As airline frequent flyer programs get tighter and become less generous, travelers don’t always get all the information they look for. One important aspect of that is how many miles they will earn on a specific booking.
Although some airlines do show how many miles you will earn, others make it complicated and frustrating. It is irritating because you must research that information elsewhere other than the airline or frequent flyer program sites. It doesn’t get more absurd than that.
Consequently, I've decided to blog about it and show you where to get that information with a high degree of accuracy.
Airlines that show you how many miles you will earn. In many cases, airlines will feature the number of basic miles you will earn on your entire trip. However, there are a few that require you to log via your frequent flyer program account.
Some airlines have a great tool called the miles calculator. I allows you to see how many miles and tier points you'll earn with the airline. It also allows you to see that information with its Alliance partners and subsidiaries.
British Airways has one of the best and most up to date miles calculator. It's called the Avios flight calculator. If you're with BA's Executive Club you'll know exactly how many Avios miles you'll earn whether you fly Cathay, Qatar Airways or Vueling.
Another accurate miles calculator worth mentioning is on the Star Alliance side is the Miles & More program tool. It's quite accurate with respect to Lufthansa, which owns it, Swiss and Austrian Airlines flights. However, it will not show that information for other Star Alliance partners. Which is typical of all Star Alliance members, which requires more research and digging.
Mile Maker by Web Flyer
Most airline loyalty miles earnings are based on the actual distance in miles. All you have to do is input your outbound and inbound airports. Take the total miles and multiply it by the airfare category (also called airfare code) accrual factor.
You'll find your airfare code in your flight details as featured below. Let's use an example. You're flying Vancouver to Frankfurt (YVR to FRA) with Air Canada:
1) Input the airport information: YVR and FRA
2) Choose the Class of service bonus. That means input the % of total miles you'll accrue according to the Fare category your flight has been assigned. For example, if you booked a W, G, S, T, L, A, L, F Class then this fare earns 50% of total miles (refer to Aeroplan table below). In the drill down list of Class of service bonus, choose 50% .
3) The total distance in miles is 5,010.
4) On a one-way basis, you will earn 2,500 miles on your Vancouver-Frankfort flight. Your estimate is always based on miles and not on km.
There you go. With a small error margin you can figure out how many Aeroplan miles Air Canada will earn you from Vancouver to Frankfort. If it's a return ticket and the same airfare category don't forget to multiply by 2.
The same method applies to multi destination tickets. Add-up your flights miles and you're all set. You can apply this method to most legacy carriers and their subsidiaries. Also with past flying experience you'll end up guessing accurately the amount of miles you'll earn.