Who can travel on my FF miles?

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Aug 10th, 2004, 06:32 AM
  #1
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Who can travel on my FF miles?

If I purchase tickets using FF miles, do I have to be one of the travelers? Thinking of using FF miles to buy "gift" tickets.

Donna
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Aug 10th, 2004, 06:53 AM
  #2
mjz
 
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That's nice of you, and no, you don't have to be one of the travelers as I've done the same for members of my family.
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Aug 10th, 2004, 07:36 AM
  #3
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I only fly a few times a year, and don't always use the same airline. If I want to buy 3 gift tickets, and only have enough FF miles for 2+ tickets, how do I buy the 3rd one? Will the airline's FF program just charge me the difference -- or will I have to buy the 3rd ticket separately?
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Aug 10th, 2004, 07:59 AM
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Some airlines let you purchase FF miles in blocks of several thousand, so if you are close to the number you need, this could be a good choice. But you may find it cheaper just to buy the third ticket and save the miles for another day, especially as it may not be easy to get 3 awards seats on the same flight (if that is what you are looking for).
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Aug 10th, 2004, 08:54 AM
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Depends on the airline, but most offer some sort of mileage purchase option. The bigger issue may be finding 3 reward tickets available on the same flights. Best bet is to call the FF program desk.
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Aug 10th, 2004, 10:09 AM
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I've heard of donating FF miles to charities, so it's safe to assume you don't have to be one of the travelers.
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Aug 10th, 2004, 11:26 AM
  #7
sandi
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No you don't have to be one of the flyers, but you, the owner of the miles, have to either purchase them in person or if done online or by phone, have them mailed the your address as is on your account. Simple enough.
 
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Aug 10th, 2004, 02:31 PM
  #8
TC
 
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Sandi, That is incorrect information. I "buy" tickets for my mother and aunt with my FF miles all the time. They are E-tickets just like all others and all mom has to do is show her ID at the airport with the confirmation number just like any other passenger to retrieve the ticket. At least that's how it works with Northwest Airline.

As for two FF tics and one purchased tic, the NW FF res agents have always been most helpful putting together these types of packages for me. They can book all the seats and you simply give a credit card number for the purchased ticket. No problem.
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Aug 10th, 2004, 03:02 PM
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TC is absolutely correct. Not only that, but you don't even have to be the one who calls. As long as I have one's FF # and password, I can call and book myself or anybody using those miles, with any credit card that I have access to. [At least that's my numerous experience with CO.]

Therefore, keep your password safe.
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Aug 11th, 2004, 05:46 AM
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Procedures for obtaining tickets must vary by airline. I recently purchased a ticket for myself using my sister's United FF miles and they mailed the paper ticket to her. USAir also mailed a paper ticket (my miles, ticket for my husband). Both tickets are for international travel, so that may be the difference.

Regardless of whose FF miles I'm using or the form the tickets come in, I've had very helpful service from personnel at the airlines' FF phone desks (searching availability on partner airlines or alternate dates). I always do it by phone, would not attempt to make the arrangements online.
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Aug 11th, 2004, 12:05 PM
  #11
sandi
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TC - Guess I was too general in my response. We've only experienced this situation when obtaining International tickets and have always received paper tickets. Ours were with United, and the owner of miles either had to pick up the tickets personally or have them mailed to the address on the account. What you say about Domestic/e-tickets makes sense.
 
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Aug 11th, 2004, 12:24 PM
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Yes, the actual policies vary among airlines. For example, CO allows e-ticketing for international travel using FF miles. No difference from getting a domestic ticket.
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Aug 13th, 2004, 05:30 PM
  #13
 
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I have booked Delta flights where one ticket was using FF miles and another was purchased with $. I always do this through the Delta Frequent Flyer reservation desk and they handle booking both transactions -- the regular agents can't book the awards travel for you but the Skymiles desk can book regular flights as well as awards travel.
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Aug 14th, 2004, 04:40 AM
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The paper ticket/e-ticket issue needs more explaing here.

When and if a paper ticket needs to be issued, then yes, the ticket will HAVE to be either mailed to or picked-up by the party that buys it with miles/cash or whatever. Paper tickets are like cash. There is no way for an airline to cancel a paper ticket when it's lost/stolen. That's why it's very important to secure a paper ticket. The airlines know this and so should you.

On the other hand, e-ticket is easily replacable, so there is no need to secure it. International or domestic, cash or miles, it doesn't matter. When it's possible to issue e-ticket, the purchaser could request to have the receipt e-maled/ slow mailed or no mailed to the recepient. All the lucky receipient of a free ticket has to do is show up for the right flight with an id. No need for the giver to be involved after making the reservation.

I hope this explains why and when the giver has to or doesn't have to be involved when taking out a ticket for somebody else.
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Aug 14th, 2004, 05:28 AM
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www.miles4sale.com allows you to purchase miles to add to your FF account. This proved very helpful to me. I was flying to Peru and wanted to go business class since the flight was so long. I had enough miles for economy, but not for business class. I wanted to buy an economy ticket and use my miles for upgrade. The Delta agent to whom I spoke told me there were no FF seats in Economy still available for the flights I wanted. He suggested I buy the miles to bring my account up high enough to buy a business class ticket. I did. It cost me about $200 less than buying an economy ticket would have cost. That was a pretty good deal for me.
The other option is to see if your airline allows you to cumulate loyalty points with other programs. I just got an email from USAIRWAYS offering to allow me to cumulate my points from other carriers, S and H greenstamps, some hotel and car rental companies. I don't know enough about that offer to evaluate whether that is a good plan for me...of course USAIRWAYS may not be the place to put all your eggs in one basket given their very precarious financial position.
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Aug 15th, 2004, 01:12 PM
  #16
 
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Just don't make the mistake we did when "purchasing" an upgrade for my mother using our miles - did not fill out screen correctly (it was definitely our fault) and upgrade was issued in my name, not hers. Big hassle to get it changed.
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Aug 16th, 2004, 05:10 AM
  #17
 
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The miles4sale.com deal doesn't sound very good unless you are buying less than 2000 miles..

You can purchase miles from Delta for 2.75 cents per mile plus a $25 service fee. You can purchase miles from miles4sale.com for 4 cents per mile and apparently no service fee.

The break even point is 2000 miles. For 500, 1000, or 1500 miles, buy from miles4sale.com. For 2000 miles or more, buy from Delta.

The Delta webpage also said there was a 7.5% federal excise tax on the deal and the above assumes the tax is the same on the miles4sale deal. If not, then at 2500 miles it costs $100.79 from Delta and $100 from miles4sale. After that, it is cheaper to buy from Delta.
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Aug 16th, 2004, 02:00 PM
  #18
 
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If you have an Amex card with the Membership Rewards program, it's even cheaper to buy the miles from them. Technically you're buying MR points but they can be transferred to a number of programs including Delta. The minimum purchase is 1000 points for $25, up to a maximum of 500,000 points per year in increments of 1000. There's no mention of a service fee or excise tax on the MR website.
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