Don't Waste Your Money: Frequent flier miles hard to acquire - News, Weather, Sports, Toledo, OH

Don't Waste Your Money: Frequent flier miles hard to acquire

(WTOL) - Many of us collect frequent flier miles on our credit cards, dreaming of that exotic vacation getaway. Unfortunately, you may have to build up a lot more miles than you first thought.

With airfares soaring to new highs every week, that vacation getaway is getting more expensive all the time. That's why so many people use credit cards to build up frequent flier miles. Unfortunately, that free trip is getting more and more out of reach.

If you are trying to get away this spring or summer, you know that fares are higher than ever, with $250 flights now costing $400 to many destinations.

But if you try to use frequent flier miles, don't expect much help. According to the Wall Street Journal, standard 25,000 mile seats are all but impossible to find this year.

The journal tested dozens of popular routes in popular cities such as Fort Lauderdale, Orlando, and New York saying Delta, United, and American all required either 37,000 or 50,000 miles for a free coach seat.

From the doesn't that stink file, the one-two punch which explains why standard level frequent flier seats are all but gone: Airlines have cut excess capacity in recent years, resulting in more packed planes.

Doesn't that stink?

On top of that, high fares mean hundreds of fliers are now competing for the same two or three free seats per flight.

One suggestion: If the only flight available with your miles is at a bad time or with stops, go ahead and book it and put your name on a wait list for the flight you want. That way there's a chance you'll get the nonstop, so you don't waste your money.

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