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Your situation clearly demonstrates that even if you have enough miles for an award ticket it doesn't mean that you will get it. Unfortunately, low seat availability and fuel surcharges are the commomn practice for frequent flyer programs.

We recommend you apply for a general travel rewards card. Travel rewards cards are easy to use - you always know how many miles you need to get a free ticket. You can redeem miles with any airline and earn rewards on all purchases. There is no need to wait for available seats - just buy and redeem miles as a statement credit.

For example, consider the Discover it® Miles card. All purchases will bring you 1.5x miles. The card does not have a traditional sign-up bonus but all miles you earn will be matched at the end of your first year (provided you are a new cardmember). For example, if you earn 35,000 Miles, you get 70,000 Miles. Earned miles never expire and you can redeem them for any travel expenses. Travel expenses include such expenses as airline tickets, including British Aiways, hotel rooms, car rentals, travel agents, online travel sites, and commuter transportation. All fees will be included in the overall redemption as well. You can start redeeming as soon as you have at least one mile.