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The Travel Professor
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Friday, April 6, 2007

A million airline frequent flyer miles & nowhere to go

While exchanging comments with a colleague at the copy machine the other morning he confided that he had accumulated about 1 million airline frequent flyer miles and was going to redeem some of them for a trip to Honolulu, Hawaii in early June.

Good luck was my response. Then I proceeded to tell about my quest of trying to get frequent flyer (free) seats into Albuquerque New Mexico this summer. My search has continued unsuccessfully since last December. There are seats available but I can’t match up decent departure and return flights. It seems that I either have to spend 2 or 27 days in the high desert, not my desired week to 10 days. I’m just about ready to go plan B break out the credit card, purchase tickets and earn more miles than I may never be able to redeem. But at least I’m playing the game and getting to NM!

So the point of the story is if you can’t get to New Mexico on airline freebies what makes you think that flights to Hawaii would be available anytime you wanted to travel. OK the airlines might make these seats available on your desired city pairs but you have to play their game. Start checking around 330 days in advance of when you want to travel and then keep checking & checking & continue checking. When you find what you’re looking for, grab the space and reserve it. Avoid peak travel periods and look for alternative airports-say Oakland CA instead of San Francisco.
And be flexible.