Flight from Europe – which points? Airline Region Award Chart Comparisons
About a month ago I wrote about my interest in comparing different airline award charts from a European perspective in order to better understand where the sweet spots are. There are many complications in doing this: chart devaluations, different region definitions, unequal classes, ease of redeeming miles and varied routing rules. I have tried to find a balance between regions and mileage amounts in my charts.
A few things to keep in mind:
- These charts cover travel from Europe to other regions
- Only programs with Regional Award Charts are compared. Distance based programs will be compared at a later time.
- The charts focus on the various programs at a higher level from a points perspective and take into account the classes, some devaluations and region definitions.
- Charts do not take into consideration routing rules, open jaws and stopovers – those will be covered in separate posts that specifically explain each airline program.
- As of now I have covered some US, European, and South American airline point requirements. More programs will be added and as devaluations happen others will be updated.
- Region Definitions can change dramatically from one program to another. I have aligned the regions as closely as possible.
- United is devaluing their chart at the end of the month so mind the * in the winners column.
So let’s get into the good stuff. The charts are quite wide so you can click on the links below to view or download them as pdf’s.
For both charts I compared American, Delta, United (current and Feb 1 charts), US Airways, Miles and More (Program for Lufthansa, Swiss, etc), Avianca and Turkish programs. I’ve added a column at the end showing the program that requires the least mileage and the runner up.
A few notes:
If the name of the program is in green they allow one way awards (American, Miles and More, Avianca, etc.). Red ones do not. The OW and RT next to the name indicates the mileage indicated is one way or round trip. I stayed true to the way that each program presents their charts. If you think that showing all mileage requirements one way is clearer let me know in the comments.
In the chart below I highlighted some countries which stand out as special per program. There are others depending on your situation and travel plans.
So what do we learn?
US Airways is in the winners circle in 40 out of 54 comparisons! Add that to the fact that they have interesting routing rules (HT to Lucky) and that they are merging with American Airlines which was the winner in 20 out of 54 comparisons. Also I recently wrote about their future double dipping opportunities in 2 alliances which makes me think I need to really stock up on their miles. However, these gracious redemption amounts might change if there is a devaluation in the near future which is a real possibility.
Some surprises include that Turkish was the winner in business class to the Middle East and Central Asia but was also the runner up in many categories.
Additionally, the region definitions are interesting. Here are a couple of great examples:
- American Airlines – you can fly off peak (half the year) from Europe to Hawaii or the Caribbean for 40K round trip.
- US Airways – fly off peak from Europe to Central America for 35K round trip.
What did you find interesting in my Airline Region Award Chart Comparisons? Any new travel plans now that you’ve seen the charts?