Frequent Flyer Miles the Most Popular Airline Loyalty Programs
Loyalty programs and frequent flyer miles are some of the most popular aspects of the travel industry, in addition to trip insurance. All over the world, many people have found that they can fly with no extra cost or for a very minimum sum because they have collected enough points or miles. In short, frequent flyer miles are much like a travel investment program. For a little background information as to why these programs are so popular and an inquiry into whether or not these points are worth it, read below to see if frequent flyer programs, much like travel insurance, are a worthwhile investment of your time and your travel planning.
Frequent Flying 101
Airline travel has been around for over 60 years, so when did these loyalty programs for returning customers begin? According to USA Today, the first airline that began to reward their customers for return visits was American Airlines in 1981, with just 283,000 members. Three decades later, these programs have become a major asset to the travel industry, and American Airlines' loyalty program AAdvantage now boasts 66 million members. Estimates indicate that more than 100 million Americans participate in at least one frequent flyer program, which is a huge demographic in the United States.
So how does this work?
During the beginning stages of the program, flyers earned their frequent flying miles through just flying. Eventually, purchasing hotel rooms and rental cars with an affiliated credit card were also included in the mileage programs. Over time, once these programs really began to take off, simple credit card purchases for non-travel related items were added to the mileage programs. The industry thinking was, the more you spend using preferred credit cards; the more likely you will use those earned points toward that dream vacation in Hawaii, ultimately spending more using your credit cards.
Many credit card companies collaborate with major airlines encouraging their customers to rack up the miles using their credit cards. In addition, international travel carriers collaborate as well. For example, American Airlines partners with British Airways and Japan Airlines with AAdvantage, so members can earn more miles even while they are traveling internationally.
Is It Worth It?
These types of programs are excellent for small business travelers or single people who love to explore. However, booking flights with miles for families or even couple's travel can be difficult, if not impossible to do, according to the Independent Traveler. For singles who love to travel, frequent flyer programs work very well, especially when used in conjunction with travel insurance. However, it is important to be aware that travel insurance coverage only provides reimbursement for the reissue fee or taxes associated with the miles. Travelex Insurance Services provide travel insurance plans with flexible benefits and features for all types of travel - leisure, business, group, student, adventure and more.
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Submitted on: 2013-11-19 23:11:11