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Airlines' FFPs do not all calculate the same number of mileage for awards travel within the United States and Canada. If you choose the right carrier, you can earn reward travel for fewer points, based on the type of travel. Sometimes you can even get away with saving yourself millions of dollars! How do you determine which mileage you want to use?
What airline mileage should you use? The majority of the large US carriers bill 25,000 return bus miles for travel within the USA and Canada. Your FFPs are zone-based, i.e. there is the same number of mileage to travel within a specific geographical area, regardless of travel distances or ticket prices you pay.
Whilst this is a fair amount of mileage to pay for a longer trip, some people might shudder at issuing so many mileage for a very brief trip (New York to Washington, DC, for example). Fewer mileage can be paid, especially for shorter journeys, by booking your reward travel in a range or turnover dependent program.
Let's take a look at what you are paying for a domestic ticket with the standard reward programmes. Keep in mind that you can use mileage from foreign carriers for reward travel on their US partners. Don't overlook the fact that in order to take advantage of the lowest possible mileage, you have to leave/return in the midweek or on the weekend outside rush hours.
Rewards can be doubled or tripled on top times, and you need to be agile if you want to save mileage. The Hawaiian Airlines (partner flights)American Airlines: UNIT AirlinesFlights less than 700 mile per way: Any other domestic flights: Plane (Partner and Air Canada flights)Short haul (Air Canada only):
Affiliate carriers (such as United Airlines): Virginal Atlantic (Virgin America Flights)Varies by routes and distances: Generally, if you are considering short-haul or medium-haul travel, you should first look at carriers that calculate the number of required mileage points at a certain point, such as British Airways (for American, US and Alaska flights) or Virgin Atlantic and Hawaiian carriers (for Virgin America flights).
If you are considering a plane ride, it's a good idea to consider revenue-based schemes (such as Southwest, JetBlue and Virgin America) because the number of mileage you will be paying will depend on the ticket costs. So, if there is a place sellout, you can start saving a bunch of mileage. Note that the nearer you get to the date of your trip, the higher the ticket will be.
Therefore, when reserving sales-based reward vouchers, it is best to make a reservation during a sales pitch. In the Southwest, you can always reverse and rebook for free if the ticket costs drop. It is 337 mile between Los Angeles and San Francisco (according to the Great Circle Mapper, which is practical for calculating routes).
American, Delta and Alaska Airlines calculate every 25,000 mile return bus journey for this journey. That'?s a bunch of leagues for such a quick ride! With United Airlines, you only earn 20,000 mileage. That' because this plane is less than 700 leagues 1 way. You''ll earn points with range- or revenue-based programmes.
If you use Virgin Atlantic points to travel with Virgin America, you are paying only 10,000 mile return. Virginal Atlantic does not apply additional petrol charges to Virgin America ticket sales as they do to their own ticket sales. When you use British Airways Avios Points to purchase an American Airlines reward ticket, you are paying only 9,000 mile return.
A flight under 650 mile costs only 4,500 mile per way. I would much rather use 9,000 British Airways Avios points than 25,000 American Airlines mileage for exactly the same journey! However, Emily and I like to use our Southwest Company Pass for long and shorter domestic journeys as we only charge mileage for one passenger (and the other one almost free!).
so if there are seats for sale, you' re gonna be paying less. An inexpensive return ticket will cost you 7,554 points. The Virgin America frequently travel programme is also revenue-based. Not as good as it seems when you need to earn American Express Membership Rewards points on Virgin America.
It is a 2:1 gear transmission so you will actually need 10,048 Membership Rewards points for this trip. Still, it's better than payin' 25,000 mile! JetBlue (also an American Express Membership Rewards member with a 5:4 translation rate, although sometimes there are transfers bonuses) was reviewed. If you fly between San Francisco and Long Beach, you earn 7,000 points.
Please note: You will be charged an excess tax of 0.06 Cent per point, up to a limit of $99, if you are transferring American Express Membership Rewards points to US carriers. Of course, it's not a good option to use American, Delta, United Airline or Alaska Airline mileage on this trip, because you are paying 20,000 to 25,000 mileage.
I' d rather be saving those leagues for long-haul travel! Significantly less mileage is paid if you use travel or sales programmes such as British Airways, Virgin Atlantic / Virgin America, Southwest or JetBlue. From New York to Seattle is a much longer journey, a total of ~2,586 mile ( depends on which international airports you are flying from ).
As with any national return service, American Airlines, Alaska Airlines, Delta and United Airlines offer 25,000 nautical miles off a one-way ticket on this itinerary. There is no rebate on United Airlines this weekend as the flights are longer than 700 mile. Since your reward table is dependent on your travel range, there is no benefit to reserving an American Airlines reward ticket with British Airways points on this itinerary.
You' re paying 25,000 Avios points. When you want to travel Virgin America, you are paying 7,303 mile per way for the lowest reward ticket, or 14,606 mile in total. However, if you have earned American Express Membership Rewards points for this ticket, you will need 29,212 points (due to the 2:1 ratio). Virgin Atlantic does not release a fare for travel between New York and Seattle on Virgin America, but traveling a similar flight range costs 25,000 mile.
JetBlue offers discounted ticket prices for a return journey of 23,600 points.
Remember, if you don't have élite ratings, airline companies like JetBlue or Jethwest could help you earn savings. South West gives you 2 free baggage items, and JetBlue baggage items are cheaper than other airline companies. JetBlue and South West do not provide Business or First Class, although JetBlue has a First Class named Mint on its New York - Los Angeles and New York - San Francisco itineraries.
Southwest can be one of the best choices for short-haul and long-haul trips from the above samples, as long as you find a good value ticket. At times (especially nearer the date of travel) the lowest "Wanna Get Away" rates are sold out, and you may have to pay a lot more points for an expensive "Anytime" ticket.
If you have the Southwest Company Pass, this will be a very simple option. This is because your escort is flying with you on reward seats almost free of charge! That' s why I have always said that the Southwest Company Pass is the best offer for domestic trips. When you cannot go southwest, you should consider British Airways Avios points for short-haul flying.
Under 650 nautical miles will cost you only 4,500 nautical miles per way. It doesn't bother me to spend 25,000 mileage on long distance American Airlines, United Airlines, Delta or Alaska Airlines but if I can get a lower cost ticket on Southwest or another revenue-based carrier, I'll take it. I' d rather spend my miles on traveling internationally!
Here is another benefit of making a reservation for Southwest, JetBlue or Virgin America: if there is a place for sell, you can get it with points. You may not always be able to get a reward ticket from another airline for any number of points if you want a reward ticket during prime seasons!
However, if you find a low-level, last-minute reward ticket for a long trip, carriers with zone-based fares (such as American Airlines) could be a better business than a revenue-oriented one. Last-Minute tickets can be very costly and you can earn many points for carriers like JetBlue or Southwest.
However, people with the Southwest Companion Pass will probably still get the best offer. If you book domestic reward travel, you will not always be paying the same number of mileage or points for a particular itinerary. It is much better to use range - or revenue-based programmes such as British Airways Avios, Southwest or JetBlue on short-haul domestic outings.
Normally you spend tens of millions of miles less than carriers like Delta or American Lines, which calculate the same number of mileage regardless of the itinerary. There is no benefit from using distance-based programmes on long-haul domestic routes. However, you can still often find a better offer if you find a cheaper ticket with a sales-oriented carrier.
With the Southwest Companion Pass, you'll almost always book your reward ticket better than with any other airline. This is because you get 2 reward cards for about the cost of one! Have you any hints or hints for domestic reward ticket bookings?