Ready to redeem your frequent-flier miles and reward points for a plane ticket?
You’ll probably get a seat on Southwest, but good luck with Delta, at least at the basic redemption level.
Southwest Airlines has the best availability of award seats among U.S. airlines on travel dates this year between April and October, according to an annual survey by IdeaWorks Co.
The worst among U.S. airlines: Delta Air Lines and US Airways. Those two had no seats available at the lowest mileage level on about two out of every three inquires, or worse.
Carriers with programs based on points tie rewards to dollars spent rather than miles traveled.
Higher fares earn more points–so coveted business travelers are well rewarded. And travelers can find seats when fares go higher without blackout dates or capacity controls–the price in points goes up proportionally with the
price in dollars.
Conversely, when airline programs award miles based on the distance traveled, higher fares often don’t get higher rewards. And many flights don’t have seats available at standard mileage levels, such as 25,000 miles for a domestic round-trip, which leaves many
consumers frustrated. Story by Scott McCartney for the Wall Street Journal.
Best Airlines for Redeeming Miles
- New Southwest Airlines Loyalty Program Launches
- Airline Miles Becoming Harder to Use
- American, United Follow Southwest’s Lead With Winter Sales
- Time to Reconsider Your Airline Credit Card?
- Tips On Getting The Most Out Of Your Airline Credit Cards
- Consumer Tips on Saving Money Using Airline Miles Credit Cards