Top 15 Best Airline Frequent-Flyer / Loyalty Programs
A FREQUENT-FLYER PROGRAM (FFP) is a loyalty program offered by many airlines. Typically, airline customers enrolled in the program accumulate frequent-flyer miles (kilometers, points, segments) corresponding to the distance flown on that airline or its partners. There are other ways to accumulate miles: In recent years, more miles were awarded for using co-branded credit and debit cards than for air travel. Acquired miles can be redeemed for air travel, other goods or services, or for increased benefits, such as travel class upgrades, airport lounge access, or priority bookings.
LOYALTY PROGRAMS are structured marketing efforts that reward, and therefore encourage, loyal buying behavior – behavior which is potentially beneficial to the firm.
In marketing generally and in retailing more specifically, a loyalty card, rewards card, points card, advantage card, or club card is a plastic or paper card, visually similar to a credit card, debit card, or digital card that identifies the card holder as a member in a loyalty program. Loyalty cards are a system of the loyalty business model. In the United Kingdom it is typically called a loyalty card, in Canada a rewards card or a points card, and in the United States either a discount card, a club card or a rewards card. Cards typically have a barcode or magstripe that can be easily scanned, some are chip cards or proximity cards.
Frequent-Flyer News, Reviews & Resources
- 3 Airfare Hacks for the Committed Penny-Pincher - The New York Times.
- AAirpass - a membership-based discount program offered by American Airlines to frequent flyers launched in 1981. The program is best known for a previous offering of unlimited travel on American Airlines and unlimited access to Admirals Club locations. Pass holders were offered terms of five years or lifetime. Today the program no longer offers lifetime or unlimited travel focusing instead on pre-paid fares at a discounted, fixed price for frequent travelers. A minimum commitment of $10,000 per traveler, per year is required. Existing unlimited AAirpasses remain valid.
- AIRLINE ALLIANCE - Wikipedia.
- Airline Miles Credit Cards - "Fly further on your favorite airline with these mileage earning credit cards. You can redeem miles for flights, upgrades, and more. Perks we like: free checked bag, lounge access, in-flight discounts, priority boarding."
- AIRPORT LOUNGE - Wikipedia.
- Are airport lounge passes an expensive waste of money or a genius travel hack? - The Telegraph.
- Best Airline Rewards Programs - U.S. News Travel.
- Breaking Down the Frequent Flier Mile Programs - The New York Times.
- Chinese billionaire paid $170 million for famed Modigliani nude with his American Express card so he could get the frequent flyer miles - Daily Mail.
- FlyerTalk - the world's most popular frequent flyer community. An interactive community that provides up-to-date information on travel-related loyalty reward programs. It's the hub that brings everyone together - from leisure travelers to mileage junkies - to converse about programs, get the latest program buzz or discuss how to maximize points or miles.
- FREQUENT-FLYER PROGRAM - Wikipedia.
- How Much Are Frequent Flier Miles Really Worth? - The New York Times.
- How to Earn Miles & Points Without Leaving Home - The New York Times.
- How to Get a Good Deal on Flight Upgrades - The New York Times.
- How to Navigate the Complicated World of Credit Card Points - The New York Times.
- How to Turn Your Renovation Into a Vacation - The New York Times.
- Johnny Jet's credit card reward guides & resources - "Simplify Your Travel."
- List of frequent flyer programs - Wikipedia.
- LOYALTY PROGRAM - Wikipedia.
- My father had a lifelong ticket to fly anywhere. Then they took it away - "My dad was one of the only people with a good-for-life, go-anywhere American Airlines pass. This is the true story of having - and losing - a superpower."
- New Jersey man flies 23m miles with lifetime United pass ‘like a sultan’ - "Since paying $290,000 for the ‘best investment’ of his life in 1990, Tom Stuker was flown more miles than the Apollo 11 moon trip."
- Points - "Points Loyalty Wallet." Manage all your loyalty programs in one spot, move points and miles between programs, and redeem them for shopping and dining gift cards.
- PRIORITY PASS - since 1992. "Priority Pass is the world’s largest independent airport lounge access program. Membership offers great value for money and allows you to use any of 1300+ airport lounges (600 cities across 148 countries) whenever you travel."
- Ranked: The Best Hotel and Airline Rewards Programs Of 2019 - Forbes.
- Should we get rid of air miles for climate change? - "A return flight from Lisbon to New York generates nearly the same level of CO2 as the average person in the EU does by heating their home all year round."
- The Best Time to Use Your Airline Miles? Now - "If you’re thinking of traveling and you’ve got points or miles sitting in airline and credit card accounts, the time to cash in may have arrived. Here’s what you need to know."
- The Cost of Sharing Frequent Flier Miles - The New York Times.
- The Points Guy - "Maximize Your Frequent Flyer Miles & Travel Points."
- The rise & demise of the AAirpass, American Airlines’ $250k lifetime ticket - "In the 1980s, American Airlines sold an unlimited, first-class ticket for life. But they didn't account for super-travelers like Jacques Vroom and Steve Rothstein."
- Travel Rewards Credit Cards - "Travel often? Us, too... Don't miss out on extra points, upgrades, or airport lounge visits and start using a travel rewards card for all of your travel-related purchases. Perks we like: exclusive hotel collections, airport lounge access, Global Entry/PreCheck fee reimbursement, lost luggage insurance, no foreign transaction fees."
- Up in the Air: Meet the Man Who Flies Around the World for Free - "Ben Wofford's Most Recent Stories Ben Schlappig is a master of flying around the world - at no cost to himself."
- Want to Hold Onto Elite Status With Your Airline? It’s Going to Cost You - "There was a moment at the height of the pandemic when rewards programs were lowering the velvet rope for more than the privileged few. But it’s time to prepare for the 'great reset' in elite status."
- Which ‘Trusted Traveler’ Program Is Right for You? - The New York Times.
- Why Airline Credit Cards Have an Enduring Appeal - The New York Times.
Top 15 Best Airline Frequent-Flyer & Loyalty Programs
- Alaska Airlines Mileage Plan - "Learn all about Mileage Plan, the Alaska Airlines frequent flyer program that lets you earn and use airline miles around the world. Ready to join our flying club?"
- American Airlines AAdvantage - "Frequent Flyer Miles. Travel Awards." Voted best airline affinity program in the Americas by FlyerTalk members. American also won for best airline program benefit.
- British Airways Executive Club - "Seven million Members know the benefits of belonging." Joining the Executive Club is free for everyone and the benefits start the minute you become a Member. You can collect Avios, the Club’s currency, every time you travel with us and our oneworld airline partners.
- Delta Skymiles - "With SkyMiles, every trip and purchase can bring you closer to the next place on your travel wish list. Earn miles for flying and everyday activities, then use miles toward travel on any Delta Air Lines flight or toward a Delta Vacations® package with no blackout dates or for rewards like upgrades, premium drinks at Delta Sky Club® and traveling with Delta Private Jets"
- EXPERT FLYER - "Empowering the frequent flyer." Designed to meet the needs of the frequent flyer, the airline mileage program "elite tier" passengers, professional travel managers, and the occasional air traveler looking for the best values.
- Free Spirit - "FREE SPIRIT is our frequent flier program. It costs nothing to join. Sign up below and you'll be banking miles every time you fly with us."
- FRONTIER Miles - "Travel just got a whole lot more rewarding with our FRONTIER Miles frequent flyer program. That’s because whether you spend a lot or a little, FRONTIER Miles lets you earn 1 mile per 1 mile flown, so you can easily redeem miles for reward flights, reach Elite Status sooner and travel more than ever before!"
- Hawaiian Miles - "A mile flown is a mile earned." As a HawaiianMiles member you'll get exclusive access to low unadvertised fares along with HawaiianMiles members offers and promotions.
- IAPA | INTERNATIONAL AIRLINE PASSENGERS ASSOCIATION - "Frequent Flyers count on us." Provides travel insurance, seating plans & other planning tools for all travelers. Over 300,000 frequent business travelers in 175 countries already enjoy the many benefits that IAPA membership brings.
- JetBlue TrueBlue - "TrueBlue points add up fast! Earn points when you travel on JetBlue and select partner airlines, and on the ground through everyday purchases. Even your pets can earn points."
- KVS AVAILABILITY TOOL - "The most powerful Tool for frequent flyers since 2004." Global flight availability, award availability, fares, timetables, seat maps.
- ONEWORLD - the third largest airline alliance in the world. Founded in 1999 by American Airlines, British Airways, Cathay Pacific, Canadian Airlines and Qantas Airways. "Choosing to fly with oneworld has never been so rewarding for frequent flyers. Because as a member of a oneworld airline's frequent flyer programme, you earn credits towards your tier status every time you travel on an eligible oneworld flight."
- SKYTEAM - "The Leading Alliance for Frequent Flyers." The second largest airline alliance in the world partnering eleven carriers from four continents.
- STAR ALLIANCE - founded in 1997. "The Way the World Connects." The world's first and largest airline alliance. As the world's first airline alliance, we work behind the scenes to constantly improve your travel experience.
Bringing you benefits to make your journey smoother and more relaxing. Extending our network to fly to new places where you’ll do business tomorrow. And creating ways to earn and redeem your miles, including our Star Alliance Upgrade Awards.
- Southwest Rapid Rewards - "A reward flight is just one of the many rewards waiting for you when you're a Rapid Rewards Member. We've made it easier than ever to earn points when you fly, participate with our Partners, and with the Rapid Rewards Points Center, get the points you need to enjoy those rewards even faster."
- United MileagePlus - "Earn frequent flyer miles with MileagePlus, the award winning frequent flyer program from United Airlines."