- Certain cities which "cap" fuel surcharge (think Hong Kong) when you are flying in to them.
- Certain regions that prohibit fuel surcharges on the revenue tickets (think S. America) and thus "remove fuel surcharge" from award tickets.
- Routing which requires flying through the airline "hub" where the "hub" lies in the different region then the "source/destination" pair region.
Lets see the usage of above with few examples:
Going from South Asia to Central Asia using United Miles:
United typically charges 35k/60k/110k miles in Economy/Business/First respectively for travel between South Asia region and Central Asia region yet it only charges 20k/35k/45k miles for travel wholly within "South Asia" region. As you can see from below a trip from Kathmandu (KTM) to Bangkok (BKK) requires 35k miles in Economy and 60k
Going from North America to South Pacific using Delta Skymiles:
Most of you would consider Delta Skymiles to be useless but one of the sweet redemption is travelling to Australia on Virgin Australia using Delta Skymiles. You can only book Delta flights round trip but can have one-stop over and one open-jaw in the route. Ideally Delta would charge 100k/160k in Economy/Business to fly Australia as shown below:
So, look around for such opportunities before you book your next vacation.