Frequent Flyer Tip #2 - Maximising your benefits
Jan 4, 2001 Write an essay on this topic.
My second frequent tip is more of a general principle but one that you will find very useful once you grasp the concept.
Essentially it is the frequent flyer equivalent of shopping around.
Let's say you want to fly from point A to point B at some point in time. Generally there will be a variety of airlines that fly this route. You might fly United or American or TWA for example. Prices are often similar.
But one of those airlines may be having a special promotion whereby you can accrue extra frequent flyer miles if you fly with them. It pays therefore to keep abreast of the latest promotions. You can find these in the 'Bonus Bulletin' section at http://www.webflyer.com
Now the challenge is to maximise your benefit. The first thing you need to do, particularly if you fly often, is to be a member of most of the airlines that fly on the routes you will travel. You then merely select the airline that gives you the most benefit for your hard earned $$$. By benefits I mean (a) the flight, (b) the mileage for the flight and (c) any mileage bonuses that are current. If you fly infrequently this system will be of less use to you however it is still worth comparing.
Also, even though you may take a given flight with one airline you still have a choice of accruing your mileage on that airline's frequent flyer program or on other airline's programs that are partnered with the airline you will be flying. Pick the one that maximises the benefit to you.
For example I purchased a cheap Melbourne (Australia) to Hong Kong package in 1998. I could have accrued my miles with Qantas but I would not have accrued many points relatively speaking. Instead I chose to accrue my miles with Swissair's Qualiflyer program with which Qantas is partnered.
I got 1000 miles for joining Qualiflyer (it's free), a 5,000 miles bonus for taking a Qantas international flight under a special promotion they were having, and 9,198 miles for the flight itself. Total - 15,198 miles. I would have got a lot less in real value with Qantas. I only require a further 4,802 miles (which could easily be earned by taking a few domestic Qantas flights) and I could redeem my miles for a round trip ticket on Qantas to anywhere in Australia.
This illustrates why it is a good idea to keep abreast of all the frequent flyer promotions and to maximise the benefit when choosing your airline to fly and frequent flyer program to accrue miles on.
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