When you are redeeming your airline miles, there are certain things that you should try to avoid to make sure you get the most out of them. When it comes to redeeming their miles, most people think that there is only one way to do so. If you have built up a lot of miles and want to use them, these are some common mistakes that you should avoid.
Mistake: Only using the airline’s website. The might seem like simplistic advice, but far too many people are still using the airline’s website to use their miles. If you only use the official website, you aren’t getting access to all of the flights you could. Before redeeming, make sure you check the following websites: United, British Airways, Air France, Alaska, American, Delta, and US Airways.
Mistake: Relying only on a phone agent. Just like using a website won’t yield the best result every time, neither will relying on a phone agent. Agents usually only do so much before saying that there isn’t availability. If you aren’t getting the answer you want, hang up and call again.
Mistake: Not being flexible. If you have to stick to certain dates, you might be better off not using your airline miles and instead earning more. Some dates are never going to be available. If you want to use your miles, try to book your flight first.
Mistake: Failing to plan. While you don’t always want to book as soon as the tickets are available, you also do want to plan ahead. Make sure to book at least a few months out so you have a choice of seats.
Mistake: Paying extra fees. There are hidden fees in everything, no matter where you look. Sometimes you’ll get fees for baggage, or fuel surcharges, or even departing from a specific region.
Mistake: Purchasing miles to top off a balance while booking. If you are trying to book an award flight and don’t have enough miles to complete the purchase, most people will just purchase the remaining miles right away. However, this isn’t the best option because those miles are extra expensive. There are plenty of ways to make up those remaining miles – and if you’ve planned ahead, you’ll have the time to earn them.
In the end, you might make mistakes using your miles when you don’t have any other options. Still, educating yourself and being aware of the tips and tricks that the pros use will help you make the most of your miles. Starting with these tips, you will be able to make better choices.
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