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September 07, 2008

Living on a budget - frequent flyer miles

Hello readers,

As the economy continues to fall, every little bit really does help. As many ESL teachers live and work abroad, one way to save is...

...to join a frequent flyer program.

So how many miles do you need to get a free ticket? With Northwest Airlines, 25,000 frequent flyer miles will get you a free round-trip ticket from the UK to Europe while 50,000 miles will get you a free round-trip ticket from the UK to America. British Airways is approximately the same.

How many frequent flyer miles do you get when you fly? Not as many as you'd like, most likely. However, if you fly home once or twice a year, you should be able to save up enough miles to get a free ticket within a few years.

Things to keep in mind when collecting frequent flyer miles:

1. Some miles expire.
2. It's possible to buy extra miles if you don't have enough for a free ticket.
3. Frequent flyer miles can often be given to a family member or friend.
4. Frequent flyer miles can be used for an upgrade to business or first-class seats.

There are other ways to save money on flying. With fuel costs rising, many airlines are increasing the number of overbookings on each flight, to make sure that each flight is filled to capacity. This is bad news for flyers who have to be somewhere at a certain time, but good news for people who have a bit of time on their hands (ESL teachers, perhaps?). If your flight has been overbooked and you can afford to be a few hours or a few days late to your destination, volunteer yourself to be bumped to the next flight. You can expect to be compensated with cash or a free flight, and a free hotel room and meal vouchers if they can't find you a flight until the following day. It might also be useful to note that you are more likely to be involuntarily bumped if you are one of the last passengers to check in.

For more information about frequent flyer programs, check out the website of your airline of choice - and make sure to read the small print!

Hope that helps!
Carol Rueckert
Writer, ESL Lesson Plan
E-mail: crueckert@eslemployment.com
Blog: www.esl-lesson-plan.com

"I hear, and I forget. I see, and I remember. I do, and I understand." - Chinese Proverb

Looking for more articles about living on a budget as an ESL teacher? Click HERE!

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About the author of this entry:
Carol, a native English-speaker hailing from the small town of St. Joseph in Minnesota, USA, worked in China for more than 7 years. During that time, she worked at universities, private language schools, grade schools, international schools, and did private tutoring as well. Besides teaching, she also worked as a Head teacher, an Education Manager, and a Material Development Manager. In addition to working on this newsletter, she also writes a monthly column for Time Out Beijing, authors ESL textbooks for publishing houses in China, and is an Editor for Garnet Publishing in Reading, England. Carol holds a BA in Communications from the College of St. Benedict/ St. John's University, and a CELTA, and has just finished her MA TESOL course at Oxford Brookes University. Look for her posts on the ESL-Jobs-Forum discussion boards!

Posted by crueckert at September 7, 2008 08:15 AM

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