Frequent Flyer Miles

Old May 4th, 2009, 06:39 AM
  #1  
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Frequent Flyer Miles

Celebrating our 25th wedding anniversary this November. My husband is from Barbados and we planned to celebrate in Barbados. After checking with travel agencies, found the cost for our four children, one son in law and three grand children is huge. Last week on a return flight a couple told me about the possibility of purchasing frequent flyer miles which could be more affordable. I don't know anyone with those kind of miles. Wondering if anyone knows about this or these kinds of transactions. Please advise. Thanks.
Trackgirl is offline  
Old May 4th, 2009, 06:42 AM
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I'd like to know about this, too! How do you go about buying them?
ekscrunchy is offline  
Old May 4th, 2009, 09:33 AM
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You can buy miles from American if you already have a FF account. I did that once when I was short just 1,000 for an award. I hadn't heard of buying them from someone else, though, but since you can donate miles to charity, I don't see why that wouldn't work. I suppose you could try asking on craigslist? You'd probably do better asking this on the Airlines board here.
thursdaysd is offline  
Old May 5th, 2009, 05:49 AM
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Buying miles as thursdayd did to make up a shortfall on your own account is permitted by most FF programs, but if you don't have many miles it can be very expensive.

However, buying/selling miles between third parties is STRICTLY prohibited by every FF program I'm familiar with. Penalties are usually harsh - forfeiture of ALL miles and cancellation of tickets. Check with the specific airline program for details.

Donating to charity is OK (no money being exchanged) as is using your own miles to purchase flight for, ex, a family member. But not selling/purchasing to/by third parties.

There are companies who advertise they can do this, but read the fine print and note that if they violate the airlines policy and get caught, you could be up the proverbial creek and out some (big) bucks and tickets as well.

Most people don't think it's worth the risk.
dfr4848 is offline  
Old May 5th, 2009, 06:26 AM
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I think Continental (and maybe a few other FF programs) allows you to transfer miles between accounts, however, this is not the same a "buying " miles from a stranger. Also, if you use AMEX, or other CC that give points for purchases, these can be turned into miles with the airline of your choice. Even if you had plenty of FF miles, the odds of finding 10 or more reward seats is unlikely, at least on the same flight.
jewela is offline  
Old May 6th, 2009, 02:20 PM
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Delta had (has?) a promotion going on where you could buy miles at half price, I did that to top off the family's accounts, and ended up with tickets that were about half of what they would have been bought outright. We did manage to score 4 reward tickets. so I'm feeling pretty good. But, I was topping up, not buying ALL the miles we would need - that can be prohibitive.

Have you checked Farecast to see which way prices are heading? or consolidators?
Momliz is offline  
Old May 8th, 2009, 03:51 PM
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You can also "gift" miles to someone else for a fee. My mom did that with some AA miles she had because she rarely flies them. Like purchasing them, the fee goes up incrementally depending on how many you're "gifting," and I believe they charge a $30 handling fee.

In fact, yes, I just looked and it was $100 to gift me 10K miles and then a $30 handling fee. But compared to purchasing 10K miles with AA, which costs $250, this is a better deal if you have someone willing to donate to your cause.
Kyliebaby3 is offline  
Old May 8th, 2009, 05:08 PM
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Budget Travel has a relevant piece in the May issue. It says: "Each airline sets its own limit on how many miles a traveler can transfer to another person annually. United, for instance, allows customers to hand over 15,000 miles each year" (See budgettravel.com/bt-dyn/content/article/2009/04/03/AR2009040302496.html - Barterer #3)
thursdaysd is offline  
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