Peter asked about “free one-way tickets on awards.”
If you can summarize which airlines allow for free one-ways on international award tickets, that would be helpful. I know there’s been some changes in the past few months.
The idea of the “free one-way” is that when you redeem a roundtrip award ticket, with an airline that allows stopovers, you can ‘throw in’ an extra flight at the end of your award without spending an additional miles.
For instance, if you need to fly Newark – London – Newark, why not fly Newark – London (destination), and then fly back London – Newark (your allowable stopover) – Los Angeles (destination). You fly Newark – Los Angeles at some later date, basically you get a free cross country flight to use later.
And changing dates on award tickets, where you don’t change the airline or routing, has often been free (no change fee).
Basically, if you need a roundtrip award you could often get a free ticket to use later … within a year of date of issue of your original ticket. Neat, huh?
But this practice relies on your mileage program allowing stopvoers as part of award tickets and several airline mileage programs have taken away the allowable stopover — in the process eliminating the “free one-way.”
- American used to allow stopovers at the North American gateway city (so if you flew Dallas – San Francisco – Hong Kong, you were allowed a stopover in San Francisco) but they eliminated this without notice in April.
- Delta will no longer allow stopovers on awards booked starting January 1. Until then you need to call Delta to get an award with a stopover, because the website will charge extra for them.
United still allows stopovers on roundtrip awards. So you can still have a free one-way on a roundtrip United award.
Alaska Airlines allows stopovers on one-way international awards. That means you can do a free one-way in both directions, although for most people it will be more useful on the return. (Throwing in an ‘extra’ Hong Kong – Bangkok segment to use later is going to have limited usefulness for most.)
If the miles you’re using are in a program that permits stopovers, and you aren’t otherwise going to use the stopover in your itinerary, consider adding on an extra flight segment to the end of your itinerary for use alter on.
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