Infographic Comparison of Major Airline’s Business Class Award Charts

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Over the weekend I put together a comprehensive visual guide comparing airline business class saver award charts. I have yet to find any other resources that combine all major airline award charts, so I thought it would be a neat thing to have a one-stop-shop way to compare which award charts offer the best value to specific destinations.

The chart can be used to quickly look up and compare to find sweet spots in each airline frequent flyer program. I know in the past whenever I want to compare award prices between program I have to look up each airline’s chart one by one. Hopefully this provides an easier way to compare the lowest award redemption levels between airline programs to various zones.

The areas/zones are based off of United’s award chart and all other airlines zones were adjusted into the categories. I reviewed all the major airline programs and used the lowest redemption level whether it was on that airline or on a partner airline. For example, almost all of Alaska’s international awards are on partner airlines. Another consideration is that British Airways bases its award chart off of distance, so I used Wandering Aramean’s Avios calculator to estimate the award price for a specific destination in the zone. (Hat tip to him for creating that!)

Feel free to save the image and use it however you find useful. Undoubtedly there may be an error or two, so please let me know if something is off. I will edit them out ASAP if you point them out.

To check out the infographic for economy awards click here.

A Guide to Business Class Award Charts


To view a larger version of the infographic click HERE

I also created a table that shows some of the lowest redemption levels across all airline charts and the totals across the entire charts. You can also download a pdf of the table by clicking here: Comparing Business Class Saver Award Charts

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Which airline has the best business class award chart?

United is best for: Stopovers and free one-ways…but they just devalued their chart.

American Airlines is best for awards to: Northern South America.

US Airways is best for awards to: Northern Africa, Central/Southern Africa, North Asia, and Japan.

Lufthansa is best for: Domestic flights within the U.S. and Canada.

Delta is best for: nothing, but the service is pretty good.

British Airways is best for awards to: Hawaii and Mexico.

Alaska Airlines is best for awards to: Northern South America, Southern South America, Europe, South Asia, Oceania, and Australia/New Zealand.

Alaska Airlines has the lowest total award chart

Alaska offers some killer values and has some great sweet spots in its award chart. Alaska’s award chart has the lowest award prices for six of the zones and the lowest overall total when you add up all the zones. Almost all of the destinations are one partner airlines and have to be booked over the phone. Of course there are many other factors to take into consideration when claiming that one airline has the best award chart, but Alaska offers great value for business class awards to South America, Europe, South Asia, and Australia/New Zealand.

I won’t get into Alaska’s routing policies regarding stopovers and open jaws, but stay tuned for a more in-depth analysis of Alaska’s frequent flyer program including best uses, routing rules, and how to book on partner airlines.

Let me know what you think of the infographic in the comments below – or share them around if you really want to help me out :-D

Either way, thanks for reading – hope you found them useful!

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About The Author

Rand Shoaf

Rand Shoaf

Introduced to traveling at a young age, Rand has since traveled to over 45 countries. Learning how to maximize credit card sign-up bonuses in college has allowed him to earn millions of travel miles and points. Using the same tips and tricks he writes about here has ultimately allowed him to explore the word for pennies on the dollar.

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