Travelling has become very popular and craved for. Newsflash. Not only that the low cost airlines started offering cheap fares and that Airbnb started pushing hotels to lower their rates, but also “the internet” is teasing you now, more than ever, to leave home and spend your money abroad. Or is it just me? This internet, man! Summer breaks in Greece? Ski-trips in the Alps? Bring it on!
I bet you have a picture of a sunny beach stuck on your laptop’s background.
Not to mention the photo gallery on your phone which you constantly dig into while at office and die for a short vacation. Or a longer one. A city-break. A full-size all-inclusive hot retreat somewhere on an island. Yeah. Isn’t it so much easier to spend your yearly savings away rather than at home? It is and you know it. The airlines and the hotels can trick you. Unless you start tricking them back. Tada! Or at least try to.
Miles, points, earning, redeeming, cross-earnings, suite nights, status matching, gold status, platinum level, lifetime status, award nights. If any (or all?!) of the previous doesn’t even sound familiar, it’s time to stop whatever holiday you are planning and start taking some notes on travelling. On travelling like a pro. Or just bookmark this page and read it before planning any of your trips. Yes, do that.
First things first. The airlines. Or airline alliances. Baby steps.
Step 1: How to get where you want to and make the most of it. Journey wise. Money wise.
Each airline has its frequent flyer programme. Or loyalty programme. Call it what you (or they) want. Signing up for it is really easy. You just have to fill in the basic details: your full name (beware of the spelling since they link it to your tickets and you don’t want to get into a different city or maybe you do; good for you), e-mail address, a username and a password. Done. Done. Done. And done.
Frequent flyer programmes reward you for your loyalty. Uuh… Each time you fly with an airline from the same alliance (depending on the distance), you receive a number of miles. Miles. There are miles you can spend and miles you can not. Those you can spend will get you free flights or seat upgrades (buying an economy class ticket, but flying business class; or first class!). Those you can not spend take you high up the status ladder.
Taking notes already, I hope.
What’s a status? Not on Facebook. The status defines your love for the airline, but also its love and appreciation for you. Or, basically, how frequently you fly with them. Usually there are 4 levels of status: Basic, Silver, Gold and Platinum. The higher the status, the harder to reach it. Duh. The perks of going up the ladder range from business-class check-in, priority boarding or priority seating up to full lounge access for you and your beloved one (aww), private limo transfer to and from the aircraft and… wait for it!… extra luggage allowance. Not that you’d ever need it. Lol.
There are 3 major airline alliances in the world: Star Alliance (Lufthansa, Austrian Airlines, Turkish Airlines and another 25), Sky Team (Air France, KLM, Alitalia and another 17) and One World (British Airways, Qatar Airways, Air Berlin and another 12).
In the end, is it just me thinking about it or is it for real? It is just another way of tricking. Thank God for the treating!
Step 2 incoming.