Lucky’s Perplexed? Say it Ain’t So

How do you get the most bang for your hard-earned miles?

It’s a question that can cause paralysis (by analysis) and even Post Redemption Anxiety (PRA). And the struggle with this question isn’t solely confined to frequent flying noobs – as evidenced by fellow BA blogger Lucky’s (aka Ben Schlappig) recent post on the subject – Struggling With The Relative Value Of Miles? – which he leads off with:

The more miles I redeem, the more I feel like I struggle with the most basic award booking decisions.

Lucky goes on to analyze his own thought process with regard to his redemption options from Amsterdam to Chicago using either Air France FlyingBlue, Alaska Mileage Plan or Delta SkyMiles miles. (By the way, Lucky wrote another post about his Amsterdam to Chicago flight that really is a must-read – MH17 Hits Close To Home For Me Today).

He ends the post asking his readers:

Does anyone else struggle with redeeming miles when it makes sense in absolute terms but not necessarily relative terms? Am I totally crazy?

If Lucky, a full-time miles and points blogger and international traveler extraordinaire, can’t decide how best to utilize his miles what hope do the rest of us have?

Fellow travelers and readers of his blog are quick to the “rescue” though.

The difference in fuel surcharges is $250… that’s definitely worth saving Alaska miles. Go with FlyingBlue. ~Lantean

If you’re that bothered do Egyptair AMS – CAI – JFK then fly domestically to ORD. Shouldn’t take that long and should be a great value on some mileage program ~Alvin | Hong Kong Airline News

Wait five and a half months and book a one way using Delta Skymiles when the ability to book one way awards starts on January 1st. There will be no angst over relative value of miles if you use Skymiles ~Markj

Keep following your heart. The time will come when these kinds of decisions are obvious (e.g. I’ll use the miles on a less desirable available option because you just want to get there over anything else). I’ve found that with age and responsibility ( read: wife and kids), the luxury to spend time on these options continue as mental stimulation, but cease from a practical standpoint. ~Eric bozinny

See Lucky, the best option is obviously to use the Air France FlyingBlue miles. Or fly EgyptAir. Or Delta.


In light of recent events (again, I really encourage you to read Lucky’s other post about his Amsterdam to Chicago trip) this is a trivial decision in the big scheme of things. But we make less interesting trivial decisions all of the time, and will continue to have to do so.

So, which miles would you have suggested Lucky use?

Read the post and comments in its entirety: Struggling With The Relative Value Of Miles?

Image: “Amsterdam Airport Schiphol” by Archangel12. CC BY 2.0.

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