Airlines Miles


Airlines since a very very long time have suffered from an acute crisis to fill its dynamic inventory and for the very same reason invented a loyalty or a frequent flyer program. Initially it was targeted for those who travel often on business but slowly over the years as more and more leisure travelers flying, it has been pointed towards the new lot too. 

There are around 300 odd scheduled airlines all over the world and most of them have some or the other frequent flyer program ( FFP from now on). These FFPs offer you different miles when you travel destinations based on the distances you travel or the money you spend. These miles can further be used to book flights later for free ( well almost barring taxes) and then you can fly for free. 

The world over there are three major alliances of airlines which allow passengers from one airline which is the member of one such consortium to redeem his or her FFP miles onto another partner airline. The three alliances are Star Alliance (*A) with 27 members, Oneworld Alliance with around 15 members, and Skyteam with another 20 members. There are few smaller alliances like Value Alliance about which I will talk later. 

For the folks in India, Air India is part of the star alliance, along with United & Lufthansa. Jet Airways though formally is not a part of any of the alliances as of now, talks are hot about it joining one soon, but it has a number of partner airlines including United & Lufthansa.

FFP miles can not only be earned by flying, a number of airlines have tied up with credit card companies where your spends are converted into airmiles or some other hotel and lifestyle partners which give you miles for stay or specific purchases. As for any other program they have their offers too and if you are smart enough to redeem on time, you get pretty good value for your airmiles.

We will be talking about all such offers and strategies in the future posts so keep your FFP numbers ready.
Cheers PJ   

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