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Category Archives: Frequent Flyers

Who pays for frequent flyer miles?

Ancillary revenueAirlines started nickel-and-diming their customers more than a decade ago. Their ancillary revenue has been growing ever since. IdeaWorksCompany’s definition of this kind of revenue is: “revenue beyond the sale of tickets that is generated by direct sales to passengers, or indirectly as a part of the travel experience.” An important role plays the co-branded credit card.

Ancillary revenue

IdeaWorksCompany discerns 5 categories of ancillary revenue: 1. A la carte features. Frequent flyer cards2. Commission-based products. 3. Frequent flyer activities. 4. Miscellaneous sources such as advertising. 5....
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Fraud on Delta’s SkyBonus program

42 million frequent flyer points fraudulently accumulatedFederal prosecutors in Atlanta claim that a man has fraudulently accumulated more than 42 million frequent flyer points worth $1.75 (€1.58) million. This is remarkable for at least 2 reasons. First, how is illegally reaping frequent flyer points on such a large scale possible? Second, isn’t the reported value of the points extremely high?

Travel agent

The man in question is Gennady Podolsky (43), who has dual citizenship: American and Ukrainian. He is managing partner and lead travel agent of the small Chicago based travel agency
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Reward ticket availability improved

Frequent flyerMany occasional flyers are members of frequent flyer programs. They hope to earn sufficient miles to order a reward ticket. But they never will, because their miles will expire before they will have earned sufficient miles. For airlines, however, it is rational to have this kind of members in their programs. Those travelers are willing to pay higher prices for their tickets because of the miles they will earn. Usually, they don’t realize that it will take too many years to collect enough miles for a reward ticket.

Co-branded credit card

They may have...
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Don’t stick to 1 airline

Lufthansa A380A reader is a senator (or gold card member) of Miles & More, Lufthansa’s loyalty program. He makes a roundtrip on TAP Portugal that like Lufthansa is a member of the Star Alliance. On his Miles & More account he observes that the miles for the round trip have been credited. However, the 25% bonus miles for senators are lacking.

How many miles to earn?

Before his departure he makes a screenshot of the Miles & More page when he checks how many miles...
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Do you understand how to earn and redeem miles?

The past years airline loyalty programs changed considerably. Initially, you earned miles based on the distance flown, but it is now usually based on the ticket price. As a result, frequent flyer programs are now useless for the vast majority of travelers. Only those who fly first or business class on expensive tickets paid by their companies still benefit from most of the current loyalty programs. Alaska Airlines Mileage Plan is an exception because this is still based on the miles flown and, thus, all flyers benefit. A more recent development is that loyalty...
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The end of loyalty in the airline industry

Airlines no longer care about customer loyalty. Rather they care about revenues and profits in the short run. Most of the current frequent flyer programs do not reward clients anymore on the basis of the miles flown, but on what flyers paid for their tickets. A rare exception is Alaska Airlines that still rewards its frequent flyers on the basis of the miles flown. This explains why this carrier is so popular among travelers. On April 1, 2018 Air France/KLM changed its Flying Blue program such that few...
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