One thing I love about points and miles is having the ability to travel at a moments notice.
We are all aware of what the search results are going to be when attempting to book a last minute flight. MONEY! MONEY! MONEY! MONEEYYYY! <–Did you really just sing that like the O’Jays? 🤣
Anyway, a lot of articles that I write tend to focus on redeeming miles and points to sit at the front of the plane because those experiences would be something that I, otherwise, would not be able to afford without points.
However, depending on your preferences, there is a lot of planning and flexibility that is required when trying to snag those seats. Sometimes, you just want simplicity.
TRICKS ARE FOR
I’ve spoken many times about using partners miles to book flights. For example, you can use British Airway Avios to fly on American Airlines’ planes or Virgin Atlantic miles to fly on Delta planes.
Understanding that you can use miles from one airline to fly on another airline is where this process can get complicated because it’s rare that airlines require the same amount of miles. For example, one airline may charge 100,000 miles + $5 and a partner airline will charge 30,000 miles and $50 for THE EXACT SAME SEAT on THE EXACT SAME FLIGHT? Knowing which airline charges which price is the tricky part. I’ll dive into this in a future blog.
GOING TO JAPAN TOMORROW!
Let’s say that I am interested in going to Japan tomorrow. I live in Atlanta which is a Delta hub so searching for award tickets typically start with Delta. However, understanding the “trick” that I mentioned above, I start with Virgin Atlantic. Let’s see what it will cost for me to go to Japan tomorrow and return a week later.
These are the results from Virgin Atlantic…
Now remember, booking these flights (via Virgin) would put me on Delta planes. So let’s see what Delta would charge me to fly on the same exact flight dates and same plane.
Yes, 211,000 miles PER PERSON!! For economy…psshh! #hardpass
If you’re new to this hobby, I would encourage you to try to replicate my results. You will not need a delta account to search for availability on Delta or a Virgin account to search on Virgin.
This practice will help when you when you need to book an award flight or there is a major sale. If you need a little practice on how to book award tickets START HERE.
p.s. Often, American Express has transfer bonuses (LIKE THIS). In the case of a 30% transfer bonus to Virgin, you would only pay 62,000 points (80,000 divided by 1.3 = 61,538)
Practice makes perfect!
Who wants to go to Japan for $50? Were you aware that you could book a last minute ticket for cheap with miles?