Ten tips for booking award travel
This article on the always-helpful site SmarterTravel gives you the lowdown on how to actually use your frequent flyer miles. Despite having a gazillion miles on Continental, I totally struck out trying to use those miles to go to Argentina this summer, despite trying since December. So some of these tips I take with a grain of salt. Yes, it’s nice that they post availability, but if there are ZERO seats available for months on end on a certain route, that’s not exactly helpful.
There are some useful ones in here, however, that you may not have thought of. First of all, did you know you can start booking mileage trips 330 days ahead? Who knows where this number comes from, but I know what I’ll be doing in August–for June of 2007.
This is probably the best advice for those of us who aren’t business road warriors, in terms of it actually working:
“Certain days and destinations are more popular than others for travel, so you’ll have a tougher time booking award travel at those times. The most popular requests include Chicago, New York, Las Vegas, Florida, and the Caribbean.”
In other words, you’ll be competing with hoards of paying customers to find any seat to a beach destination during Christmastime or spring break, but if you can travel to Mexico in the summer or to Europe in the winter, you’ll have better luck redeeming your miles.”