Wednesday, May 22, 2019

Airline Points and Frequent Flyer Miles - Avoiding Pitfalls

Have you ever tried to book flights with points or miles and you feel like you end up with more questions than answers?  Do you ever feel after using a combination of points and cash, that you paid more than you should pay for such purchases?  We would like to outline some of the pitfalls that can come into play with using points, in hopes of avoiding unnecessary frustration.

  • Mileage purchases must be done directly with the airline
  • Tickets purchased using mileage points can be difficult to change
  • Be aware that BLACKOUT dates may apply
  • Double check the rules as some of the mileage booking rules can be confusing
  • Changing a points ticket can be tricky and expensive
  • Frequent flyer miles with airlines can be less flexible than credit card points.
  • Sometimes it is best to use credit card points for hotels and rental cars vs. flights
  • Consider buying discounted tickets with your travel agent using your credit card and reimbursing your card with a cash payout from your points vs. paying through the credit card system to utilize your points.
  • Blackout dates can sometimes apply to flights being purchased with credit card points.
  • Consider allowing your travel agent find the lowest fare for paying passengers to coordinate with points passengers.
  • Some of the deeply discounted child fares are only possible if one adult purchasing with the child using money, not points. 
  • Standalone child tickets can be very costly if not coordinated properly, so make sure if you book airfare for yourself and your child, that you seek help and advice from a trusted travel agent.
  • Since points and miles can be tricky, always seek the advice of your trusted travel agent for clarification and help in understanding how to best use your points and miles to your benefit.
  • You can always ACCRUE miles anytime you work with a travel agency. Just be sure to provide your frequent flyer numbers to your agent to make the most out of your money spent.

Please keep in mind that each airline and credit card company has their own currency with which points can be utilized and spent.  It is always a great idea to look into the specific benefits of your points and make sure you are using them to your maximum benefit.

Our skilled travel agents at Adoption Airfare® enjoy creatively helping our clients to save money utilizing our discount humanitarian fares, sale fares, tour fares, student fares and consolidator fares.  These type of fares can save significantly, even beyond using points in many cases.  We have discounted one way fares on our transatlantic and transpacific flights, saving people a lot vs. booking something that they pay more for, even when using points.  It is always a case by case situation, but our team of agents are here to help with this however we can and our advice to you is always free of charge!!  :)

Please visit us for a quote today for your next trip!

Safe Travels,
Tabitha Lovell

Adoption Airfare® and Hineni Tours

Reasons to Reconsider "Basic Economy" Flights

Recently, the USA based airlines have opened up a myriad of "basic economy" fares.  The rationale behind these fares, is to offer low-cost options to encourage sales, and fill up seats in the main cabin.  Yes, this does open up more 'wallet-friendly' options, but what most people don't know, are the restrictions associated with these "basic economy" fares.

As much as possible, our Adoption Airfare® team works hard to avoid Basic Economy flights for our travelers.  The cheapest option is not always the best option, and there are some factors worth considering if you're thinking about buying that low-end fare.

We can book basic economy fares, but most of the time we steer clients away from them for the following reasons:

  • Group and Family Seating is Not Available with Basic Economy Tickets
  • Strict Limits on Size of Carry on Items
  • Strict Limits on Personal Items that You can Carry with you
  • Flight Changes Not allowed
  • Refunds Not allowed
  • Certain Mileage Plan Benefits Not available
  • Last Boarding Group to Board flights
  • No Pre-Assigned Seating
  • Strict Limitations and fees on Any Checked Baggage 
  • No free Checked Bags Allowed

When would a Basic Economy Ticket be good to consider?

  • A Single Independent Traveler with Only a small Carry on item
  • Someone with firm travel dates, not concerned about the Possibility of Flight changes
  • Young person or Student who is Flexible to sit anywhere on the plane
Are we suggesting that you book high-end seats with pillows, toothbrush kits, and blankets?  Not necessarily. Going up to regular economy is usually not too far above basic in terms of price. If you are thinking about Basic Economy, we hope this will help you to understand what is behind the low cost fare you're seeing, and help you to make an educated decision.  Our agents are able to search for options that you may not be able to find on your own, and we would love to help you secure the best option for your personal travel needs. 

Please visit us for a quote for your next trip!

Safe Travels,
Tabitha from Adoption Airfare® and Hineni Tours

Bumped into some Adoption Airfare® Clients at ATL!

POSTED IN FLIGHT: Arrived in Atlanta to check in for our flights to #Israel, and guess what happened?! We got in line behind a team of orp...