It is well known that award flight bookings with Miles&More only really make sense in business class. This is mostly due to the very high surcharges that are incurred on award flights with Lufthansa and some other airlines. Even if you fly business class, booking one of the popular mileage bargains, you’d still usually end up paying over €500 in fees, taxes and surcharges.
However, there are also exceptions. This article shows that Miles&More also offers award flights with few additional payments and certain routes for so few miles, that even economy class tickets may be worth it.
Table of Contents
- ANA’s “Flying Honu” in First Class for 65,000 miles + €235 o/w
- Mileage Bargains: Long-Haul Business Class for 55,000 Miles r/t
- LOT Long-Haul Flights with Surcharges of Roughly €50 o/w
- Air Canada Lie-Flat Business Class Within Canada for 20,000 Miles + €60 o/w
- Copa Business Panama ⇿ North/South America for 30,000 Miles + €50 o/w
- Ethiopian Airlines Business from Europe to Africa for 35,000 Miles + €120 o/w
- ANA Business Class Flights Within Asia for 35,000 Miles + €200 o/w
- Asiana Business Class from Honolulu to Seoul for 35,000 miles + €325 o/w
- Avianca Business Class to South America for 71,000 Miles + €39 o/w
- Lufthansa Business Class from Brazil to Europe for 71,000 Miles + €10 o/w
- EVA Air Business Class from Taipei to Europe for 71,000 Miles + €70 o/w
- United Flights Within the USA for 15,000 Miles + €6 o/w
- SAS to Svalbard for 17,000 Miles + €35 o/w
- Air New Zealand within Oceania for 17,000 Miles + €65 o/w
- Tips for Booking Awards
ANA’s “Flying Honu” in First Class for 65,000 miles + €235 o/w
ANA’s Airbus A380 are exclusively intended for their service between Tokyo-Narita and Honolulu. Dubbed Flying Honu, these aircraft feature a 4-class configuration, including eight First Class Suites. You can book one of these for 65,000 miles plus an additional US$242 (~€223) in surcharges:
For a few Euros more, you can even add a connecting flight to e.g. Seoul. The amount of miles doesn’t increase, as long as the destination remains in the Far-East region (Japan, South Korea, China, Hong Kong, Macau, Taiwan).
By the way, these airplanes are not called Flying Honu without a reason. The word is Hawaiian for their native turtle species. And this is what the planes look like:
In theory, you could also book Business Class flights for 35,000 miles and about the same surcharges. However, we weren’t able to find any available Business seats on these
Mileage Bargains: Long-Haul Business Class for 55,000 Miles r/t
Every month, the Lufthansa Group airlines and LOT publish their mileage bargains, offering certain routes at highly discounted prices. Lufthansa usually offers the biggest variety of origins (anywhere in Europe) and destinations (usually 4-6 long-haul destinations), while LOT offers the cheapest prices (sadly, with low availability and only departing from Warsaw). Generally, the long-haul business class deals are the best, by far. If Business Class isn’t available, you should take note of the Premium Economy offers.
At Travel-Dealz, we keep track of the current mileage bargains every month and even provide direct links to available dates:
LOT Long-Haul Flights with Surcharges of Roughly €50 o/w
LOT has blossomed from a small airline and continues to grow steadily. Its business class is quite competitive and as mentioned before, the low taxes, fees and surcharges are very appealing on long-haul routes.
Even without their bargains, you’ll do well to book a LOT flight. To give you two examples, you could fly from Budapest to Seoul for 71,000 miles and HUF 19,500 (~€51) in business class. A business class flight from Kraków to Chicago would cost 56,000 miles and PLN 508 (~€109) (oneway).
Here’s an overview of some of LOT’s long-haul routes:
Air Canada Lie-Flat Business Class Within Canada for 20,000 Miles + €60 o/w
Air Canada uses wide-body planes on many of their transcontinental routes, from the East Coast to Vancouver (and some other routes). The main advantage of these planes is that their business class features lie-flat seats. You could be sitting in one of those seats for only 20,000 miles and roughly CA$80 (~€54) in fees and surcharges.
You can also fly in economy class for 15,000 miles and the same surcharges, but this only makes sense if you need to fly on a certain date and there isn’t any availability in business class (which will often be the case).
Copa Business Panama ⇿ North/South America for 30,000 Miles + €50 o/w
Copa Airlines’s hub is located in Panama, which belongs to Miles&More’s Central America/Caribbean region. That means that flights to South America and North America cost 30,000 miles. You could, e.g. fly all the way south to Buenos Aires or Montevideo, and enjoy the 7-hour flight sitting in their lie-flat business class seats for only 30,000 miles + €50-75 in fees & surcharges in each direction.
Sadly, the flights that feature the lie-flat seats (operated by Boeing 737 MAX) have really low availability. Your best shot of finding a seat is roughly one month before the flight. If you’re willing to sit in Copa’s recliner-seat business class, you’ll have more options.
By the way, considering the high price level in that region, paying 17,000 miles + roughly US$55 (~€51) for an economy class ticket can also be a good option, especially if there isn’t any availability in business class on the dates that you want to fly.
Ethiopian Airlines Business from Europe to Africa for 35,000 Miles + €120 o/w
If you are planning a trip to Africa, Ethiopian can be a great option. The surcharges are very low and Ethiopian has connections to numerous African cities. However, you have to be careful because Miles&More divides the African continent into two zones. If you are planning to fly from Europe to Cape Town, for example, then Ethiopian with a stop in Addis Ababa would not be a good alternative, as 3 zones would be served here and the mileage values would increase significantly.
Hence, our recommendation: If you want to use Ethiopian, stay in the “Middle East/ Caucasus/ North & Central Africa” zone. Here are some cities that you could fly from/to for just 35,000 miles + about €100-150:
ANA Business Class Flights Within Asia for 35,000 Miles + €200 o/w
If you’re looking for a business class flight within Asia, prices can sometimes be extraordinarily high, especially on the longer routes – after all, Asia is a huge continent. A flight from Singapore to Tokyo, for instance, takes almost as long as a flight from Europe to Boston. Booking such a flight with ANA only costs 35,000 miles and about €200 in surcharges (in each direction). If you book well in advance, you’ll be able to save quite a lot of money.
Here are some of ANA’s destinations in Asia:
Asiana Business Class from Honolulu to Seoul for 35,000 miles + €325 o/w
This Sweet Spot is essentially the same as ANA’s A380 one: A Premium Class Flight from Hawaii to Far-East. However, availability is a bit better to find in Asiana’s Business Class from Honolulu to Seoul. You’re only paying US$232 (~€214) for a one-way flight departing from Hawaii – and a bit more in the other direction:
Since Asiana and Korean Air are going to merge in the coming years (subject for regulatory approval), this Sweet Spot is going to disappear shortly.
Avianca Business Class to South America for 71,000 Miles + €39 o/w
Avianca’s basically non-existent fees can save you a lot of money if you’re flying to Colombia. Though their business class is not exactly the best, and they don’t serve many destinations in Europe, a €39 business class ticket does have a certain appeal.
A one-way from Europe to South America (and vice versa) will cost you 71,000 miles. Not a small amount, but if you’re interested in one ov Avianca’s routes, at least you get to save big on the fees.
Currently, Avianca is flying to Bogotá from London, Madrid, and Barcelona:
Lufthansa Business Class from Brazil to Europe for 71,000 Miles + €10 o/w
You will only find a few flight examples with Lufthansa in this article. This is primarily due to the high surcharges of mostly €200 to €300 per direction. However, there are a few exceptions, namely routes where fuel surcharges are prohibited. For instance, a one-way flight from São Paulo or Rio de Janeiro to Europe only costs 71,000 miles + R$53 (~€9):
Two people would only pay 53,250 miles per person using the Companion Award.
EVA Air Business Class from Taipei to Europe for 71,000 Miles + €70 o/w
EVA Air is a 5-star airline according to the Skytrax Rating. Our former editor Adrian has already flown in EVA Air’s economy class and gave it an excellent rating. Dennis flew in its premium economy and also found it to be very good. Currently, EVA Air offers the following routes to Europe:
EVA Air limits their fuel surcharges in general and as a result, the surcharges are lower than with Lufthansa, Swiss, etc. However, the prices for the surcharges from Europe have almost tripled in the last 3 years! In 2019, a flight from Europe to Taipei only cost around €70, now it’s closer to €200. From Taipei to Europe, however, you can still travel very cheaply with only about €70 in fees. Flying from Asia to Europe costs 71,000 miles.
United Flights Within the USA for 15,000 Miles + €6 o/w
The American airline and founding member of the Star Alliance hardly charges any fees on some flights. One of these are the domestic flights (including Hawaii). As long as you stay within US territory, you’ll merely pay 15,000 miles and roughly US$6 (~€6), no matter if your flight takes an hour or 7 hours.
SAS to Svalbard for 17,000 Miles + €35 o/w
SAS award flights are a dark horse when it comes to saving on surcharges. Admittedly, availability isn’t great, but if you book well in advance (or at short notice) and are a bit flexible about dates, you should be able to find some flights.
If you’re planning to fly to Scandinavia, SAS is a cheap option. Not only will you be flying non-stop to cities such as Copenhagen, but also only pay roughly €30 in each direction. The real highlight, however, is flying to Svalbard for only 17,000 miles + €35.
This is where SAS flies to in Europe:
Air New Zealand within Oceania for 17,000 Miles + €65 o/w
Award flights with New Zealand’s airline have very low surcharges. Miles&More combines Australia, New Zealand and Oceania in one zone. This results in nice redemption opportunities. For example, you could fly from Perth to Fiji via Auckland for 17,000 miles and about €65 in fees.
Unfortunately, Air New Zealand’s award flight availability is disastrous. Travel classes other than economy are actually never available, and in some cases, many Air New Zealand routes cannot be found at all. For example, the route from Auckland to Los Angeles would be a great option, but neither Miles&More’s website nor United’s website show availability.
Tips for Booking Awards
- Find availability: The Miles&More award flight search often does not show all availabilities. It can make sense to search via United.com instead.
- Finding further availabilities: It can also make sense to check the individual segments of the desired routing for availability. To book these, you’ll probably have to call.
- Book as far in advance as possible: depending on the airline, award flights are released up to 355 days in advance. If you plan a trip well in advance, then you can count on the best availability. From then on, things will probably only get worse.
- Telephone reservation: Often certain routings cannot be booked online. You then have to call Miles&More for this. However, you can check availability via United beforehand.
Cover Picture: © ANA