Friday, August 26, 2011

Tip for Earning the Most Frequent Flier Miles

At times, it is possible to earn more frequent flier miles, while keeping the same point of origin and destination.  You may be wondering how this is the case.  When doing an online search for flights with a travel website like Expedia, Hotwire, etc., or a specific airline's website, numerous flights will generally pop up. 

What I tend to do if I don't have a tight schedule is look at the price of each flight, then the time, then the specific itinerary.  It is often possible to go a bit out of the way to earn more miles.  For example, I generally fly out of Grand Forks, ND.  I will always fly on Delta, because Delta is the only major airline that offers connecting flights out of Grand Forks.  Cleveland and Pittsburgh are nearly equidistant from my in-laws, so either place will work if I am flying to the in-laws.

These two destinations often have a similar price from Grand Forks.  However, flying to/from Pittsburgh earns me 200 more miles with one stop than a flight to/from Cleveland will.  The itineraries are not much different because I have to fly through Minneapolis, but one gets more frequent flier miles.  On my last flight, I actually did even better.  For about $2 more than having one stop, I was able to go from Pittsburgh-Memphis-Minneapolis-Grand Forks.  Since I wasn't in a big hurry, the three extra hours wasn't a huge deal, and I banked about 1,800 miles on this flight, as opposed to the 1,100 I would have earned if I had taken the standard Cleveland-Minneapolis-Grand Forks route. 

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