Updated 1/29/16 to reflect new Aeroplan award prices effective for awards booked 12/15/15 or later.
Updated 10/6/15 to reflect new ANA award prices effective for awards booked 10/15/15 or later.
In the last few weeks, I have published some comparative charts of Star Alliance award charts. I’m putting all of those charts into this post for easier reference.
You can use any type of Star Alliance miles to book almost any Star Alliance flight. (Swiss, Lufthansa, and Singapore hold back some premium cabin award space for their own members. United gives extra award space to elites and United cardholders.) The 27-member alliance has more than a dozen frequent flyer programs, many of which offer good or great deals on some routes.
I’ve taken the time to make a comprehensive spread sheet of eight programs’ award prices from North America:
- United (on United flights and on partner flights)
- Singapore (on Star Alliance partner flights)
- Avianca LifeMiles
- Air Canada Aeroplan
- Lufthansa Miles & More
These programs were chosen because they all have at least some awards that are really cheap. And other than Copa and LifeMiles, Americans can easily get all these miles through transferable points programs:
- United: Ultimate Rewards
- Copa: no easy way to get the miles yet, but the program is brand new
- Asiana: SPG
- Singapore: ThankYou Points, Ultimate Rewards, Membership Rewards, SPG
- LifeMiles: buy miles for 1.5 cents each
- Aeroplan: Membership Rewards, SPG
- Lufthansa: SPG
- ANA: Membership Rewards, SPG
There are other Star Alliance programs into which Americans can transfer miles–Citi ThankYou Points transfer 1:1 to EVA and Thai miles–but their charts don’t offer any value compared to the eight I’ve selected.
Of course, the charts below only captures one part of an award: its mileage price. The routing rules and fuel surcharges matter too. Here are a few big things that applies to all charts:
- United, Copa, and LifeMiles never collect fuel surcharges. All the others collect fuel surcharges on most awards.
- All programs allow one way redemptions for the prices listed on the charts except ANA. It only allows roundtrip redemptions for double the price on the chart. I used its fictitious “one way price” that you can’t actually book just to more easily compare to the programs that do allow one way bookings.
For specific information on fuel surcharges to each region and other important routing rules, click on the individual posts where I really analyzed awards to each region.
- cheapest awards within the mainland USA, to Canada, to Hawaii, and to Alaska
- cheapest awards to Latin America and the Caribbean
- cheapest awards to Europe
- cheapest awards to Africa and the Middle East
- cheapest awards to North Asia
- cheapest awards to Southeast Asia
- cheapest to the Indian Subcontinent
- cheapest awards to Australia, New Zealand, and Oceania
Searching and Booking the Awards
A truism of miles is that–with few exceptions–award space is equally available to all partners. One corollary is that you can search any award search engine that displays an airline’s award space, and if space is there, you can book it with any partner.
All Star Alliance partner award space is searchable on aeroplan.com. Here’s how to search for award space on aeroplan.com. All the award space you find there is bookable with all the miles discussed in this post. Ignore the price quoted on aeroplan.com. You will pay the price on the award chart of the miles you’re using.
To book, call the airline whose miles you’re using (or go to their website to book online if you can.) Feed the agent the award space you found on aeroplan.com.
Below the award charts show the one way price in thousands of miles from the United States mainland to the region listed for the eight types of miles listed. For information on slashes, click the links above to get more information.