Redeemable bonus miles and points
I do like things for nothing – it is probably my Roman Catholic upbringing in a predominantly Jewish area of town. The original Air Miles idea attracted me – my mother ‘s influence from the Green Shied stamps generation. The trouble is that having collected them, are they of any use?
To be fair, I have friends that swear by them. They go skiing, they take weekend breaks to Rome and Madrid and, so they tell me, they use their points. My grumble is that each time I try, there are never any points seats available (the airlines call them non-revenue seats which gives you a hint as to how they approach this issue).
It is not just AirMiles, all of the airlines have some form of frequent traveler bonus to attract you to earn redeemable miles. If you want to fly unpopular routes on unpopular dates, you should be able to use the miles. But, if you want to fly on the popular routes at peak times, or even at anything less than six months notice, you will find that the allocation of non-revenue seats can be, to say the least, sparse.
I am an admitted fan of Virgin Atlantic and I use them whenever I can in preference to British Airways. This is not a balanced judgment on the merits of the two airlines, just personal preference or personal prejudice as my wife calls it.
Anyway, I have a Virgin credit card that earns me 2 miles per £1 spent and double that if I spend with selected Virgin Group companies. Why this is not all Virgin Group companies is also beyond me. I have lots of Virgin miles and simply cannot spend them on the routes that I want to use. Yes, I probably could use them to go to Tashkent but I do not want to go there. What I want is for Virgin Atlantic to complete the bargain and let me use the points that I have earned going where I want to go on pretty much the dates that I want to travel – is that too much to ask?
I think I just heard echoes of my childhood again - I said earned but I got these points for nothing and, my mother speaking again, nothing is for nothing !
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MaryJo, United Kingdom
28 April 2010, 08:25AM
I use my Virgin Atlantic card as much as I can. Being an Amex card, there are far too many places in which it is still not accepted. When I can use it, the point really do mount up.
Peter Smith, Kent, England
28 April 2010, 09:16AM
I have the problem that there are never any AirMiles flights on the days that I want them and I do not get to use the points that I have collected. I think it is a bit of a scam but I suppose as they did not cost me anything I should not grumble.
Dennis Frampton, Essex
29 April 2010, 04:17AM
Yes, I have the same problem. Never are any seats at the times that I want them. I end up paying again and must have masses of miles that I just never use.
KerryHolland, United Kingdom
29 April 2010, 08:39AM
I spoke to a woman in the queue (here are always queues) and she made a good point about families. She, her husband and three children were off to Italy. She would not have had any chance of affording the trip on standard fares. She was saving money times five which was a significant factor.
MaryOliver, United Kingdom
29 April 2010, 10:15AM
My son uses AirMiles (I get them on petrol and electricity bills). He and 3 friends went skiing for almost no money It worked for him !
Wad Jones, Devon, UK
29 April 2010, 11:07AM
I use mine for car hire and that works really well.
Jenny Wilson, Bath, Avon
30 April 2010, 08:15AM
I collect and use Virgin Miles on my Virgin Atlantic card. I think it is a great deal but I wish I could use my Virgin card with Virgin Media. I just do not see why this should be so difficult for them to arrange.
Brian Allen, Oxford, England
1 May 2010, 12:40PM
I signed up for AirMiles but have never used them. I would like to convert them to something else but they make that really difficult. They ought to do a deal with Tesco etc so that I can use them for food or even give them to charity rather than waste them.
Kim Manton, Scotland
1 May 2010, 12:59PM
The best deal around is the Virgin Black card. It really does give useful and usable points. The problem is that it is Amex which even Virgin do not accept (how can they not accept their own credit card?) so it is limited in where you can use it - but it still gives lots of miles if you use it when you can.
26 November 2010, 05:32PM
I used to travel alot when i worked in London and I saved up quite alot of AirMiles. I have been saving them for a special occasion so next summer my family and I are flying first class on a tour of America!
Justine, Crystal Palace
6 December 2010, 02:02PM
I cooect AirMiles but have never actually used them I have travelled a fair bit over the last few years and keep saying to myself that I should book a weekend away and use them but never seem to get round to it. However based on some of the comments above it may not be as esy to use them as I thought!
2 January 2011, 03:12PM
I have been trying to book two holidays for 2011 and both our preferred destinations are unavailable using AirMiles. I have two kids at school and we're really limited with holiday dates.
14 July 2011, 02:29PM
Airmiles are a great reward and it is nice to feel like you are getting something for nothing, even though really you have paid for it initially!
21 July 2011, 12:05PM
The best strategies for redeeming miles revolve around using them for last-minute trips that would otherwise be expensive.
26 January 2013, 10:21AM
I have nearly 180K virgin miles and cannot use them for the reasons above. When I can use them for the routes I want, I find it is cheaper to buy a normal fare as the surcharges associated with redeeming of these miles makes no difference. Sorry I apologize Mr Branson on a route from London to Mumbai it makes a difference of 8 pounds!!!!
Maybe I can sell them to some unwitting person. Hey Mr Branson would you like to buy my miles?
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