How to Earn Airline Miles From US Military TDY Deployments
This post contains references to products from one or more of our advertisers. We may receive compensation when you click on links to those products. Terms apply to the offers listed on this page. For an explanation of our Advertising Policy, visit this page.
If you are a servicemember in the US military and fly for Temporary Duty (TDY), you can be accruing thousands of miles to be used toward your personal travel. Some servicemembers travel on TDY multiple times per month as a part of their duty assignment, and may be missing out on earning those miles with airline loyalty programs.
Luckily, you can earn miles at every stage of your TDY booking. Here’s how:
- If you book your own travel through the Defense Travel System (DTS), you will need to create your trip and receive your confirmation number. If you do not book your own travel, this information will be in the email that you receive from CWT SatoTravel after travel is booked for you. CWT SatoTravel is the largest provider of travel services for the US military, issuing close to four million tickets annually to the armed forces and government agencies.
- Take that confirmation number and input it into your membership account with the airline that you are using to travel. Most airlines offer simple instructions on earning miles on their apps and websites.
- If you are not able to set this up before you travel, you still have an option. Bring your travel documents with you to the airline desk when you check in and ask for your frequent-flyer number to be added to the trip.
If you have already completed your TDY trip, don’t lose hope. Every airline has its own specific policy on how to redeem miles, but more often than not you can claim miles up until about six months after your trip.
Which airline you fly on is going to depend on how much the DoD is willing to pay for your particular TDY trip. All of this information will be automatically calculated into DTS when booking and changes frequently. The only time this changes and you may have more leverage on the airline that you fly with is when your mission requires you to be at your destination by a specific day and time. For example, if you are being sent to US Army Airborne School at Fort Benning, Georgia, you must report by a specified day and time in order to be admitted into the course. Therefore, the DoD will accommodate you in order to ensure that you meet mission requirements.
Once you get to the airport make sure that you check out the lounges available to you as a military servicemember traveling “on orders.” You can check out US Navy veteran and TPG Senior Points and Miles Contributor Richard Kerr’s article on airport lounge access for military members, which should answer any questions on specific airline policies.
Featured image by Spencer Platt/Getty Images
Welcome to The Points Guy!
Earn 50,000 bonus miles and 5,000 Medallion® Qualification Miles (MQMs) after you spend $2,000 in purchases on your new card in your first three months of card membership. Plus, earn up to $100 back in statement credits for eligible purchases at U.S. restaurants with your card within the first 3 months of membership.
With Status Boost™, earn 10,000 Medallion Qualification Miles (MQMs) after you spend $25,000 in purchases on your Card in a calendar year, up to two times per year getting you closer to Medallion Status. Earn 3X Miles on Delta purchases and purchases made directly with hotels, 2X Miles at restaurants and at U.S. supermarkets and earn 1X Mile on all other eligible purchases. Terms Apply.
- Earn 50,000 bonus miles and 5,000 Medallion® Qualification Miles (MQMs) after you spend $2,000 in purchases on your new Card in your first 3 months.
- Plus, earn up to $100 back in statement credits for eligible purchases at US restaurants with your card within the first 3 months of membership.
- Accelerate your path to Medallion Status, with Status Boost®. Plus, in 2021 you can earn even more bonus Medallion® Qualification Miles (MQMs) to help you reach Medallion Status.
- Earn 3X Miles on Delta purchases and purchases made directly with hotels.
- Earn 2X Miles at restaurants worldwide, including takeout and delivery and at U.S. supermarkets.
- Earn 1X Miles on all other eligible purchases.
- Receive a Domestic Main Cabin round-trip companion certificate each year upon renewal of your Card. *Payment of the government imposed taxes and fees of no more than $75 for roundtrip domestic flights (for itineraries with up to four flight segments) is required. Baggage charges and other restrictions apply. See terms and conditions for details.
- Enjoy your first checked bag free on Delta flights.
- Fee Credit for Global Entry or TSA Pre✓®.
- Enjoy an exclusive rate of $39 per person per visit to enter the Delta Sky Club® for you and up to two guests when traveling on a Delta flight.
- No Foreign Transaction Fees.
- $250 Annual Fee.
- Terms Apply.
- See Rates & Fees