If you’re like me – cheap and don’t want to pay for flights – then this article will suit you down to the ground. We all want to fly for free or even discounted prices. We’ve all heard of these people who get all their flights for free through Airmiles by having 10 credit cards, but we don’t really believe it. We know in the back of our heads that there are ways to ‘hack’ the system – we’re just not quite sure how – there has to be another way than collecting a bunch of plastic money cards. Many people aren’t in the situation to take out all these credit cards and credit cards just don’t sit right with some people – including me. Well, there is another way, there are many ways to be smart about Airmiles and maximise the amount you receive, if only you do a little research. Even if you fly once or twice a year, investing in Airmiles is still worth your time!
Choose the Alliance That Suits You.
There are Alliances of airlines in the world. These means that a group of airlines have bundled together and agreed that if a passenger earns air miles on one airline, they can be used on another within the alliance. These airlines are Partner Airlines. There are a few alliances out there, the three most well known are; The Star Alliance, Oneworld, and Skyteam. It’s just about choosing the one that contains the airlines you are most likely to fly with in order to earn the most miles. Outside these alliances, airlines will have other partner airlines that Airmiles will be transferable through.
Using Partner Airlines
When searching for a flight you’re looking for two things – the cheapest flight which gives the most miles. This is where the partner airlines come in that can contribute to your Airmiles account. If you can’t find a flight that’s that cheap with your main airline you should look up partners of the airline you have an Airmiles scheme with. If you fly with one of these partners then your miles will be transferable to your main airline that you have an account with. For instance, I’m flying with Canadian airline Westjet in October and the miles I’m gaining are going to go straight onto my American Airlines account! WestJet was £530 compared to American Airlines £725 so was miles cheaper (get the pun?!). I’m saving money and I still get to collect the miles on my AA account because Westjet is a partner of American. Sometimes though, even if a ticket is slightly more expensive it may be worth purchasing it because it offers considerably more miles than the slightly cheaper ticket. Check how many miles each ticket will award.
Once you increase miles it gets easier. When you start off you don’t get that many. If you fly 3000 miles you may only actually receive 1500 miles. However, slowly but surely as you rank up your levels from ordinary to silver the silver to gold, you will start to earn more miles per flight. Airlines reward their high-value customers more so if you travel frequently and have a higher ranking, you will earn more miles on a flight compared to an infrequent flyer. It seems unfair but once our up there it becomes a lot easier to accumulate miles!
Buy Miles When Necessary.
When it comes to buying miles, sometimes there can be offers out there that are just too good to turn down. If you know you are going to use the miles you are going to purchase on a flight, then purchasing miles may well be cheaper than actually buying a normal flight ticket!
Sign up to Every Possible Survey/Contest You Can!
Often airlines will ask you to complete surveys or enter contests for them. You can often earn a few hundred miles just for entering these! Other companies on the World Wide Web such as e-rewards will send you surveys to complete and the rewards you received can be transferred in air miles, Avios points in the case of e-rewards! These are often small rewards but they all add up for just a few minutes a day!
Apps to Manage Your Miles.
If you have a few air miles accounts it can often be tricky to keep track of them. There are some apps out there that can help you manage your accounts as well as suggest ways that you can maximise the points you earn. Here are two of them;
- Webflyer.com app helps you earn the most possible miles and suggests things that you can do to do this. It will suggest things that you can sign up to in order to receive reward miles. It will also look at your flights and tell you if there is a better one where you can earn more miles! Pretty neat ay??
- Award wallet claims to be keeping track of over 110 Billion Miles and points for its customers at the moment, that’s a lot of miles! It will also track your schemes and itineraries for you and will tell you how to gain more as well as tell you when your balances will change and your points will expire!
Redeem Your Miles on Short Haul flights.
Redeeming your miles of short haul flights is becoming lotot more attractive recently. With most airlines providing better deals on short haul – in terms of pence per mile it’s the most valuable! Obviously, if you need the points to fly long haul you should use them but if you know you have short haul flight coming up soon check out how much it is with miles – you may be pleasantly surprised!
Well, there it is. If you follow these simple steps you will help maximise the number of miles that you can earn no matter how many times you fly a year. Choose the right alliance, research partner airlines, enter competitions, and buy miles when it works out cheaper! Once you’ve set up your accounts use one of the apps suggested to monitor them so you know you’re not missing out on anything. And redeem them when you see fit – short haul flights are looking very attractive for using miles at the moment. happy Flighting!