - OK! This is a trip I must book now, and therefore *this* is the ticket on which I must spend my miles!
irishguy28 is offline  
Old Mar 11, 19, 10:53 am
  #4  
FlyerTalk Evangelist
 
Join Date: Feb 2000
Location: London, UK and Southern France
Posts: 16,841
Originally Posted by irishguy28 View Post
Miles are better spent on business class long haul
That and also intra-European economy can be an OK use of miles.
unless you are making a last minute economy booking where the cash price is huge
That used to be true but it is becoming less so with the introduction of the dynamic pricing model for awards.
NickB is offline  
Old Mar 11, 19, 2:06 pm
  #5  
 
Join Date: Dec 2018
Programs: Flying Blue Gold, Miles & More pleb
Posts: 511
Curaçao is 60k miles (return) in J this month, if you are prepared to travel in May, that's a pretty stellar deal.

Another suggestion: get the cheapest (paid) J fare you can get from any EU country and use your FB miles for the euro segment that will take you to the departure point.

As this forum has taught me, all reward flights require some level of cash on top... if you want to avoid that theres always the option of getting cases of wine instead.
Maestro Ramen is offline  
Old Mar 11, 19, 3:33 pm
  #6  
 
Join Date: Apr 2005
Programs: Eurostar Carte Blanche, SBB-CFF-FFS GA-AG, SNCF Grand Voyageur LeClub
Posts: 6,745
Originally Posted by irishguy28 View Post
Miles are better spent on business class long haul - unless you are making a last minute economy booking where the cash price is huge, or buying a one-way ticket for a route where they charge a premium for one ways.
Originally Posted by NickB View Post
That and also intra-European economy can be an OK use of miles.
That used to be true but it is becoming less so with the introduction of the dynamic pricing model for awards.
Exactly. European trips for 8,500 miles + 28EUR tax (one way) is often available, and quite a good deal. Also Europe-USA in J for 62,500 is good, even for 75,000. Also, as Platinum you have access to Premiere awards. If you have enough miles, then 200,000 miles to fly Premiere to California is a good deal. Trouble is that if you are limited on specific dates you may find that the award prices out at much more (the J award to the US suddenly costs 175,000 miles).

But of course all of this is not to say that overall loyalty programs are a great deal for customers - they are not. And indeed it takes more spending to get an award seat. Dynamic pricing has led to FB claiming that there are more award seats available than in the past . which is true - but also to awards typically being more expensive than in the past.
San Gottardo is offline  
Old Mar 11, 19, 4:17 pm
  #7  
FlyerTalk Evangelist
Accor 25+ Badge
 
Join Date: Aug 2009
Location: Paris, France
Programs: AF/KL Flying Blue Platinum for life/Club2000 Ultimate, Accor ALL Diamond
Posts: 16,424
Originally Posted by adutchuser View Post
- 118000 miles plus 300 euros
- Miles and cash - 125000 miles and 600 euros cash. so more than a normal fare and the priviledge of no XP
I don’t understand that part. Are you sure there is no mistake ? That should not happen (cash and miles more expensive for both cash and miles than the « regular » award booking).
Goldorak is online now  
Old Mar 11, 19, 8:49 pm
  #8  
 
Join Date: Dec 2014
Location: SFO
Programs: Flying Blue Platinum; Marriott Bonvoy Platinum; Hilton Gold
Posts: 662
Maybe the award booking is in J instead of Y?
Sjondorn is offline  
Old Mar 12, 19, 3:05 am
  #9  
FlyerTalk Evangelist
 
Join Date: Mar 2008
Location: Netherlands
Programs: Platinum: KL Gold: A3 Rust: BA
Posts: 25,493
Originally Posted by San Gottardo View Post
Exactly. European trips for 8,500 miles + 28EUR tax (one way) is often available, and quite a good deal.

I guess it depends on the route and what your other options are.

I've found myself booking lots of one-ways with Avios (4,000 or 4,500 in "peak" periods, plus ~€28) from Cork or Dublin to Amsterdam on Aer Lingus. It costs a little more the other way round due to higher taxes out of Schiphol.

And that's only if there is no <€30 ticket available on Ryanair!

On BA to London, it's even cheaper (4k or 4.5k each way, plus €21)

Last edited by irishguy28; Mar 12, 19 at 3:11 am
irishguy28 is offline  
Old Mar 12, 19, 7:02 am
  #10  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Mar 2019
Programs: klm
Posts: 12
Thanks for all the replies. I learnt a bit more
adutchuser is offline  
Old Mar 12, 19, 9:48 am
  #11  
FlyerTalk Evangelist
 
Join Date: Oct 2000
Posts: 12,626
Originally Posted by Maestro Ramen View Post
Curaçao is 60k miles (return) in J this month, if you are prepared to travel in May, that's a pretty stellar deal.
Yeah, but only if you want to travel to Curaçao in the month of May. I don't.Not in any other month either, for that matter.

I have all sorts of reasons for wanting or needing to travel to various places, but the cost in award miles is certainly not one of them.

I've long since given up on awards. To get somewhere I just buy a ticket. Easier, simpler and faster. Award miles I only use once every couple of years or so if I need a one-way J ticket somewhere.

Johan
johan rebel is offline  
Old Mar 12, 19, 4:24 pm
  #12  
 
Join Date: Feb 2002
Location: Montreux CH
Programs: FB Platinum, M&M FTL, BA Blue
Posts: 9,224
I think you have to work out the sweet spots that correspond to your immediate and general needs. I find a lot of value in niche routes, like SU to various parts of Russia, intra Asia awards, domestic US awards (although I haven't done any of those recently, I don't go to the US any more) and promo awards. There are definitely good deals in there. But they won't be found on a route like Paris-Geneva, or many similar in Europe. These can be bought cheaply for cash.
Concerto is offline  
Old Mar 13, 19, 3:50 am
  #13  
yno
 
Join Date: Mar 2011
Programs: FB, M&M, Marriot, IHG, Club Carlson
Posts: 339
We got for this summer tickets AMS-ORD at a cost of 195€ in taxes + 52500 miles, in Y. Compared to the tickets costing 980€ (without luggage, so more like 1030€). I consider this as an ok deal
yno is online now  
Old Mar 13, 19, 5:41 am
  #14  
 
Join Date: Apr 2005
Programs: Eurostar Carte Blanche, SBB-CFF-FFS GA-AG, SNCF Grand Voyageur LeClub
Posts: 6,745
Originally Posted by yno View Post
We got for this summer tickets AMS-ORD at a cost of 195€ in taxes + 52500 miles, in Y. Compared to the tickets costing 980€ (without luggage, so more like 1030€). I consider this as an ok deal
Depending on what status you have with FB, to get 52,500 miles you have spent between 6,500 and >13,000 EUR to get those miles. Optimal case, 6,500 EUR spend on previous tickets + taxes of 195 EUR for a ticket that would have cost 1,030 all in, that is a discount of 8.5% on your ticket price.

Entirely up to you if for you that is a good deal or not.

(For comparison, I snatched a Premiere award CDG-LAX for 200,000 miles plus EUR 305 in taxes. Paid fare would have been EUR 12,846. To gain those 200,000 miles I had to spend EUR 25,000, so all in all I paid EUR 25,305 to get a ticket that if bought would have cost EUR 12,846. Very sweet deal. But I realise that this is an extreme example: I really only needed a one-way, so the EUR equivalent was relatively expensive, On a return basis the CDG-LAX priced out at EUR 8,028. And I think if dynamic pricing had worked correctly it would have been 350,000 miles like on most other flights that only sell the top fares.)
fifty_two likes this.

Last edited by San Gottardo; Mar 13, 19 at 5:53 am
San Gottardo is offline  
Old Mar 13, 19, 6:39 am
  #15  
 
Join Date: May 2018
Posts: 376
Originally Posted by San Gottardo View Post
Depending on what status you have with FB, to get 52,500 miles you have spent between 6,500 and >13,000 EUR to get those miles. Optimal case, 6,500 EUR spend on previous tickets + taxes of 195 EUR for a ticket that would have cost 1,030 all in, that is a discount of 8.5% on your ticket price.

Entirely up to you if for you that is a good deal or not.

(For comparison, I snatched a Premiere award CDG-LAX for 200,000 miles plus EUR 305 in taxes. Paid fare would have been EUR 12,846. To gain those 200,000 miles I had to spend EUR 25,000, so all in all I paid EUR 25,305 to get a ticket that if bought would have cost EUR 12,846. Very sweet deal. But I realise that this is an extreme example: I really only needed a one-way, so the EUR equivalent was relatively expensive, On a return basis the CDG-LAX priced out at EUR 8,028. And I think if dynamic pricing had worked correctly it would have been 350,000 miles like on most other flights that only sell the top fares.)
I agree with you. La Premiere has high redemption fares from 200.000 and up, but the cash value of these tickets is also very high. So in the end it's the most value for money in my opinion. I'm also saving up for a La Premiere ticket since i will never ever spend 10.000 euro or so on a single flight ticket. It's a once in a lifetime experience. Plus I like the idea to save up for something, the satisfaction later is bigger.
San Gottardo likes this.
BobTL is offline  

Thread Tools
Search this Thread
Search Engine: