One Way to Get the Miles You Need: Swap with a Friend
Many of us have collected enough frequent-flier miles for a trip we have in mind, but they're with an airline that doesn't fly where we want or doesn't have seats available in the cabin we want. When that's the case, is there anything you can do, besides seeking help from Gary Leff? As I learned this past weekend, there is indeed: Swap miles with a friend.
Here’s what I mean: Some good friends of mine need to fly from New York to London in August for a wedding. They have a ton of United miles, but they also have an inflexible schedule, and they can't get what they need on United. The airline that has the flight schedule and seats they want? American. So I offered them my American miles in exchange for an equal number of their United miles. They were thrilled (as was I, since United miles work better for me). So yesterday I logged into my account on AA.com and booked my friends on the flights they need, in the cabin they want. They gave me their United.com account number and password so that in future, when I want to book tickets using their United miles, I can do so.
But here's what's most interesting about this story: Of the 250K miles that I gave my friends (they're flying in first class roundtrip!), 225K of them I got without spending a dime. Here's how: