Posted in Flying on Miles, Travel

“Double Dipping” 101

“Double Dipping” is a faster way to earn miles while killing two birds with one stone.

  1. As a frequent flyer: Log into your account and purchase your airplane ticket, for your airline or it’s partner airlines.
  2. Use your credit card affiliated with the airline for the online transaction.
  3.  Take the flight and make sure your frequent flyer number appears on your boarding pass as well not just your on the reservation – you will be earning miles for the flight as well (depending on partner airline, your booking class and cabin type) but the airline will deposit miles into your account anywhere between 50-100% of the miles flown within two weeks from your trip.


The way the system works is that certain booking classes do not qualify for award miles, so when you book outside of your airline’s webpage there are no guarantees that you are getting miles for those flights.  You will certainly get your tickets and fly wherever you need to go but you may not get the miles for it.  When you shop outside of your airline’s website you don’t know what class they will book you on and you certainly don’t have any control over it.  In those cases you will only know the booking details after purchase, which is when travel agencies email you the receipt and electronic tickets.  Rule of thumb: if your ticket was one of those super-duper deep-discounted fares most likely your flight won’t qualify for miles (buy hey, you got a good deal which also matters).

I don’t want to complicate this even more but it can also happen that you may get booked on a “higher” class on the first leg of your trip and on a “lower” class on the second leg of your trip (or vice versa), so in those cases you earn different percentage of miles for each leg of your trip (or none at all if one leg does not qualify).  It happens with super cheap tickets.

I have been fighting with Turkish Airlines since last November because they confirmed (“booked”) my E-ticket on “W” class after purchase; however my boarding pass shows a “Y” booking class for each leg of the trip.  This seems like an administrative error but it is worth the fight since there are thousand of miles at stake from Washington, D.C. to Istanbul, from Istanbul to Dubai and back to D.C. via Istanbul.

I always wondered how many booking classes are out there. Let me tell you, a lot! Imagine it like the ABC, first/business classes are beginning with “A”, “B” and “C”, economy classes are ending with “Y” and “W”, while “Y” still qualifies for miles but not “W”.

My advise is this: Buy your ticket directly from your airline whenever you can so that you have options to choose between different booking classes prior to purchasing the ticket. If there is a significant price difference between your airline and a travel agency, then go ahead and buy the cheaper one.  You never know, your cheaper ticket may still qualify for miles, just make sure to mention your frequent flyer number when you buy it and mention it again when you check-in at the airport.



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