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Earlier this year we reported about EgyptAir Plus, the frequent flyer program from EgyptAir. The main perk of using EgyptAir was the fact that it allows family members pool their miles into one account. While this is not unusual, what is truly unique is that you can also pool status miles, which makes easier to hit elite status with the airline. One example in the previous article showed how you could hit Star Alliance Gold with just one trip when traveling with a partner. EgyptAir is quite generous with its mileage expiration limits; miles expire 36 months after the date of accrual. The question now is what to do with all your hard-earned miles and how easy is it to redeem your miles?
What Airlines Can You Fly With Your EgyptAir Miles?
While some airlines allow you to redeem your miles for anyone you choose, others like Korean Air only allow you to redeem miles for family members. Per the EgyptAir Plus rewards terms and conditions, you can only redeem miles for tickets for yourself and family members. Based on our experience, this is not entirely accurate—they have not updated their terms and conditions, but you can redeem your miles for tickets for anyone. We've confirmed this multiple times through customer support.
How Do You Book Infants With Miles?
You cannot book award space for children under two years old; they are not given a seat, and the cost of the ticket must be paid cash and is 10% of the full fare price. Over the age of 2, you can redeem miles for award tickets at the full adult rate.
Why Are The Types of Tickets Available For Booking?
After calling EgyptAir to determine the ticket options that are available, the cost in miles for a flight is worked out on a per segment basis, which means the following:
- You can book one-way or round-trip tickets. Open jaw tickets are not possible — it'll ticket as two separate one-way flights.
- You can have as many connections as you want since you will be charged the miles for each segment. There is an exemption to this with EgyptAir operated flights that have a domestic component within Egypt. Note: If you're familiar with how British Airways calculates award pricing, on a segment by segment basis, you'll experience the same with EgyptAir. This means you'll get the best value on non-stop travel.
- If you cancel an award ticket, EgyptAir will deduct 5% of the total miles redeemed as a redeposit fee.
How Do You Determine Your Flight Regions and Cost
The first step to booking your award flight is to determine which region you are flying from and to which region you are flying. EgyptAir categorized each country into one of 15 regions that span the globe. Interestingly for residents of North America, the US and Canada are not further subdivided into East coast and West coast, they are their own region. Although in the case of the US, Hawaii is in a region all of its own.
Once you have established the regions for your flights, you need to determine the cost in miles with the EgyptAir award chart. The costs indicated on the chart are for round-trip itineraries, with one-way tickets calculated as half the required miles for a round-trip ticket. An example would be a ticket from North America to Australia, or New Zealand will set you back 180,000 miles for a round-trip in First Class, or 90,000 miles for one-way in First Class. A one-way flight in Business from New York to Cairo would set you back 60,000 miles. Remember, these prices are for non-stop travel. If you add a connection, you'll need to calculate the cumulative cost of your trip.
Now that you have your route and cost, you need to decide whether you are flying with EgyptAir or one of its Star Alliance partners. One thing to note is that for those choosing to fly EgyptAir if you hold one of the CIB-EGYPTAIR Mileseverywhere® Credit Cards, you'll receive a 25% discount on the cost of redemption miles.
Redeeming on EgyptAir
Redeeming on EgyptAir is relatively straightforward. Head over to the EgyptAir booking page, and search for a flight on your preferred date and route. An example below is a flight from New York to Cairo on October 12, 2017. After selecting your flight, you will see the cost outlined.
With award tickets you still need to pay taxes, fees, and charges, so click on the price, which will then expand to show the fare breakdown.
In this case, you will be liable for all the taxes and fees in the lower red box, which is $28.10 in total. The higher red box covers other charges and the dreaded fuel surcharge. Luckily, EgyptAir does not impose fuel surcharges, unlike many other airlines. Now you have your dates, flight details, and costs in miles (60,000) and cost in cash for your ticket.
While award space availability is restricted on EgyptAir flights, it tends to be quite generous for EgyptAir Plus members, and more readily available than it is to Star Alliance partners. But the only way to determine whether space is available on your desired dates is to call EgyptAir.
Booking Partner Award Space
When it comes to booking partner award space, things can get a little tricky. While you still will need to call EgyptAir to make the booking, there is no way for you to search partner award space. A good workaround is to use Aeroplan or United MileagePlus for searching award space with Star Alliance partner airlines. If an airline that is a joint partner of EgyptAir and the airline's website you're searching shows up, you should be able to use your EgyptAir miles for a redemption.
Once you have the award flight and date, you will need to work out the taxes and fees. Just head over to ITA Matrix, and search for your flight and date.
When the site returns the search results, click on the displayed price. This will show you the breakdown of the fare and will include the various taxes, fees, and surcharges.
From the above example, New York (JFK) to Frankfurt (FRA) in Business with Lufthansa will cost you $523.60 in taxes and fees. Once you have all your flight details, it’s time to pick up the phone and call EgyptAir Plus.
How to Call EgyptAir Plus
To redeem your miles, you will have to call an EgyptAir office, since currently, you cannot redeem online. EgyptAir call centers are undergoing a reorganization, and as such, it is impossible to reach their call center in Egypt from outside the country. The only way to contact the main call center is through the subsidiary in the UAE on +971 4 2306666; they will then put you through to the call center in Cairo.
Luckily you do not have to make a call to Egypt to redeem your miles, since the company has offices worldwide, including most major European countries, as well as Canada and the US. Just call up your local EgyptAir office with your details and request your redemptions over the phone.
- US: New York office Tel: +1 212-581-5600 or toll-free at +1 800-334-6787 or +1 212-938-3500. You can also email email@example.com.
- Canada: Montreal Tel: +1 514-875-9990 Ext. 225 / 227
- United Kingdom: Tel: 0844-822-1110 or +44 2070-134955
If you reside in another country, you can find your nearest EgyptAir office. Once you have found your local EgyptAir office, it’s time for some travel planning.
While EgyptAir is one of the best Star Alliance member airlines to pick up status, since it allows you to pool status miles with family members, there is no point sticking a bunch of miles in a program that you cannot redeem. Although EgyptAir Plus is not the easiest for redemptions it is still possible to do so, it just requires jumping through a few more hoops than usual.
We had several email exchanges and felt like we were pulling teeth to get simple answers. Our suggestion is if you've got an opportunity to regularly redeem for non-stop travel there are some sweet spots available with EgyptAir. On the other hand, if you've got to make multiple connections you'll likely find a poor value with EgyptAir's program.
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