Are those frequent flyer miles from business trips piling up? Give someone a trip as a gift!
Frequent flyer miles add up to a practical gift
December 26, 1997
Web posted at: 10:35 a.m. EST (1535 GMT)
(CNN) -- Travelers spend all year racking up miles in the air -- some have earned so many they can't possibly use them all. But they can give miles away, often for a good cause.
It's a great gift idea for the new year -- dip into your bank of frequent flyer miles and give away free trips.
There's a catch: The airlines have no formal programs for giving frequent flyer awards to others, so you'll have to be creative.
"You need to go ahead and get a card at the store, tell the person that you're going to give them a free trip," said CNN business travel consultant Chris McGinnis. "Then that person has to contact you and tell you when and where they want to go. You make the reservations and get the tickets for them."
Another popular option this time of year is giving miles away to charity.
"Every frequent flyer program has a series of non-profit organizations that you can donate your miles to," said Randy Petersen, publisher of InsideFlyer Magazine.
Airline charities include the Make-A-Wish Foundation, the Starlight Foundation and AmeriCares. Each airline has its own set of charities.
"If you're feeling a little guilty at the end of the year and you got some extra miles," said Petersen, "I highly encourage you to contact your local frequent flyer program and give."
These donations are not tax deductible. But if your miles are about to expire or you're just generous at heart, turning them into a ticket makes a practical present.
Based on a report from CNN's Business and Travel and Beyond. The segment appears Monday through Friday on Daybreak at 5:30 AM (ET) and on Early Edition at 7 AM (ET). BT&B also airs Sundays on the World Today at 10 PM (ET).
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