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This story appears in the January 1996 issue of Entrepreneur. Subscribe »

Sometimes the only thing making a red-eye flight to Timbuktu worthwhile is the frequent flier miles that'll bring you one step closer to earning a trip to some blissful island paradise. Unfortunately, many business travelers' big dreams are never realized. They've either selected the wrong frequent flier program or missed out on great opportunities to earn miles.

One of the biggest mistakes travelers make when selecting a frequent flier program is choosing one that doesn't offer free flights to their preferred destinations. For example, some airlines don't offer free trips to Hawaii, a popular destination for travelers cashing in frequent flier miles, or provide only limited access.

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