Using FF miles impossible?

Dec 11th, 2008, 05:48 PM
Original Poster
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 1,392
Using FF miles impossible?

I see people on this forum using FF miles constantly but every time I try to use my meagerly accumulated miles I get skunked! I have 38,000 NWA miles and I just want to go to San Francisco from Minneapolis in March/April. Fuggedabout it. Do people get these flights a year ahead of time? I know I am a rank amateur at this, but is there something I am missing? Thanks!
rbnwdln is offline  
Dec 11th, 2008, 06:31 PM
Join Date: Feb 2004
Posts: 23,074
Use the award calendar on You will see that SFO-MSP, 12,500 eastbound flights are avaialble on all Tuesday and Thursdays in March, plus some other days; 12,500 return are available on many Mondays-Thursdays, plus some other days. Even more flights in April, especially late April.

Fact is that flights are available if you have some flexibility. May not be the exact day you want, may not be the non-stop (but requiring a switch at SLC on DL; or IAH on CO). But you can't say there's no flights.

People don't need to claim them early. They just need to be somewhat flexible.

And since you have 38,000, you can even claim one of the legs at the 25,000 level.
rkkwan is offline  
Dec 11th, 2008, 06:52 PM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 22,100
Be assured that the airlines are not personally picking on you. As mentioned above, flexibility is the key. Often the 25,000 award tickets involve more stops, are at less desirable times (early AM/late PM) and are mid-week and do not include holiday weekends or common school vacation weeks.

For really desirable routes (I would not consider your in this category - more like Hawaii, Europe in summer) booking as far ahead as airline allows is helpful. But I just booked a ticket from NCto Washington, DC for the inauguration in Jan using miles.

And another thing to know is that not all flights have FF seats available, even if you book at first possible time.
gail is offline  
Dec 12th, 2008, 03:41 AM
Original Poster
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 1,392
Thanks! This helps.
rbnwdln is offline  
Dec 15th, 2008, 07:01 PM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 19,634
Flying Southwest home for Christmas via frequent flyer ticket. The only downside is that I have to return home later Christmas day - not so awful because I'm flying west and can leave fairly late in the day and still get home at a reasonable time.

I even changed one of the flights when a better one opened up, just a few days ago. Both of my flights are one change in Chicago (Midway) and fairly decent times.

In other cases, I've never had a problem booking Frequent Flyer tickets with Southwest. Sometimes when I check last minute there are plenty of seats, even for flights leaving the next day. No extra fees for booking the tickets last minute, either.
Andrew is offline  
Dec 29th, 2008, 09:33 AM
Join Date: Aug 2007
Posts: 465

As another rank amateur, I didn't understand your comment that "since you have 38,000 miles, you can claim one leg at 25,000." Could you please elaborate on this? Thanks.
tom18 is offline  
Dec 29th, 2008, 01:30 PM
Join Date: Feb 2004
Posts: 23,074
tom18 - NW let you mix-and-match PerkSaver and PerkPass awards, so if outbound has PS but inbound only has PP, it's 12,500 + 25,000 = 37,500 miles. And vice versa.
rkkwan is offline  

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