Dutchjet From Netherlands, joined Oct 2000, 7864 posts, RR: 56
Reply 5, posted (9 years 2 months 1 week 6 days 1 hour ago) and read 7555 times:
Quoting AeroWesty (Reply 4):
Western Airlines actually gets that nod, with the introduction of TravelPass, that awarded a $50 travel chit after 5 trips. A few years later AA developed the mileage-based system we know today.
Whatever......being that FF programs as we know them are based on miles and status, as AMERICAN developed, I must say that AA originated the FF programs as we know now them. I dont see many airlines handing out travel chits these days, do you?
AA was the 1st to develop the mileage system on 1st May 1981, quickly followed by UA on 5th May. TWA and Delta launched an FFP later on that year.
but even before the proper FFPs, some airlines has established a sort of 'relationships' with their most frequent travellers. For example, Pan Am identified its most loyal customers and provided them with lounge access b4 every flight but there was not a concept such as free award tickets.
As for the current popularity of the American FFPs, AA is No 1 folllowed by UA.