3 Basic Tips for Booking International Flights with Miles

3 Basic and Useful Tips for Using Award Miles on International Flights

Author: The Traveling Professor/Friday, July 21, 2017/Categories: Save on Airfare

Rate this article:
4.7

There is no doubt that award mile reward programs have become devalued over the years.  What do you expect when credit card companies, auto rental companies and just about everyone else is giving out "free flights" with award mile bonuses.?

Nevertheless, there are still some situations to use award miles wisely when booking international flights:

Never, Ever Book an Award Flight to London or Connecting Through London:  The fees and taxes often associated with an award flight nearly outweigh the cost of purchasing a ticket outright.  For instance, I recently checked the price of a R/T flight on American Airlines between JFK (New York) and CDG (Paris).  Using 45,000 award miles the flight cost $436 with taxes. That's hardly a "free" flight since it can be purchased outright for $448 using no award miles.  On flights not connecting in London, the taxes and fees go down to $84.  In any case, connecting on any flight through LHR is a hassle!

Always Book a One-Way Ticket:  There is no penalty for booking one-way trips with award miles as there is with purchasing one-way international flights on most legacy carriers.  So, always book a R/T award flight with two separate bookings.   Why?  Let's say you have booked a R/T JFK/CDG using one booking for both the outbound and return flights.  Later on, you need to change/cancel the outbound flight only.  Now, because both the outbound and return flights were booked on the same ticket with the same record locator, the entire flight needs to be re-booked by the airline.  It is very possible the return flight may no longer be available with award miles even though the same return flight is being re-booked.  However, if the outbound and return flights were booked on two separate reservations with different record locators, they can be changed/cancelled independently of each other.

Plan Ahead or Book Immediately Before Departure:  Of course everyone is going to tell you plan ahead in order to use miles and that is good advice. However, in some cases, airlines make award flights available immediately before departure and some make more award flights available 30 days in advance of a flight.  BTW, flights become available to book 330 days before departure on most carriers.

Join The Traveling Professor on one of his small group tours to Italy.  He also travels to Scandinavia, Paris, Ireland, Peru and Machu Picchu, Iceland, Austria and Germany.   Sign up for his monthly newsletter to get insider tips.

Number of views (1627)/Comments ()

«January 2020»
MonTueWedThuFriSatSun
3031123

Who Traveled With Us in 2019

who travels with The Traveling ProfessorThe Traveling Professor ran small group tours to Iceland, Peru and Machu Picchu, Scotland, Croatia, Italy, Normandy Invasion Beaches, and Canada in 2019.  We had a wonderful year, making new friends and traveling to great places.  But who goes on Traveling Professor tours?  In this blog post, we will tell you the number of people and what the make-up of our small group tours looks like.
Read more
4

26 Places to Eat in Paris

where to eat in ParisAh, we love to eat when we go on our small group tours to Paris.  Who doesn't?  The Professor presents his list of Paris restaurants. The list includes places for breakfast, lunch, dinner and snacks.  Some are expensive, some are not.  Some qualify as a great place for a romantic dinner, but most of them are on the casual side. Take advantage of The Professor's experience and see where to eat in Pars. 
Read more
5
67

The Perfect 14 Day Introduction to Italy Itinerary

perfect 14 day Italy itineraryEveryone loves Italy.  The Traveling Professor's small group tours to Italy usually covers Venice, Florence, Rome and Sorrento (the Amalfi Coast).  Planning an itinerary can be daunting, but The Traveling Professor makes it easy for the first-time Italy traveler.  See all the great sites, eat wonderful food, experience the culture. Take a look at our introduction to Italy itinerary and get ready to say "Ciao!" to Italy.
Read more
8910

A Visit with Vincent Van Gogh in Auvers

Day trip to Auvers from Paris

Vincent Van Gogh is considered by many to be the greatest painter of all time. He spent much of his time in France.  Those who have gone to Paris with The Traveling Professor on one of his small group tours to Paris can remember walking the neighborhoods frequented by Van Gogh and seeing his paintings at the Musee d'Orsay. In today's guest blog post adapted from a  post originally done by Laura Keefe Junod of VoyageScholar.com, she talks about visiting Auvers - the place where Van Gogh lived, died and is buried. She does a wonderful job of explaining where Van Gogh  lived, died and is buried.

Read more
1112
13141516171819

What to Do in Paris the 2nd Time You Go

what to see 2nd time in ParisThe Eiffel Tower, the Musée d'Orsay, Louvre, Montmartre, Seine River Cruise, Pantheon, Pomidou Center, Rodin Museum, Arc de Triomphe - those are all things people see on their first trip to Paris.  They are timeless sites that probably could be visited time and time again. But what should you see on your second and even third or fourth visit to Paris. In this blog, The Traveling Professor gives some ideas on other great sites that would be superstars in nearly any other place in the world. 
Read more
20212223242526
272829303112
3456789