Getting To Israel Using Starwood Starpoints!

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Executive Summary:

To avoid all fuel surcharges:
-For Delta travel transfer points (from 40K) to Flying Blue.
-For Skyteam travel on airlines besides Delta, transfer points (From 64K) to Delta.
-For Star Alliance travel transfer points (from 64K) to USAirways.
-For OneWorld or El Al travel transfer points (from 64K) to AA.

To travel for the least amount of Starpoints while paying fuel surcharges:
-For Air France/KLM travel during a promo period transfer points (from 20K) to Flying Blue. Current promo cities include NYC and LAX. For more on this option see this previous post.
-For OneWorld travel transfer points (from 32K) to JAL.
-For Skyteam travel transfer points (from 40K) to Flying Blue or Alitaila.
-For Star Alliance travel transfer points (from 48K) to ANA.

Rates listed in this post are for round-trip travel and are assuming that you maximize the 25% point bonus for transferring Starpoints in blocks of 20,000 points (which you may or may not be able to do depending on the number of passengers so you may have leftover miles)

Before you transfer try to find availability to see which transfer you should do!
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As you probably know already, the Starwood card is one of the best cards out there for general spending. The points you get from it are just so much more valuable than other point currencies.  You can use just a couple thousand points for free hotel stays or transfer points into miles with dozens of airlines.

Getting to Israel using Starpoints must be one of the most common questions on this site, maybe this will settle it once and for all?
Of course there are many other uses for Starpoints than just transferring them into miles. I helped a friend book a Hawaiian vacation over the peak December holiday season when rooms for going for $600/night using Starwood Cash and Points and his rooms were as little as $60+4,000 Starpoints! Those points were worth their weight in gold (well, closer to 13.5 cents per point, but you catch my drift) And that’s besides for other awards like 5th night free.
If you are transferring points you may also want to consider Starwood’s Nights & Flights option where you can save 8,000 points on a mileage transfer and any future 5 night stay in a category 3 or 4 hotel.

Still ready to transfer points to go to Israel? Great! Here’s how to do it for a little points as possible.
To make a transfer just login to your Starwood account at SPG.com. If you have never made an account at SPG.com you may need to set one up. Locate your SPG number on the Starwood AMEX statement where it lists how many points you earned in the past month and for the year. Then you can setup for SPG.com account. Click here to transfer Starpoints into airline miles. Transfers don’t happen instantly. They can take between 1-20 days. On average figure on about 3-7 days though.

While these aren’t nearly all of the possible transfer options, this should cover many of the good ones. If I’m missing any good Starwood transfer methods or if there any mistakes please post a comment!

The rates in this chart are for flights from NYC to Tel Aviv. Rates from other North American cities should be similar, but may differ depending on the airline. Remember to try to do your own research online when searching for award flights. With enough time and effort you should be able to easily book something over the phone. Remember the phone agents just want to get you off the phone as quickly as possible and aren’t likely to want to try to find any creative routings to get you your free flight.

Confused about which airlines charge a fuel surcharge on award travel? The good news if that generally US based carriers never do, but I’ve been compiling a chart of the policies of 44 airlines on the Dansdeals Forums where you can read more about the murky policies of fuel surcharges.
I wish the offending airlines would just call them what they really are: Mileage co-pays. It has nothing to with fuel and everything to do with a deceitful cash grab that will ultimately kill the mileage cash cow that is the most (only?) profitable segment of the airline industry! The airline that books your reward ticket (not the operating carrier) decides whether to charge a fuel surcharge or not. On principle I avoid accumulating miles with airlines that resort to charging them. For a trip like NYC-TLV a fuel surcharge may range from $250 to as much as $700 per ticket! I’ve noted which airlines below charge them.

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Airlines that fly nonstop from North America to Israel:
-Air Canada from Toronto (bookable via Star Alliance miles)
-Continental/United from Newark (bookable via Star Alliance miles)
-Delta from JFK (bookable via Skyteam miles)
-El Al from JFK, Los Angeles, Newark, and Toronto. (bookable via AA, connections to Eilat for the same mileage available)
-USAirways from Philadelphia (bookable via Star Alliance miles)
None of these carriers offer First Class seating to Israel for miles on nonstop flights.  (El Al does offer First Class, but you can only use AA miles to redeem for Coach or Business Class on El Al).

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Posted mileage requirements are for round-trip travel. Some programs may allow for one-way award redemptions (for example Flying Blue miles will let you fly one-way on Delta, but you can’t use Delta miles for a one-way ticket on Delta.)

Star Alliance:
With 27 airlines (not even counting that most airlines have even more non-Star Alliance partners), Star Alliance offers the best availability for flights to Israel by leaps and bounds.  Besides for the nontop flights on Air Canada, Continental, and USAirways from North American there are many options via Europe worth looking into including Swiss via Zurich, Lufthansa via Frankfurt and Munich, Brussels via Brussels, Austrian via Vienna, Turkish via Istanbul, Singapore/Lufthansa via Frankfurt, Aegean via Athens, LOT via Warsaw, or a mix of carriers like Continental from Newark to one of dozens of European cities and a European carrier to Tel Aviv.  By utilizing free stopovers the possibilities are endless if you take the time to research your options!

Using USAirways miles, from 64,000 Starpoints.
-If there is Star Alliance availability, transfer enough points to USAirways to have 80,000 miles per ticket for coach, 120,000 miles per ticket for business (including the lie-flat cabins with BusinessFirst on Continental, Envoy on USAirways, and Executive First on Air Canada), or 180,000 for first class (the best for travel to Tel Aviv include flights on Swiss via Zurich and Lufthansa via Frankfurt or Munich).
Transfer Ratio: 20,000 Starpoints=25,000 USAirways miles. At a 1:1.25 ratio this means 64,000 Starpoints in coach, 96,000 Starpoints in business, or 144,000 Starpoints in first.
Notes:
-Fuel Surcharges: USAirways never charges fuel surcharges, although they do have a modest $50 award ticketing fee offset by the fact that they waive the phone booking fee for Star Alliance tickets.

-While you can check availability for Star Alliance rewards on Continental.com and Aeroplan.com, some partner airlines will not show up. You must call USAirways to check availability and to book flights on many partner airlines. You may be able to check Star Alliance availability on ANA’s website and then call USAirways to book. See this forum thread for info on using ANA to search Star Alliance availability and workarounds to use ANA’s website even if you don’t have any ANA miles.
-USAirways charges $150 for date and route changes and $75 for tickets booked within 14 days of departure. See this post for a roundup of award fees that US-based airline charge.
-USAirways does not allow for changes after you take any flight on a Star Alliance itinerary.

Using Air Canada Aeroplan miles, from 64,000 Starpoints.
-If there is Star Alliance availability (besides for on Air Canada, as you should use USAirways miles to book travel on Air Canada), transfer enough points to Aeroplan to have 80,000 miles per ticket for coach, 135,000 miles per ticket for business (including the lie-flat cabins with BusinessFirst on Continental, Envoy on USAirways, and Executive First on Air Canada), or 190,000 for first class (the best for travel to Tel Aviv include flights on Swiss via Zurich and Lufthansa via Frankfurt or Munich).
Transfer Ratio: 20,000 Starpoints=25,000 Aeroplan miles. At a 1:1.25 ratio this means 64,000 Starpoints in coach, 108,000 Starpoints in business, or 152,000 Starpoints in first.
Notes:
-Fuel Surcharges: Air Canada is in the process of adding fuel surcharges for travel on select partners.

As of 01/29 if you fly on these carriers you will pay a fuel surcharge: Adria, Air Canada, ANA, Asiana, Austrian, bmi, LOT Polish, Lufthansa, TAP Portugal, and THAI.
As of 01/29 if you fly on these carriers you will not pay a fuel surcharge: Aegean, Air China, Air New Zealand, Brussels, Continental, Croatia, EgyptAir, Ethiopian, SAS, Singapore, South African, Swiss, TAM, Turkish, United, and USAirways.

-Air Canada miles require activity every 12 months to keep them active. They also expire 7 years after they are earned regardless of activity. Both of these policies are harsher than US carriers policies.
-Air Canada generously allows for 2 free stopovers, so you can check out 2 American or European cities in addition to Tel Aviv for the same amount of miles!
-There is a $90CAD charge to change or cancel an award ticket.
-Air Canada charges significantly less in fees for lap children than the US carriers do, especially in premium classes.
-There are no last-minute “close-in” or “expedite” fees.
-While you can check availability for Star Alliance rewards on Continental.com and Aeroplan.com, some partner airlines will not show up. You must call Air Canada to check availability and to book flights on many partner airlines. You may be able to check Star Alliance availability on ANA’s website and then call Air Canada to book. See this forum thread for info on using ANA to search Star Alliance availability and workarounds to use ANA’s website even if you don’t have any ANA miles.

Using ANA miles, from 48,000 Starpoints.
-If there is Star Alliance availability and you prefer saving some Starpoints and paying a fuel surcharge, transfer enough points to ANA to have 60,000 miles per ticket for coach, 90,000 miles per ticket for business, or 140,000 miles per ticket for first class.
Transfer Ratio: 20,000 Starpoints=25,000 ANA miles. At a 1:1.25 ratio this means 48,000 Starpoints in coach, 72,000 Starpoints in business, or 112,000 Starpoints in first.
Notes:
-Fuel Surcharges: ANA now charges hefty fuel surcharges on all airlines.
-It takes a number of days for Starpoints to transfer into ANA miles and there is no way to have ANA hold a ticket if have no miles in your account.
-ANA miles expire after 3 years, regardless of account activity.
-ANA partner flights must be booked 7 days in advance.
-ANA does not charge for date changes.
-ANA allows a ticket to be canceled and the miles to be redeposited for a fee of just 3,000 miles.
-You can book alliance travel on on ANA’s website once you have miles in your account, although you may need to call them to book travel for flights not found on their website.
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OneWorld:
Oneworld availability to Israel can be tough. Flights to Israel include BA from London, Iberia from Madrid and Barcelona, Royal Jordanian from Amman, and Malev from Budapest.
El Al does have decent availability. While AA is partners with El Al, they are a non-alliance partner so you can book travel on El Al with AA miles, but not with other OneWorld mileage. It’s more advantageous to book El Al travel with AA miles than it is with El Al miles (the miles received from the HAS Advantage card) because El Al loads fuel surcharges onto their own tickets, but you do not pay any fuel surcharges for booking El Al tickets with AA miles.

Using AA miles, from 64,000 Starpoints.
Via AA’s All-Partner Award Chart.
-If there is OneWorld or El Al availability, transfer enough points to AA to have 80,000 miles per ticket (for coach via Europe between 10/15-05/15) or 90,000 miles per ticket (for coach nonstop on El Al or via Europe between 05/16-10/14) or 135,000 miles per ticket for business nonstop on El Al or via Europe), or 180,000 miles per ticket for first class via Europe.
You can also use AA’s OneWorld award chart which allows for up to 16 stopovers starting from 90,000 miles in coach, 115,000 miles in business, and 150,000 miles in first, but the rules of this complicated award that requires at least 2 OneWorld carriers besides AA and excludes partners such as El Al are beyond the scope of this article.
Transfer Ratio: 20,000 Starpoints=25,000 AA miles. At a 1:1.25 ratio this means 64,000 or 72,000 Starpoints in coach, 108,000 Starpoints in business, or 144,000 Starpoints in first.
Notes:
-Fuel Surcharges: There are fuel surcharges if you want to travel on BA, but not for travel on AA or on any other partner airlines.
-You can check AA availability on AA.com. You can check OneWorld availability on BA.com or Qantas.com. (BA or Qantas frequent flyer account required) You can check El Al availability on elal.com (Matmid account required). You can also check availability by calling AA. Tickets must also be booked by calling AA.
-The best shot at availability without paying fuel surcharges would be to take AA to London or anywhere else in Europe and then El Al from London or anywhere else in europe to Tel Aviv. This routing would be 80,000 miles between October-May or the same 90,000 miles as the nonstop El Al flight from the US during the summer.
-AA allows for free date changes and routing changes on award tickets.
-AA allows you to redeem for one-way tickets for half the miles.
-Don’t forget that AA allows for a free stopover at the North American gateway city and 2 free stopovers by booking one-way tickets.
-Based in NYC and Want to get in free flights for Hawaii and Los Angeles for booking a ticket to Israel?
Book Honolulu-JFK nonstop on Hawaiian, “stopover” in JFK as long as you want, book JFK-Tel Aviv-JFK nonstop on El Al at anytime later, “stopover” in JFK for as long as you want, then book JFK-LAX nonstop on AA all for the same 90K round-trip rate as just booking JFK-Tel Aviv-JFK! Plus you can change the dates as many times as you want for free.
Don’t have any other trips planned? Just book the added segment at the end of your trip (to anywhere you want, Miami, Los Angeles, Anchorage, Vancouver, Kauai, Maui, you name it!) and you’ll have a free one-way ticket there that you can change or not even bother using for free!

Using BA miles, from 52,000 Starpoints
-If there is OneWorld availability for your dates: Transfer enough points to BA to have 65,000 miles per ticket for coach, 130,000 miles per ticket for business, or 195,000 miles per ticket in first.
Transfer Ratio: 20,000 Starpoints=25,000 BA miles. At a 1:1.25 ratio this means 52,000 Starpoints in coach, 108,000 Starpoints in business, or 156,000 Starpoints in first.
Notes:
-Fuel Surcharges: BA charges hefty fuel surcharges on their own and on most partner airline flights (excluding LAN and AA flights that are wholly within the Western Hemisphere.)
-You can only search partner flights on BA.com after searching for BA availability. If there is no BA availability you will then see the option to include partners in the search. This search is far from perfect, you should call BA to check more partner availability, but beware that calling will subject you to fuel surcharges on AA travel.
-Oneworld availability can also be searched by creating an account and searching on Qantas.com.

Using JAL miles, from 32,000 Starpoints
-If there is BA availability, transfer enough points to JAL to have 40,000 miles per ticket (for coach between 10/15-05/15) or 60,000 miles per ticket (for coach between 05/16-10/14) or 75,000 miles per ticket for premium economy, or 80,000 miles per ticket for business, or 100,000 miles per ticket for first.
-If there is OneWorld availability, transfer enough points to JAL to have 60,000 miles per ticket for coach, 90,000 miles per ticket for business, or 120,000 miles per ticket for first.
Transfer Ratio: 20,000 Starpoints=25,000 JAL miles. At a 1:1.25 ratio this means 32,000 Starpoints for off-peak coach on BA, 48,000 Starpoints for other coach travel, 60,000 Starpoints for premium economy on BA, 64,000 Starpoints for business on BA, 72,000 Starpoints in business on other partner airlines, 80,000 Starpoints in first on BA, or 96,000 Starpoints in first on other partner airlines.
-Fuel Surcharges: JAL seems to always charge a fuel surcharge.

Using LAN kilometers, from 44,800 Starpoints
-If there is availability on Royal Jordanian, transfer enough points to LAN to have 112,000 kilometers per ticket for coach or 224,000 kilometers per ticket for business.
Transfer Ratio: 20,000 Starpoints=50,000 LAN kilometers. At a 1:2.5 ratio this means 44,800 Starpoints in coach or 89,600 Starpoints in business.
Notes:
-Fuel Surcharges: LAN does not charge any fuel surcharges (and is probably the only program left that doesn’t surcharge BA award flights!)
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Skyteam:
Skyteam has pretty poor award availability. You can try searching some Skyteam availability on Delta.com. and AirFrance.com.  Options to Israel besides Delta’s JFK flights are on Czech via Prague, KLM via Amsterdam, Air France via Paris, and Alitalia via Rome.

Using Flying Blue (Air France/KLM) miles, from 20,000 Starpoints
-If there is a promo award available on Flying Blue for your dates: Transfer enough points to Flying Blue to have 25,000 miles per ticket for coach or 50,000 miles per ticket for business, plus expect to pay fuel surcharges.
-If there is no promo award or for travel on partner airlines like Delta transfer enough points to Flying Blue to have 50,000 miles per ticket for coach or 100,000 miles per ticket for business.
Transfer Ratio: 20,000 Starpoints=25,000 Flying Blue miles. At a 1:1.25 ratio this means 20,000 Starpoints in coach or 40,000 Starpoints in business for a promo award. For regular tickets and partner ticket 40,000 Starpoints per ticket in coach or 80,000 Starpoints per ticket in business.
-Fuel Surcharges: Flying Blue no longer charges a fuel surcharge for travel on Delta to/from Israel!
For travel on airlines besides Delta, Flying Blue generally charges a larger fuel surcharge than Alitalia.

-Flying Blue allows you to redeem for one-way tickets for half the miles.

Using Alitalia miles, from 40,000 Starpoints
-If there is Skyteam availability transfer enough points to Alitalia to have 50,000 miles per ticket to Alitalia for coach or 80,000 miles per ticket for business,
Transfer Ratio: 20,000 Starpoints=25,000 Alitalia miles. At a 1:1.25 ratio this means 40,000 Starpoints in coach or 64,600 Starpoints in business.
-Fuel Surcharges: Alitalia charges a fuel surcharge for travel on all airlines, although it tends to be less than what Flying Blue charges.

Using Delta miles, from 64,000 Starpoints.
-You can also transfer to Delta Skypesos to avoid fuel surcharges, but their mileage rates are variable. Coach can be between 80,000 and 190,000 and business can be between 120,000 and 370,000.
Transfer Ratio: 20,000 Starpoints=25,000 Delta miles. At a 1:1.25 ratio this means 64,000-152,000 Starpoints in coach or 96,000-296,000 Starpoints in business.
-Fuel Surcharges: Delta does not charge a fuel surcharge for round-trip travel originating from the US on Delta but does charge fuel surcharges on select partners.
Delta charges a fuel surcharge for round-trip travel originating from select regions outside the US (Originating in Europe is surcharged, but originating in Israel is not.)

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67 Comments on "Getting To Israel Using Starwood Starpoints!"

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Jack

Dan,

Please make it simple for me.

Cheapest way to israel for succos in business class using starpoints. With/without stopover. No fuel surcharge. Have rachmunus it’s our honeymoon, and you are the king of this.

Thanks so much

Jack

Dan,

PLease help us out. we are going to Israel for succos, it will be our honey moon. I dont really know how this works.

Basically, can you just tell me…..

Cheapest flight in business/coach, from NYC, using starpoints, no surcharge, could be with a stopover.

Thank You!

Dan

@Jack:
Executive Summary:

To avoid all fuel surcharges:
-For Star Alliance travel (besides USAirways) transfer points (from 64K) to Air Canada or USAir.
-For USAirways travel transfer points (from 48K) to ANA.
-For OneWorld or El Al travel transfer points (from 64K) to AA.
-For Skyteam travel transfer points (From 64K) to Delta.

To travel for the least amount of Starpoints:
-For Star Alliance travel transfer points (from 48K) to ANA.
-For OneWorld travel transfer points (from 32K) to JAL.
-For Skyteam travel transfer points (from 20K during a promo or 40K otherwise) to Flying Blue or Alitaila.

Rates listed are for round-trip travel and are assuming that you maximize the 25% point bonus for transferring Starpoints in blocks of 20,000 points (which you may or may not be able to do depending on the number of passengers so you may have leftover miles)

Before you transfer try to find availability to see which transfer you should do!

bahayman

Wow very well written and a wealth of information!

Dan

@bahayman:
I try…thanks 🙂

Jack

Thanks so much Dan, when does skyteam have such promos? I can get to israel for 20k points?
Wow!!

Btw, send regards to ur neighbor Mutty who sells the watches! He’s my uncle.

Anonymous

Awesome roundup I only some people understood not everything comes so easy..

Rick

We use AA miles to book Business class on BA about once a year. We only pay 100,000 miles for the ticket and $5-700 in fuel surcharges. We’ve never had to use 115 or 135 thousand

DovidInSharonMA

Dan,
A tremendous Yasher Koach for posting this.
I am very new to the whole ‘points’ and ‘miles’ game. My head is still spinning a bit. I was looking online for some sort of primer so I can get into this game.
I always wondered how people can afford to go to eretz yisrael as frequently as they do. Now, I think I understand. A little.
Anyway,
Yasher Koach!

jack

dan when does skyteam have specials?

Focused

Dan- What the hell does ana, ba, and aa stand for?
If I decide to go with flying blue, then from what I undestand I will transfer my stw points to my flying blue account and with 20k flying blue miles i will get me a one way ticket to e”y. Is there anything more to it? Is that a direct flight or is there a stop over?
TY

Dan

@Jack:
There is a promo award with Flying Blue going on now from JFK, Chicago, Montreal, Dallas, Detroit, or Washington DC to Europe (which includes Israel according to the Flying Blue program). So if you find availability it’s just 12,500 miles on-way or 25,000 miles round-trip. That is only for flights on Air France or KLM which stop in Paris or Amsterdam.

20,000 Starpoints transfers into 25,000 miles.

Those cities are valid for travel through 09/30, but it is an ongoing promotion which rotating cities.

Flying Blue will also book you nonstop on Delta (based on Delta low mileage availability) for 25,000 miles each way. See the Flying Blue article linked to in the post for info about their fuel surcharges (or lack thereof) on Delta.

@Rick:
AA charges 100,000 miles to fly on BA to Europe, but to go from the US to Israel the rate using AA miles is 135,000 round-trip. If you got to Israel for less than that using AA miles consider yourself lucky!

They only charge fuel surcharges if you fly on BA, otherwise there are no fuel fees.

@DovidInSharonMA:
Your welcome…stick around and read up on http://www.dansdeals.com/forums and you’ll be an expert yourself!

@jack:
Click on the link to the promo awards in the post.

@Focused:
ANA: All Nippon Airways, a Japanese Star Alliance carrier.
AA: American Airlines, a US based OneWorld carrier.
BA: British Airways, a UK based OneWorld carrier.

25K Flying Blue miles (20K Starwood) is enough for a one-way flight nonstop on Delta.

supercooler8

Hi Dan, growing up to be a big fan of your amazing skills for processing the right information!

Just a quick semi-related question, if I fly to India often, looks like star alliance is my best bet. But you say SPG is your favourite spending card. but their miles unfortunately have 2:1 ration to United(and hence continental). Do you think I should stick to US airways?

Looking forward to your answers.

Dan

@supercooler8:
Thanks!

USAirways and Continental have the same mileage rate to India.
80K coach, 120K business, 160K first.

Also there are often bonuses for transfers from Starwood to USAirways so you can often get more than 30K USAirways miles for every 20K Starwood.

Just 2 months ago there was a 25%-75% bonus for example: http://www.dansdeals.com/archives/13998

I’m sure we’ll see more bonuses in the future and I’ll definitely let my readers know about them!

Yoko

This man is a genius! Thanks for the write up.

chaim

dan what do you mean by this,
“Yes, this means you can book your return trip from Tel Aviv to Honolulu with a stopover in JFK for up to 1 year :)”

Focused

Thanks- I got it. I am thinkng maybe you can start a web site Dans Deals for Dummies, and walk us through everything step by step. I think there are alot of people who would like to be in the know, but cant follow all the code language and cheshbonos ;~)

Dave

Dan- I thought that flying blue is for airfrance flights, but based on tour comment above it sounds like i can also book a Delta flight with Flying blue. True or false?

Dan

@Yoko:
Lol…your welcome.

@chaim:
You can book a one-way ticket with AA miles from Tel Aviv to anywhere in the USA for 45K miles.
The same rate applies if you go to JFK, Los Angeles, or Maui.

Plus you are allowed to stop over as long as you want at the gateway North American city. So you can book
TLV-JFK on August 1st, 2011 on El Al.
and then
JFK-Los Angeles on June 1st, 2012 or JFK-Dallas-Maui on June 1st, 2012 on American, all for the same exact 45K miles.

Plus you can also change the date of the JFK-Los Angeles or Hawaii trip for free as many times as you want! Or just not take the trip.

All you would need to do is but a one-way award ticket to get back home to JFK (from 12.5K from LA or from 17.5K from Hawaii)

@Focused:
I’m sorry for writing anything in codes, if anyone has questions though I always try to help out!

@Dave:
With all mileage programs you can always book travel on partner airlines. Any airlines in the same alliance are automatically partners with each other.
As Flying Blue (Air France/KLM) and Delta are both in Skyteam you can use miles from either program to travel on either airline.
The rate is always decided by the program where you have the miles, not by the airline you are flying on.

itzik

Hi Dan, I have about 110,000 BA miles and i live in LA. I would like to know what would be the best way to fly to Israel with these miles for my kallah and I?

Dan

@itzik:
I don’t recommend using BA miles to go to Israel due to their high surcharges. But if you must look into flying on other OneWorld carriers besides BA, like AA, Iberia, and Malev, to limit surcharges.

Itzik

@Dan: Can I use the 110,000 BA miles on AA since they are partner airlines and avoid the surcharges?

Dan

@Itzik:
Nope, BA charges a surcharge for AA flights across the Atlantic.

I would save the BA miles for other trips not across the Atlantic and try to get AMEX points or Starpoints to go to Israel with.

Dave

So after transfering my stw points to flying blue, how do i book a Delta flight? (The flying blue website only seems to offer air france) Do i call Delta direct?
Thx for your time

Dan

@Dave:
It will only display availability on Delta if Delta has “low” award availability (80K Coach/120K Business) for your dates.
You can search for an award on Delta.com and then use their flexible award calendar to find low (green) dates. You can then plus those dates into Flying Blue and the Delta flights should appear for those dates.

Mendel

@Dan:
Are you sure the Flying Blue promo is valit till 9/30? In the promo page says that it’s only till 8/31, and also searching doesn’t show availability in September for 12500 miles.

Dan

@Mendel:
My mistake, the current promo runs through 08/31. They’ll extend the travel dates and announce which cities its good for again next month.

Dave

Got it! Ya da best

Menachem

Dan,
Are there any other airlines that i can use my AA advantage points on besides for jetblue?

Galia

What is the cheapest way to travel to Israel without miles. My son wants to go at the end of August for a year

Sam

I am so confused!
you need to give a better simple step by step breakdown of all this
for example

To avoid all fuel surcharges:
-For Star Alliance travel (besides USAirways) transfer points (from 64K) to Air Canada or USAir.
-For USAirways travel transfer points (from 48K) to ANA.
-For OneWorld or El Al travel transfer points (from 64K) to AA.
-For Skyteam travel transfer points (From 64K) to Delta.

whats star alliance? whats ANA? whats oneworld? whats skytem? how do i become a member there? how do i know whats the best way to go on the day im going?

Mem

Do you recommend using Air Canada to fly to Israel from Toronto?

Their surcharges are the highest in the industry and can easily set you back $700 for an economy reward ticket to Israel.

I also do not seem to find availability for the next year, in economy let alone executive first

Dave

i was looking at Aeroplan.com for 3 business tickets to Israel and it said that it ould be no less then 405k miles. Why is that if you are saying that for a business ticket it would be 108k?
Is US airways a different mileage program then aeroplan? Which one do you suggest?

Dan

@Dave:
Because you get 25,000 miles for every 20,000 Starpoints you transfer.

USAirways is a entirely separate mileage program and charges less miles than Aeroplan for business class tickets to Israel.

sushiholic

didnt ba change?

Levi

Hey Dan,

I have been checking your site for a good few years now and basically got around 6 credit cards through your site and of course got a lot of the other deals… first off i wanted to thank you for all the deals and credit cards .

I wanted to go from nyc to israel for peasach and i have little over 100,000 points avios miles and i have about 50k of saphire preferred .
I would be going with my wife and 9 month baby.
YOU ARE DEFF THE MAN THAT WOULD KNOW THE BEST WAY TO USE THESE POINTS IN THE CHEAPEST WAY POSSIBLE.

what do you think i should do ? transfer?

ps im sure you know this … b.a. is extremely expenses when it comes to surcharges and gas it almost doesn’t make sense to spend 65k points and pay on top of it 600-700 in taxes… any other way of spending the points smartly ??

Thanks alot you the man 🙂

Aay B.

WONDERFUL JOB DANNY BOY!!!!

YOU LITTERALY HAVE MILLIONS & MILLIONS OF SAVED YIDDISH GELT (AND HEADACHES OF COURSE… :)) ON YOUR “OLEM HABAH” ACCOUNT!

Dan

@Levi:
BA miles aren’t great for Israel unfortunately due to their fuel surcharges. (Flying Blue also has insane fuel surcharges but at least they have 25K round-trip promos!)

You should work on getting more Continental/United miles to combine with your Sapphire points to get to Israel. They charge 80K in coach or 120K in businessfirst with no surcharges.

This post describes how to get 130K miles with matching after you open a Continental, United, and Freedom card: http://www.dansdeals.com/archives/19066
I did a few 3 browser apps successfully with chase, maybe you’ll get lucky as well 🙂

@Aay B.:
Lol…thanks!

Levi

Hey Dan ,

Thanks for the reply
are you sure the link that you posted is the one you wanted to give me ?
I dont see anything for Continental, United, and Freedom cards ? little confused

Thanks

Levi

Hey Dan,

Thanks I got what your saying …
wanted to know if i sign up for continental and united and cancel after i get the points will i still have the points if yes for how long ?

Thank you !

daganster

@Jack:@Jack: I just searched NYC-TLV it’s 25k flying blue mils + 450 euros! Thats a helll of lot money for an award ticket. At times there are deals to fly for the amount of money your spending on the fuel surcharges + if you pay for the ticket you’ll earn miles and maybe status with your flight.

Dan

@Levi:
Fixed the link.

Yes, you will keep the points as long as you earn or use any miles every 18 months.

Dan

@daganster:
True, but in business class for 40k/50k it’s a good deal even with the fees.

arch

These posts are the reason why I love DansDeals. They are encyclopedic and well written. Thanks a lot Dan, and keep em coming! I am going to israel for 2 weeks, renting a minivan, staying in a fancy hotel with additional rooms for my siblings all for free! My parents and my sister got almost a million miles each in the past year and a half! I personally got over 450k miles/points in 2011!!! We would not have been able to do it without these posts! Thanks a million!

Dan

@arch:
Thank you for the feedback and enjoy those miles!

Yidel

Dan, what’s about getting to the Holy Land with all the other programs like UR, MRP, CO/UA, AA?

Anything you have written up on that?

Thanks!

Dan

@Yidel:
UR=transfer to Continental/United who charges 80K in coach and 120K in business and allows one-ways and has no fuel surcharges.

AA is already in this post.

I have written this same article for MR in the past, but its now out of date and has to be updated.

Yidel

@Levi: @Dan:

Levi, I say, you listen to Dan the Man.
Cuz, those 130k Miles are already in my acct. all within the past month, AND I’m totally new at this stuff!!!

All thanks to Dan!

TZvee

hi dan, i actually am in israel as we speak 🙂 i just moved here. as a good son and son in law i would love to try to get a good deal on tickets home (NY) for pesach. thanks to you i have approximately 60,000 starwood points accrued since july 2011. i would essentially call up starwood and just ask them to transfer my points to sky points. i usually am good with these things you post. i am explaining to everyone here in israel to get Obi while there all paying hundreds extra for third party dsl. but i just dont get the whole points transfer. who am i calling to get flights?! thanks so much dan!

Dan

@Yidel:
Nice!

@TZvee:
Before transferring you should see who has the best availability for when you want to go.
You can transfer here: https://www.starwoodhotels.com/preferredguest/account/starpoints/transfer/airline_partner_list.html

eli

great writeup. dan what about these routes starting out in the uk eg lon tlv lon nyc i can never find them w/o the surcharges do u thik departing from the uk is different

Dan

@eli:
London charges their own surcharge for the privilege of departing from London, those can’t easily be avoided.

mosh

whats your opinion on selling miles/points? some of these guys are offering $.018 for starwood and amex points. If you sell the points you can have money left over for other trip exp…

TZvee

well dan thanks so much. so in turn i would go thru any of the options starwoods offers. i dont have mileage numbers to half these airlines… ok. thanks. also dan thanks again i finally got internet here in israel in my apt and my obi works superb!!!!

Lewis

First-Hakoras Hatov for the website-I have learned and accomplished a nice amount !!!!!!

Sorry to bother you but can you please explain this segment below

I don’t see the JFK-Honolulu segment ? What are the actual logistics ? Do i book it all at once ?

itche

dan, why is flyingblue charging 25K miles each way on the delta flights?
on KLM flights the price is 12,5K
or am I doing something wrong?

Dan

@mosh:
If you fly in coach and book in advance then it can make sense to sell, but be aware that it’s against the rules of most programs.

If you fly in business or first or book last minute tickets then using the miles can give you more bang for the buck.

@Lewis:
JFK-HNL is being started nonstop by Hawaiian in June. You can also fly on connecting flights as well. You need to book it at the same time (as NYC is just the stopover point) and it must be booked by phone.

@itche:
The 12.5K promo is just for flights on KLM or Air France.
Delta is 25K, but that’s a great deal as they don’t charge fuel surcharges on Delta.

Dovid

THANKS FOR THE AWSOME AWSOME REVIEW!!!!!!!!!1
I want t o fly with AA points to israel in the summer via europe so off season should be 80k points and peak season is 90k pts. WHat is the summer considered?

Dan

@Dovid:
You’re welcome!
I have updated the post with the exact dates for 80K and 90K.

esther12

How do i find out about booking a hotel with starwood poitns? You said I just need a couple of thousand point per night. But can you provide more details or how and where to do it?
thanks much

esther12

i understand that if i open a starwood card and spend $5000 it will give me 20000 points which i can transfer for 25000 miles. but if i open an amex card and spend $1000 it will give me 50000 miles. that’s double! why is starwood considered better?

Dan

@esther12:
Search for Israel on spg.com

@esther12:
Try getting any good OneWorld (American) or Star Alliance (USAir) or hotels (Starwood) with the Amex membership rewards card…

Besides for the signup bonus (btw you’ll have 30,000 Starwood after spending $5,000, not 20,000) with Starwood you’ll get 1.25 miles for every $1 you spend, as opposed to 1 miles per dollar on most other cards.

esther12

what do you mean by: Try getting any good OneWorld (American) or Star Alliance (USAir) or hotels (Starwood) with the Amex membership rewards card… ?
do you suggest i should apply for starwood consumer and starwood bussiness simultaniously in 2 different browsers for maximum points? Do you close these cards after 1 year or you pay the anuual fee?
thanks

esther12

Dan, are you able to answer my questions please?

Dan

@esther12:
-I mean it can only be done with Starwood.
-Sure.
-I often do this instead: forums.dansdeals.com/index.php?topic=1572

eli7

i have a chase saphire card with 50,000 points and i want to fly to israel after pesach. can i use transfer those points to the flying blue promo you were talking about? and if so, how?

Lazer

Let me try and keep this simple.
I live in NYC and fly to Israel a few times/year.
I want to fly El Al business from JFK, without any stopovers.

In the past I bought tickets through AA but found a severe lack of seat availability.

What is the best (cheapest)way to do this?

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