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Have Airline Miles You’re Not Going to Use? You Can Donate Them To Charity!

By kmvq on May 8, 2020
BURLINGAME, CALIFORNIA – MARCH 06: A Southwest Airlines plane lands next to a United Airlines plane at San Francisco International Airport on March 06, 2020 in Burlingame, California. In the wake of the COVID-19 outbreak, airlines are facing significant losses as people are cancelling travel plans and businesses are restricting travel. Southwest Airlines says they expect to lose between $200 to $300 million dollars in the coming weeks. Other airlines like United and Jet Blue are cutting flights. The International Air Transport Association predicts that carriers could lose between $63 billion and $113 billion this year. (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

With air travel grounded, and frontline health workers overtaxed, this might be the best time ever to donate your air miles to charity, Lifehacker reports. But how exactly can you do that? Well, the outlet lays it out.

  • Make sure your airline plan allows donations. Air Canada Aeroplan, Alaska Airlines LIFT Miles, American Airlines AAdvantage, Delta SkyMiles, Frontier Miles, JetBlue TrueBlue, KLM Flying Blue, Lufthansa Miles & More, Southwest Rapid Reward, United MileagePlus and Virgin Atlantic do allow donations. Some hotels rewards programs also allow them, so check with yours.
  • How donating points and miles works. All you need to do is access your programs online, and select the charity you want to donate to, and add the exact amount of miles/points you wish to donate.
  • Make sure your charity accepts travel miles donations. American Red Cross, Breast Cancer Research Foundation, Canine Assistants, CARE, Feeding America,Make-A-Wish, The Nature Conservancy, and UNICEF all partner with hotels and airlines. Your airline or hotel will have their own lists of charitable organizations that they have partnered with.
  • How points/miles translates to charity. Most will use to help service members, nurses, doctors, and in some cases, people in need of quarantine with accommodations and flights.
  • Are these donations tax-deductible? Unfortunately, no, according to the IRS.