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Answers (3)

MEL – EWR on UA: Pay cash or use miles?

MEL – EWR on UA: Pay cash or use miles?

  1. Anonymous

    Hey folks,

    I tried to use Lucky’s “value chart” to calculate whether or not it would make sense to spend some United MileagePlus miles on an upcoming ticket from Melbourne to Newark.

    For my travel date of July 10:
    • The lowest economy fare I see is about $1,200.
    • The lowest economy award ticket I see is 85,000 miles + $85 in fees.

    I’m not sure I understand the value chart… or how these things are calculated to assess value. I tried to calculate the value by multiplying the total miles required for the award ticket (85,000) by Lucky’s valuation (1.4 cents per mile) and ended up with the following:

    (85,000 x 1.4) / 100 = 1,190, or a valuation of about $1,190 for the miles themselves on this flight.

    Adding in the fees, it would get me up to $1,275 as the real monetary cost of an award ticket for this particular flight.

    Did I do the math right?

    Thanks for your inputs!

  2. Anonymous

    Well, economy awards are typically not good redemptions, so that’s half the struggle. The other is that you’re looking at a [B]Standard[/B] award, not [B]Saver[/B], so you’re paying double the miles. That makes it a doubly bad deal.

    So your math isn’t wrong, it’s just a poor redemption value [I]if[/I] you value your miles at the same rate Ben does.

    If you can connect in Asia, you can do the same trip in business class for 80k miles. Rather than MEL>LAX>EWR, you’d do MEL>PVG>TPE>JFK. It doesn’t take all that much longer, and would almost certainly be more fun!

  3. Not-good-at-math

    Wow! Thanks for the great advice!

    I found a flight that is MEL > BKK > TPE > JFK and all of the flights are operated by Asian carriers (Thai and EVA). To fly business on those carriers for only 80,000 seems like a ridiculously good deal…

    Thanks again for the help!

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