What are ff miles worth in cents/mile?

 
Old Oct 5, 10, 3:36 am
  #16  
 
Join Date: Sep 2009
Programs: UA 1K
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Mileage value becomes greater if you are booking international flights or from small domestic cities that are costly to reach UA hubs. Many travelers have learned to maximize the mileage value by being selective on when you use them. Also being 1K lets you optomize the use of your miles- we book flights with mileage, but replace them with bought flights when the prices go down. Cancelling mileage flights have no cost at 1K level, and availability of mileage flights are much better at the 1K level.
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Old Oct 5, 10, 6:16 am
  #17  
 
Join Date: Sep 2010
Location: Arlington, VA
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Is there a consensus on how to value RDMs used to upgrade to domestic F? I'm 2p, so no SWUs, but no copay either. I only ever use RDMs for 15,000 mile upgrades on flights over 2000 miles -- E.g. IAD-LAX,SFO,LAS, or SEA. FWIW I'm tall (6'3") and value the extra recline for my back, but wonder if I'm squandering a "better" use for my miles.
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Old Oct 5, 10, 7:42 am
  #18  
 
Join Date: Dec 2008
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Mileage follows the rules of elasticity vs inelasticity. If someone is rich and willing to fork out $10k for an international flight in F, then 100k miles really are worth $10,000 ($0.10/mile) and I should be able to, theoretically, sell miles to that rich person at, or just less than, that rate. However, if I'm incredibly poor, but really really really want to go to Africa from Europe, then I'd have to take the cost for the cheapest economy flight (on any airline) I can find and divide it by the number of miles for an economy flight.

Applying it to my trip below, it would be $1100 on Emirates/60k AA miles = $0.0183/mile.


I recently redeemed 100k (AA) miles for CDG-CPT one-way and NAI-CDG one-way on BA in F. This would have cost $9905.

However, I would have never spent this much of my own money for luxury, so I value the miles usage based on what I would personally be willing to pay, which might be around $2000, or $0.02/mile for a comparable flight. In other words, if I had bought economy tickets for $1100 and the agent offered an upgrade to longhaul F, I would probably shell out $450 each way for luxury pods vs stuffy coach when traveling long haul for pleasure with my wife.

You could also factor in the opportunity cost of what you would have earned (how many miles) if you were to pay for the flight. The die hard would also factor in the potential risk factor that you wouldn't hit status by booking a long haul award flight.

Last edited by tripaddict; Oct 5, 10 at 7:56 am
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Old Oct 5, 10, 8:36 am
  #19  
 
Join Date: May 2005
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I value them with approx. 2 cents per mile. My reasoning is that I would pay twice the lowest economy fare to fly in business or first class. So if a fare is approx. 1k US$ and I can get the same flight for 100000 k miles and sit in business then I consider this a fair deal.
Also this is then a confirmed C or F seat and no waiting game for upgrades to clear.
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Old Oct 5, 10, 9:24 am
  #20  
 
Join Date: Jul 2007
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I put a little higher value on my miles, approximately 3 cents/mile. I only use my miles to fly to Canada, with tickets ranging between $700-$850 for non-stops. Cheers
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Old Oct 5, 10, 10:05 am
  #21  
 
Join Date: Sep 2007
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Has been said many times on this thread - it all depends on what you want/need and have...

http://boardingarea.com/blogs/unroad...s-redemptions/
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Old Oct 5, 10, 10:20 am
  #22  
 
Join Date: Aug 2005
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Originally Posted by tripaddict View Post
I recently redeemed 100k (AA) miles for CDG-CPT one-way and NAI-CDG one-way on BA in F. This would have cost $9905.

However, I would have never spent this much of my own money for luxury, so I value the miles usage based on what I would personally be willing to pay, which might be around $2000, or $0.02/mile for a comparable flight. In other words, if I had bought economy tickets for $1100 and the agent offered an upgrade to longhaul F, I would probably shell out $450 each way for luxury pods vs stuffy coach when traveling long haul for pleasure with my wife.
This is a reasonable way to look at it. Of course, one certainly can't count on being offered upgrades for sale, and I enjoy knowing for sure I'll be in F or C.

What hasn't yet been mentioned is that there is usually a real cost associated with earning miles. For instance, I pay Chase $140 per year for their MP Platinum card, which gives me vastly more miles than their free cards. To get some of those miles, I fill up my gas tank at stations with pay-at-the-pump (because that doubles the number of miles earned), and these are usually a few cents/gallon more expensive than paying cash at competitors. Finally, often I fly UA even if their tickets cost a bit more.

The bottom line is that if I spend, say, 135k miles on an F ticket to Asia, the total cost is about the same as (or maybe a bit less than) an economy ticket. But I like F better, and what "pays" for the added value of F is really just having to suffer the inconvenience of using saver awards and of waiting for my mileage balance to grow large enough to buy vacations for the whole family in F. To me, that's a very reasonable bargain. The deal is less a financial one than a psychological one, so for me it's hard to conclude what the financial worth of miles is.
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