FAQ about frequent flyer programs
- How do they work?
Partnerships exist between frequent flyer programs and multiple airlines, hotels and car rentals. This means you can fly British Airways, and put the miles into AAdvantage. You can even put your hotel stay miles into your air frequent flyer program. Our mileage tool knows what programs you keep your miles in, and recommends for any airline (hotels are coming) in the Travelgrove search result what frequent flyer program to put the miles into, so you don't have to keep track of that. We put that information right next to each ticket so you can see it on the search result page.
- How to manage my miles?
Try to keep your miles in one program within the alliance groupings, because you can redeem the award miles from that one program with any of their alliance partners, but you can't add miles together from different programs to get enough for a free ticket. The three major alliances are Star, OneWorld and SkyTeam. Each of these alliances has up to 20 airline program partners, and you can earn miles on one of the partner airlines and put those miles into any of the partner frequent flyer programs. So pick one frequent flyer program in each of the alliances to keep your miles in, that way you will get to your free flight and you won't orphan miles that just end up expiring before they amount to anything.
- What is elite status?
Just like collecting frequent flyer miles to get free trips, you also get an elite mile for every mile you fly. If you collect enough elite miles in a calendar year you will get to elite status. Most programs also count flight segments, so you can get to elite status by many short flights instead of fewer longer flights. Some even have points - don't worry, our miles tool keeps track of all of them. Making it to elite status gets you things like priority boarding, first chance for getting bumped up into a higher class of cabin, access to VIP boarding lounges, a higher earning rate for award miles, and other special treatment. Like the award miles, elite miles can be earned by flying on one of the airline partners in an alliance and then putting those elite miles into one frequent flyer program so you can get to elite status faster. When you make it to elite status with one of the partner airlines, you generally make it on all of the other partner airlines. Our mile tool also figures all that out for you - just click the advanced settings button and select Elite as your preference for earning miles.
- What are frequent flyer bonuses?
In addition to the miles you can earn when you take a flight, a bonus gives you even more miles - sometimes triple the miles you would have earned normally. The airlines, hotels, car rental and credit card companies give the bonuses away so you will choose their company. They are usually for a limited time and usually for a specific route or hotel, but can be worldwide. But you must register to get the bonus; you do not get it automatically. Our miles tool finds all the bonuses for every ticket result in your search and shows you the best one right next to the ticket on the widget button. All you have to do to get the bonus is click the green button to go to the company's registration page and enter your frequent flyer number. This saves you from having to look them up at every company site. The registration is free, and does not obligate you to take the trip - if you don't fly or stay, you simply won't get the bonus. So register even if you just might fly or stay with that company.
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