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What Is an Award Ticket?

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    Jonathan Chum

What is an award ticket? Award tickets are plane tickets you can use, with or without restrictions, without having to pay full price for them.

If you are looking for a way to save money on your traveling expenses, award tickets are a great option. There are numerous ways you can obtain award tickets and use them to fly at a significantly reduced price (or for free). At the same time, you also need to understand the different types of award tickets, how you can get them, and where they can be used. As we have flown all over the world, we have been fortunate enough to take advantage of multiple types of award tickets. Now, we want you to understand them as well.

We are going to review the average cost of plane tickets, how you can get reward tickets, and how you can take advantage of them to maximize your benefits. Take a look at some helpful information regarding award tickets below!

How Much Are Plane Tickets?

First, it is important to take a look at the average price of a plane ticket. Of course, this is incredibly difficult to predict; however, there are a few factors that are going to play a major role. Some of the biggest factors in the cost of plane tickets include:

  • How far in advance do you book your plane ticket
  • The time of year during which you book your plane ticket
  • The day of the week you are traveling
  • The time of day of your flight
  • How far you are flying
  • Whether you are crossing international borders
  • How many other airlines serve that specific location

In general, the cost of a plane ticket is going to vary from a few hundred dollars to a few thousand dollars. A domestic flight is usually going to cost a few hundred dollars while an international flight could easily cost more than $1,000. The farther in advance you book your plane ticket, the less expensive it is going to be (on average). Furthermore, weekend flights tend to cost more than flights during the week, and the farther you are flying, the more costly it will be. Finally, if there are more airlines serving a single destination, there is more competition, which may bring down the price.

What Are the Types of Award Tickets?

Clearly, flying is expensive. That is what makes award tickets helpful. There are several ways you can acquire award tickets. Some of the most common examples include:

  • The “I’m Sorry” Award Ticket: First, you may be given an award ticket if something goes wrong with your original flight. For example, your original flight may have been “oversold” and there are too many people for the seating capacity of the plane. As compensation for moving you to a later flight, the airline may provide you with a voucher you can redeem for an award ticket. Or, if your original flight was exorbitantly late, choppy, or had to be rerouted, you may be compensated for this with an award ticket.
  • The Credit Card Award Ticket: One of the easiest ways that you may be given an award ticket is by opening a new credit card. Then, in exchange for spending a certain amount of money within the first few months, you may be given an award ticket or two.
  • Award Tickets Using Miles or Points: If you have a credit card that you use on a regular basis, you may be given miles or points in exchange for your purchases. Then, as you pay off your credit card statements, the dollars you spend will be converted into miles or points. Then, you can convert these miles into plane tickets. In addition to credit card miles and points, you may also rack up miles on your frequent flyer account with a specific airline. These are also miles that you can convert into an award ticket.

Even though there are lots of options when it comes to I work tickets, these are a few of the most common examples.

Do My Miles or Points Expire?

The answer is that it depends. If you are using miles or points for an award ticket, you need to make sure you understand the stipulations of the account. For example, if you are using points from a credit card, there is a good chance that these points never expire. This is relatively unusual among credit cards; however, you still need to read the fine print.

On the other hand, it is more common for miles to expire with an airline frequent flyer account. Therefore, if you are using miles from an airline frequent flyer account, make sure you understand how long these miles are going to last. The last thing you want to do is budget for an award ticket only to realize your miles have expired.

Where Can I Go with My Award Ticket?

When it comes to using an award ticket, restrictions on where you can go with it are uncommon. Sometimes, an award ticket may be limited to “the continental United States” but this is unusual. On the other hand, if you would like to use an award ticket to travel internationally, this may cost you more miles or points.

On the other hand, there may be certain blackout dates on which you cannot use an award ticket. Usually, airlines institute blackout dates if they think they are going to be able to fill up a plane easily without having people redeem award ticket. Make sure you keep your eyes open for blackout dates and plan your travel accommodations accordingly.

Take Advantage of Award Tickets When You Can

Using award tickets is one of the best ways to save money on traveling. You can get award tickets as compensation for a bad flight or by using miles or points. Make sure you read the fine print on all of your credit card and airline accounts, so you know if your points or miles expire.