Remember how easy it was to book flights before your family grew? Children are a joy, but air travel with kids can be a complex event. Not only do you have to focus on keeping your children happy and behaved for the duration of an entire flight, redeeming your airline rewards miles toward their tickets can present challenges of its own. Depending on the airline, some travel strategies will pay off better that others. Here are some things to consider when trying to use frequent flyer miles when traveling with kids.
1) Have your child earn miles him/herself.
If your child is over the age of two, he or she can begin earning rewards frequent flyer miles immediately through your airline miles credit cards. Whether these miles will be accrued into a family plan or as an individual account will depend on your airline’s specific policies. Because children over the age of 2 typically aren’t discounted very much, if at all, when purchasing tickets, you’ll want to see your child earning travel miles as soon as possible.
2) Use free companion travel offers.
Some airlines like American offer free companion tickets once a year or so to their travel rewards cardholders. Leverage these offers to travel with a child or two on the house, once a year or more. Not all airlines offer this, but this can save you a lot if its an option for you.
3) Use your points to book a child’s ticket.
Many airlines will simply let you use your points to directly purchase your child’s ticket. The policies differ by airline, but the process is often quite simple. A lot of times it can be very expensive to transfer points, often negating the discount they provide. Booking kids’ flights directly will save this.
4) Is your child a lap child?
If your child is under 2 years old, most airlines will consider them young enough to travel for free on your lap. This can be challenging if your are taking a long flight in coach. For longer flights, I’d recommend first class or international business. The upgrade in flight class to have more space and comfort to ride with your little one will be worth the cost. You may pay more for your ticket, but at least you won’t have to buy a second one and can earn precious frequent flyer miles. So enjoy the added luxury of first class if you typically travel coach. This only works as long as your child is under 2 years old. Even if the little one is turning two during the trip, you’ll need to make other arrangements.
Lap Children travel free on Virgin and Jetblue, among others. Look ahead at what your airline’s policies are.
5) Look for Different Itineraries.
Mom and Dad may be able to finagle a cheaper trip or use frequent flyer miles by traveling separately with different assortments of kids. This may not be the most convenient plan, but it may be much easier to redeem your travel points effectively if you explore this option.
We wish you the best of luck in securing cheaper tickets for your kids’ flights using frequent flyer miles. It can be a challenge, but it is possible to get them aboard for cheaper or even free if you leverage the right rewards and policies.
Author Bio: This post was written by Andrew of AirlineMilesExperts.com, the premier destination for the best airline credit cards and tips on how to earn free flights faster.