Wednesday, April 4, 2012 Home

The Best Way to Book a Flight with Frequent Flier Miles

We've been saving our miles for a travel to some place far away, like Africa, preferably for a first/business class upgrade. . . but I couldn't figure out a way to do that with the miles I had available when we went to South Africa.


For our fall trip to the Seychelles - an even farther away place - I decided to try again.

Success!

We have two round trip first/business class tickets to the Seychelles (with a couple days in Paris on the return) and they cost us 240,000 miles and a bit less than $2,000 (mostly for taxes and airport fees). Total. For both of us.

I feel like I won the lottery.

To what, you ask, do I owe this sudden, magnificent change in fortune?

I hired an expert.

I'd always heard that Gary at BookYourAward.com could work miracles, so I headed over to his website and gave it a thorough read through. Then I sent a very long email describing what I was hoping for and how many miles I could scrounge up.

Gary forwarded me to his colleague, Steve Belkin. It was Steve who pulled off this miracle and who did it in the midst of a downed computer system at Delta. I can't say enough good things about the service I got - it's worth far more than they charge. I'll never book my own award seats again.

I HIGHLY recommend using BookYourAward.com, but encourage you to keep a few things in mind:
  • Be flexible - the more flexible you are, the more likely it is that they will be able to find a good deal for you (we are not traveling on the exact dates we had planned or at a peak period)
  • Be patient - sometimes things take longer than you expect (computer issues at Delta had us on hold for almost a week)
  • Be reasonable - luck and timing both factor into this and what's available will vary at any given time, they'll do the best they can. . . and remember that award miles still will require cash for taxes and fees
  • Be honest - lay out what is acceptable and what isn't right at the beginning to ensure you aren't wasting your time or theirs
  • Be fair - the cost for this service is really a bargain, so don't expect a miracle and don't be a jerk!
I went into this not expecting to be able to get more than maybe one segment in business class, based on the amount of miles I had, my budget, and what I had come up with looking on my own. The arrangements Steve came up with are so much better than what I was expecting that I'm still giddy about it. 


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