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What Is an Air Mile?

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    Jonathan Chum

What is an air mile? An air mile is essentially a point system that an airline uses to reward frequent travelers.

There are lots of people who are looking for ways to go on vacation; however, they feel like they cannot afford it. One of the biggest reasons why is that plane tickets are expensive. If you are looking for a way to save money on your plane tickets, racking up air miles may be a good choice. As frequent travelers, we have racked up numerous air miles with countless airlines. So, we have put together some helpful information regarding air miles and how you can use them.

We will review what air miles are, what you can do with them, how you get them, and how long they last. That way, you can be prepared the next time you have to book a plane ticket.

What Can I Do with Miles?

An air mile is the equivalent of a point. For each mile you travel with an airline, they will reward you with a mile. Then, when you rack up enough miles, you can redeem them for plane tickets.

Even though the most common way people use air miles is to swap them directly for plane tickets, there are other ways you can use air miles as well. Importantly, every airline has its own reward program. Therefore, the rules and regulations regarding air miles are going to vary from airline to airline. With this in mind, make sure you read the fine print and plan accordingly. In addition to purchasing plane tickets directly using your air miles, you may be able to use miles to upgrade seats on an existing plane. Or, you may be able to redeem your air miles for tickets into comfortable lounges throughout airports all over the world. Every airline has its own individual perks when it comes to its frequent flyer program.

How Do I Get Miles?

Obviously, the most direct way to get air miles is to fly with that airline. For every mile you fly with that airline, you are going to be given one air mile. Therefore, a flight across the world is going to be worth more miles than a flight that only crosses a single time zone.

Even though booking a plane ticket with an airline is the easiest way to get air miles, there are other options as well. For example, you can also earn miles by using specific credit cards. A lot of airlines have their own credit card. Just for opening an account with that airline's credit card, you can be rewarded with thousands of miles. Furthermore, the dollars you spend using that credit card may also be rewarded with air miles.

On some airlines, you will also be rewarded with air miles if you make a purchase on the plane. If you pay for internet, food, beverages, or extra bags, these dollars may be converted into air miles for you as well. Finally, depending on where you travel and when you book your plane ticket, your miles may also be multiplied. Airlines commonly offer these incentives as a way to drive up business during times of year that are usually slow. These are just a few of the most common ways that you can get air miles that you can redeem for rewards, perks, and plane tickets.

Do Miles Expire?

There are some situations where your miles may expire. Therefore, you need to track them closely. If you are budgeting for a ticket booked with miles and all of a sudden your miles have expired, this can be upsetting. Importantly, not every airline has miles that expire. There are plenty of airlines that also offer frequent flyer programs with miles that never expire. If you are wondering if you are miles are going to expire, you need to check with the airline directly.

If you are frustrated because you have realized that your miles have expired, you may be able to get the airline to compensate you in some other way. If you are upset that your miles have expired, you are probably not the only one. This is a concern that airlines get all the time. Even though they may not provide you with a free ticket, they may compensate you in some other way. They do not want to lose your business, and they understand that a lot of people don't realize that their miles have expired.

How Many Tickets Can I Get with Miles?

You can get an unlimited number of plane tickets as long as you have the miles to pay for them. Of course, depending on where you are going, it may cost you more miles. For example, if you are looking to book a flight from New York to Miami using miles, this is going to cost a considerable number of them. On the other hand, if you are trying to book a flight from New York to Sydney, Australia using miles, this could cost five or six times as many miles.

Furthermore, depending on when you are flying, a plane ticket may cost more miles. For example, if you are flying during the week in the middle of the night, there is going to be less demand for this plane ticket. On the other hand, if you are looking to fly on a weekend, there might be more demand for this plane ticket. The more demand there is for a certain plane ticket, the more miles you will have to pay.

Use Your Miles for Free Plane Tickets Before They Expire

You should keep a close eye on your miles and make sure you use them before they expire. Furthermore, you should also try to maximize the value for your miles. If your travel plans are flexible, it may cost you if you are miles to book a plane ticket during a different day of the week. That way, you make sure you get as much out of your miles as possible.