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Tuesday, June 16, 2015

The Enlightened Traveler: Beware of Changes to Your Airline's Frequent Flier Program

Hate the way airlines treat you? Here's another complaint to add to the list: recent and forthcoming changes to frequent flyer programs will make it even harder to earn and collect awards tickets.

Hoping to upgrade to this? Dream on!

Jet Blue and Virgin America are now basing the amount of points you can earn not on miles flown but on the amount of money you spend on a ticket. Delta and United have announced that they will do the same starting next year.

With the U.S. Airways management team firmly in charge, there is little doubt that the lone holdout, American Airlines, eventually will adopt similar regressive reforms.

Also read: Some Tourists Avoiding Manhattan in Favor of Brooklyn

The reason for all of this is simple. Airlines want to retain the loyalty of their most lucrative customers, the ones who buy full-fare business and first class tickets with regularity. Consider yourself lucky if you are in this group.

The rest of us should prepare for further indignities from the airlines. Consider using your miles sooner rather than later. Their value likely will only decrease in future years.

Look here for more on this subject.

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