I have written about this many times, but not recently. So here is an update as to how you can donate your miles to charities that can help out active military and veterans. In some cases, you can even earn yourself some miles.
Hero Miles – This charity’s purpose to take care of the nation’s wounded veterans and their families. They give tickets tot eh family to visit their wounded warriors and travel to extended treatment. They have donated over 46,000 free tickets and $73 million to help military families. Their airline partners include Alaska, American, Delta, Frontier, United and US Airways (at least until the merger). To donate your miles, go here.
Fisher House – This very famous charity started because families had no place to stay near their loved one as they recuperated at a military treatment facility. Built on a military post or base, they are multi-bedroom houses that give a worried family a convenient place to stay and visit their wounded warriors daily. Donations vary depending on the airline, but generally the same ones as listed above. Go here for specific instructions to donate.
Here’s one that I just found with the American Legion. They only have arrangements with two airlines, United and US Airways (presumably this will carry through to AA). See what they offer here.
Another option that is not active currently is to donate money to American Airlines and earn miles. You will typically see this around Veterans Day each year and you can earn 15 miles/$ so getting 1500 miles for a $100 donation may be the perfect way to top off that account so you can redeem for an award ticket. Check out last year’s post on this here.
Donating is a perfect use of those airline programs where you have accumulated a few thousand miles, but not enough to use for a ticket. And before you ask, no donating your miles is not a tax deduction, but it will sure make you feel good. After all, any of us could be the unfortunate Service Member needing a little charity to get back on their feet.