The Value of Airline Miles

I did an analysis, post booking out trip, just to see how much our trip cost, had I paid it out of pocket.

Here is the itinerary:

YYZ – Toronto Plane
AC1 YYZ NRT Air Canada 787
NRT – Tokyo
OZ101 NRT ICN Asiana 747
OZ745 ICN HKG Asiana A380
HKG – Hong Kong
AI310 HKG ICN Air India 787
AC64 ICN YVR Air Canada 787
AC1136 YVR YYZ Air Canada 777

 

To do all this Scott and I used 300,000 Aeroplan points, and paid about $850 in taxes – total for two people.  That’s an amazing deal, especially considering a west coast flight to SFO now  costs 50,000 points for one person, and we know that can cost up to $900 for a flight, return.

We’re flying:

  • Air Canada
  • Asiana
  • Air India
YYZ > NRT Air Canada $3,848.79 Biz (Lowest)
ICN > YVR > YYZ $11,685.79 Biz (Flexible)
NRT > ICN > HKG Asiana $1,468.04 KRW 1,291,600 Biz (Lowest)
$1,720.82 KRW 1,514,000 Biz (Flexible)
HKG > ICN Air India $526.47 HKD 3,272 Biz (Lowest)
Lowest $5,843.30
1 person
$11,686.60
2 people
Biz (Lowest)
Highest $13,933.08
1 person
$27,866.16
2 people
Biz (Flexible)

Interestingly, the difference between Economy and Executive Class on Air India was just over $200.

3.896 cents to 9.289 cents per point versus, 1.8 cents per point for a $900 flight at 50,000 points.  The higher the cents per mile, the better value.  2 to 5 times in this case depending on the rate.

That’s not all.  Hotel miles can save quite a bit too.

We used 40,000 SPG points for the Sheraton Miyako which is just down the road from Minato-ku.  I think we used 100,000 HHonours points for the Tokyo Hilton which is in the heart of Shinjuku.

Sheraton Miyako $180.21 17,333 JPY 4 $720.84
Tokyo Hilton $269.53 25,925 JPY 2 $539.06
Total $1,259.90

1.8 cents per point at the Sheraton, 0.54 cents per point at Hilton.

So those points can definitely add up!

If you save them up smartly and be aggressive by flying a single airline or it’s partner airlines, and get yourself an airline credit card, then you can earn miles very quickly.

I admit, I did not think that the cost of the flights would be as much as they are.  I think Scott and I are getting great value out of the points I have been able to save up, and a trip of a life time.

We have to figure out where we’re going to stay when we’re not in Tokyo and in Hong Kong.  I am hoping we can save up some points for more free nights in Hong Kong.  We will also use our membership in Disney Vacation Club for one night at Hong Kong Disneyland – which is more about our long term investment in our vacationing.

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