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More often than not these days booking a free -- -- using frequent flier miles of the game of chance.
Usually leaving the consumer Cadillac and without a seat.
But airlines do better than others the best airlines -- cashing your miles -- value airlines like southwest and jetBlue.
That's according to the fourth annual switch -- -- seat availability survey.
-- discount carriers have seats available to be booked with frequent flier miles 96%.
Of the time.
That compares to 61 and a half percent availability with larger legacy airlines.
They have -- a business advantage to doing that -- they fly a lot of shorter flights.
And typically those flights aren't -- full so they have more seats to give away in a new business model of airlines that -- dollar barrel oil were there to fill every seat.
It's just much more difficult to redeem than it used to be.
-- fly an idea works -- 22 of the largest frequent flier programs operated by airlines around the world.
The top US based carriers southwest what 100%.
JetBlue at 89%.
United 80% and Alaska Airlines -- nearly 57%.
So how are airfare prices looking for summer.
Prices this summer up only about 1% compared to last here.
That's the good news the bad news is last summer was the most expensive we saw since 2003 experts say hang on to your miles for those expensive tickets.
So any time a ticket really is over 475.
Dollars you should consider using your points.
If it's below that use cash it's a better deal since airlines are flying with fewer seats on fewer planes there being more restrictive about awarding frequent flier seats.
That will make it tougher this summer for families looking to book tickets with miles.
In New York Brenda Buttner Fox News.
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