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Secret Perk to Booking Paid Flights Through Citi ThankYou Portal

Secret Perk to Booking Paid Flights Through Citi ThankYou Portal

Million Mile SecretsSecret Perk to Booking Paid Flights Through Citi ThankYou PortalMillion Mile Secrets Team

Folks paying for more than one airline ticket could save hundreds of dollars booking through Citi ThankYou Portal.

Sometimes airlines only have 1 ticket available at a certain price.  This means the 2nd passenger on your trip might have to pay more.

But, there’s a secret way to book so the 1st and 2nd passenger get the same price!

Secret Perk To Booking Paid Flights Through Citi ThankYou Portal
Family Trip? You’ll Want to See If This Secret Can Save You Hundreds of Dollars on Paid Airfare!

My friend used this secret to book 2 JetBlue Mint (Business Class) tickets and saved $300!

I’ll explain how you can take advantage of this trick!

Find Limited Available Seats on Flights

Link:   Google Flights

Link:   JetBlue

Link:   Search for Cheap Airfare Like a Pro

This secret might work on many airlines.  I’ll use JetBlue as an example because my friend had success with this booking method.

First, you’ll want to find the cheapest paid flight for 1 passenger.  You can search directly on the airline’s website or by using ITA Matrix or Google Flights.

For example, I searched JetBlue for a one-way flight from New York (JFK) to Los Angeles for 1 adult.

Secret Perk To Booking Paid Flights Through Citi ThankYou Portal
Search 1 Adult to Find the Cheapest Price for a Paid Flight

The results show only 1 coach seat available for $318.

Secret Perk To Booking Paid Flights Through Citi ThankYou Portal
JetBlue Shows Only 1 Coach Seat Available for $318

When I do the same search for 2 adults, the price for both passengers goes up to $380 per person.

Secret Perk To Booking Paid Flights Through Citi ThankYou Portal
Searching Paid Airfare for More Than 1 Adult on This Flight Increases the Price for All Passengers

Because there’s only 1 seat available at the cheaper price, you could book separate flights through JetBlue.  The first passenger’s ticket would be $318 and the second passenger’s for $380.

Wouldn’t it be nice to get both tickets for $318?

Book First Ticket Through Citi ThankYou Portal

Link:   Citi Prestige® Card

To get 2 tickets for the cheaper amount, you’ll need to book the 1st ticket through the Citi ThankYou Portal.  I’ll explain why in a minute.

For access to the ThankYou Portal, you’ll need a Citi credit card like the Citi Prestige.  Or you can get access with an eligible Citi checking account.

Using the Citi ThankYou Portal, I searched the same JetBlue flight from New York (JFK) to Los Angeles for 1 adult.

Secret Perk To Booking Paid Flights Through Citi ThankYou Portal
Search Citi ThankYou Portal to Find the JetBlue Flight With 1 Available Seat

The results are the same.  One seat available for ~$318.

Secret Perk To Booking Paid Flights Through Citi ThankYou Portal
The Results on Citi ThankYou Show 1 Seat Available for ~$318

You can pay for this $318 flight with a credit card.  Or, if you have Citi ThankYou points, you can apply them toward the flight cost.  You’ll get a rate of 1.33 cents per point if you have the Citi Prestige through July 23, 2017, or 1.25 cents per point if you have a Citi ThankYou Premier.

After paying, you’ll get a confirmation with your flight reservation information.

Now, you’ll have to act quickly to book the 2nd passenger’s flight for the same price.

Book the 2nd Ticket Directly on the Airline’s Website

Here’s the secret.

There’s a delay between the time you book the 1st flight through Citi ThankYou Portal and updates to JetBlue’s available seats.

This means after you book the 1st flight, you can quickly go to JetBlue and find 1 seat available for the price of the 1st ticket.

Citi ThankYou Portal and JetBlue initially showed only 1 seat available for $318.  But, after booking 1 ticket through the ThankYou Portal, JetBlue still shows 1 available seat at the same price.

Secret Perk To Booking Paid Flights Through Citi ThankYou Portal
JetBlue Still Shows 1 Seat Available for $318 After Booking the First Ticket Through the Citi ThankYou Portal

Go ahead and book the 2nd ticket on JetBlue and you’ll have both tickets for $318!

Risks to This Booking Method

Like anything in the miles and points hobby, nothing is guaranteed or lasts forever.

While this trick works with JetBlue, it may or may not work on other airlines.

If you decide to book paid airfare this way, consider the following:

  • You may end up paying a higher amount for the 2nd passenger if the airline’s system updates after your Citi ThankYou Portal booking
  • You’ll have separate reservation confirmations for each passenger
  • One seat available at a certain price might mean it’s the last seat available at any price on the flight

Bottom Line

There’s a secret way to book paid airfare for multiple passengers to save money.  If there’s only one cheap seat available according the airline site, you can book it through Citi ThankYou Portal.  Then quickly book the next ticket at the same price directly on the airline’s website before it updates.

This method might not be for everyone.  But, it could potentially work on many airlines and save you hundreds of dollars.

If you’ve booked airfare this way, I’d love to hear about your experience!

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Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card

Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card

  • Earn 50,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $625 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®
  • Chase Sapphire Preferred® named a 'Best Travel Credit Card' by MONEY® Magazine, 2016-2017
  • 2X points on travel and dining at restaurants worldwide & 1 point per dollar spent on all other purchases.
  • Earn 5,000 bonus points after you add the first authorized user and make a purchase in the first 3 months from account opening
  • No foreign transaction fees
  • 1:1 point transfer to leading airline and hotel loyalty programs
  • Get 25% more value when you redeem for travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards. For example, 50,000 points are worth $625 toward travel.
  • No blackout dates or travel restrictions - as long as there's a seat on the flight, you can book it through Chase Ultimate Rewards

More Info

Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card

Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card

  • Earn 50,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $625 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®
  • Chase Sapphire Preferred® named a 'Best Travel Credit Card' by MONEY® Magazine, 2016-2017
  • 2X points on travel and dining at restaurants worldwide & 1 point per dollar spent on all other purchases.
  • Earn 5,000 bonus points after you add the first authorized user and make a purchase in the first 3 months from account opening
  • No foreign transaction fees
  • 1:1 point transfer to leading airline and hotel loyalty programs
  • Get 25% more value when you redeem for travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards. For example, 50,000 points are worth $625 toward travel.
  • No blackout dates or travel restrictions - as long as there's a seat on the flight, you can book it through Chase Ultimate Rewards

More Info

Editorial Note: We're the Million Mile Secrets team. And we're proud of our content, opinions and analysis, and of our reader's comments. These haven’t been reviewed, approved or endorsed by any of the airlines, hotels, or credit card issuers which we often write about. And that’s just how we like it! :)

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8 comments

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I tried to book 3 seats on jetblue site when it only showed 2 seats available...

it took the reservation for 3 adults till i hit purchase then error message showed??

I called into jetblue and the SECOND supervisor honored the fare for all 3 people.

afterwards the website showed no seats available,jetblue blocked the date off???

persistance pays off as well as loyalty to jetblue!

I tried something like this using pay with points on the Chase and Citi for an Iberia flight. I'm pretty sure I booked the Citi flight first and quickly tried to buy from Chase but the seat was gone for that price.

You don't even need to use citi portal...Just open the website in incognito mode twice and search for the ticket in two different tabs or open one tab on your laptop and another on a tablet. After adding the details , hit submit at the same time and you will have 2 tickets at low price. I have tried this and it works.

I recently took an extended trip around SE Asia with my stockpile of Thank You points. I found that more often than not the price airline tickets using the Thank You portal was 20%-500%!! more than booking elsewhere. Yes, once a ticket on Vietnam Airlines was 5 times as much as booking directly online from the airline. Also, hotels were often 20%-50% more than other travel sites. I found it difficult to get a value of 1 cent per Thank You point during my trip. However, free travel is still fun. YMMV.

@Billy--I know Bob Sacamono. He called me the other night at 4 a.m. and we got to talking...

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