Airline reward programs might not be purpose built to confuse and confound, but even the most bloody-minded bureaucrat couldn't come up with more arcane rules and more plentiful exceptions to those rules. Still, studious frequent fliers find that it is worth their while to wade into the sea of red tape. There is no sweeter feeling than getting perks and paying with miles and no better way to get even with an airline for making you keep track of them.
Here are four tips for travelers looking to receive their just rewards.
Join an alliance.
Having elite status with an airline means you can access a cushy airport lounge, board early, and, sometimes, zip through the VIP security line. And if that airline belongs to an alliance? You can take advantage of the same perks with any of its sister airlines. Become a member of Star Alliance airline Aegean, whose threshold for "gold" status is only 20,000 miles, versus 50,000 or more for some of the group's other fliers. Then you can reach gold by flying another Star Alliance airline, like United, and start reaping the benefits.
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