Loyalty programs, also known as frequent flyer programs are now a distinct feature of the travel industry. They have become the heart and soul of frequent flyers and even those who travel occasionally. For many decades, the relationship between an airline and a flyer was not balanced at all. With the introduction of loyalty programs, the customer finally has a chance to gain some leverage. Frequently flyer programs work greatly in the flyer’s favor, provided you play your cards right and join a good program. Just last month, I was able to buy delta miles and redeemed them against my flight to JFK airport. For those who are unfamiliar with frequent flyer programs, listed below are the various perks and rewards of being part of such a program.
- Discounted Flights and Deals
If you are an elite member or old part of a good loyalty program, you are likely to have access to special one off deals on airline tickets. Other than deals, you are entitled to redeem your earned or bought airline miles against flights. Airline miles, also known as travel points are the core of a frequent flyer program. They are normally earned on flights depending either on cost or distance flown. Once you have gathered a considerable amount, you can redeem them against a later flight for a discount. Flights are generally a major expense for businessmen and travelers, so getting a discounted ticket is quite an achievement. This achievement is made possible if you make a genuine effort to earn airlines miles through different ways. However, you may even buy miles online if you are not a frequent flyer.
- Upgrade to Business or first class
Business class and first class flying is quite expensive, yet a dream many flyers hope to fulfill. A loyalty program brings you a step closer to making the dream come true. Members of a loyalty program can use their airline miles to upgrade to an upper class. This is normally a more viable and comparatively economical option as opposed to direct purchase.
- Redemption against Hotel Bill
After airline tickets, Hotels are the next major expense for any traveler. Therefore an option to gain discount against a hotel room’s price is very much welcomed. All major loyalty programs are in partnership with big hotel chains and many small scale hotels too. A partnership means that members can redeem their travel points against the hotel bill in exchange for a discount.
- Online Shopping
Brands like Best Buy and many more online shopping forums are often in partnership with airlines. This means you can shop using your airline miles and get major discounts against your shopping bill.
- Redemption against a restaurant bill
As a latest trend, now airlines have partnered with restaurants as well. Eating out at partner restaurant entitles members to massive discounts and sometimes free meals too.
- Airport Lounge access
Being part of an airline’s loyalty program gives you access to special airport lounges. And in some cases an access to business class lounge even if you are flying economy class.