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Looking to Fly? Read These Tips for Redeeming Miles

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By Tom Parsons

Out of Dallas, we can be at a disadvantage on other carriers, such as Delta and United, because we have to connect to one of their gateway cities.

When I took my son to Europe a year ago, I wanted to go to Prague and he wanted to go to Amsterdam, so I looked at flights on Delta and United to Prague and Amsterdam. I must have spent five days trying to find the best itinerary.

Delta ended up being my best option because it offered nonstops from the U.S. to Prague and nonstops from Prague to Amsterdam. Delta wanted 240,000 air miles in business class from Dallas to Amsterdam and Prague, but out of New York, where my son was living, it was 100,000 air miles. I got a round-trip first-class ticket to New York for 50,000 miles and then flew from there for 100,000 miles, saving 90,000 air miles, or almost another business class ticket to Europe.

Some airlines charge a lot more than others when it comes to taxes and fees on international flights. American has a codeshare with British Airways, and if you fly on an award ticket using American miles on British Airways flights to Europe, you will have to pay fuel surcharges and landing fees to Europe. These fees are almost $700 combined for round-trip flights from Dallas to London in coach and $1,244 round trip in business class. These fees apply whether you use British Airways miles or American miles.

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