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shebamiles with Ethiopian air

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Can someone explain to me the way Shebamiles work w Ethipoian Airlines? When I read their calculator charts for how many award miles you need to fly free, it looks like a very generous policy, and I got all excited thinking I may be able to afford another trip. I have over 12,000 award miles from a trip to Africa last year and I am really yearning to return. It says you can fly from London to Johannesburg for less than 12,000 award miles. However, I have been told that my miles are not sufficient for a free ticket from anywhere to anywhere. I realize frequent flyer miles are usually not mile for mile, but this sure seems the way their materials read on their website. I would appreciate any clarification from a Fodorite, since ET just said no without any clarification. Thanks in advance.

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