Cut travel costs by enrolling in a frequent-flier program that fits your lifestyle

Cut travel costs by enrolling in a frequent-flier program that fits your lifestyle

Does it seem like the cost of an airplane ticket is constantly on the rise? Finding the best deal on flights can be challenging. Should you purchase tickets well in advance? Should you wait until right before when there are only a few seats left? One thing is for certain. Joining a frequent-flier club will over time get you discounts, upgrades and deals for staying loyal to one airline.

So in an attempt to focus your efforts, think about the cities where you will be flying out of most frequently. If you are flying out of O’Hare, chances are, you’ll want to join the American Airlines program. This is because Chicago O’Hare is a hub for several large airlines, so it will be easier to find flights you need and stay in your frequent flier program that way. 

However, if Midway is closer or better for your traveling style, you’d probably choose the Southwest club instead. Southwest boasts the first-ever frequent-flier program. And that shouldn’t be a surprise. They’re well known for saving people money. The caveat: Southwest frequent-flier miles have a one-year expiration date. Also, Southwest still flies to fewer destinations than its larger counterparts at American or United. 

So if you don’t travel multiple times per year, or you fly to smaller airports, the Southwest frequent flier club may not be the right choice. Chicago travel agents are well-versed in both programs, so let the experts guide you in the right direction. 

Say you’re a Charlotte resident. You might opt for US Airways. US Airways offers a frequent flier club offers all sorts of unique perks including quicker security checks and upgrades to first class. This may be a good option for fliers who travel for business, where someone else is picking up the tab. Charlotte travel agents can help you find the best deals, whether or not you opt for US Airways’ frequent-flier club. 

When choosing which program to participate in, think about what your goal is. Do you want to earn free airline tickets, or do you want free upgrades to first class?

Making smart choices with your frequent flier programs can save you money. Looking for other ways to save money when traveling? Check out this When To Buy Airline Tickets infographic to learn some tips that can help you shop smart.

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