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The flexibility of using miles and points for travel is one of the biggest benefits – you can redeem miles for virtually most flights in the world. The most incredible flights around the world can be booked as an award ticket with just minimal taxes and fees. Finding award availability may be one key task – but first, you actually need to map out what airline and product you want to fly.

Incredible Flying Experiences

There’s a variety of airlines around the world that offer an incredible flying experience – however there’s a few airlines that stand out and everyone in the miles and points community needs to fly these at least once in their life.

  • Air France First Class
  • ANA First and Business Class
  • Cathay Pacific First Class
  • Emirates First Class
  • Etihad Airways First Class
  • JAL First and Business Class
  • Lufthansa First Class
  • Qatar Airways First and Business Class
  • Qantas Airways First Class
  • Singapore Airlines First and Business Class

There’s of course more airlines offering incredible flying experiences, but these main ones come to mind when redeeming miles and points.

fly Lufthansa with miles & points

fly Lufthansa with miles & points

Determining Your Route

After you’ve decided what product you would like to fly, you have to find where that airline operates the particular product you want to fly. For example, let’s say we are looking at Lufthansa First Class, we know that LH operates flights out of their hubs in Frankfurt and Munich, Germany. You can easily find the hubs of an airline by running a simple Google search.

You’ll then need to determine on what routes your desired product is offered. In the case of Lufthansa, they only have one First Class product which is offered only on intercontinental flights – however not all Lufthansa long-haul aircraft feature a First cabin and therefore you must research where First operates – usually to their most popular destinations like New York or Los Angeles.

Google Flights is your friend as you can easily run a worldwide search from Frankfurt/Munich in First Class and you’ll be shown the schedule.

Finding Miles & Points Award Availability

After locating your desired route, you’ll need to search for award availability on your desired dates. Do note that you must be flexible, otherwise you probably won’t be able to find anything decent. Remember that you can always adjust your flights later should something better open up.

Each airline has their own rules and policies in place and you’ll know about these once you’ve researched enough about the airline and their award availability trends. In the case of Lufthansa, they only release First Class award seats to partner airlines at most two weeks prior to departure. Some routes are easier than others in terms of finding award space and in the case of Lufthansa First Class, shorter routes will be easier to book.

Planning a Multi-Airline Journey with Points

You can of course fly multiple aspirational airline products all on one journey – it all comes down to whether or not there’s availability and if your routes match up alongside of the dates of travel. It is totally possible to mix various airlines on one ticket and sample multiple First Class cabins in a row.

You can generally book multiple airlines on one ticket if those airlines partner with the frequent flyer program you’re using to book your ticket – in some cases you can easily book the flights online and other times you’ll need to call if your itinerary is more complicated.

Planning and booking an aspirational trip which includes several, world-class airlines is no easy task, from locating your desired experience to planning around the availability, to actually booking the ticket, the process is more complicated than it’s made out to be.

fly Qatar Airways with miles & points

fly Qatar Airways with miles & points

All in All

Flying using miles and points is super fun as you can easily fly around the world in some of the world’s top airlines and experience true luxury. With the right mindset and planning, anything becomes possible.

It all comes down to knowing what you want to experience and heavily researching how that can become possible. If you don’t know exactly what you want to fly, you should research and familiarize yourself with the most aspirational flying experiences available on miles and points. Finding award availability might be a challenge, but with flexibility and planning, almost anything is possible with miles and points.

Travel Miles 101 has partnered with CardRatings for our coverage of credit card products. Travel Miles 101 and CardRatings may receive a commission from card issuers.