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Frequent Flier Miles for Charity

With many of us scaling back on travel this year, what can we do with all of our unused frequent flier miles?

Well, you could consider donating your frequent flier miles to a charity of your choice.

Many airlines work with national and local charities to set up programs that allow travelers to donate their frequent flier miles to worthy causes from a list of organizations.  Your unused frequent flier miles can make a significant impact.

Last month in Chicago, United Airlines and The American Red Cross teamed up for the Teddy Bear Project that delivered a “May I Hug You Bear?” to all of the pediatric cancer patients at the Children’s Memorial Hospital.  Most of the contributions that made the Teddy Bear Project possible came from United customers.

How can you donate?

All major airlines and even the smaller ones have a “redemption option” in their frequent flier programs.  Each airline has a different policy regarding each contribution minimums, procedures, and the charities they work with to recieve the miles.

Here are some airline charities below:

Delta Air Lines: With a minimum of 5,000 SkyMiles, you can donate to The Conservation Fund, which works to protect special places travelers visit by restoring America’s land and water legacy.

United Airlines: With a minimum donation of 1,000 miles, Guide Dogs of America is an international seeing-eye program working to provide guide dogs to blind and visually impaired men and women so they can achieve their goals of being independent.

American Airlines: The AAdvantage Program works with the Make-A-Wish Foundation and Project Hero to collect miles for those in need.  The airline also has its own program called Miles for Kids in Need, with transports ailing children and their families to medical treatments.  American has a 250 miles minimum donation.

For more information, you can log on to the airlines’ websites.

Photo courtesy of IgoUgo member M@uricio.


My name: Song Yang

How I earn my keep: I work and play at Travelocity.

Travel ambitions: At the moment, I'm dreaming of whale-watching in New Zealand; hiking the mountains of the Douro Valley in Portugal and motorcycling through rice paddies in Laos.

Best meal I've ever had while traveling: An incredible discovery of pulled-pork tacos in La Paz. The surprisingly delectable treat came from a makeshift taco stand at 1 a.m. Splashing lime juice onto our greasy tacos with fresh pico de gallo, we ate amongst the locals to the sound of blaring mariachi music under Christmas lights. It was fabulous!

Great travel lesson learned: Giving money back to the community by supporting local businesses whenever possible.

Favorite place on Earth: My home: New York City. Can it be possible for another city to be as vibrant as New York? If so, email me.


Long Island Oncologist

This is such a touching idea. To all who have more than enough in what they receive should donate to charity to help less fortunate and those who has cancer.

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