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Even if you book nine months in advance to places with few flights like Sydney, Australia, it may be impossible to find the lowest-level award seats. Also, there are fewer award seats available at the lowest levels during peak seasons, like summer and the winter holidays, because the airlines know they can get top dollar for seats. While it’s hard to find the lowest-level seats, you usually can redeem double the miles for award seats.

One final insider secret: If you must redeem double the air miles, then you should see if first-class or business-class seats are available for the same mileage. If so, why sit in the back of the bus when you can get all those extra perks for the same mileage?

Tom Parsons is CEO of bestfares.com: media@bestfares.com.

©2013 The Dallas Morning News
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