The Points Guy is an American travel website that produces news and stories on travel that can help readers fly for free. The platform founded by Brian Kelly in 2010 now has more than three million social media followers, because, who doesn't want to jet off to the Maldives first class for free?
The knowledge and tips given by Brian in our exclusive interview explain how airmiles, airline mistakes and careful research can lead to free flights, with the assumption that "airlines hope that masses will buy miles and then redeem them on a dumb flight or let them expire, but we want to make sure people get the maximum value".
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The Points Guy website, which has just launched in the UK, focuses on the key fact that airmiles are imperative for cheap flights: "Airline miles are money, you can be earning airline miles not just from travel. One of the myths, people say 'Oh I am not a business traveler therefore it's not worth it', this is false." The former Morgan Stanley recruitment executive explained that you can receive airmiles from ASOS, Tesco and Apple as "hundreds of hundreds of retailers can earn you miles – the number one thing is, these points and miles are all around us, you can get it for a lot more than just travel".
Brian thinks you should sign up to all loyalty programmes
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Brian went on to share his five tips for saving money when flying:
1. Always sign up to loyalty programmes – "Firstly sign up to programmes. There are no loyalty programmes that aren't worth it – you don't have to pay for any of them. So always sign up."
2. Always collect your air miles from every flight – "For the last six months, you can actually sign up and request credits for flights you have flown. With travel it never hurts to ask, so even if the flight was seven months ago and the airline says it's a six-month policy, there is a lot of latitude."
3. Check deals – "Everyday airlines mistake fares, or there is competition in certain markets. Everyday, we post deals to help people buy the cheapest flights, with the flight deals most airlines give you, you have 24 hours to cancel for free. So if you see an amazing deal on our Twitter, book it and then you can always cancel within 24 hours."
4. Understand your rights - "Understand what your rights are – in the EU there is flight compensation for delays, the Flight Compensation Regulation, EU 261. A lot of times you can get compensation but lots of the time people don't even submit for it."
5. Always be nice – "Be nice to people. Airline employees are universally underpaid and sad – don't be that person that takes it out on them. I can't tell them how many times being ultra-nice to someone at the airport can get you so much. It won't always get you a first-class upgrade, you never know as that has happened to me before, but it could get you the best seat in economy." Brian added that "the gate agent at the airport has full control of that flight, these people have power, you don't. So, yelling at the person with power is not a good idea".
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