Demand for air travel has skyrocketed, but trying to find seats using points is impossible. Here’s the best way to use your points
The cost of flying has skyrocketed as we all rush to get airborne again. Experts call it a “revenge trip”, but we are all catching up with two years of restrictions.
But now airfares to popular international destinations have more than doubled pre-pandemic levels. And if you’re trying to use your points to pay for flights, you’re probably having trouble reserving seats.
So with all of this unprecedented demand, what’s the best way to make the most of your points and get back in the air?
If you are organized, flexible and determined, you will succeed. Steve Hui, of iFlyFlat have some ideas.
The frequent flyer expert noted a common misconception about redemption rates right now, as claim rates have quadrupled in some cases.
“The number of points for flights is still the same, it’s just that you can’t find seats right now,” says iFlyFlat’s Steve Hui.
What the airlines say
It should be noted how far in advance the airlines release their award flights.
A Virgin Australia Group spokesperson said: “Velocity members can be advised by taking advantage of discounted fares during sales and booking ahead with award seats available over 300 days in advance.”
Australia’s two major frequent flyer programs, Velocity and Qantas Frequent Flyer, have recently seen record point redemption rates.
Qantas CEO Alan Joyce has acknowledged the rise in airfare prices.
“Fuel prices have skyrocketed and our fuel bill next year will be $1.8 billion higher than before COVID,” Joyce said.
“At the same time, air fares are still incredibly low. Jetstar had a $29 plane ticket sale yesterday [June 15]so you can still get very low airfares, but airfares will have to rise with oil prices.