Cash for Etihad Guest Miles
Etihad Guest members can now convert their hard earned miles into cold hard cash thanks to the PointsPay system developed by Swiss company LoyLogic. So if redeeming a flight is not feasible or if members simply want to use their miles on merchandise they now have full flexibility to do so.
Etihad is currently the only frequent flyer program that offers this possibility, but it seems that air berlin's program topbonus may soon jump on board as well. German news magazine FOCUS recently published an article on the subject:
Study on Miles Redemption
Generally speaking value-oriented airlines have much better award seat availability than the full-fare carriers. In a study done by Switchfly, frequent flyer programs like topbonus (air berlin, NIKI) and Rapid Rewards (Southwest Airlines) showed excellent seat availability for frequent flyer program members.
The study also looked at trends and indicates that member rewards are getting better across the board. Two full fare programs that were singled out for their improved seat availability were Executive Club (British Airways) and United Mileage Plus.
Article in the Chicago Tribune:
topbonus topdeal tickets
Go to the airberlin.de website to find out about the topdeal tickets (Schnäppchentickets) available to topbonus members. Return tickets can be booked for as little 6,000 miles per round-trip.
Tickets must be booked online and only economy class is available.
Reward Seat Availability
Air Transport World (ATW) has published a report on global reward seat availability. The report is based on over 6,700 bookings made with 24 frequent flyer programs during March and April 2011 for travel in June-October 2011. The report can be purchased here: http://store.atwonline.com/Product.aspx?pid
The top five programs for seat availability were: