“Free flights” is the catchphrase of the cruise industry at the moment with great deals on offer to get you to your departure point gratis (or close to).

In reality, these flights aren’t actually free – the cost is built into your cruise fare and is limited to specific airlines. So how can you get you use your own frequent flyer points to get free flights?

The latest Switchfly Reward Seat Availability Survey covered 25 frequent flyer programs using more than 7,600 booking queries. The results show which airlines offer the best “availability rate”, which represents the percentage of dates redemption bookings could be made.

airberlin and Southwest Airlines came out on top with perfect scores – seats were available for frequent flyers for every date requested. While you might be unlikely to fly with these smaller international carriers, Australian frequent flyers are well looked after with three airlines flying in the country making the top five; Virgin Australia, Air Canada and Singapore Airlines.

Virgin’s Velocity Frequent Flyer has been ranked as the top in the Asia Pacific region and second in the world for overall reward availability, a third consecutive win for the airline.

Source: Switchfly Reward Seat Availability Survey (based upon 7,640 booking queries) at IdeaWorksCompany.com