These days, life gets expensive. On average, rent costs just under $1,500 per month in the United States. When you factor in utilities, fuel, school costs, groceries, and so on, it’s easy to put travel to the wayside. Additionally, gifting travel seems like the furthest thing from reality. Dealing with limited control over flight preferences or hidden fees for airline gift cards and miles turns the gift into an ordeal. But booking and gifting flights don’t have to be difficult or expensive. With Skyhour, you can contribute as much or as little to airfare as you’d like each paycheck. Whether you’re gifting air travel to your family, friends, or yourself, there are plenty of ways to do so. The hardest part is deciding which savings method is best. Check out this breakdown to help you learn how to give the gift of flight and keep up with the yearly vacations you deserve!
Gift Cards for Airlines
It might seem like the simplest idea would be to purchase a gift card for a specific airline, but there are a lot of problems with this. For one thing, it can be much harder to gift flights unless you talk to the giftee first. You’ll need to find out which airport they are closest to so that you know which airlines they have access to and where they can fly, which means that you won’t be able to truly surprise someone.
In addition, airlines only offer gift cards in certain increments, and if you want to give an international flight, they can be much more expensive. Airline cards also tend to have expiration dates, fees, or other downfalls that make it difficult to use them according to preferences.
Gift Cards With Major Credit Card Logos
For some gift-givers, the answer is to give cards with a Visa or Mastercard logo. While this gets through the hurdle of needing to know exactly which airlines are accessible to the recipient, providing gift cards that can be used for anything comes with its own set of disadvantages. For one thing, you have no guarantee the recipients will use the gift card the way you want them to. Perhaps you want them to come out for the family reunion but that $500 looks better as a new wardrobe or some paid bills. It’s a gift, so can you really say anything if they don’t spend it the way you want them to?
In addition, these cards with credit card logos aren’t issued by the credit card companies but by banks. This means the terms and conditions for using them will vary and may include expiration dates, usage fees, or even fees for inactivity. The various terms and conditions could, again, raise the issue of when and how to use the gift appropriately. Some airlines cap the number of gift cards or the amount of gift card money someone can use on a flight, which means some more expensive flights could still have out-of-pocket expenses.
Gifting Your Miles
If you browse through the internet at all, chances are you’ve read a feel-good story about someone gifting another person airline miles at some point. Perhaps you’ve had the idea yourself. What you might not realize is that gifting miles is quite expensive. Most airlines charge a transfer fee that could be anywhere from a flat fee to a cost per mile.
In addition to the initial transaction charge, there may be other hidden fees. It is likely to cost you around $300 to gift 10,000 miles. However, keep in mind that each airline has its own transaction fees, so totals will vary. Furthermore, each airline decides how much its miles are worth, which means the cost for one mile may be more or less expensive with different airlines. Without using the same conversion rate across the board, it is more difficult to determine how many miles you need to purchase and which airline provides the best price.
Other Ways To Gift Flights
There are several other options for helping someone get the flight they need. Some people choose to book the ticket for the recipient themselves, while others add the traveler as a companion or transfer credit card rewards points instead. However, these methods only work if you have the miles, if you can afford to pay the fees and taxes for any flight, or if you both have the same travel rewards credit card. Even if you do have the miles and can afford any related fees or taxes, you could hit another roadblock.
Booking an airline ticket requires personal information, including the flyer’s age and birthdate, whether they are under 18 or will have children under 18 flying with them, and more. Flying also relies on the flyer’s first and last name as it is on their government-issued identification, so you could hit problems if you don’t know the recipient’s full name.
Skyhour: A Better Alternative
After reading about all the disadvantages of traditional methods of gifting air travel, you may be thinking you’ve exhausted your options for giving the best gift. That’s because you haven’t heard about this service!
This website allows you to give the gift of flight based on hours traveled rather than miles. Gifts start at just $30 (for half an hour) and work for unlimited destinations on more than 300 airlines. Whether you want to pay for a partial flight, a full one-way ticket, or a round-trip vacation for someone, this service lets you do it for a fraction of the cost of using traditional gift cards or gifting miles.
Giving hours as a Gift
Purchasing these for a friend or family member only takes a few moments and minimal steps. First, click on “gift skyhours” on the website or app and then decide how many you’d like to gift. Personalize your card and complete your purchase. If you already have plenty of skyhours in your balance (you can buy them for yourself, too!), you won’t need to buy more. If you don’t have enough for your gift, you’ll be prompted to purchase more at checkout. Confirm the gift and send it right away or save it as a draft and send it at a specified time.
Gifting is easy to do and can be offered in as little as 30-minutes ($30) or in one-hour increments. There’s another bonus, too. Since recipients are able to combine their hours for flights, you don’t need to pay for an entire flight. You and other family members or friends can split the cost of a flight and give it as a gift. It’s the only way to truly crowdfund airfare.
Setting up a Flight
Book your flight by clicking on the “fly” icon on the website or by swiping left twice on the home screen for the app. Choose your dates and destination, as well as the number of air travelers. From there, you can select your flight, enter personal information, and confirm the flight. If you haven’t received enough skyhours, don’t worry. You can purchase the remainder during the checkout process. You can even book flights for up to nine passengers at a time, but you will need to be the primary passenger. The website accepts all major credit and debit cards other than American Express and best of all, they never expire.
Are you ready to book a flight for yourself or gift air travel to someone you love? If you want to spend your money on hassle-free flight time and not the exorbitant fees often found in confusing airline gift cards or the complicated process of exchanging miles, you’ll love this service. While there are a few other ways to gift air travel out there, none of them are as flexible and easy to gift or use, for that matter. Check them out now to learn more about sending flight time to someone you love and give them the freedom to explore the world by letting them pick where and when to fly!