• Giving that extra mile

    CWT Savvy Traveler
    Airplane wing

    Photo credit: Dwight Tracy

    Road warriors like David Wilson — who has personally flown more than 8 million miles since 1994 — were immortalized by George Clooney’s character Ryan Bingham in the 2009 movie “Up in the Air.” While million-mile status is not something everyone achieves (nor aspires to), road warriors nevertheless do rack up quite a few miles over the course of their careers.

    While personal reward for all the hard work it took to earn those miles is certainly a plus (i.e. that much-needed unplugged beach retreat), some travelers—especially the million mile markers— do end up with more miles than they have time to use. What’s a copious mile-holder to do?

    We’ve all heard the phrase “’Tis better to give than to receive,” right?

    Here’s where it gets fun.

    There are a variety of ways that you can donate some (or all, if you’re feeling particularly generous!) of your miles to incredibly worthy causes. No pain—no hassle. You’ve earned the miles through travel you completed . . . and now you can do something meaningful with them.

    Take Delta for example, where you can donate your Delta miles to a number of causes ranging from the Humane Society of the United States, to the Fisher House Foundation Hero Miles program, which “provides airline tickets to wounded, injured and ill military members and their loved ones.”

    United Airlines has a similar platform, where travelers can donate their United miles to a number of veterans’, children’s, medical and animal causes, among others.

    In fact, most airlines have a page dedicated to allowing their passengers to donate to the charity of their choice, so be sure to look for your airline’s individual program.

    Travelers can also visit the charities’ websites directly (for example, the Make-A-Wish Foundation or the Red Cross) where they can donate miles from various airlines all in the same place.

    What about our true “road warriors” who travel by car and have more hotel points than airline miles? You can donate those too. Just check out your hotel program’s website for a similar charity page.

    Donating miles and points is an incredibly fulfilling way to provide desperately needed travel resources to people and organizations that spend their lives in the services of others.

    As Make-A-Wish so aptly puts it, you can help “turn miles into smiles!”

    Why not give it a try today?

One Responseso far.

  1. Monique Maddox says:

    My family recently donated to AA’s miles for kids in need program. These miles help hundreds of children’s organizations like Dana Farber, Something mAAgic Foundation, Cystic Fibrosis Foundation, the Marine Corps Scholarship Foundation, Texas Scottish Rite Hospital for Children, the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children and others. The miles have also been used to provide air transportation to 522 critically ill children, and their parents/guardians, in need of medical treatment. Very rewarding program.