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Frequent Flying Programs Going Cardless. Possible?  
User currently offlineLH4116 From Sweden, joined Aug 2007, 1714 posts, RR: 18
Posted (4 years 9 months 1 day 5 hours ago) and read 2282 times:

As some of us know, the Norwegian low cost carrier Norwegian Air Shuttle (commonly known as Norwegian) recently started their own frequent flyer programme called Norwegian Reward.

Considering the facft that they are a LCC, they tend to make things as cheap as possible, so they considered making their FFP cardless.

For us "non-status" FFP holders, the card isn't really that necessairy IMHO. Are there any other airlines doing the same thing? And would airlines in the future decide on not to give out FFP cards, until their members have reached a status?

//Jonas


SAS Plus is Business Class made faux!
30 replies: All unread, showing first 25:
 
User currently offlineJimpop From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 1, posted (4 years 9 months 1 day 4 hours ago) and read 2266 times:

I have cards for various airlines and rarely, if ever, use them. Lounge cards are worthless with the BP containing your status and the Lounge Lizzards requesting picture ID. The only time a card could be valuable is at kiosk check in... but my experience is that the magstripe and barcode (if the card even has one) are useless after the card has been in my wallet for a few months (however my creditcard always works at the kiosk)

All airlines could save some $$ by dumping the vanity cards, cheap luggage tags, etc.


User currently offlineOA260 From Ireland, joined Nov 2006, 27027 posts, RR: 58
Reply 2, posted (4 years 9 months 1 day 4 hours ago) and read 2266 times:



Quoting LH4116 (Thread starter):
And would airlines in the future decide on not to give out FFP cards, until their members have reached a status?

Hi Jonas,
Aer Lingus dont give you a FF Card until you get enough points for their ''Gold Circle'' card. Also some others like BMI dont give you a card until you have a few thousand miles in your account opting to let you print a paper one yourself off their website.


User currently offlineLAXintl From United States of America, joined May 2000, 25512 posts, RR: 50
Reply 3, posted (4 years 9 months 1 day 4 hours ago) and read 2244 times:

JetBlue also does not issue cards.

But what is the benefit or true need for a card really? Just like e-tickets, let all the info be stored in a computer database where is can be accessed as needed by the staff.
The less junk in the wallet better in my opinion.



From the desert to the sea, to all of Southern California
User currently offlineDeltAirlines From United States of America, joined May 1999, 8903 posts, RR: 12
Reply 4, posted (4 years 9 months 1 day 4 hours ago) and read 2231 times:

I believe some airlines have gone to just giving you a print-out card on a computer screen to use as your FF card until you reach a status.

For a non-elite member, there really isn't a purpose in having the card. As it is, I keep all my FF numbers in one place on my cell phone so that I can pull it up if needed. In addition, most of the time I don't even bother to pull out my FF cards - the cards I use the most are my SkyClub and President's Club membership cards. My US Airways Silver and United Premier cards stay put in my travel wallet in my briefcase, and my Delta and Continental Platinum cards only come out for lounge access for the most part.


User currently offlineSrbmod From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 5, posted (4 years 9 months 1 day 4 hours ago) and read 2216 times:



Quoting LAXintl (Reply 3):
But what is the benefit or true need for a card really?

If you are using a self-check in kiosk, you can swipe your frequent flier card for that airline instead of swiping a credit card or manually entering the confirmation number. I know that there are times when I do not check in for a flight online because I don't have access to a printer and since I've already got a seat assignment, I wait until I get to the airport to check-in.


User currently offlineReadytotaxi From United Kingdom, joined Dec 2006, 3276 posts, RR: 2
Reply 6, posted (4 years 9 months 1 day 4 hours ago) and read 2216 times:

How about linking your FF card to your credit card, does that pose a problem?


you don't get a second chance to make a first impression!
User currently offlineOA260 From Ireland, joined Nov 2006, 27027 posts, RR: 58
Reply 7, posted (4 years 9 months 1 day 4 hours ago) and read 2201 times:

Frequent flyer cards are good if your Gold status and for some reason your status doesnt print on the BP. You can show the card for priority boarding and often car hire discounts,hotel discounts etc..

Also as stated above I use my FF card for SSK check in . If systems go wrong or dont recognise your status its nice to have a back up.


User currently offlinePlaneguy727 From United States of America, joined Mar 2007, 1249 posts, RR: 1
Reply 8, posted (4 years 9 months 1 day 4 hours ago) and read 2197 times:

I've found the card useful when checking bags. As a person with status with *A (via US) the bag fees are waived, but from time to time the record does not always recognize this (UA). The card is proof of status and the UA agents have taken care of things.

It's rare that I use it, but nice to have if needed. I don't carry the cards for airlines with which I do not have status. And my DL card is so old it was issued in the early 90's.



I want to live in an old and converted 727...
User currently offlineViscount724 From Switzerland, joined Oct 2006, 25457 posts, RR: 22
Reply 9, posted (4 years 9 months 1 day 4 hours ago) and read 2156 times:

You also need the card if your elite status permits lounge access regardless of the airline you're flying on, since your boarding pass won't have any reference to your FFP level if you're flying on an unrelated carrier.

I can also recall someone having an argument with a lounge attendant not long ago since he didn't have his card but his boarding pass showed his status. The lounge attendant said that wasn't good enough and they still required the card. Eventually she gave in and permitted him to enter the lounge on an exceptional basis.


User currently offlineSrbmod From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 10, posted (4 years 9 months 1 day 3 hours ago) and read 2086 times:



Quoting Readytotaxi (Reply 6):
How about linking your FF card to your credit card, does that pose a problem?

It might if some of those trips are paid via one card (Perhaps a company-issued card.) and others are paid with a personal card. Then again, some folks do have multiple personal credit cards associated with their FF# profile (Perhaps one trip they use their Amex, the next their Visa or Mastercard.).


User currently offlineLAXintl From United States of America, joined May 2000, 25512 posts, RR: 50
Reply 11, posted (4 years 9 months 1 day 3 hours ago) and read 2030 times:



Quoting Srbmod (Reply 5):
If you are using a self-check in kiosk, you can swipe your frequent flier card for that airline instead of swiping a credit card or manually entering the confirmation number.

As you've stated there are other means of checking in without the need of a FFP card.

Quoting Viscount724 (Reply 9):
You also need the card if your elite status permits lounge access regardless of the airline you're flying on

Overtime standard procedures at airlines can evolve to make the physical need for the card not a requirement.


To me FFP cards are simply a needless waste of money for airlines to maintain and don't serve much if any practical use these days.



From the desert to the sea, to all of Southern California
User currently offlineOA260 From Ireland, joined Nov 2006, 27027 posts, RR: 58
Reply 12, posted (4 years 9 months 1 day 3 hours ago) and read 2012 times:



Quoting LAXintl (Reply 11):
To me FFP cards are simply a needless waste of money for airlines to maintain and don't serve much if any practical use these days.

For basic levels yes but for Silver and Gold the tags and cards are a good idea and I cant see them being removed anytime soon.

Quoting LAXintl (Reply 11):
Overtime standard procedures at airlines can evolve to make the physical need for the card not a requirement.

I dont think it will to be honest, there will always be a system that doesnt recognise another partners or a system error. Thats my experience being top tier with Oneworld for 5 years ( not anymore ) and currently on my 8th year of Star Gold.


User currently offlineLAXintl From United States of America, joined May 2000, 25512 posts, RR: 50
Reply 13, posted (4 years 9 months 1 day 2 hours ago) and read 1972 times:



Quoting OA260 (Reply 12):
I dont think it will to be honest, there will always be a system that doesnt recognise another partners or a system error.

All it would take is one major partner to say they are stopping issuing cards, and the time and effort would be taken to establish a proper non card system. At the moment airlines rely on lame card picture printouts to help police access.
Also keep in mind, airlines are also headed to similar IT platforms which could make vrification even easier.


Anyhow, thanks for posting this topic. I think I will take this idea up and make it a project for myself in 2010  Smile



From the desert to the sea, to all of Southern California
User currently offlineSrbmod From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 14, posted (4 years 9 months 1 day 2 hours ago) and read 1959 times:



Quoting LAXintl (Reply 11):

As you've stated there are other means of checking in without the need of a FFP card.

There will be times that the person who the ticket is for is not the person who paid for ticket (especially when is comes to corporate/business travel), and one cannot swipe the credit card used to purchase the ticket.

What if they bought the ticket through a travel agent and paid them cash of check for that ticket?


User currently offlineLAXintl From United States of America, joined May 2000, 25512 posts, RR: 50
Reply 15, posted (4 years 9 months 1 day 2 hours ago) and read 1944 times:

Quoting Srbmod (Reply 14):
What if they bought the ticket through a travel agent and paid them cash of check for that ticket?

I dont know what airlines you fly, however the kiosk I am familiar with allow a host of check-in options that do not require a FFP card, or CC.
You can enter your PNR#, your FF#, your flt number and name, your destination and name etc..

Not having a FFP card is not much of an issue today, and certainly wont be an issue at all if more airlines adopt concept of not issuing the cards.

p.s.-only a few years ago people were worried how life would go on without printed tickets. Well they seem to have disappeared just fine to the great benefit of the industry without people crying much.

[Edited 2010-01-03 14:21:21 by laxintl]


From the desert to the sea, to all of Southern California
User currently offlineOA260 From Ireland, joined Nov 2006, 27027 posts, RR: 58
Reply 16, posted (4 years 9 months 1 day 2 hours ago) and read 1930 times:



Quoting LAXintl (Reply 13):
Anyhow, thanks for posting this topic. I think I will take this idea up and make it a project for myself in 2010

You should do a poll on the FF website, would be interesting to see the response and % of those who want their cards.  Smile


User currently offlineLAXintl From United States of America, joined May 2000, 25512 posts, RR: 50
Reply 17, posted (4 years 9 months 1 day 2 hours ago) and read 1902 times:



Quoting OA260 (Reply 16):
You should do a poll on the FF website, would be interesting to see the response and % of those who want their cards.

A FF site would not be the appropriate forum as you would only be dealing with a small subset of devoted aficionados.
But yes, the question can be included in other general customer surveys.

But considering the host of airlines that are already restricting the issuance of the card, or ones like JetBlue or Virgin America that don't even issue them period I can already see their murky future. I mean even CC cards, are working on formats beyond the current hard plastic (eg cell phones in Japan, or mini barcode keychain cards being tested).



From the desert to the sea, to all of Southern California
User currently offlineOA260 From Ireland, joined Nov 2006, 27027 posts, RR: 58
Reply 18, posted (4 years 9 months 1 day 2 hours ago) and read 1870 times:



Quoting LAXintl (Reply 17):
or mini barcode keychain cards being tested).

If your going to have those you may as well have the card . I dont think the big carriers within the major Alliances will go this road for their Elites.


User currently offlineLAXintl From United States of America, joined May 2000, 25512 posts, RR: 50
Reply 19, posted (4 years 9 months 1 day 2 hours ago) and read 1838 times:

Or how about the concept of paying a fee for the card? Since we're very much into unbundling pricing these days, how about a $25 fee for those that insist on a physical card.
Should help defray the cost, if not a potential profit center.

Quoting OA260 (Reply 18):
If your going to have those you may as well have the card . I dont think the big carriers within the major Alliances will go this road for their Elites.

Lets revisit the subject in 5 years.

As technology evolves and cost grow, old physical or manual processes must change.



From the desert to the sea, to all of Southern California
User currently offlineSrbmod From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 20, posted (4 years 9 months 1 day 2 hours ago) and read 1832 times:



Quoting LAXintl (Reply 15):
I dont know what airlines you fly, however the kiosk I am familiar with allow a host of check-in options that do not require a FFP card, or CC.
You can enter your PNR#, your FF#, your flt number and name, your destination and name etc..

Delta allows the following at a self-service kiosk:

Confirmation Number
SkyMiles Number (entered either manually or you swipe the card)
Ticket Number
Credit Card that was used to purchase the ticket (swiped)
Scanning of the barcode from the printed itinerary


User currently offlineOA260 From Ireland, joined Nov 2006, 27027 posts, RR: 58
Reply 21, posted (4 years 9 months 1 day 1 hour ago) and read 1827 times:



Quoting LAXintl (Reply 19):
Lets revisit the subject in 5 years.

Indeed . God knows what the industry will be like then. I hope all these biometrics/barcodes and other such things are majorly improved by then otherwise I will certainly want my card.


User currently offlineLincoln From United States of America, joined Nov 2004, 3887 posts, RR: 8
Reply 22, posted (4 years 9 months 1 day 1 hour ago) and read 1827 times:



Quoting LH4116 (Thread starter):
For us "non-status" FFP holders, the card isn't really that necessairy IMHO. Are there any other airlines doing the same thing? And would airlines in the future decide on not to give out FFP cards, until their members have reached a status?

I never saw a "real" card for UA when I re-signed up in 2003. (But after signing up I only had two flights on UA)

NW sent me a card when I originally signed up for WorldPerks in 2000 but until I hit Elite status each time I clicked on the "request replacement card" link on NW.com [my printed card had a typo in the spelling of my middle name - Johh instead of John] they just gave you a low-resolution graphic with a "print this and keep it for your records"

CO originally didn't send me a card for OnePass despite a rep's assurance that they would... after a few months I asked and they sent me something flimsy that was somewhere between plain paper and cardstock. Once I did the Elite Status Match when CO left SkyTeam they sent me a real card.

Slightly off-topic, but Hilton didn't send me my first HHonors card until after my third stay-- since then they've been far more liberal, frequently sending me one each of the Silver, Gold, and Diamond VIP card withins days for no clear reason on a near-annual basis (I am a HHonors Diamond)

To me it makes sense not to issue a real card until such time as the customer has demonstrated that they intend to conduct some level of regular business with you; the cards cost money to manufacture and mail... but certainly for Elite levels I would feel an airline was cheap if they didn't issue something tangible.

The card is a handy reference for the #, is useful for checkin, opening doors when you've misplaced the key, and any number of other purposes. Plus without FF cards you'd never have that fantastic bar scene from Up In The Air  Wink

Lincoln



CO Is My Airline of Choice || Baggage Claim is an airline's last chance to disappoint a customer || Next flts in profile
User currently offlineDeltAirlines From United States of America, joined May 1999, 8903 posts, RR: 12
Reply 23, posted (4 years 9 months 1 day 1 hour ago) and read 1780 times:



Quoting OA260 (Reply 12):
I dont think it will to be honest, there will always be a system that doesnt recognise another partners or a system error. Thats my experience being top tier with Oneworld for 5 years ( not anymore ) and currently on my 8th year of Star Gold.

I've never had any issues with my Star Silver/Gold status appearing on BPs of partner airlines (and I am elite on three Star Alliance airlines currently). In general, the US clubs can get by with just the BP - no need to fumble around for the cards. For whatever reason the Euro airlines like to see the card, despite the BP saying Star Gold. Never quite figured it out.

Quoting Srbmod (Reply 20):
Credit Card that was used to purchase the ticket (swiped)

Any credit card with your name on it will work. I've booked tickets on Delta with my AmEx and swiped my Visa to check in just fine at DL kiosks.


User currently offlineSrbmod From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 24, posted (4 years 9 months 1 day 1 hour ago) and read 1766 times:



Quoting DeltAirlines (Reply 23):

Any credit card with your name on it will work. I've booked tickets on Delta with my AmEx and swiped my Visa to check in just fine at DL kiosks.

I was not aware one could do that. I guess since I've used the same card to buy a ticket and check-in I didn't think you could do that unless you had both cards on file in your profile. I know many hotels require you to present the same card you made the reservation with at the time of check-in, so I assumed it to be true with airline tickets.


25 DeltAirlines : Basically, the way the kiosks are set up IT-wise is that they are pulling the name of the passenger off the magnetic strip and matching it up with pa
26 Bond007 : Well, having been of top status with a couple of airlines in the USA over the past years, I've NEVER ever used a card, and never carry one with me. In
27 Lincoln : As someone else mentioned any credit card will work for most kiosks (operated by US airlines, at least) -- they're just pulling the name on the card
28 C010T3 : When I was a kid I enrolled in several FF programs just for fun, because I wanted to receive the cards. Good times were those when the airlines saw va
29 Srbmod : At some airports (LAS for example), there are universal kiosks not branded to one particular airline. Typically when I'm flying out of LAS, I use the
30 OA260 : Lucky you . Go onto Flyertalk there are various issues from personal accounts of many Elites.
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