What Positioning Flights Are, And Some Of The Common Mistakes When Booking Them

Once you start trying to use airline miles to book international award travel, you quickly discover that flexibility is the key to finding award flights. There’s more than one way to be flexible. Some people are flexible about their destination but that’s not me. Others can be flexible with the dates of their trips but that’s also a no go for me, as I have to clear vacation time months in advance. 

So how else can you be flexible? You can be willing to start and/or end your award trip from somewhere else than your home airport. 

A beginner would think it’s straightforward to book an award ticket from Buffalo to London. You can do that search right from the airlines’ websites but unless saver space exists on the domestic flight and the transatlantic flight, it will say that there’s nothing available. 

There may be saver award flights available from New York or Philadelphia or Boston to London but you’ll never see them because the computer is searching for a ticket from Buffalo. 

Welcome to the wonderful world of positioning flights. 

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What Do Award Booking Services Provide And Who Should Use Them?

When it comes to airline frequent flyer programs, earning points is the easy part. Redeeming those points for free travel (or mostly free travel) is the difficult part. Not only do you have to find award space, but you also have to use the right program to book your travel or risk paying more than you have to.

Eventually, people who lived and breathed the ins and outs of booking award tickets figured out that other people would gladly pay someone to do all the work of finding and booking award tickets. The award booking service business model was born.

What do these booking services do? Who should think about using them? How do you pick which one to use?

I’ve used these services before and referred others to them as well. I’ve also spent the time and effort to book several complicated award tickets myself. Here’s my take on the value-added to booking award tickets that these services provide…

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“Surprise Gift” In Hotel Room, What To Do About Unfair Rental Car Fee, How To Tell If Redemption Is Good, & More!

Happy Sunday to all of our travel friends, both near and far! Here are some articles we’ve read from other bloggers (and other sources) that we think you may like, as well, so we’re passing them along.

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How I Overcome My Biggest Weakness When It Comes To Booking Award Travel

If you take a good look at yourself, there’s a weakness you have when it comes to making travel reservations. It’s different for everyone. Some people feel anxious when going to spend points and miles and to those of you with this problem, spend your points already! Others are never happy with their reservations, in particular, hotel reservations, and continually change plans right up until the final cancellation date. We used to joke with a friend of ours when she’d tell us her plans because deep down we both knew there was no way the reservation would hold until the trip.

Some of the more advanced members of the travel community have their own set of weaknesses. There are those who can’t give up their loyalty status or pass up a good mileage/mattress run opportunity. Then there are those who’ll book a crazy mistake fare even if they previously had no intent to travel where the flight goes to or even where it departs from. I’d bet that these people would argue these aren’t weaknesses but strengths, and to that I say, Whatever makes you happy.

For me, it’s a different weakness and unfortunately, it affects a significant part of booking award travel.

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