If you’re a frequent flyer; the chances are you are someone who looks to earn as many miles as possible, but without paying through the nose for it. Earning miles is a great way to boost your frequent flyer account balance in order to move up to the next tier and receive extra benefits, or to simply redeem them for a flight or partner reward.
In order to find out how many miles you would earn from a particular flight; you’d usually have to book directly through the airline’s website; which sometimes isn’t everyone’s cup of tea. I’ve actually stumbled across a pretty unique plugin, which will actually calculate and show you just how many miles you’ll earn for that flight – even if you’re booking through sites like Expedia, Travelocity and Orbitz to name a few; named 30K.
For many, this is a huge deal – there is finally a way to accurately calculate how many air miles you’ll earn when booking through a third-party operator.
The team behind 30K have worked closely with many frequent flyers and the airlines themselves to ensure that it works with around 65 frequent flyer programs; ranging from the popular AAdvantage from American to the ones from airlines including Aerolineas Argentinas. That’s not the only feature, you can actually connect your frequent flyer accounts, so the plugin will let you know how many miles you need to reach the next level in the airlines’ membership program – very handy if you ask me.
I’ve been using 30K for a few weeks now and have got used to seeing how many miles I’ll earn when searching for flights through websites like Expedia. You can view a little recording I made on using the feature here; and below is a screenshot from another search I ran. Note you can see how many miles I should earn, and my potential balances after completing the trip.
Things to know
It’s worth noting that 30K is currently limited to working on Google Chrome (not incognito); but the good news is that it should be available on other browsers in the near future, in addition to more frequent flyer programs being added. As it’s quite new, you can actually sign up for a 30-day free trial of the plugin by just clicking here. After the trial, it costs £12.99/$20 a year for the plugin, but you can add as many frequent flyer accounts as you wish; and switch between memberships so you can identify which one will get you to the next tier faster.
Upgrading your travel class using miles
At the request of many frequent flyers (including me), the plugin now indicates which fares are eligible to be upgraded with miles; and displays the amount required – taking into consideration any special promotions. This certainly saves you and me the hassle of endlessly searching around the airlines website, or calling through to speak to a customer service agent who will try to sell a credit card or something to you.
On the horizon
Like anything in the digital world, the 30K plugin is continuously evolving – but there are a number of cool features in the pipeline. This includes viewing what status benefits you may be entitled to (priority check-in, lounge access etc.); and how many more miles you’ll need to earn in order to redeem for a free flight reward.
30K really is a great piece of software, it’s actually made it so much easier for me to check how many miles I should earn from a flight; and the future functionality will be warmly welcomed by many in the frequent flyer community. Admittedly at first I did think it was bizarre to charge an annual fee; but when I discovered how helpful it is, the cost is worth it.
As of today, I’d give it a solid 8 out of 10. Fast forward to when the new features roll-out, then it will be a 9.
If you want to see an in-depth video on how the plug-in works, you can view one that was created by 30K by clicking here.