A way to get free flights. How to sign up for the miles earning program?

A way to get free flights.  How to sign up for the miles earning program?

Knowing the rules of collecting miles can result in receiving cheap or even free airline tickets. We explain how to sign up for the loyalty program.

Are you going on a trip or maybe you have just returned from one? Check if you are entitled to miles for your flight, which you can exchange for attractive prizes. Although many travelers have heard about this method of getting cheaper tickets, still few use it. We explain how to sign up for the points collection program of various airline alliances, including the Polish carrier PLL LOT. We can also collect miles for flights that have already taken place.

Check which airline you are flying with

Mileage programs seem complicated, but in practice, saving them will take a few minutes. We can reap the benefits of membership for many years, and although it may seem like it takes forever to collect the right number of points, free flights are closer than you think. What are airline miles? It’s best to seek the answer to this question directly from the source. “Miles are a bonus for your flights with Miles & More partner airlines. You can also collect them for other everyday activities, such as renting a car, staying in a hotel or shopping. To take advantage of this opportunity, simply provide your member card number when booking, checking into a hotel or paying for products with our partners. The miles will then be credited to your Miles & More account,” we read on the website of Miles & More, the largest loyalty program in Europe, which also includes LOT Polish Airlines since 2003. Of course, this is not the only place where we can collect miles. First, it is worth checking which carrier operates our flight and which airline alliance it belongs to.

Airline alliances

LOT, just like, among others, Lufthansa, Air Canada, TAP Portugal, United Airlines and Turkish Airlines belong to the largest airline alliance in the world, Star Alliance. Thanks to membership in the Miles & More mileage program, we will receive benefits from all carriers associated with the alliance. In addition to the possibility of collecting miles, some airlines offer, among others: priority boarding, access to airport lounges and additional baggage allowance.

In addition to Star Alliance, there are two other important alliances in the world: Skyteam and Oneworld. The first one brings together, among others, Air France, KLM and Delta Air Lines, and airlines such as Qatar Airways, British Airways and Iberia. Some carriers form smaller alliances – an example is the popular Emirates airline, which concluded an agreement with the low-cost carrier Flydubai (operating, among others, on routes from Warsaw to Dubai) and opened its own loyalty program.

How to sign up for the program

The first step towards free flights in the future is to check on the Internet whether the airline you are traveling with has a loyalty (miles) program. When purchasing tickets, you will be asked to provide your membership number, which you will receive after registering on the website of the selected program. Signing up takes no more than a few minutes and requires basic data such as name and surname, e-mail address and passport number. The number of miles we will ultimately be awarded depends on the ticket price, flight scope, as well as the travel class and booking class. We will receive noticeably fewer points for traveling in economy class on the Warsaw-Vilnius route than for traveling in business class from Poland to Los Angeles. We can also collect miles for other services purchased through airlines – accommodation, transfers or attractions. Collecting miles is also offered by many local partners, such as some banks and car rental companies.

Miles for past flights

What if we did not provide our membership number when purchasing tickets or were not yet registered in the loyalty program? Many airlines offer the option of retroactively crediting miles. Let’s assume that three days ago we flew with LOT from Warsaw to London. If the trip took place no longer than 6 months ago, the airline will credit the miles due after joining the program and entering the reservation number. In the case of the above-mentioned flight, we will have to wait another four days to complete this step – the possibility of retroactive charging starts one week after the trip.

Rewards and free flights

Miles will be useful mainly for people who travel frequently or even very often. What about those who go on vacation once or twice a year? Collecting loyalty points is profitable even for customers who do not fly regularly, but for obvious reasons they will have to wait much longer to receive the reward. In LOT, to pay part of the ticket, you only need to have at least 3,000 miles on your account. Collecting them shouldn’t be difficult.

“When traveling with LOT, for domestic flights in Europe we will receive from 125 to 1,000 miles for one flight in economy class. For international flights in Europe, it is from 1,250 to 2,000 miles in business class, 750-1,350 miles in premium economy class and 125-1,250 miles in regular economy class,” we read on the carrier’s website. If we have too few miles to significantly reduce the price of the flight, we can spend them, for example, on entering a lounge at the airport. It is also worth paying attention to “mileage deals” – flight sales that will be paid for in full with miles. We will spend 25,000 miles on a promotional flight from Warsaw to Budapest in economy class in both directions, and 55,000 miles for a flight to Miami and back in business class.

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