Delta one Suites Cabin

People are putting a pause on their interest in travel, and that’s a big mistake. There’s no question other more pressing concerns exist in most lives right now, but with all the focus elsewhere, amazing opportunities are being missed every day. There are multiple seats available using points on coveted flights, incredible flash sales for 2021 travel and massive welcome bonuses to get you started.

While you’ve been distracted, clever people have been lapping it up, so make sure you don’t miss out on your share. Who wouldn’t want wide open availability to plan the great escape from their home?!

a room with rows of computers and tablesAvailability Now, For Travel Later

Future travel is of course speculative at this point, but points and miles are a great “in”. With minimal change or cancellation fees and huge upside, you can plan for the best, and pay little or nothing if it doesn’t pan out, to get all your miles back.

You care, because airlines are doing something they haven’t done in decades right now – they’re releasing first, business, premium and economy seats in droves, even for travel into 2021. So many people are distracted right now, and great opportunities are being missed.

There’s absolutely no guarantee that rooms using points, or airline seats using points which are available today will still be there at a later date.

Here’s New York to Paris in business or first class with American for 2021…

All dates in purple are available in First Class!
All dates in blue are available in business class using miles!

The same story applies for West Coast USA to London…a screenshot of a computer a screenshot of a computer

And every travel blogger favorite the Maldives even has wide open room availability at the Conrad Rangali, amongst others…

a screenshot of a hotel schedule
Five stars for wide open availablity at five star hotels!

Or how about London to Tokyo in ANA “The Room” business class?

a screenshot of a calendar
Dates with five blue dots are available in business or first class using ANA, Virgin, United or other Star Alliance miles…

Or Paris to Singapore with Air France/KLM in business class for two?

a calendar with red circles
Dates in maroon are available, and you can transfer Amex, Citi, Chase or Capital One miles to Flying Blue…

When will it be safe, again?

That’s the multi-trillion dollar question no one quite knows the answer to, but we’re seeing some indicators from high level discussions. June 2020 seems to be the far too optimistic starting point for *some* air travel to resume, with August as a date many airlines are eyeing up.

In realty, most people are hoping for September or October 2020 to be a happy time in travel, again.

For anyone who still thinks that’s optimistic, airlines and hotels are already releasing seats and beds for March 2021, and if we haven’t found a way to get out of the house by then, we’ll all have bigger problems!

amex gold cardsA Great Time To Boost Balances

With the exception of these tempting offers, many people are staying put for a while, but that doesn’t mean mileage balances need to grind to a standstill as well.

For starters, there are 7 separate 100,000 point credit card welcome bonuses out at the moment, with some offering up to 140,000 points. There’s also never been a better time to brush up on your knowledge of loyalty programs, and safe strategies to maximize earnings in times of uncertainty.

With change fees under $35 bucks for most programs, and some offering even greater waiver flexibility, this is a superb opportunity to put something positive on your schedule with full hopes it’ll pan out. If it doesn’t, or you need to change, it’s a small price to pay.

As the economy does start to ramp back up, loyalty program opportunities will also start to pop up where you can earn upgrades, fast tracks to top tier status and more, so although you may be stuck at home and travel may be a distant memory, now is actually the time to focus on your next greatest adventures.

Gilbert Ott

Gilbert Ott is an ever curious traveler and one of the world's leading travel experts. His adventures take him all over the globe, often spanning over 200,000 miles a year and his travel exploits are regularly...

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  1. The problem is that the airlines are dysfunctional right now. As an example I have an ANA flight using Virgin Atlantic miles that I have to cancel because of the outbreak. I can’t cancel online and I can’t text to cancel because it kicks back saying they can’t or won’t help me because it’s not within 72 hours. So until there is an ability to show customer service I won’t book. I’ll use the points for staycations arriving in my Tesla. But I really would like to see them start functioning because I do want to go back to Europe!

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