Award Programs

In this section I will explain how to redeem all those miles and points once you have them. Here is a quick primer.

Go to the company website and try your best to search. Some programs require you to log in before searching for award space. If you still don’t find availability for what you want, call them. There are several programs whose websites are notoriously difficult, and it is very easy to just get frustrated and give up on making an award booking. Don’t let them win that easily.

For example, US Airways miles can be used to fly on more than a dozen other airline’s flights, but on their website they ONLY show US Airways flights as redeemable with their miles. You just have to call them.

You will find that, when redeeming points/miles for award flights or stays, persistence and patience pay off. A common phrase in the industry is “HUCA” which means “Hang Up Call Again”. If an agent doesn’t want to let you route your flight the way you think it should be available, or refuses to waive a fee, think about busting out a HUCA on ’em. There is about a 49% chance that the next agent will be totally accommodating to your request(s).

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