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Air Miles - Possible to redeem for travel?

Air Miles - Possible to redeem for travel?

Old Jun 19, 15, 10:09 am
  #1  
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Question Air Miles - Possible to redeem for travel?

Sorry if this is the wrong forum, I couldn't find a forum for Air Miles.

Has anybody been able to actually redeem Air Miles for travel? Any flights I search, it says there is no availability at the stated redemption cost (say it costs 2,000 Air Miles per their chart). Then they'll be flights that are available for 5,000 Air Miles or something ridiculous.

Is this just a scam or what? I've tried searching a bunch of different locations, dates, etc. but keep getting the same result.

I may just have to bite the bullet and redeem for gift cards or similar I suppose.
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Old Jun 19, 15, 10:41 am
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Air Miles - Possible to redeem for travel?

What airline-air miles are you trying to redeem?
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Old Jun 19, 15, 10:53 am
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Air Miles - Possible to redeem for travel?

Lol...
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Old Jun 19, 15, 11:06 am
  #4  
mia
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If you are referring to the Air Miles program it would be helpful if you mentioned the country where you earned them: Canada, the UK, the Netherlands, Spain or the U.A.E.

If you are using air miles to refer to airline miles, you will need to mention the specific airline program, and tell us more about the attempted redemptions (route, class of service, when you tried to redeem vs when you want to travel, etc.)
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Old Jun 19, 15, 11:44 am
  #5  
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Originally Posted by mike2200 View Post
What airline-air miles are you trying to redeem?
Originally Posted by mia View Post
If you are referring to the Air Miles program it would be helpful if you mentioned the country where you earned them: Canada, the UK, the Netherlands, Spain or the U.A.E.

If you are using air miles to refer to airline miles, you will need to mention the specific airline program, and tell us more about the attempted redemptions (route, class of service, when you tried to redeem vs when you want to travel, etc.)
I'm referring to the Air Miles program in Canada. See http://www.airmiles.ca

Looking for economy class from YYZ to somewhere in the southeastern U.S. like Florida or New Orleans. Likely over a weekend in late November or early December.
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Old Jun 19, 15, 11:55 am
  #6  
mia
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Thank you for the clarification. There is some discussion of Air Miles in various forums. Some examples:

In the Aeroplan forum: http://www.flyertalk.com/forum/air-c...s-program.html

In the WestJet forum: http://www.flyertalk.com/forum/westj...lights-ws.html | http://www.flyertalk.com/forum/westj...what-scam.html

In the American Express forum: http://www.flyertalk.com/forum/ameri...rd-canada.html
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Old Jun 19, 15, 4:04 pm
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Did a quick search and lots of availability came up for Florida in November. You need roughly 3200 points (gold). Call the call center but this method can take a while.

With Airmiles select one way booking and select each time frame to find available flights. Either morning/afternoon/evening. Do this for the return also. Once you find availability then either call or select your flight online with these parameters.
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Old Jun 19, 15, 4:20 pm
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Originally Posted by JetLife View Post
Sorry if this is the wrong forum, I couldn't find a forum for Air Miles.

Has anybody been able to actually redeem Air Miles for travel? Any flights I search, it says there is no availability at the stated redemption cost (say it costs 2,000 Air Miles per their chart). Then they'll be flights that are available for 5,000 Air Miles or something ridiculous.

Is this just a scam or what? I've tried searching a bunch of different locations, dates, etc. but keep getting the same result.

I may just have to bite the bullet and redeem for gift cards or similar I suppose.
It is possible, although I can't say that I understand what the trick is to actually getting the stated redemption cost or how likely it is that you will be able to pull it off for your itinerary.

For instance, I was looking at booking YWG-FLL, and for a while my searches were turning up 0 at the stated cost. Then I threw Saturdays into the mix, and sure enough the once-a-week WS YWG-FLL nonstop came in at the base rate. It was the only flight that did... and availability was good.

But yeah, on the whole, from my limited experience it does seem as though getting that stated rate is hard.
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Old Jun 20, 15, 11:31 am
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I've redeemed for an Air Miles award recently and it was fairly easy to walk through and book at the advertised number of miles and taxes. Simply because their award chart shows the minimum number of miles required doesn't necessarily mean there is always availability at that level when you happen to look and in this are much like other airline loyalty programs when it comes to redemptions. I booked my flight 6 months in advance and found no availability issues but don't know what it would look like booking closer to departure. Are you looking last minute? I could see the lower award options being more scarce close to departure.
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Old Jun 25, 15, 10:08 am
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Usually the best value for Air Miles for airline travel is to use them to business destinations within North America. Generally you get 'average' value for an Air Mile at 10.5 cents per mile (CPM). For business-oriented destinations you can often get Air Mile valuations north of 18 CPM and I've seen as high as 21 CPM just poking around. Therefore, if you want to go to MSY or the Florida Panhandle, try searcing for MOB (Mobile, AL), 2hr15 from MSY and 1hr from PNS. I recently checked YOW-STL recently to visit family with a 19.2 CPM value.

NEVER USE AIR MILES FOR TRANS-ATLANTIC OR TRANS-PAC unless you want 6-7 CPM valuations...or about as poor as using Air Miles for a BBQ, blender, luggage, etc.
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Old Jun 25, 15, 11:43 am
  #11  
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Looks like a straightforward enough program, albeit not a very rewarding one.

It looks like they "reset the scale" by a factor of 10, but then don't quite give it back on the earning side. 1 mile for $15 spent instead of $10, that kind of thing. Of course, if you can realistically get more than 20 CPM on short transborder routes, then this might be better for some than a traditional program.

Surprised their marketing people launched the program this way. The generic term "Air Miles" doesn't immediate resonate with people as *this* program (see start of this thread), and the multiply-by-10-and-divide-by-15 seems unnecessarily confusing in a world where many other home-grown points programs have roughly aligned themselves to a currency that is in the same general range as a traditional FF mile.
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Old Jun 25, 15, 12:57 pm
  #12  
mia
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Originally Posted by pinniped View Post
...The generic term "Air Miles" doesn't immediate resonate with people as *this* program
Program and name dates to mid 1980's, which was fairly early on in the airline frequent flyer game. The UK version has recently been re-branded Avois. See here:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Air_Miles
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Old Jun 25, 15, 2:13 pm
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Originally Posted by mia View Post
Program and name dates to mid 1980's, which was fairly early on in the airline frequent flyer game. The UK version has recently been re-branded Avois. See here:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Air_Miles
Air Miles are pretty straightforward to use and earn. In fact, I earn over 300 Air Miles a year 'free' (other than my time) doing surveys.

Booking flights and hotels is the trickiest part of the Air Miles program, but Canadians are well versed at Air Miles as they've been around here since 1992. I personally have been a member since 1993, but I don't like the fact though that you now have only five years to use an earned mile. I'd hazard a guess that at least 2/3 of Canadian households have at least 1 Air Miles card holder.

Probably the potentially best value Air Miles can offer is a $100 or $500 voucher to redeem for investments with BMO Bank of Montreal (950 & 4750 Air Miles respectively), such as RRSPs, RESPs, GICs, etc. While the redemption rate is of 'average' value at 10.5 CPM, if you invest this money with BMO over a period of say 10 to 20 years, there is the potential for the return to eventually be worth +50 CPM.

For example, last winter I redeemed 9500 Air Miles for $1000 worth of investment vouchers to put towards my daughter's RESP (I also spent 950 Air Miles for a $100 Via Rail gift card). However, at the time, my BMO Air Miles MasterCard had a promo on where for every Air Miles reward redemption, they'd refund you 300 Air Miles, up to a max of 3 redemptions during the promo period. As a result, my net redemption on the $1000 worth of BMO vouchers was instead only 8900 AMs, or a CPM value of 11.24 (above the 10.5 average). With the 20% government top-up on RESP contributions, coupled with a 4% rate of return thus far, my $1000 is now worth approx. $1250 for my daughter's RESP, meaning in essence my CPM value is already up to 14.04 CPM, and that's only after 8 months!
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