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has anyone done the Math of how much spend for free flights/upgrades?

has anyone done the Math of how much spend for free flights/upgrades?

Old Sep 21st, 2005, 10:44 AM
  #1  
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has anyone done the Math of how much spend for free flights/upgrades?

Has anyone ever done the math to see what actual 'spend' is required for upgrades or free flights?

Just to give an idea I had an upgrade from Coach to Business from Singapore to Sydney with Singapore Airlines for 25,000 miles ( to get those miles I guess I spent about USD 2,000 with them ), I was quite pleased but wondered if anyone had ever sat down with a calculaor and worked out what you roughly need to spend to get what and if there is a big difference between airlines ?

I am posting this on the Aitrlines Board too.
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Old Sep 21st, 2005, 12:39 PM
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James, I've "done the math" on a couple of ways to think about using frequent flier miles. I use United. I haven't figured out how much I spent for plane tickets to earn those miles, as I get many miles from using my credit card and get bonus for elite status as well.

One of the indicators of whether you are getting your moneys worth out of frequent flier miles is to figure how much each mile is worth. In the US, you "pay" 30,000 miles for a free domestic ticket. Since most flights are $400 or less, your miles are worth a bit more than 1.3 cents.

The frequent flier organizations figure you are doing well if you can do something with your miles that makes them worth 2 cents or more.

I use my miles to upgrade from coach to first class on flights to Asia. The cost of a coach ticket is about $1000; the cost of a business class ticket is about $5000. It costs me 60,000 to upgrade. Thus, each mile is worth about 6.6 cents. (In addititon, I get over 15,000 frequent flier miles plus bonuses for taking the flight.) For me, I consider that a very good deal.
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Old Sep 21st, 2005, 12:45 PM
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OK - Continental flyers require only 25,000 miles for a domestic ticket and that domestic ticket from Houston can run as low as $300 so... that equates to about 1.2 cents per mile. Now I never use my miles for a domestic ticket so maybe the proper barometer is the 50,000 mile Europe trip on Continental. Typical Europe fares from Houston might run $700-800 so maybe its worth 1.4 cents to 1.6 cents per mile.
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Old Sep 21st, 2005, 12:54 PM
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There are quite a lot of replies of the Airlines section, interesting as people seemed to have worked this out well. I must admit I really enjoyed that upgrade!!
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Old Sep 21st, 2005, 12:59 PM
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When we go to Asia we fly EVA Air. So we spend $1300 to fly EVA Air Deluxe Class (a lot like Business but much much cheaper). So we get the 15,000 miles on Continental (EVA is a partner), and of course the 1300 miles by using my credit card- so we spend $1300- fly in Business like comfort- and get 16,300 miles added to my account- now thats a great deal!
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Old Sep 21st, 2005, 01:19 PM
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Bill- what's the pitch on the seats in Eva deluxe econony?
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Old Sep 21st, 2005, 01:25 PM
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Not sure what the number is but I'm 6'2" and I can cross my legs and stretch a bit in these seats. I can sleep in these seats which is saying a lot. I have flown in the middle seat to Asia in coach on a number of airlines and Evergreen Deluxe is a big improvement. In addition they have 2 x 2 seating at the front of the plane and 2 x 4 x 2 further back - so we always get the "2" seating and that also makes a big difference- nobody squezing you in.
Now its not the same as true Business class- but hey you are not shelling out a fortune either in $$$ or buring up your FF miles to get to Business class!
Food and entertainment options are not bad either. As you know I'm a value oriented person- this is value!
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Old Sep 21st, 2005, 01:47 PM
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It's 38", Coach varies by airline from 31/32/33/34 so it makes a big difference, plus as Bill said it's 2x4x2 on the 747-400 in the main area so that is 2 seats less, so instead of 10 seats across there are 8, and even in that area you get those '2' seats which is good. On their new 777-300 Coach would normaly be 9 across but Eva de-luxe is 2x4x2 so on the 777 it's not as wide as the 747-400.

if you want more comfort than normal coach but can't manage a Business Class fare ( like me ) it's a great way to travel !
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Old Sep 21st, 2005, 02:11 PM
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Kathie has the right idea (that's twice today) - we normally do upgrades. However, this February we are flying on Thai using United Mileage Plus miles - 90,000 miles for a $6000 JFK - BKK flight - works out to 6.7 cents per mile. Downside? - our miles were completely wiped out for a while and we are not earning additional miles on this flight. Our next flight to Asia will most likely be on Eva deluxe or equivalent.
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Old Sep 21st, 2005, 02:34 PM
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I use my miles to fly to either Asia, Australia or Greece, which is usually quite expensive, not like London, Paris, etc. We never seem to have enough miles for both of us to upgrade and it wouldn't be fair for me to upgrade and have Eric in coach. And it would be REALLY unfair to have Eric upgrade and not me ;-)

Sometimes we purchase one ticket and use miles for the second one. I've never figured out how much the miles are worth but I try to use them on super expensive fares. We didn't use miles to Japan last year since the tickets were only about $550 each and it didn't seem worth it. And we're not using miles to fly to Kuala Lumpur tomorrow either since I didn't have enough. That's the problem with using your miles, as Craig said, you get wiped out.
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Old Sep 21st, 2005, 03:42 PM
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i am flying china air from honolulu to taipei to bkk...
i purchased my ticket with travelocity and now i want to upgrade to business or first class...any ideas how to do this...
i looked on china air website and it was difficult to navigate and i could not figure it out..

thanks for the help
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Old Sep 21st, 2005, 04:06 PM
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Depends entirely on the fare class of the ticket you bought and the rules of China Air. Travelocity may also have it's own rules regarding changes/cancellation that will apply in addition to China Air's rules.

You should first call Travelocity to see the options they give you. Then call China Air and see the options they give you. Then decide.

It could be as simple as paying the fare difference. Or, you could be required to cancel the existing ticket and pay all cancellation penalties (which have a range from almost nothing to 100%), then buy an entirely new ticket in the class you want. Or anywhere in between.
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Old Sep 21st, 2005, 05:30 PM
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BillT: I think I read that you get 125% miles flying in Evergreen Deluxe. Have you found that to be the case?

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Old Sep 21st, 2005, 07:26 PM
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Anyone have an idea of how Eva Deluxe compares with the new Thai Air premium economy in seat size & leg room?
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Old Sep 21st, 2005, 09:00 PM
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125% only if you hold EVERGREEN GLUB ff card.
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Old Sep 21st, 2005, 09:27 PM
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(Good morning from BKK)
I'm with Kathie on this one. I just used 60k of my UA miles to upgrade to business class from Ord to Bkk yesterday (20th), arriving last night (21st). It's great to be back in Thailand.

I will not use miles for free tickets because I don't EARN more miles when I do that. I also use my UA credit card all the time. Because of my premier executive status w/United, I earn bonus miles for my trips. I'm very satisfied with UAL for the time being.

Carol
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Old Sep 22nd, 2005, 06:38 AM
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JamesA:
As long as we are on the subject of miles & upgrades, have you ever used miles to upgrade on Emirates? I have partner miles via Continental and was wondering if they could be used for an upgrade on Emirates.
Thanks
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