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How many paid trips are needed to earn an award ticket?

How many paid trips are needed to earn an award ticket?

Old Jun 1, 03, 8:01 am
Posts: n/a
How many paid trips are needed to earn an award ticket?

Assuming a European based top tier status member of all *A FFPs flies VIE-MUC-LAX-LAS vv on LH (LAX-LAS vv on UA) and wants to know, which *A FFP has the best earn/spend ratio, here are the results:

1. Paid discounted coach class Ticket/Coach Class award
1,85 Mileage Plus/UA
2,37 Diamond club/BD
3,10 Frecuenta/MX
3,50 Miles & More/LH/OS/LO
3,58 Smiles/RG
3,88 KrisFlyer/SQ
4,18 Spanair Plus/JK
4,62 Aeroplan/AC
5,43 Royal Orchid plus/TG
5,81 EuroBonus/SK
6,20 Asiana Club/OZ
6,65 Mileage Club/NH
8,26 Airpoints/NZ

2. Paid business class Ticket/business class award
1,98 Diamond club/BD
2,63 Mileage Plus/UA
2,63 Miles & More/LH/OS/LO
2,79 Frecuenta/MX
3,13 Spanair Plus/JK
4,58 Smiles/RG
4,72 EuroBonus/SK
4,93 Aeroplan/AC
4,96 KrisFlyer/SQ
5,58 Mileage Club/NH
6,52 Royal Orchid plus/TG
6,94 Airpoints/NZ
7,45 Asiana Club/OZ

3. Paid first class Ticket/first class award
2,06 Diamond club/BD
2,44 Miles & More/LH/OS/LO
2,46 Frecuenta/MX
2,95 Mileage Plus/UA
3,43 Spanair Plus/JK
4,83 Smiles/RG
5,17 Aeroplan/AC
5,72 KrisFlyer/SQ
6,24 Mileage Club/NH
7,28 Royal Orchid plus/TG
7,71 Airpoints/NZ
8,32 Asiana Club/OZ

  • I hope there are no errors in my calculation!
  • Top tier members earning additional perks which are not included in the calculation!
  • Using other carriers and/or routings may lead to other results!
  • Diamond Club offers a cash & miles redemption (1 DC mile goes for around 1,11 cent), which is not included in the comparison!
  • This calculation does not make any assumption about the availability of awards in the respective FFP!
Old Jun 1, 03, 10:41 pm
Join Date: Dec 2001
Posts: 3,045

Very interesting comparison! This of course assumes you fly LH or UA and get their bonuses for flying on their carriers. Hence the 100% bonus for UA elite flyers?

For myself, I hardly fly UA, so I find the earning ability of MX better - 50% status bonus on any *A carrier v. 25% status bonus on any *A carriers with LH. Awards are generally cheaper on MX, with the exception of the FlySmart (?) LH awards. Can't beat 40k from SYD-KUL on NG.

After dealing with most of the program, I find customer service very important, above just earning ability and then award availability also reasonbly important. MX isn't that great, but it will suffice.

BD is an interesting find and warrants further investigation, though I believe membership to their program is restricted (believe you need to fly with them first?) No surprise with Air NZ, a pretty tight program all round, I do like their 70k companion award from SYD-LAX. Which is excellent considering you are earning on NZ in KMs v. Miles. Surprised AC performed so poorly in your analysis.

No surprises re NH, they are very tight when it comes to award miles on discounted tickets, 50% (tour fares), 70% discounted. It's hard to build up when you are earning at such low rates, but the price of their awards on *A carriers are very reasonable.

Asiana is a pretty tight program all round (awards are pricey), but as mentioned in other posts there are definite benefits such as the low ongoing qual rate for status and the pooling of miles.

I'm surprised Thai performed so poorly. I find their award rates not so bad. Do they restrict mile for mile earning? is it 1 for 1? I do like the Thai companion awards, where you can take 2 people on an award and get it discounted if they travel together on an award... good savings available and quite unique.

SQ - i've never liked. I find them very stingy overall, though I haven't done too much analysis. The benefits for being a PPS / Solataire are well worth it though, if you can get there and stay loyal to SQ when choosing them as your preferred airline for crediting of mileage. The virtues of this status were expelled in a recent issue of Inside Flyer which was very interesting.

[This message has been edited by kawoh (edited 06-01-2003).]
kawoh is offline  
Old Jun 2, 03, 2:14 am
Join Date: Apr 2001
Posts: 984
wow this muz be camelot
cranford is offline  
Old Jun 2, 03, 3:24 am
Join Date: Jul 2002
Programs: UA 1MM, SPG Lifetime Platinum, Marriott Gold, IHG Platinum
Posts: 2,796

Thank you, thank you, and again thank you. You've convinced me not to go for *G in all the *A programs. Rather, I will go for *G with BD's Diamond Club and retain *G with Miles and More, Mileage Plus, and PPS Club. It seems like I don't even need to do any additional flying to do so.

"They that can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety
deserve neither liberty nor safety." -- Benjamin Franklin
zvezda is offline  
Old Jun 2, 03, 5:06 am
Join Date: Nov 2002
Location: CH / D
Programs: Amex, Avis, BA, BD, CX, FS, Hertz, HH, IC, LH, NH, RC, RCCL, Sixt, SPG, SQ, UA
Posts: 7,050
Thanks again Patron.
flamboyant 1 is offline  
Old Jun 2, 03, 5:53 am
FlyerTalk Evangelist
Join Date: Jun 2000
Location: Sunny SYDNEY!
Programs: UA Million Miler. (1.9M) Virgin Platinum. HH Diamond + SPG Gold
Posts: 32,289
Lot of work in that table. Thanks Patron.

~ Glen ~

Come visit HERE the most ** FRIENDLY FORUM ** on FlyerTalk. No flame wars, no personal abuse, no substance abuse. Not much of anything really!
ozstamps is offline  
Old Jun 2, 03, 8:39 am
Join Date: Dec 2001
Location: hamburg
Posts: 1,386

great job , patron

i do sincerely wish that all the crybabies that do not have anything to contribute to this board than complaints about your tight moderation style would have something to offer which is of only a friction of the value .

two thumbs up !
sunseeker is offline  
Old Jun 5, 03, 5:40 am
FlyerTalk Evangelist
Join Date: Jul 2002
Location: SE1, London
Posts: 21,823
Nice work Patron!

I'm happy to see empirical evidence that my switch to M&M is the right one - couple with my PPS it makes for a powerful combination.
Swanhunter is offline  
Old Jun 5, 03, 12:13 pm
Join Date: May 2003
Location: LH HON Circle, SQ PPS, BA Gold, Hyatt Diamond, ShangriLa Elite
Posts: 72
Great work.
TanteKaethe is offline  

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