Booking airline award tickets using miles can be a complex process for some. Below are some helpful tips to help get the most value out of your airline miles and credit card points. Some best practices include booking early, being flexible, earning points in multiple programs and looking at nearby airports.
Additionally, you may want to consider a professional award booking service. We recommend Juicy Miles book your award fights for you, through their fast and easy process. They can help using your airline miles or credit card points to book on almost any airline including partners.
Book early: Airline award space is typically released 331 days out. This means that if you want to take a trip in October 2019, now is a great time to be looking for flights. Airlines will usually release a certain amount of award seats for each flight and once they’re gone, the likelihood of finding space quickly disappears.
Be Flexible: If the destination is the biggest factor in your award travel plans, be flexible with the cabin of service and dates of the planned trip. There will most likely be other travelers looking to redeem points and miles for a similar award trip. Consider taking an economy cabin or flying during a different date range to find availability.
Accumulate Points with Multiple Programs: A great strategy for earning miles and points is to not have them all associated with a single airline program. With American Express Membership Reward points and Chase Ultimate Reward points, you can transfer your points to multiple airline programs. Learn more on How to Transfer American Express Points and How to Transfer Chase Ultimate Reward Points. By splitting up the itinerary into two one ways operated by different airlines, you will have more options. For example, on an international trip the outbound flight could be on American Airlines (oneworld) and the return being with Delta (SkyTeam).
Consider Nearby Airports: Depending on the itinerary, consider looking at nearby airports or booking a cash repositioning flight. This will provide more options if you have certain dates you are trying to fly on. Almost all international flights depart out of specific airline hubs. If a domestic award flight to a hub is unavailable your award search may come back with no options.
If you’re looking for a professional service, let Juicy Miles find and book your next award fights for you. They can search using your airline miles or credit card points to book on almost any airline including partners.
Free award travel is wonderful, but it’s important to have realistic goals when redeeming. Some airlines release last minute award space for people who are extremely flexible. If you’re trying to visit a major destination at a peak season, it will take a lot of research, luck, and preparation to secure award flights. The airlines are constantly changing requirements and rules for award redemptions, however many new tools are making the process helpfu.