U.S. CitiesCity-Data Forum Index
Go Back   City-Data Forum > General Forums > Travel
 [Register]
Please register to participate in our discussions with 2 million other members - it's free and quick! Some forums can only be seen by registered members. After you create your account, you'll be able to customize options and access all our 15,000 new posts/day with fewer ads.
View detailed profile (Advanced) or search
site with Google Custom Search

Search Forums  (Advanced)
Reply Start New Thread
 
Old 04-29-2016, 05:24 PM
 
Location: San Francisco Bay Area
12,566 posts, read 15,036,884 times
Reputation: 12118

Advertisements

I'm a Southwest frequent flyer (since 2006) and have cashed in thousands of miles/points for free flights all over. Flying my brother and his son over from Sea-Tac this summer to see us. Trip was free.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message

 
Old 04-29-2016, 06:10 PM
 
Location: Lake Norman, NC
7,185 posts, read 11,223,599 times
Reputation: 30752
I just wish I could sell mine. After building up several hundred thousand miles due to business travel, the last thing I want to do is get on a plane for pleasure.

We usually drive to our vacations spots. So, my miles just sit there and challenge me not to let them expire every 18 months.

All my Hilton points expired. That stunk! So much for my loyalty over the years with them. But, it was my error to let them expire. Now I fret over making sure my airline miles don't expire.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 04-29-2016, 06:11 PM
 
Location: Omaha, Nebraska
7,291 posts, read 4,145,583 times
Reputation: 18259
Quote:
Originally Posted by Stripes17 View Post
I just wish I could sell mine. After building up several hundred thousand miles due to business travel, the last thing I want to do is get on a plane for pleasure.

We usually drive to our vacations spots. So, my miles just sit there and challenge me not to let them expire every 18 months.
You can't sell them without violating the program rules, but many airlines allow you to donate them to charities. If you truly don't want the miles, that would be a good use of them.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 04-29-2016, 06:15 PM
 
Location: Niceville, FL
7,678 posts, read 16,089,040 times
Reputation: 7694
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gardyloo View Post
The post in question referred to "Sky Team redemptions" without mentioning Delta or any other airline. Of course you can redeem Delta SkyPesos on partner flights.
For all the 'Sky Peso' reputation, I have a lot easier time trying to use them than United miles when starting from one of our local airports. Want to redeem for a ticket to Paris? Suprisingly large number of redemption options for 70K or less. Want to redeem some United miles? Well it's an outstation served by United Express Barbie Jets and has roughly 0.5 low level award seats per flight if you don't have status or their credit card, so the first leg so you can connect in Houston is going to cause the ticket to price to 50K for about 98% of the continental USA destinations and routings you try to search. (Well that and United's service recovery in IRROPS situations has made me promise the Spousal Unit we'll never have to fly on That Awful Airline ever again, and so I just keep those alive in hopes I can use them on a European partner at some point.)

I'm also not a fan of Southwest's dollar-based redemption system- I feel like you get the best value with traditional frequent flyer programs where you can arbitrage an expensive last minute ticket for a reasonable amount of miles, and once the Wanna Get Away fare buckets are gone for a flight, you need some stupid number of points to cover a $700+ last minute ticket on Southwest.

tldr; there is no one most awesome frequent flyer program that's best for everyone- it depends on your travel patterns, home airport, and favored destinations. It can take some time to dial in which program is best for your needs, but that time can be very well spent and result in some very nice travel bargains.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 04-30-2016, 05:18 AM
 
Location: Ponte Vedra Beach FL
14,628 posts, read 17,917,951 times
Reputation: 6716
Quote:
Originally Posted by beachmouse View Post
For all the 'Sky Peso' reputation, I have a lot easier time trying to use them than United miles when starting from one of our local airports. Want to redeem for a ticket to Paris? Suprisingly large number of redemption options for 70K or less. Want to redeem some United miles? Well it's an outstation served by United Express Barbie Jets and has roughly 0.5 low level award seats per flight if you don't have status or their credit card, so the first leg so you can connect in Houston is going to cause the ticket to price to 50K for about 98% of the continental USA destinations and routings you try to search. (Well that and United's service recovery in IRROPS situations has made me promise the Spousal Unit we'll never have to fly on That Awful Airline ever again, and so I just keep those alive in hopes I can use them on a European partner at some point.)

I'm also not a fan of Southwest's dollar-based redemption system- I feel like you get the best value with traditional frequent flyer programs where you can arbitrage an expensive last minute ticket for a reasonable amount of miles, and once the Wanna Get Away fare buckets are gone for a flight, you need some stupid number of points to cover a $700+ last minute ticket on Southwest.

tldr; there is no one most awesome frequent flyer program that's best for everyone- it depends on your travel patterns, home airport, and favored destinations. It can take some time to dial in which program is best for your needs, but that time can be very well spent and result in some very nice travel bargains.
Agree 100% that one size doesn't fit all.

My brother - who flies a lot on business on Southwest Airlines - loves his Southwest "companion pass". It seems to be a really good deal (for some people):

The Southwest Companion Pass: What It Is, Why It's Awesome, and How To Get It! - Extra Pack of Peanuts

I'm in the same situation you are with United. Flying out of JAX on those "Barbie" jets. Don't much care for the experience. But we had a bunch of United miles. Wound up using most of them for 2 first class (not business class) "saver" tickets from JAX to Singapore. Pretty long trip - 30+ hours (JAX/ORD/NRT/SIN). But flying first class on a 3 class plane was a very nice experience (as was using the first class international lounges in ORD and NRT). And we enjoyed our visit to Singapore.

BTW - the easiest way I've found to keep United miles from expiring (assuming you have no other options) is by donating 500 miles to a charity.

FWIW - things have changed in the last couple of years IMO. At least on Delta (which we use for most of our travel). Because it has had sales on international business class tickets (especially to Europe) for about $2k or so. If you buy the tickets far in advance (if you buy the tickets a little bit in advance - coach will cost you almost as much as these business class tickets). And the price of those tickets in miles has gone way up. So you're essentially getting less than a penny a mile for your points. Not a good deal. I'm finding that I'm getting better deals on points redemptions for things like first class domestic tickets (say JAX to Los Angeles).

Note that this is a pretty good (free) newsletter for anyone who is interested in points and miles and similar (covers many airlines/hotel chains/credit cards/programs):

One Mile at a Time - TIPS, TRICKS, AND TRAVEL WITH LUCKY

Robyn
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 04-30-2016, 07:58 AM
 
Location: Niceville, FL
7,678 posts, read 16,089,040 times
Reputation: 7694
United's also got a smartphone shopping app for bricks and mortar stores, and I'll use that for a purchase about once a month at Barnes & Noble to keep my miles with them current. It's too bad they're IMO only a bare step about Spirit because it's quite easy to pick up miles for non-flight activity with them.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 04-30-2016, 08:57 AM
 
Location: Lake Norman, NC
7,185 posts, read 11,223,599 times
Reputation: 30752
Quote:
Originally Posted by Aredhel View Post
You can't sell them without violating the program rules,...
Yes, I am aware of this. Thanks.

That's why I said "I wish" I could sell them. Selling them and putting the proceeds into the family coffers would be of more value to me than having all those miles just sitting there. But rules are rules.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 04-30-2016, 09:13 AM
 
Location: Near Manito
19,519 posts, read 20,889,630 times
Reputation: 13829
Quote:
Originally Posted by Stripes17 View Post
Selling them and putting the proceeds into the family coffers would be of more value to me than having all those miles just sitting there. But rules are rules.
And they are always changing -- invariably to screw the customer.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 04-30-2016, 09:19 AM
 
Location: SoCal
13,188 posts, read 6,301,958 times
Reputation: 9808
You have to plan way ahead. I would only buy a few miles but not 30,000 miles.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 04-30-2016, 02:25 PM
 
Location: Ponte Vedra Beach FL
14,628 posts, read 17,917,951 times
Reputation: 6716
Quote:
Originally Posted by NewbieHere View Post
You have to plan way ahead. I would only buy a few miles but not 30,000 miles.
Yes - you do have to plan way ahead. So - if your schedule is prone to change - it's probably not the best way to travel. OTOH - the miles can usually be re-deposited (often for a fee). And - my experience with Delta has been that it will waive the fee if there's a hardship. For example - last year I thought I might have to cancel a trip because of an illness my father had - and Delta was willing to waive the fee - assuming I canceled more than 72 hours in advance. My father's condition was stable at just a little more than 72 hours - so we didn't cancel. Delta seems to be pretty strict in terms of its 72 hour rule (you lose everything if you cancel less than 72 hours before a flight). OTOH - I don't know what Delta would do if we tried to cancel in less than 72 hours. If - for example - I had a heart attack 24 hours before a flight. Or our house was blown down by a hurricane. Or some similar catastrophe (wouldn't think of canceling a trip for some small issue). Always figured that if something like that happened - the mileage redeposit would be the least of my problems.

Buying 30000 miles can sometimes make sense. The list price on Delta is $1050 (and I think the miles sometimes go on sale). Say you're 30000 miles short of a business first ticket to Asia that would cost $5-6000 in cash. Paying $1050 for the miles to get the ticket would make sense. At least for me. Robyn
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Please register to post and access all features of our very popular forum. It is free and quick. Over $68,000 in prizes has already been given out to active posters on our forum. Additional giveaways are planned.

Detailed information about all U.S. cities, counties, and zip codes on our site: City-data.com.


Reply
Please update this thread with any new information or opinions. This open thread is still read by thousands of people, so we encourage all additional points of view.

Quick Reply
Message:

Over $104,000 in prizes was already given out to active posters on our forum and additional giveaways are planned!

Go Back   City-Data Forum > General Forums > Travel
Follow City-Data.com founder on our Forum or

All times are GMT -6.

2005-2019, Advameg, Inc. · Please obey Forum Rules · Terms of Use and Privacy Policy · Bug Bounty

City-Data.com - Archive 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30, 31, 32, 33, 34, 35 - Top