Yesterday I was chatting with my friend about how he wanted to go to Resolute, Nunavut. Obviously, the air fares are exorbitant as very limited airlines fly routes up north. I was just pricing a multi-city Vancouver – Iqaluit – Resolute- Vancouver trip on ITA Matrix.
So I present to you the best economy class redemption in the world (from a numerical standpoint)!
The price comes out to $7,976!
The flights are on First Air which apparently have great service, with hot towels in economy and handwritten notes for things to do like Singapore First Class (see this trip report from Airliners.net). They also happen to partner with Aeroplan, which means this should be redeemable (assuming award space) for 25,000 miles! That is 31 cents value per mile which makes it the
best redemption ever a redemption with a very high “return.” Try and beat that with an economy class redemption!
One thing I just wanted to point out is that miles are definitely great for everyday use. I personally don’t redeem miles for domestic/transborder flights, but that doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t, if it fits your needs. Avios is a great example of that for short trips with sky-high fares (as is this one if you actually lived up north). You can choose to use miles for flights that you would normally pay for if that would save you money. Obviously it isn’t aspirational unlike international first class, but I would assume most people do need air fares.
On the other side of the spectrum, if you do have a limited amount of miles you do want to consider your return on your miles, because your thinking is flawed if you are getting them for free. There is always an opportunity cost for acquiring these miles. So for example, I can choose to redeem 25,000 miles x 5 to the US (florida, la, wherever), where the airfares are around $350 (if you leave from the US), which makes five of these redemptions just around $1750. But that’s the same price for a mini-rtw in business class with aeroplan, while the cost of the retail ticket is significantly higher (and even buying us dividend miles are still going to take you over $2000). So assuming you do have a travel budget and miles, it would be better to purchase those RT tickets to Florida and spend your miles on the business class round the world redemption and not vice versa.
Of course, what is to say that this redemption isn’t aspirational either? Even though it’s economy class, I’m sure to some people the destination and the flights are just as stunning (as a traveller and avgeek).But even a simple Vancouver/Toronto-Iqaluit flight costs over $1500 dollars, and I’m sure many travellers from the North do purchase those fares. So even for everyday travel using miles in this instance is definitely worth it.
A lot of the things that do pester us are definitely #firstworldproblems so while it is nice to talk about 31 cents per mile sometimes you also need to look for a point beyond the miles (bad pun intended) and just enjoy whatever travel you can take. Of course my other real series on Aeroplan Sweet Spots are coming up except the first post I wrote on the series is much sweeter than the other posts I have in mind. But they’re coming along 🙂
Also check out the smoking hot 3.9 cpm UA MR from YYZ here! If you do find a good fare please let me know!