Frequent flyer programs (FFP) have become increasingly popular over the years, yet a lot of people don't truly realise how much they can do with their miles and points. There are tons of loyalty programs offered by various airlines and so much information available which makes knowing the true extent of possibilities so overwhelming.
To help you navigate the world of miles and points confidently, we have put together 5 tips and hacks which would have you travelling the world on the airline's tab!
1. Join a Frequent Flyer Program
No better place to start than actually joining a frequent flyer program. It may be better to have a rough outline of your future reward travel goals before doing do. Also, make sure you don't just join the loyalty program of airlines based on "blind loyalty". You need to be sure that the airline offers interesting redemption opportunities as well as promotions with discount award prices.
#Hack: Start with transferrable points (if possible). The ability to earn credit card points that can be transferred to airlines is determined by the country in which you live.
2. Be Flexible with Your Travel Dates
It is much different to book a different than a cash ticket. There are a limited number of seats available for ticket purchases with FFP miles or points. On some dates you may simply not see any availability for seats based on rewards. This is why flexibility can be really helpful.
#Hack: When planning a trip based on rewards, make sure you plan ahead (as much as 10 - 11 months prior to the planned departure date) and be as flexible as possible.
3. Find Tools to Make Award Costs Easy to Find
To find the number of points that will be required for a particular route, you can check the award chart of an airline. If you are going to transfer points to an airline then book, you can see your best options by using one of the several tools. There are so many of them such as AwardEx, Award.flights, AwardHacker and Milez.biz. However, keep in mind that these tools aren't perfect. Some of them don't include every airline frequent flyer program and they occasionally won’t provide the correct number of miles required. In summary, they are still a preferred place to start for your search to give you an idea of your options.
4. Book One-Way Awards to Make Your Miles Go Further
Majority of airlines don't require you to book round-trip itineraries when booking award flights. If you have points in a couple of different frequent flyer programs, you could book your outbound flight with one program and the return with another program. Many airlines charge exactly half of a round-trip award for a one-way award.
5. Book Award Flights with Partner Airlines
Finally, there are 3 major airline alliances: Star Alliance, SkyTeam and Oneworld. The good news is that if you have miles with a SkyTeam airline, you can book award flights on flights operated by any of their fellow SkyTeam partners. This applies to each airline alliance. Additionally, airlines also form one-on-one partnerships with other airlines. Virgin Atlantic, for example, is not a member of any alliance but has an individual partnership with Delta Airlines.
We hope we have been able to get our "points" across to you clearly, making the FFP learning process a bit easier!
Hope to see you travelling the world for free in 3.....2......1......
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