Don’t See Your Origin and/or Destination in an FCF Headline? This Report Was Made For You.

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FCF’s New Connection Widget Makes More Deals Doable. 

When you see an enticing FCF “Sweet Redeem” deal from, say, New York to Madrid, do you Zone Out because you live in Nashville? Or Dallas? Or Chicago?

We say: Zone In—because very often, the connecting flight to the hub we mention in the report (in this case New York) is free in most cases; minus Hawaii and some other edge cases.

What’s a Sweet Redeem Again?

Sweet Redeems are those routes and airlines we find with low-cost Business and First Class mileage award availability. Sweet redeems = sweet dreams. (For FCF’s January A Freudian Analysis of FCF’s “Sweet Redeems” report go here.)

In other words, what else would you call a mileage award ticket that American wants to charge you 270,000 miles for, normally, that is—for a moment in time—115,000? A sweet redeem, yeah?

And very often, too, the same applies on the other side of the Atlantic. So you may want to go to London instead of Madrid. Again, very often, the connection from Madrid to London is free, as long as you’re flying on partners.

This special report is all about those connections, how to know if you can make them happen and how our cool new widget makes it easy to make them happen.

Is This Air Travel’s Best Kept Secret?

If you don’t know about it, YES—as these free connections open up countless opportunities you otherwise don’t realize.

To get the deal, you have to get to the deal. Our new widget’s drop-down menu shows what cities might be compatible with the deal. There are also the lowest mileage amounts you need to pay for the deal and current availability. It’s a one-stop-shop of sweet redeem-ability. Here’s what it looks like below:

WITH NEW FCF WIDGET, SEE BEST DEALS AT A GLANCE:

(See example widget here. And yes, we’d really like your feedback on how it can be much better.)

Quick Case Study #1: See Washington, DC, Think Kansas City

Washington, DC to Brussels in Business Class on United costs 105,000 miles round-trip (57,500 one-way). But you live in Kansas City. End of story? No. For no additional miles you can add a United flight to Washington, DC to hook up with that deal from your departure city.

Washington, DC-Brussels screenshot:

Kansas City-Brussels screenshot (notice the price is the same):

Quick Case Study #2: See Houston-London, Think Amarillo-Copenhagen

What if you don’t want to go to London, but Copenhagen? And what if you live in Amarillo? You can go there via London at no extra cost because of free airline alliance connections.

In effect you’re getting six flight segments for 115,000 miles (57,500 one-way). Amarillo-Houston-London-Copenhagen-London-Houston- Amarillo. That’s amazing value, considering the original deal is lucrative to start with.

Houston-London screenshot:

Amarillo-Copenhagen screenshot (same price as above):

It’s because United and Scandinavian Airlines are both part of Star Alliance. The same applies to American and its oneworld friends, and Delta with its SkyTeam alliance buddies.

WITH NEW FCF WIDGET, SEE POSSIBLE
FREE CONNECTING FLIGHTS AT A GLANCE:

(See example widget here. And yes, we’d really like your feedback on how it can be much better.)

We wrote a special report about this concept last December called “The Art of Skipping Stones,” right here.

This time we’re going deeper. The chart below shows you how to get those free connecting flights when you see an FCF Sweet Redeem Alert. There are also the connecting airlines with info on which flights can be booked online and which have to be booked by phone plus any relevant reward programs in play.

How to read—decode—FCF headlines for lucrative success

These mileage programs below generally offer of free connection to the hub city and onward travel to final European destination.

How To Leverage Sweet Redeem “Bridge Routes” When You Don’t See Your City: To/From Europe

Operating Airline You See in FCF HeadlineBook Sweet Redeems Award and Get Free Connecting Flights With These Operating Airline Mileage Programs in U.S./Canada and European Hub CitiesHow to Book Operating Airline Flights: Online or Call Getting the Operating Airline Miles Through:
American1
Use American in the U.S. or partners (such as British Airways or Iberia) in Europe.

Online
SPG
Delta2


Use Delta in the U.S. or partners (such as Air France and KLM) in Europe.



Online


AMEX, SPG


United3
Use United in the U.S. or partners (such as Lufthansa or SWISS) in Europe.





Online





CHASE, SPG





Lufthansa
(any Miles&More airline)4





Use United in the U.S.






Online for Adria, Austrian, Brussels Airlines, Condor, Croatia Airlines, Eurowings, LOT, Luxair and SWISS; other airlines you have to call.





SPG





Air Canada5





Use United or Air Canada in the U.S./Canada or partners (such as Lufthansa or SWISS) in Europe.






Online





AMEX, SPG





Singapore6





Use United in the U.S. or partners (such as Lufthansa or SWISS) in Europe.






Online for Singapore flights, for partner flights you need to call.





AMEX, CITI, CHASE, SPG





Air France/KLM7

Use Delta in the U.S.

Online

AMEX, CITI, SPG

AMEX = American Express Rewards, CHASE = Chase Ultimate Rewards, CITI = CITI ThankYou, SPG = Starwood.

1 Alaska mileage rates are for American flights only. 2 Delta charges more miles for partner flights, than its own. Virgin Atlantic mileage rates are for Delta flights only. 3 United charges more miles for partner awards if travel on the over-the-water flight is on a partner, for travel with partner airlines within Europe no extra miles are charged, it is at the United rate. 4 Miles&More has the same mileage rate for own and partner flights. 5 Air Canada has the same rate for own and partner flights, but it has two zone mileage rates to Europe. 6 Singapore has two European routes: New York-Frankfurt and Houston-Manchester. 7 Flying Blue, the mileage program for Air France and KLM, charges the same rate for own and partner flights.

Operating Airline You See in FCF HeadlinePossible Better Deal: Book Sweet Redeems Award and Get Free Connecting Flights With These Partners Mileage Programs in U.S./Canada and European Hub CitiesHow to Book via Partner Airline Mileage Programs: Online or Call Get the Partner Airline Miles Through:
American1
Alaska Airlines
Online
SPG
Delta2


Air France / KLM
Online
AMEX, CITI, SPG
Korean
Call
CHASE, SPG
Virgin Atlantic
Call
AMEX, CITI, CHASE, SPG
United3



Air Canada
Online
AMEX, SPG
All Nippon
Online
AMEX, SPG
Asiana
Call
SPG
LifeMiles
Online
SPG
Lufthansa (any Miles&More airline)
Online for Adria, Austrian, Brussels Airlines, Condor, Croatia Airlines, Eurowings, LOT, Luxair and SWISS; other airlines you have to call.
SPG
SingaporeCall
AMEX, CITI, CHASE, SPG
Lufthansa (any Miles&More airline)4



Air Canada
Online
AMEX, SPG
All Nippon
Online
AMEX, SPG
Asiana
CallSPG
LifeMiles
Online
SPG
United
Online
CHASE, SPG
Singapore
CallAMEX, CITI, CHASE, SPG
Air Canada5





All Nippon
Online
AMEX, SPG
Asiana
Call
SPG
LifeMiles
Online
SPG
Lufthansa (any Miles&More airline)
Online for Adria, Austrian, Brussels Airlines, Condor, Croatia Airlines, Eurowings, LOT, Luxair and SWISS; other airlines you have to call.
SPG
United
Online
CHASE, SPG
Singapore
Call
AMEX, CITI, CHASE, SPG
Singapore6





Air Canada
Online
AMEX, SPG
All Nippon
Online
AMEX, SPG
Asiana
Call
SPG
LifeMiles
Online
SPG
Lufthansa (any Miles&More airline)
Online for Adria, Austrian, Brussels Airlines, Condor, Croatia Airlines, Eurowings, LOT, Luxair and SWISS; other airlines you have to call.
SPG
United
Online
CHASE, SPG
Air France/KLM7

Delta
Online
AMEX, SPG
Korean
Call
CHASE, SPG
AMEX = American Express Rewards, CHASE = Chase Ultimate Rewards, CITI = CITI ThankYou, SPG = Starwood.

1 Alaska mileage rates are for American flights only. 2 Delta charges more miles for partner flights, than its own. Virgin Atlantic mileage rates are for Delta flights only. 3 United charges more miles for partner awards if travel on the over-the-water flight is on a partner, for travel with partner airlines within Europe no extra miles are charged, it is at the United rate. 4 Miles&More has the same mileage rate for own and partner flights. 5 Air Canada has the same rate for own and partner flights, but it has two zone mileage rates to Europe. 6 Singapore has two European routes: New York-Frankfurt and Houston-Manchester. 7 Flying Blue, the mileage program for Air France and KLM, charges the same rate for own and partner flights.

DISTANCE PROGRAMS

Airlines not mentioned in the chart above are due to the fact that they charge miles based on flight distance, such as British Airways, Cathay Pacific, Iberia, and Japan Airlines—with some calculating each segments separately and others by the total sum of flight miles. Or they’re not part of a major Alliance, such as Virgin Atlantic and Emirates, and, as such, don’t have an alliance partner award chart. Connecting flights for these airlines in the U.S. and for onward travel in Europe are not free, but at an extra cost.

ALLIANCES ARE YOUR ALLIES

Star Alliance: Air Canada, Air India, All Nippon, Lufthansa, Singapore Airlines, Turkish Airlines, United, and more. 

oneworld: American, British Airways, Cathay Pacific, Finnair, Iberia, Japan Airlines, Qantas and more. 

SkyTeam: Air France, Alitalia, China Airlines, Delta, KLM, Korean Air, and more.

I See Lufthansa in the Headline
But Don’t Have Lufthansa Miles: Bad?

No! And for the same reasons we’ve been talking about: those very handy Alliance Partnerships.

So if you have stacks of Air Canada miles for example, you can use them to fly on Lufthansa because they’re both Star Alliance members. Print out that airline alliance list above and stick it next to your computer. It could save you a lot of money.

Bridge Route Connecting Flights

Note that when using the available discounted long-haul flight as a “bridge,” the connecting flight from the U.S. and/or international hub can be either booked in Business Class or economy, depending on availability.

If only economy is available, don’t let that affect your travel plans as the most important part is getting the long-haul flight in the class you want first.

Coming soon:

We’ll be looking deeper at bridge routes to other parts of the world (including Asia) when it comes to using FCF’s new widget.

 

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