The idea of frequent flyer miles goes back to 1981 when they were awarded by the American Airlines under their AAdvantage Program. Since then, almost all airlines have introduced their frequent flyer programs to gain the loyalty of their customers and to provide them perks and benefits of travelling with them. The idea of these frequent flyer programs is to appeal the business travellers who are unique in the way that they don’t pay for their own tickets but the companies do. They are not as price sensitive as the leisure travellers and also are repeat customers most of the time.
If you are new to these frequent flyer programs, here are some pro tips you should know to work best with them.
1. Find a Program that Suits Your Travel Habits
Having 5000 miles on one airline is different from the same on another airline. The frequent flyer miles programs are either mile based or revenue based. Over the years, these programs have shifted more towards a revenue based system. This means you will not be rewarded on how many miles you travel but based on how much you spend. You can earn different benefits on each flight depending on how much money you pay on booking. It is therefore important to choose a frequent flyer miles program that suits your flying habits and the consistency of flying you do.
2. Sign up for many programs but focus on just a couple
It doesn’t cost you anything to sign up on an airline’s frequent flyer programs. Just being a member yields you many rewards. Being a member helps when a flight is cancelled or there are any other types of inconveniences. You will be treated with priority if you are a member. If you sign up everywhere and scatter your miles over a number of airlines, they will expire soon if you don’t travel that often. Therefore, you should focus on a smaller number of airlines, may be even just one that you are sure you will use often. You can also consider the airline alliances and partnerships among different airlines. This way, you will be able to spend what you earn by enrolling in these frequent flyer miles programs.
3. Don’t just sit on your miles
It is never advised to sit on your miles. Earn them and use them. Hoarding miles can backfire in multiple ways. They can expire and can also lose their value. Inflation is quickly rising in the airline industry. Also, the number of flights is also not increasing the way these frequent flyer points are increasing. Therefore, it is not right to sit on a pile of cash and not use it.
4. Using Frequent Flyer Point Aggregators
Companies like PointsBank offer an easy to use way to aggregate the frequent flyer miles and points you earn on various airlines. You can aggregate these and can then use them when needed. It is important to know beforehand that where these points and miles would work so you can use them accordingly.