Last week I created a new tool that will allow you to run one search between two airports and retrieve the award levels from several different loyalty programs at the same time. You can use it to determine which program has the cheapest awards, evaluate your options for transferring points, and potentially avoid fuel surcharges. I’ve also included links to some of my posts on award travel routing rules. The following programs are included:
- United Airlines — MileagePlus
- American Airlines — AAdvantage
- Delta Air Lines — SkyMiles
- Alaska Airlines — MileagePlan
- British Airways — Executive Club/Avios
- Air Canada — Aeroplan
- Singapore Airlines — KrisFlyer
The tool is based on assigning airports to regional categories before looking up the award levels. This means that there may be airports within a particular region that aren’t served by a particular program.
For an absurd example, Delta publishes the countries in each region even after removing the actual award charts. These include service to Cuba, North Korea, Monaco, Liechtenstein, and Vatican City. The first two face U.S. economic sanctions, and the last three don’t even have airports. I prefer to err on the side of caution and include such airports rather than omit results that could be perfectly valid if new service is later added. That way I only have to track changes to the award program, not the individual routes added or discontinued. As most major cities are served by every major alliance I hope that extraneous results will be provided for only a small number of queries.
One exception I’ve made is for Alaska Airlines. It publishes different award charts for each partner, which is almost like saying they have 14 loyalty programs instead of one. Because you can only combine one partner at a time with connecting flights on Alaska or Horizon Air, I can easily limit the partner award charts to just a few cities each. I’ve done this for most (not all) partners.
Among other intelligent features you’ll find on the results page:
- Comparisons of award travel using American AAdvantage miles before and after devaluation.
- Discounted short haul awards on American and United.
- Warning about the loss of 4,500-Avios awards within North America.
- Discounted awards within Vietnam (Delta), Japan (United), and Colombia (American), etc.
- Dynamic tables that eliminate rows for programs that don’t publish an award.
Here is just a small portion of the results for a sample search from San Francisco to Sydney.
There are a few things I haven’t accomplished:
- Seasonal off-peak awards for American Airlines are not displayed because those are date-dependent, and this tool doesn’t request dates. Yet.
- Discounted awards on Delta are not displayed because they aren’t published with firm distance-based criteria. Instead they’re based on the price of a paid fare.
- I haven’t included short haul awards on Air Canada because they’re too complicated, much like Alaska’s chart. But I will eventually add Alaska’s short haul awards on PenAir.
- The distance calculator is off by a few miles on longer itineraries, but I don’t believe this will affect the British Airways award levels for most queries.
- I want to eventually offer a choice to present the cash value of an award based on estimated cost per mile, which you’ll have the option to update with your own measure.
Beyond these updates, I also want to include award charts for Lufthansa (Miles & More), ANA (Mileage Club), and Air France/KLM (Flying Blue). I have no plans to include award levels for revenue-based programs like Southwest Rapid Rewards.
Please try out the tool and share your feedback. To find it in the future, visit START HERE > Search Airline Award Charts from the navigation menu. Any suggestions, thoughts, or ideas? Leave a comment or send me an email.