When you read various people talk about using points on airlines, it seems like an easy process.  It is not.

The first time I flew British Airways across the pond I loved the experience – it was last minute and we were able to get our flights first class round trip.  It almost seemed magical.

Last year, with a trip to Ireland- it would have been nice to fly directly to London- but starting three months out I put in our information every day to the site to get a ticket. But there was nothing available – even three months out. At the last minute- went with Delta – easy to get, easy to find, easy to use.

American Airlines seems easy to use- somewhat costly if you need exact dates, but you can generally find what you want. This year, flying across it was about 62,500 points to use – which isn’t bad considering it was a bad trip.

So, with 100,000 points of Avios on British Airways I used the points for travel within Europe. That was easy to use – but going across the pond – not easy.

It is getting harder to use points on airlines- British Airways is the hardest to find seats, the hardest to upgrade – and their Explorer Map has been out of commission for almost a year.  It turns out, after inquiry, that the map isn’t out of commission, but it has been disabled for North America.

The points guys seem to have better ways of doing this that we do- but for the frequent traveler with lots of points- we will go with easy all the time.

So far the easiest places for us to use points have been the following:


Delta – easy, but they use a lot of points  — coming back about 125,000 points per person for a one way ticket.

Alaska Airlines – easy – although sometimes you spend an overnight, lowest number of points – be flexible

American Airlines – easy to use, and reasonable.

US Airways is gone- but they had a system where you could only use points for round trip and if you only wanted one way it didn’t matter.

This year we will be getting an American Airlines credit card – as our American Express works well with Delta, but does not transfer points to American Airlines.

Delta Airlines is the easiest to use reward points to fly of all.