Award Ticket Guide: Who You Gonna Call? (Or Which Airline’s Website Should You Use)

Using your miles to book airline tickets seems like a straightforward process. You earn miles and then redeem miles, a process points and miles people call “earn and burn.” Hopefully you’ve learned that by taking advantage of airline alliances and partnerships, it’s possible to redeem miles for flights on airlines other than the one you earned them from. In other words, you can book flights on Lufthansa with United MileagePlus or you can fly on Cathay Pacific by redeeming American Advantage miles. This knowledge opens up an entire world of possibilities.

There’s one part of this process that confuses people new to miles and points the most. Which airline should be contacted for each step of the booking process, up to and including getting on the plane?

Here’s a simplified list of who to contact for each step of traveling on an award ticket booking for an airline partner (alliance or non-alliance):

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