You may want to start investigating how may points it takes to fly once you have a decent amount of points accumulated. You ask yourself: "How do i use frequent flyer miles"?

Depending on which airline you are trying to redeem with and the route you want to go by – it can get extremely complicated and time-consuming if you do not know the main airline hubs.

Generally speaking – the best way to look at routes in my opinion is to look at the longest leg of the flight first. Once you have found the date and times for that – then you can work on the smaller routes and book flights cheap.

The 3 basic cabins most airlines have are Economy (Y), Business (J) and First (F). I have always preached you using frequent flyer miles on Business or First – never on Economy.

Putting this into comparison – Qantas for example has a special where from Sydney to Los Angeles return is about $1200 when it is on special for economy. Now if you find the same flight with an award seat that requires 96,000 points – the tax is a ridiculous $900! Therefore if you were to redeem 96,000 points – the value is only $300. This is worse than redeeming for a gift card!

Back to my point in regards to finding availability – I will talk about 2 programmes I mainly use.

For Star Alliance award availability – airlines include ANA airlines, Thai Airlines, Singapore Airlines, Asiana Airlines and Air Canada – I would use the ANA award search tool. This is free to sign up. Sign up for a free account with ANA website.

For One World award availability – airlines such as Qantas, Cathay Pacific, Malaysian Airlines, United American Airlines and British Airways – I would use the British Airways search tool.  This is a bit trickier as you need either an American or British address to create a British Airways Executive Club account for free. Luckily I have a friend who lives in London who I was able to use his address.

With award seats – the golden rule when searching for award seats is to do one leg at a time. The systems most of the time are not intuitive enough to calculate a complicated route.

Also with every different frequent flyer programme – different rules apply – so understanding what you can and cannot do is important if you want your ticket to be issued.

I will post later into more depth of certain frequent flyer programmes and what are the best ways to use it. 


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