If you’re planning to get the most out of your airline miles, you want to think carefully before booking your next award travel experience. Why see only one destination when you can see multiple cities during your trip? You can be smarter with your miles and plan a stopover so that you get more value.
Today we’ll share with you how to go about seeing more cities with the use of your airline miles. Airline miles and stopovers work well together for travelers who want to save big.
What is a Stopover?
First, you may be wondering what a stopover is. A stopover occurs when you have an extended period of time in another city as you make your way to your destination. Unlike a long layover (like a 14-hour layover in Athens as you’re headed back to NYC, for example), a stopover allows for more time to explore that city.
For domestic flights, 4 hours+ is considered a stopover. For international flights, 24 hours+ is considered a stopover. You can even plan to have a stopover for several days—or even weeks!
Some Airlines Offer Stopovers for Free
Some airlines offer the perk of stopping in an additional city at no extra cost. This is a great way to maximize your vacation value and see more than one place during your travels. You can take advantage of this perk when flying multiple airlines.
Whether you use accumulated airline miles that you earned on your travel credit card or you pay outright is totally your choice.
Here are some of the airlines that offer this benefit:
- WOW Air
- Air China
- TAP Portugal
- Qatar Airways
- Air Canada
- Singapore Airlines
Some airlines may only offer free stopovers in select cities like Reykjavik or London. You’ll need to consider this as you begin to plan your own travels. Now is a great time to explore some of the destinations that these airlines go to so you can begin dreaming up your next adventure.
Use Your Airline Points to Plan a Stopover Trip
There are more ways to take advantage of stopovers. For those who enjoy utilizing airline miles and points, you can maximize the value of your miles by planning a stopover. Many airline award programs offer this benefit. It’s a great option if you have time to add another destination during your travels.
Here are some airline programs that allow you to add a stopover (and some allow additional stopovers!):
- Alaska Airlines Mileage Plan
- British Airways Avios
- Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer
- ANA Mileage Club
- Air Canada Aeroplan
Be sure to look at each specific airline’s mileage program rules to fully understand what you can and can’t do. This will allow you to create the perfect itinerary while also taking advantage of your existing miles. If you already have the points staved up, why not take advantage of a stopover opportunity? If anything, take a few hours and engage in a tour before continuing your journey.
Enjoy More Benefits By Exploring the Best Airline Mileage Programs
Some mileage programs are better than others, especially when it comes to booking stopovers. You’ll want to look around and compare options before planning your trip. One popular way to maximize miles and take advantage of stopovers is through the Alaska Airlines Mileage Plan.
They allow for a 1 stopover per one-way. That means you can plan 2 stopovers for you round-trip journey. This is a great way to visit 3 total cities (2 stopovers + your destination) in one trip.
Some things to consider when using Alaska Airlines Mileage Plan for your own stopover trip: The free stopover must be in a partner airline’s hub city (so you can’t pick just ANY city) and you can’t fly with different partner airlines throughout your journey. For example, if you’re flying with British Airways, you can’t then fly to your next city with Icelandair.
Do your research and find the best stopover options that let you use airline miles. Planning to go to Europe? You can also check out the best award miles to redeem for flights to Europe and choose a program that allows you to add a stopover.
Utilize Airline Miles and Stopovers to Save Big and Travel More
So if you’re someone who loves to visit new places and you have plenty of time to see more than one city on your next trip, be sure to take advantage of stopovers when you redeem your airline miles. You can keep adding more cities and countries to your list while also being smart with how you redeem your miles.
Where are you planning to visit during your next stopover?
Disclosure: this article was created by our friends from JohnnyJet.com