My name is Karen Smythe and I am a Travel Manager with Worldgo Travel Management.  When anyone finds out what I do for a living, the first question they ask is “Can you get me a deal on travel?” and I always answer with an enthusiastic “YES!”

There are many ways to get upgrades, bonuses and freebies that many travellers don’t know about. Do you want to kick back and relax in a business class pod for the price of a discounted economy ticket? I can’t think of a better deal than that! The fastest way to get there is through an airline loyalty program.
The first program you should sign up for is Aeroplan. Aeroplan is a Star Alliance loyalty program. Star Alliance has the highest number of member airlines in the world. What does this mean for you? More flight options, more destinations and more ways to earn points. Not only can you collect points on air travel, but as a member you can also collect on various hotel brands, car rental companies, credit card programs and other retailers.

It’s free to join and with so many places to earn points what are you waiting for! Click here to sign up: we’ll wait … are you signed up? Good! Now that you have all these points, how do you best utilize them? Travellers are constantly complaining to me about flight availability (or lack thereof) when booking with points, especially on popular routes and last minute bookings. If anyone understands your availability struggle, it’s me. I am constantly hitting the availability roadblock. The worst is during peak season; which is when everyone wants to use their points!

My First Tip: Book early! I know it’s not always possible and you’re probably sick of hearing it, so…

My Second Tip: Use your points to offset your overall travel costs.

There are many ways to use your points to help you save money on your trip. If your flight is not available with Aeroplan, purchase a travel gift card to offset the cost of your flights.  Buy a lounge pass, so you’re not stuck waiting in a crowded, noisy terminal. Offset your business expenses with free airport parking. Get an AMEX gift card for extra spending money. Departing early in the morning? Get a Fairmont gift card and spend the night before your flight at the Fairmont YVR airport.  The possibilities are endless!

My Golden Tip: Use your Aeroplan points to upgrade FOR FREE to premium economy, business class or even first class on any Star Alliance airline!  If you want to find out how, call or email me before you book!
Stay tuned for my next post coming soon.

Your Trusted Travel Manager,
Karen Smythe