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Old 02-08-2008, 03:20 PM   #1
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Default Got a free ticket - what do I do with it?

So I recently realized I have enough mileage saved up to get me almost anywhere in the world. However, I also found out that I won't be done with school for another 2 terms or so. I'm really itching to take an awesome trip soon, but I also don't want to be pressed for time to get back to school.
What would you do?
Save the ticket for post-graduation use, or take a nice break between class this summer and go on a month or so adventure?
I'm thinking South America or Asia/Indonesia. I may want some more time for that one though.
I know its a pretty broad question thats tough to answer, but thanks for any advice.
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Old 02-08-2008, 05:53 PM   #2
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I'm sure you probably know this if you travel that much, but for everyone's education I just wanted to say this. If you're talking about a US Airways or United frequent flyer account, know that if the account goes inactive for 18 months, you lose your miles. which would suck.
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Old 02-08-2008, 06:27 PM   #3
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Girl!!!!!!! If you can take a month long trip go for it. Life is weird, and the opportunity to leave it for a month doesn't always come around. I say hit the road for sure, and I'm pretty sure thats what everyone else here is going to tell you. Embrace the opportunity and have fun. Keep us posted.
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Old 02-09-2008, 03:23 AM   #4
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Think of a place you always wanted to go but you just couldn't afford it/it was too impractical and go!
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Old 02-09-2008, 09:54 AM   #5
 
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What airline do you have the miles with and how many miles are in your account?
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Old 02-10-2008, 01:13 PM   #6
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It's Alaska Air, who has plenty of partner airlines I can use also. That's a good point though, my destination may depend on AKAir's partners. I have about 37,000, and my parents have some they can spot me to complete a ticket.
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Old 02-10-2008, 03:50 PM   #7
 
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Get the hell out of there, even ifit's only a month, ASAP!
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Old 02-10-2008, 08:34 PM   #8
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Where do you reccommend?? Thats kind of stupid because there are hundreds of threads here that I can read to probably make a decision, but I don't know where to start! Too many options
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Old 02-11-2008, 10:33 AM   #9
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I would definately go sooner rather than later, as other have said, you never know what might hapen in the future.

Some of your decision process may depend on availability of frequent flyer seats. I think Alaska Air is part of the Star Alliance, which is great because they have a lot of partners. United in particular has a lot of Asian routes. There is limited availability of frequent flyer seats, however. Some routes are easier than others to get seats on. I would suggest coming up with a couple of options and be a little flexible with your dates. Other than that, either SA or Asia sound like fantastic options!! Good luck!
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Old 02-17-2008, 06:41 PM   #10
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AKguacamole View Post
It's Alaska Air, who has plenty of partner airlines I can use also. That's a good point though, my destination may depend on AKAir's partners. I have about 37,000, and my parents have some they can spot me to complete a ticket.
I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but unfortunately, 37k miles won't quite get you everywhere in the world.

You're pretty much limited to the western hemisphere. You can fly anywhere in the US & Canada for 25k or less (depending on what airline), to Mexico on Alaska/Horizon & Delta for 30k, to the Caribbean on Delta for 30k, to Hawaii on Alaska/Horizon & Delta for 35k, and to some countries in Central & South America on American & Delta for 35k. If you were able to get your balance to 40k miles (by your parents paying to gift you some of their miles or by buying more miles), then you can get a ticket to Europe on American Airlines but only during the low season (Oct 16-May 14). Anywhere else, and you're looking at 50,000+ miles.

Sometimes there is confusion about how frequent flier miles work...you see, you EARN miles based on how many you fly - but you don't redeem them that way. You redeem them based on a set amount for flights within/to that country. A roundtrip ticket from Portland to Seattle, for example, takes the same amount of miles to "buy" as a ticket from Portland to New York.

If you need help figuring out the process, feel free to PM me. I've got a lot of experience with frequent flier programs and the ins & outs of airline travel (as a passenger, not an employee).

Even with the limitations on where you'll be able to go on an award ticket though, you can still have an awesome time. There are a number of T-Punks who have had awesome trips in Central & South America! I'm sure you can find information here on the boards about backpacking in those areas.

Good luck in whatever destination you end up choosing!
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Old 02-17-2008, 08:41 PM   #11
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Thanks for all the info! I've been a frequent flyer since as long as I can remember, but don't have much experience on redeeming miles internationally. But I can basically get about anywhere, given that I don't care where I fly into, (or even when I go), and both my parents have a ton of miles also. They offered to spot me anytime, or I could just "buy" more miles off the website. I was set on Asia for this summer, but given I have a time limit I think I will spend a month in South America. I have old friends there who are already excited, I musn't let em down!! Thanks again.
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