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Frequent Flyer Points

Shoalhaven...
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2,771 posts
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Frequent Flyer Points

Being new to accumulating FF points, i was wondering if any of our experts could assist.

There is a current promo from Alaskan Airlines offering 40% bonus.

They say I can buy 112,000 FF points for USD2360 incl taxes.

Their website says return Business class fare Syd-USA is 110,000 points using QF.

As such, does that mean i can buy those FF points and then cash them in for a return business class fare for only $2360? (usually $6000+).

I am sure there is something i am missing

Link: pointhacks.com.au/alaska-airlines-mileage-pl…

Elk Rapids, Michigan
Destination Expert
for Lanai
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9,444 posts
53 reviews
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1. Re: Frequent Flyer Points

You are missing the availability part. FF seats are limited and go fast on popular routes.

Just because you have the miles does not mean you will ever get a seat on the date you want it.

You also need to read all the fine print. You may have to book at a higher fare class, pay taxes or fuel surcharges etc etc etc. Each airline has their own rules.

Edited: 8:06 am, September 13, 2013
Frankfurt, Germany
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3,656 posts
4 reviews
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2. Re: Frequent Flyer Points

Read through all terms and conditions very carefully. Some airlines only allow you to buy a certain amount of miles/points at the same time and sometimes the amount of points you buy must not exceed your current point ballance or even a certain percentage of your mileage and so on.

There has to be a catch somewhere.

Houston, Texas
Destination Expert
for Solo Travel
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192 reviews
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3. Re: Frequent Flyer Points

Lucky's blog has some additional comments, as well. One comment I noted was that if you opened an account on AS, you have a 10-day waiting period to purchase miles. And, as noted above, keep in mind when you redeem the miles, you are limited by seat availability at the redemption level and by any additional taxes on the award ticket. So, likely not $2360 all in.

boardingarea.com/onemileatatime/…

FlyerTalk also has comments here: flyertalk.com/forum/alaska-airlines-mileage-…

Seattle, Washington
Destination Expert
for Seattle
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5,885 posts
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4. Re: Frequent Flyer Points

Alaska only allows you to buy 40,000 miles (plus 16K bonus). So while you can indeed get a round trip for roughly $2360 it would be necessary for two people to each buy 40K + 16K and each one use 55K miles for a one-way business class ticket for you (or other traveler.) There's no restriction on using your points for another person, just don't have them "selling" the miles to you (silence is golden.)

Business-class mileage redemption seats on Qantas are notoriously hard to obtain; however Alaska has other partners that fly to/from Oz/NZ and North America, such as Delta, Cathay Pacific, Korean and Fiji Airlines, each with slightly different mileage requirements - use the Alaska website to see the details. About half of Alaska's partners now allow one-way redemptions, so you could fly, say, Qantas in one direction and Cathay back (via HKG).

Using purchased miles for trips can work exactly in the manner you propose. For the past couple of years, US Airways has conducted 100% bonus "sales" several times a year. US's base cost (around 3.5 US cents per mile) is higher than most other airlines charge, but in a 2-for-1 sale it comes down to 1.75c, which is a great deal. Buy 50,000 US miles for $1800 or so (after taxes) and get 50,000 for free. Twice I've turned around and redeemed 100K miles the next day - once for two domestic first class round trips that would have cost almost $1500 each, the second time for a business class trip to Europe (100K miles) that would have cost over $4000 to buy. I call that decent leverage. Of course you need to be sure that seats are going to be available, so do your homework before dropping the penny.

Often the airlines will book open seats for you even if you don't have the miles in your account, then will hold them for 48 hours (or longer) while you do the mileage transaction.

5. Re: Frequent Flyer Points

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