If we look at the major mistakes made when redeeming miles, it could result in saving you from the alarming realization that you just sacrificed, or missed out on a great financial opportunity!

A common thread in our lives, especially when it comes to making a profit, is to avoid making errors. With regard to travel rewards, you can lose not only time but also money and valued miles. Therefore, it’s wise to have a good award strategy in place to make your traveling not only easier but more profitable!

What are Airlines in Partnership?

Especially for those award travelers who are new to the Miles Rewards experience, the process of booking awards with airline partners can be confusing. The airlines’ partnerships (as an example: American Airlines’ Partners) can offer you greater opportunities to redeem miles at a high value. In addition, it can help extend your traveling beyond the regions served by your chosen airline.

A misconception is that your used miles need to originate from the airline you fly with. Not so you can utilize different airline programs to book awards. Another factor is that while you may use the miles gained from one airline to fly with another, it does not mean either of them offer the best method of searching for award availability. This particularly applies if you are compiling a complex travel itinerary.

Are all Reward Currencies the Same?

As one great writer once said, “Assume nothing” and this certainly applies to the assumption that all reward currencies are the same. Therefore, which currency should be collected?

  • It is dependent upon your particular travel ambitions!
  • It depends on which airline you’re flying with
  • What is your destination?

Anticipating additional expenses, such as fuel surcharges and being aware of how to counter them is an essential part of your travel strategy. In this particular instance, you can affect significant financial by:

  • Redeeming a different currency
  • Flying with a partner airline

Don’t make mistakes redeeming miles by focusing on one currency, because you could discover better redemption rates and availability with a different rewards program.

Advanced Planning

It is regarded by some travelers as being essential that you must immediately utilize your award tickets on the first available flight. This is a perception that may be required on specific routes and carriers, but today more airlines have adapted award availability towards more regular schedules. It does not mean, however, that you can leave your booking to the last minute.

Admittedly it can be challenging for any provider to maintain information accurate, up-to-date website. Although our first thought is to place our reliance on an airline supported website, many have discovered that various sites do not provide the required or up-to-date information. Accordingly, ensure you check your sources and determine the most reliable airline websites for booking your rewards!

Phone Agent Reliance

Contributed to by our busy daily schedules, making a booking via the telephone and online has become a habit. However, as most of us have probably experienced, making arrangements on the phone does not always work out. As many websites may be lacking in accuracy, so can your sole reliance on a phone agent present the same issue.

It has been shown that many agents do not have a full understanding of:

  • The routing rules
  • A lack of knowledge related to searches on award inventories for particular partner airlines
  • Are often unwilling to search through multiple dates
  • Frequently us the term “no availability”

Therefore, it is in your interest to NOT ASSUME an agent has more knowledge of your awards procedures than you do!

Flexibility Allowance

This is where a flexible approach is required and not to make a mistake by redeeming your reward miles on the basis of a completely rigid travel plan. It must be taken into account that some dates may never be available. It’s understandable that a flexible attitude may be difficult in certain instances, but even making a 24-hours window booking could mean the difference between you making a successful redemption or not!

The Stopover Discount Advantage

Some travelers may be unaware that many airlines offer you the opportunity to create a free stopover, or to land and depart from other airport locations. This mistake in discount redemption can cost you the benefit of maximizing your award ticket without the cost of a few, additional miles.

Buying Miles to Balance a Booking

Although relatively expensive, if you are attempting to book an award flight but are short of miles you don’t need to delay your travel plan. You can purchase the miles balance required and book your ticket immediately!

It is financially beneficial to research the many and various methods of gaining the flexible advantages available to you as a valued frequent flyer!