Time for a little spring cleaning :-) When deciding on which airline rewards program to join, it pays to read the fine print. Flying Blue (KLM, Air France) miles expire if you don’t take a qualifying flight every 20 months. For infrequent fliers, this almost certainly means not enough miles for reward travel, ergo expired miles.
Sadly, KLM often has the cheapest flights from Ontario to Asia and Europe. And that’s how Lastborn, Venice and I found ourselves with miles set to expire on June 30. I had enough points for a free one-way ticket to Chicago which would use up almost but not all of my miles. With a second one-way flight booked on Porter for $209, I finagled a cheap holiday. The girls weren’t so lucky with roughly 5000 miles in each account.
The only cool thing on which to spend that small sum of miles, IMO, was on entry to destination running races through Flying Blue Running. Since we won’t be travelling before June 30, we decided to donate our miles.
KLM, Air France and Flying Blue must all have contracted the same IT company because their three websites vie for the worst on the planet. We spent about 45 frustrating minutes trying to empty our three accounts of points. In the end, we persevered and were able to donate 11 532 miles to Doctors Without Borders (SWMBO – 944, Venice – 5200, Lastborn – 5388). That’s just 1000 miles shy of a free short-haul flight. The girls enjoyed clicking the mouse and seeing the miles come out of their accounts.
Rather than ignore the multiple warnings your rewards program will send you about upcoming expiration of miles, consider donating to charity. Most airline reward programs offer some type of charitable donation program. You’ll usually find the information in the “spend miles” section of the website. Happy gifting!