Ever since the frequent flying programmes were first introduced for air travel, there have been a lot of misconceptions and ambiguities in terms of getting and using points/miles. It’s primarily due to the myths associated with them. Read on for some myth-busting facts.

While the benefits of air travel are indisputable, it is expensive and can dent the budget of globetrotters. That’s why the savvy travellers sign up for rewards schemes. It provides tons of perks and also helps save money. There are, however, various myths prevalent about frequent flier programmes. Unfortunately, people tend to believe the half-truths and even act upon them. We’d like to clear the air around five prominent myths surrounding airline reward programmes.

Myth # 1: You have to pay to Enrol in membership:

This is completely untrue. The frequent flyer programmes of many airlines are free and involve no fee to set-up an account. Anyone, including enterprises, can register online and sign-up for the membership. In fact, even kids are eligible and can get enrolled in the programme by a parent or guardian.

Myth # 2: You can use the miles earned only to travel in the same airline flight:

This is another erroneous belief. In a bid to ramp up operations and offer fliers a seamless travel experience, airlines sometimes form alliances or become a partner with a spectrum of carriers. This is a bonus for the traveller who not only earn points but can also redeem miles on partner brands.

Myth # 3: I don’t fly enough to join frequent-flier programmes:

A common misconception is that you need to fly on a regular basis to earn airline miles. Nothing could be further from the truth. While the programme was conceived to reward loyal customers, today you don’t have to be a frequent flier to enjoy the benefits. If the airline has a number of programme partners, you can notch up miles by engaging in activities like online shopping, dining, booking hotels etc.

Myth #4: You should book an award seat in advance:

Another prevailing myth about airline loyalty programme is that award seats have to be booked months in advance or else they will be snapped up quickly. The truth is that catching your dream award seat is a challenge as its availability hinges on a range of factors especially demand and supply. Flexibility is the key. Booking a few days before departure (when unsold seats are displayed) is generally a good option for mileage redemptions.

Myth # 5: Miles earned expire too soon:

Nope! While you cannot hold on to your miles indefinitely, the airlines offer plenty of time to redeem points. The miles expire if the account has been inactive for a specified period (usually anywhere between 2-5 years depending on the carrier). Hence, it’s prudent to keep track of the points and ensure the balance is active. Further, you can help loved ones by gifting or transferring miles from your account to theirs.

Now that we have set the record straight by dispelling five myths regarding airline loyalty programmes, get proactive and start earning points. The reward scheme is a real gem that can help you score cheap tickets, complimentary upgrades, extra baggage allowance, lounge access and other perks.