No, really. They’re probably not.
I do a lot of award booking for people who get absolutely pissed off when there is no low level availability in first class for the family of four during the holidays to Australia on a direct flight.
And they’re not willing to fly economy. Or fly with a stop or two or three. Or split the family up onto two separate flights. Or be flexible on the dates. Or the destination.
If that sounds like you, points and miles aren’t for you.
That’s not to say that traveling isn’t for you, and that you can’t save money on your travels, though! You should definitely still travel if you want to, just concentrate on maximizing your cash back through cards like the Citi Fidelity Card or the Barclay Arrival Card, or even taking advantage of programs like Southwest where you can book any available seat that can be paid for with cash.
Flexibility is key when using points and miles, and if you don’t have any, it is going to be so so hard to use your miles. It pretty much comes down to luck at that point (especially for premium cabins).
And despite the fact that I spend wayyyy too many hours looking at award charts, flyertalk, blog posts, airline routes, and award availability almost everyday, I am not a wizard and if the availability isn’t there, there is absolutely nothing I can do about it.
Good advice! 🙂
Being flexible is probably the single most important thing that you can do when it comes to getting great deals on airfares. Even with revenue tickets, a little bit of flexibility can go a long way. Interestingly, I was working on a walkthrough of Google Flights for my blog earlier this week (now posted) that demonstrates the above point quite well. I was able to save $200 on a round trip from Houston to Miami with a little flexibility.
Wow perfect storm. Flying with more than one or two people in F on award with inflexible dates and routing. That’s why people don’t like points/miles. But think how bad it would be if everyone loved it. We are killing our own availability by helping others enter or understand “the game” 🙂
Definitely true that if everyone loved points and miles it wouldn’t be as good for us, so I’m glad that’s not the case!