Thursday, May 21, 2009

Frequently Asked Questions

I feel like I've spent enough time crammed into an aluminum tube at 35,000 ft. to call myself a seasoned traveler, so I'm somewhat embarrassed to admit that until a couple days ago, I had no idea how easy it is to prevent frequent flier miles from expiring without even having to go to the airport (thanks, Mahalo). I had a bunch of miles on American Airlines that were about to expire. American doesn't even fly out of Providence anymore, so the chances of me being able to use the miles or keep them active by booking an American Airlines flight were looking pretty slim. I started looking into donating the balance when I discovered that most airlines will keep your miles active as long as you do something before they expire. That could be as little as donating 500 miles to a charity or buying a $5 item from one of the airline's partners to earn yourself a couple frequent flier miles and keeping your mileage balance active in the process. I donated a pittance to American's Miles for Kids in Need program to see if it worked - and it did. I'll probably just wind up donating the rest of the miles anyway, since I'm unlikely to fly anywhere with American Airlines in the next 18 months, but it's nice to have options.


Alan said...

Yeah, it's a good point. I almost got burned by United due to this policy. I had status with them that expired earlier this year. I hadn't flown them since early last year and my miles were coming close to expiring. Fortunately, I flew a codeshare flight so my 100k of miles is still intact. Funny how you can have status with an airline one year and then less than two hours later you can lose everything.

dhodge said...

If you get close to expiration again, 100K miles will buy you a lot of subscriptions to Golf Digest.