When researching the trip of a million lifetimes, I did an analysis of the two award charts I wanted to use, ANA and American Airlines for their around-the-world multi-stop trips. Their respective websites give the point values and rules.
They charge a different amount of miles depending on how many nautical miles you fly. I took their distance charts, and their miles required for each threshold, and did an analysis where you get the most value per threshold. Yes, there are some thresholds where it is more valuable to do the award on a distance per point basis then other thresholds. The raw spreadsheet is kind of cryptic and looks like this:
ANA points per mile:
AA points per mile:
In a nutshell, I took the minimum and maximum miles that make up the threshold, and then derived a coefficient based on how many miles of that airline it takes to get an award in that threshold. So for ANA, flying 18001 – 20000 nautical miles costs 115,000 ANA points in business. That means at worst you are getting 6.388534 points per mile, and at best 5.75 points per mile at that threshold using ANA. For the same distance, first class will set you back 180,000 ANA points so the coefficient there is 9.999 points per mile at worst and at best 9 points per mile.
For ANA in business class, the best values are:
- The 20001 – 22000 threshold which costs 125,000 ANA points for a points per mile of 6.24 – 5.68.
- The 140001 – 18000 threshold which costs 105,000 ANA points for points per mile of 7.499 – 5.833
- (Relative to the neighboring thresholds) The 7001 – 9000 threshold which costs 68,000 ANA points for a points per mile of 9.712 – 7.555.
For ANA in first class, the best value is:
- The 22001 – 25000 thresholds which costs 220,000 ANA points for a 9.999 – 8.8 points per mile.
For American Airlines in Business Class, the value gets better as you go longer distance:
- 14001 – 20000 threshold is 130,000 AA points for 9.2 – 6.5 points per mile
- 20001 – 25000 threshold is 150,000 AA points for 7.4 – 6 points per mile
- And the best value is 35001 – 50000 threshold which is 220,000 AA points for 6.2 – 4.4 miles per point.
For American Airlines in First Class, the same concept applies:
- 14001 – 20000 threshold is 180,000 AA points for 12.85 – 9 points per mile
- 20001 – 25000 threshold is 230,000 AA points for 11.49 – 9.2 points per mile
- And the best value is 35001 – 50000 threshold which is 320,000 AA points for 9.14 – 6.4 miles per point.
Overall observations are that ANA is a better value for shorter distance awards, and max-out their sweet spot at the ~20,000 nautical mile distance. AA is competitive there and gets better as the more miles you fly.
For the trip of a million lifetimes, we ended up with a 115,000 ANA point award each and a 150,000 AA point award each. We also had a 35,000 United One-Way First Class award described here.
As you all construct your around the world itineraries, I hope this analysis gives you better insight on where the best value is for your mile when using the ANA Round-The-World ticket and AA Oneworld Explorer Award.