Frequent travelers departing from Buffalo’s Niagara International Airport during September will find significant advantages when using flyer reward programs. In fact, RewardExpert.com reports that September averages out to be the most advantageous month for Buffalo travelers using flyer reward miles to travel to domestic cities. International travel was split between September and December as the most favorable times to book through rewards programs.
Buffalo-based RewardExpert.com’s extensive data research finds that frequent flyer rewards programs favor travel to New York City and Washington D.C. when flying from Buffalo during September. Travelers using rewards to book flights to those cities can expect to use fewer miles – the currency used when redeeming free flights.
Southwest Airlines’ Rapid Rewards and American Airlines’ AAdvantage travel awards programs were the most cost-effective plans, according to the research. While New York and Washington are the most cost-effective domestic destinations, for Economy and Business Class alike, the most expensive destination is Honolulu. The following table supports the study’s results as compared to major domestic destinations.
Internationally, Buffalo travelers will find that London, Paris and Rome are the best international destinations for Economy class and Rome for Business class flights. London is the best destination when compared to all international destinations for any seat, including upgrades. The best rewards program to use when booking London in economy class is United Airlines’ MileagePlus program, while business travelers are best off using Delta’s SkyMiles rewards. The most expensive rewards destination is tied between Tel Aviv and Hong Kong.
RewardExpert.com also found that programs with the best domestic coverage are United Airlines’ MileagePlus and Delta’s SkyMiles, while international availability is dominated by United Airlines’ MileagePlus. MileagePlus rewards can be redeemed for travel on any combination of United Airlines, United Express carriers, as well as Star Alliance.
Most major airlines charge approximately 25,000 miles round-trip for coach class flights within the continental U.S. and Canada. Frequent flyer programs are zone-based, which means it requires the same number of miles to fly within a certain geographic region, regardless of distance or ticket price. While the amount of rewards miles may be a reasonable price to pay for a longer flight, some rewards members cringe at sacrificing so many miles for a short flight, like New York to Washington, DC, for example. Rewards members will pay less in terms of miles for short-haul flights by choosing distance-based or revenue-based frequent flyer programs to book flights.
“When booking short or medium-haul flights, travelers should first consider airlines that base the number of miles required on distance,” says Roman Shteyn, Co-Founder at RewardExpert.com. “When booking any flight, it is worth considering programs that are revenue-based, like Southwest, JetBlue, and Virgin America, since the number of miles you pay depends on the price of the ticket. So if there’s a sale, you could save a lot of miles.”
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Brooklyn, NY-based RewardExpert.com helps travelers maximize their frequent flier and other program rewards. RewardExpert.com helps users strategize the fastest way to earn points, the best times to travel on points and how to reap the most benefits of reward programs. Additionally, RewardExpert.com has become a resource for the best credit cards offering travel rewards and other programs to earn free fights without cost.
RewardExpert.com was co-founded by Roman Shteyn, who at 12 years old took his first flight after his parents borrowed money from a refugee aid organization to flee the collapsing Soviet Union. Shteyn later went on to earn a degree in Computer Sciences at the Polytechnic Institute of NYU. He has been nationally recognized as a consumer travel advocate and his work has been featured in local, state, and national media, including Fox Business.
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