Airlines, desperate for cash, are running lucrative purchased miles promotions. The opportunities seem almost too good to pass up, don’t they? But don’t buy miles unless you have a very specific trip in mind. Not in this world of uncertainty.
Several have asked me via email about the purchased miles promotions airlines like Alaska and American are currently running. These are the best deals we’ve seen in years (the AA deal reminds me of the US Airways days). Etihad is also running a great promotion which opens up interesting opportunities on airlines like Royal Air Maroc, Czech Airlines, and Air Serbia.
Is Now The Time To Stock Up On Purchased Airline Miles?
So is now the time to stock up on miles?
No. Absolutely, not.
We are in a period of such tremendous uncertainty that buying miles is a risk I am not personally willing to take at this point, with one exception.
If there is award space available now for a trip I plan to take, I might purchase the miles. For example, once all of this blows over I’d like to take my wife to Tahiti. It’s something I’ve wanted to do since we were married and Air Tahiti has released a lot of award space lately.
But even that I am leaning against. Who knows what the world will look like in six months? Who knows what my businesses will look like? If financial bleeding occurs due to a protracted shutdown and virtual end to revenue in all three of my businesses, it is not really the time to think about a vacation to Tahiti.
My in-laws may come and visit us this summer. I was going to use American Airlines miles to get them to Los Angeles, as the fuel surcharges is not as bad when originating in Europe. But that’s on hold too…who knows what travel will look like.
I’d also love to fly Qantas and Cathay Pacific before the end of the year, in case I lose my Executive Platinum status status in early 2021. That’s on hold too.
When Should You Purchase Airlines Miles?
It’s very simple: I’d purchase miles only if you see specific award space you will book immediately upon completing the transaction. With American Airlines, you can put the space on hold before buying miles. If you really want to be safe, call Alaska Airlines and have the agent set up the reservation, then purchase the miles while on the phone with the agent.
There are some great deals out there right now. Even so, I would not purchase miles unless you have a very specific redemption you will immediately use the miles for.
Are you taking advantage of any purchased mile promotion during this time?