Collecting reward points is often the easy part of the whole deal while redeeming them can be challenging. If we remember when and where to gather points though, they rack up fast. Still, when it comes to using them, the whole process may seem complicated and we may wonder if we used those points to our best advantage. One way to be sure is by using a professional, someone who lives and breathes the whole process and is passionate about it.
“Booking award tickets can be incredibly frustrating, yet if done correctly, incredibly rewarding” says PointsPros.com, an award travel booking service devoted to helping clients save “time, miles, frustration, and potentially thousands of dollars.”
Ben Schlappig of PointsPros is a college student, travel consultant and avid points collector who also writes the travel blog One Mile At A Time. Spending about a third of his nights in hotels, flying around 300,000 miles and visiting over 40 countries each year, Schlappig’s blog is a treasure chest of travel deals, bargains and shared experiences often not found elsewhere.
“After we analyze the best approach to take for booking your award, we find the award availability, assist you with transferring points as necessary, make the actual award booking, and select the best available seats for you” says PointPro’s easy to navigate website.
Leaving the complicated fee structures to the airlines. PointsPros pricing is simple, $150 for the first passenger on any type of award then $100 for each additional passenger on the same general trip. If they can’t find you a trip matching your specifications, there is no charge.
“Whether you’ve tried to book an award and the airlines have told you there is no availability for your desired trip, or you just want to make the booking process easier, let us put our expertise to work for you. You worked hard to earn those miles, so you shouldn’t have to work hard to redeem them.”
We ran across Ben following up on a story Gadling did about how to free frequent flyer miles by purchasing dollar coins a couple months ago.
“Just last week I came back from a trip from Australia and Singapore and Malaysia all in first class, just on miles,” Florida-based Schlappig says, adding “partly thanks to the dollar coin program.”
Is this service for everyone? Absolutely.
Those who don’t travel all that much can often benefit from having a professional take a look at this side of their travel plans. If the majority of ones travel points on a given airline are racked up buying non-air goods and services, odds are those people can use the help.
Savvy travelers with time on their hands can work through the process on their own. If for no other reason than to save time by having someone else do it, using a award travel booking service can do just that.
Even Road Warriors who sometimes feel like they know more about a particular reward program than the people on the other end of the phone when trying to redeem points can gain from occasionally letting a neutral professional dive in and see what they can do.
Services for booking award tickets like this are not a substitute for a good travel agent or booking travel however we have successfully done it in the past. But wise travelers know considering another element to incorporate into a total travel planning program is worth a look.
Flickr photo by Larry Johnson