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You, dear reader, know that collecting miles and points can get you aspirational rewards in international First Class flights and suites in luxurious hotels.
But the Mainstream Media does not yet know that!
Let’s keep it that way!
The Wall Street Journal recently covered airline award rankings from IdeaWorks Co, a consulting firm. The study searched for awards within the airlines domestic market at the 25,000 mile redemption level.
That’s the first of many drawbacks of the study – searching for award within the carriers domestic market. I like to use my miles to travel internationally and use my miles domestically only when it is too expensive to pay cash.
Southwest Airlines got 2nd place with 99.3% award availability, while US Air and Delta fared worst among US carriers.
I’m delighted with this message because, even though it is not true, it will steer folks away from US Air and Delta which means more seats available for folks like you who know how to get the best value from their miles!
US Air has fantastic availability on their first class flights and through the Star Alliance network. Amongst many other trips, I’ve booked a trip from Kansas City to India and Thailand, for later this year, in First Class on Star Alliance partner airlines like United, Lufthansa, Swiss, and Thai airlines effortlessly.
US Air’s Vice-President of Revenue Management, Tom Trenga says “People like to burn miles in long-haul routes and they go burn them on Star partners.”
Of course they do! Because that’s where the value lies!
Bottom line: The study is flawed because it assumes that you want to travel domestically, are not interested in traveling on airline partners and book your award online only.
You know that the best way to get hard-to-get airline awards is over the phone and sometimes (especially with US Air and Delta) you may need to hang up and call back again until you get an agent who can book you what you want (Don’t worry we’ll cover that topic later!)
One interesting quote from the article was:
“American, by contrast, said that 62% of the 185 billion frequent-flier miles it issued last year went to customers as credit-card rewards, not flying in airplanes.“
Credit cards are fast becoming THE way to earn airline miles! I’ll be covering this topic in more detail over the next few weeks.
In the meantime, please thank the mainstream media for stoking the belief that the airline mile game is pointless since you can never get a seat when you want one.
That just leaves more seats for those of us who know how to play the miles and point game!