Every year, Rep. John Barrow, D-Ga., and other members gather their frequent-flier miles and set them free.
This year, Barrow’s office has announced he will donate 79,000 miles to “the Fisher House’s ‘Hero Miles Program,’ which provides free airline tickets to wounded, injured and ill American soldiers and their families.” In 2011, Barrow donated more than 68,000 miles to the Fisher House and the Children’s Miracle Network, according to his office.
Unlike some other businesses, frequent-flier miles that members rack up are not considered personal income and have their own set of rules.
For House members, they have flexibility with how they use frequent-flier miles, although they are encouraged to use them for official travel.
In the Senate, members must surrender accumulated travel miles to whichever office planned the official trip. Frequent-flier miles accrued by members and their family from flights between their states and Washington are exempt from this rule.