How Many Miles for a Free Flight by Airline

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Years in the past, airline loyalty applications printed fastened award charts and members may simply accumulate miles towards a set purpose — whether or not that was a free flight to Hawaii or to Europe.

These days, award flight pricing is way much less predictable. Each main U.S. airline now costs award flights inside a spread of printed award charges, dynamically based mostly on anticipated demand or utterly based mostly on the money price of the flight. A rising variety of airways have even eradicated award charts totally.

What number of miles you want for a free flight goes to depend upon the airline and which elements it elements into award pricing. Let’s dig into every airline’s present award pricing insurance policies so you may know what number of miles you could want on your subsequent award flight.

Should you’re on the lookout for data on a selected airline, be happy to leap forward:

American Airways

American Airways is among the few U.S. airline loyalty applications that also publishes an award chart. Nevertheless, American not often sticks to those printed award charges. As a substitute, it has carried out a dynamic award pricing system via using Net Particular awards.

In case your dates are versatile and you do not thoughts making a cease, you may at present guide an American Airways award flight for as few as 6,000 AAdvantage miles every approach. Nevertheless, if you wish to fly nonstop, be ready to pay much more miles.

Award costs can climb approach off the award chart to guide a enterprise or firstclass award on a well-liked worldwide route. For instance, American’s award chart costs enterprise class awards between the U.S. and the South Pacific between 80,000 and 195,000 miles. Nevertheless, American Airways at present expenses as a lot as 375,000 miles every solution to guide a nonstop enterprise class award from Los Angeles to Sydney:

Delta Air Strains

For routes the place Delta desires to compete, you’ll find surprisingly low award charges. For instance, flights between Seattle and San Francisco price as few as 2,500 SkyMiles every approach. Even firstclass awards from Seattle to Cancun can value as little as 10,000 SkyMiles one-way.

As with American, award charges can shortly climb into the six digits, particularly for nonstop and premium cabin awards. For instance, Delta repeatedly expenses 320,000 SkyMiles one-way to guide a nonstop flight between Atlanta and Rome in Delta One enterprise class.

United Airways

Like Delta, United Airways not publishes an award chart. Nevertheless, United usually presents far more predictable award pricing, for higher and worse.

United award costs usually mirror the previous award chart. For instance, United award flights to Europe usually price 30,000 miles every approach in economic system, 45,000 miles in premium economic system or 60,000 miles in enterprise class:

Nevertheless, now that United would not publish an award chart, the airline is free to supply much-cheaper awards. For instance, as of the time of writing, you may guide an award between Newark and West Palm Seashore for simply 5,000 miles every approach or fly from Los Angeles and Honolulu, Hawaii for simply 9,500 miles every approach.

Nevertheless, you may need to guide prematurely. United usually expenses a mileage surcharge for awards booked inside 21 days of departure. Final-minute awards booked inside 7 days of departure can value even larger.

Southwest Airways

Southwest makes use of a fare-based award pricing mannequin. To calculate what number of factors you want for a free flight on Southwest, multiply the bottom fare for a money flight by 81-83 factors.

For instance, a $39 one-way intra-Hawaii fare with a base fare of $27 requires simply 2,240 factors plus a $5.60 safety price. However, if you’ll find a flight with decrease base fare, it will require even fewer factors to guide.

Alaska Airways

In comparison with different U.S.-based mileage applications, what number of miles you want for a free flight on Alaska Airways is a little more predictable. Alaska Mileage Plan makes use of an award chart for award flights.

For home flights (excluding Hawaii) and flights to Canada, Alaska’s award pricing will depend on how far and during which cabin you fly. Nevertheless, inside every distance band, award costs can differ considerably.

Award flights below 700 miles in distance begin at simply 5,000 miles every approach. On peak award dates, awards can price as a lot as 30,000 miles for a similar route.

Coast-to-coast award flights value as little as 12,500 Mileage Plan miles every approach in economic system or 30,000 miles in firstclass.

Alaska publishes a separate award chart for flights to Hawaii. Financial system awards vary between 15,000 and 50,000 miles, and firstclass awards differ between 40,000 and 80,000 miles every approach. Even lengthy journeys from the U.S. East Coast to Hawaii can price simply 20,000 miles one-way.


JetBlue makes use of variable award pricing that is tied to the money value of the ticket. As with Southwest, that implies that there is no restrict to how low-cost JetBlue award flights can go. We have even seen JetBlue value awards as little as 400 TrueBlue factors one-way throughout a current flash sale. Nevertheless, you may usually must pay no less than 2,800 factors for the most affordable fares.

The draw back of revenue-based pricing is that awards are very costly when money costs are very costly. For instance, throughout high-demand instances, JetBlue’s Mint enterprise class can price over 169,000 TrueBlue factors every approach.

Hawaiian Airways

Like Alaska Airways, Hawaiian Airways publishes an award chart with a spread of costs. What number of miles you want for a free flight on Hawaiian will depend on your origin and vacation spot areas.

Not surprisingly, the most affordable Hawaiian Airways flights are between Hawaiian islands. These awards begin at simply 7,500 miles in economic system or 15,000 miles in firstclass. However, on some flights, you could must pay as much as 20,000 miles for economic system or 30,000 miles for firstclass.

Flights between Hawaii and the mainland begin at 20,000 miles every approach. Nevertheless, awards can climb as excessive as 90,000 miles every approach for West Coast flights and as much as 130,000 miles every approach for East Coast flights.

There are even a number of methods it can save you additional factors. You possibly can achieve entry to unique discounted flights if you’re a:

  • Hawaiian Airways Pualani Platinum elite member.

  • Hawaiian Airways Pualani Gold elite member.
    Premier Membership member.

  • Hawaiian Airways® Enterprise Mastercard® cardholder.

For instance, from the mainland West Coast to Hawaii, normal HawaiianMiles members must pay no less than 20,000 miles. Nevertheless, eligible elite members and credit score cardholders pay simply 17,500 miles.

Which program presents the very best award charges

Now that we have accomplished an summary of how every airline costs award flights, let’s evaluate award charges on three of the most-popular home U.S. routes. To check last-minute charges vs. advanced-purchase charges, we pulled award charges for flights booked 3, 30 and 90 days to departure.

To do an apples-to-apples comparability, we’re solely evaluating nonstop flights on these routes. For airways which have a number of flights per day, we’re utilizing the most affordable award value of the day. Airways that do not function the route aren’t included within the comparability.

First, let’s evaluate costs for award flights from New York to Los Angeles:

Subsequent, this is what number of miles you may want for a free flight from Los Angeles to Honolulu:

Lastly, let’s evaluate award charges on flights from Chicago to New York:

Find out how to maximize your rewards

You need a journey bank card that prioritizes what’s necessary to you. Listed here are our picks for the greatest journey bank cards of 2021, together with these greatest for:

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