Help someone else get to where they need to be. (Photo: iStock/pagadesign)
By Johnny Jet
Hopefully, you’ve had an enjoyable holiday season! Of course, even on this side of New Year’s there’s still room for the giving holiday spirit, which is why we’ve compiled an updated list of airline programs that let you donate frequent flier miles to charities in need. Whether or not you have enough miles to get a free flight yourself, donating to charity allows you to add your miles to existing miles donated by others, making it easy to directly facilitate a free flight for someone who really needs it.
Aeroplan’s Charitable Pooling Program focuses on supporting organizations and individuals who want to improve the lives of people in their local communities. Donated miles through the Aeroplan program might, for example, be used to fund travel, car rentals, hotel stays, and merchandise, as well as prizes for fundraising.
The Alaska Charity Miles Pool offers Mileage Plan members a way to support important causes. Donate miles to this program and help charities with business travel and accommodation of special organization requests.
American’s Miles for Kids in Need lets you put your AAdvantage miles to good use to support children and families in need. AA supports a variety of child- and family-focused charities, all of which are detailed at American’s Giving homepage, including Miles of Hope, Miles for Kids in Need, and more. For more information, you can also call 1-800-882-8880.
With your donation, charities partnered with the Asia Miles rewards program can send aid workers, volunteers, and doctors around the world, or bring elderly relatives closer together. Donate to organizations like: C.A.R.E. Society, which supports seniors who experience loneliness and depression; ORBIS, a global development organization; UNICEF, which improves the lives of children in developing countries; and more.
Delta’s SkyWish program lets you donate miles to whichever charity you choose in its massive database. You can choose a maximum of five charities to be processed in one transaction. Charities involved include Make-A-Wish, Habitat for Humanity, UNICEF, and more.
JetBlue’s True Giving program directs the extra miles you give away to support education, families, communities, and the environment. Points can be donated locally or globally to causes in the airline’s database.
By donating your extra Miles & More miles through Lufthansa’s program, you can support a number of causes. For example, you can support SOS Children’s Villages International, an independent social children’s aid organization that stands up for children’s needs and rights.
Donate your MileagePlus miles to help people in need at a variety of charities (a minimum of 500 miles is required per donation).
Of course, the ways to give back with your miles extend beyond this list. There are even a lot of charities that you can donate miles to directly if you don’t want to go through an airline. Mile Donor is a great resource that can help if you aren’t sure which type of organization you want to donate to. The site holds a lot of news and tax information, as well.
Have you used another resource or program to donate miles? If so, share it in the comments below!
More from Johnny Jet: