To accumulate more frequent flyer miles for a FREE ticket, get a credit card with an airline. Then charge everything money for money to take advantage of their frequent flyer miles. My credit card happens to be with United Air Lines. While there is a fee, it works very well for us.
The key is to not carry a balance so you are not accruing interest charges. Also, Safeway gives 125 United "bonus" miles for each $250 spent. 25,000 miles gets a free ticket.
Years back we used awards to upgrade to first class while going to Hawaii on a number of occasions.
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