sxmarbury33
Posts: 405
Joined: Fri Oct 20, 2000 5:41 am

Airline Miles, Why Not Like Hotel Points

Tue Jun 20, 2006 10:38 pm

Ive been wondering this for a long time. Why dont airlines do frequent flyer miles like the hotels do them, instead of miles flown somthing like 4 points for every doller spent. This would help in two ways, it would reward the business traveler on a full fare making him more likely to choose the airline implementing this system, and at the same time would reduce the amount of reward tickets being cashed in by leisure travelers buying the cheapest fares in the long run.

If the airlines awarded 4 points per doller spent a $3,000 business class tickt would net the business traveler 12,000 points which reward them while the $350 net saver type fare from JFK to LAX would get the leisure passenger 1400 miles rather than 6000. I would also go out on a limb and say that overall business passengers are less likely to use all their miles since I know many that just let them accumulate in their accounts and have hundreds of thousands if not millions. What do you guys think?
 
adh214
Posts: 346
Joined: Thu Sep 16, 1999 6:07 am

RE: Airline Miles, Why Not Like Hotel Points

Tue Jun 20, 2006 10:54 pm

I think this is a great idea for the airline.

Additionally, instead of giving you free travel, they could just redeem the points for gift certificates on the airline. Thus 10,000 points could be redeemed for a $100 gift certificate (for exampel). This could then be used on any flight instead of having the annoying capacity controls that have good customers having to take the worst routing for award travel.

Andrew
 
IAHFLYR
Posts: 3941
Joined: Sat Jun 25, 2005 12:56 am

RE: Airline Miles, Why Not Like Hotel Points

Tue Jun 20, 2006 11:07 pm

There are airlines such as CO (only airline program I am totally familiar with) that do offer more miles and segments when you buy a fully refundable coach Y, H, and maybe K fares as well as any first class fare. Those fares get you 150% miles and double segments.

So as an example, you're flying from IAH to SEA, around 1830 miles you get each way and a segment. Both of those count toward your elite qualification mileage. If you were traveling on the fares listed above, you would get 2745 each way plus 2 segments each way, both counting toward your elite qualification mileage. Of course all this is subject to change daily as are most other things in the industry!

There are other mileage perks such as booking your ticket online 500 miles, credit cards that give you points for dollar spent that you can transfer into your frequent flyer account etc, but those are simply miles for use not counting toward any elite levels.

Your question is a good one however, I think if you take the program name alone "frequent flyer" that may shed some light onto why they don't do as hotels do, it is for the frequent flyer to accumulate points/segments for flying not for for the rich and famous to spend $15,000 for a business class ticket 1 time a year.....and of course there are the credit card points etc,.still there, so not sure I have helped but mroe likely created more questions.  confused 
Any views shared are strictly my own and do not a represent those of any former employer.
 
dartland
Posts: 514
Joined: Wed Apr 20, 2005 5:09 am

RE: Airline Miles, Why Not Like Hotel Points

Tue Jun 20, 2006 11:33 pm

Most FFPs have different tiers of earning miles -- usually it's 50% of miles flown for a discount coach ticket, 100% for regular coach, and 150%-200% for full fare coach, J, or F ticket.

It's a balance between:
a) Simplicity: Customer has to understand it, rules have to be simple -- this is also an arguement for keeping all major FFPs roughly the same, so as not to confuse the customer (as it is, B6 and WN among others have a different system
b) Perceived value: Customer likes free flights, more wary about turning miles into dollars
c) Cost: Airlines don't want to give away the farm (now, some would argue they are barely allowing you ON the farm...)

The ideas above are not bad or impossible -- airlines consider these changes all the time, and you may see some changes like this in the future as they continue to optimize their programs in the face of decreasing differentiation.
 
airways
Posts: 852
Joined: Sun Mar 11, 2001 7:35 pm

RE: Airline Miles, Why Not Like Hotel Points

Tue Jun 20, 2006 11:37 pm

It's a good idea. But not new.
Virgin Blue does it that way.

Michael
 
Dtw757
Posts: 1270
Joined: Mon Oct 06, 2003 10:05 am

RE: Airline Miles, Why Not Like Hotel Points

Tue Jun 20, 2006 11:51 pm

Quoting Sxmarbury33 (Thread starter):
If the airlines awarded 4 points per doller spent a $3,000 business class tickt would net the business traveler 12,000 points which reward them while the $350 net saver type fare from JFK to LAX would get the leisure passenger 1400 miles rather than 6000. I would also go out on a limb and say that overall business passengers are less likely to use all their miles since I know many that just let them accumulate in their accounts and have hundreds of thousands if not millions. What do you guys think?

This is a horrible idea. Business travelers travel so often that they really rack up the miles anyway. Also, most business travelers aren't paying for their own tickets out of pocket but are reaping the rewards. On your plan all they would have to do is fly less than 3 trips at that $3000 rate and they would have a free ticket to anywhere in the US. Under your plan, leisure travelers would have little benefit to even be involved in a FF program. I don't like it. Just my 2 cents.
721,2,732,3,4,5,G,8,9,741,2,3,4,752,3,762,3,4,772,3,788,D93,5,M80,D10,M11,L10,100,AB6,319,20,21,332,3,346,388,146,CR2,7,
 
iairallie
Posts: 2326
Joined: Thu May 20, 2004 5:42 am

RE: Airline Miles, Why Not Like Hotel Points

Wed Jun 21, 2006 12:09 am

There have been some airlines that do it that way. The late Independence Air did and it got great feedback from the pax. I believe there are some others out there but I'm not sure who.
Enough about flying lets talk about me!
 
sllevin
Posts: 3312
Joined: Wed Jan 30, 2002 1:57 pm

RE: Airline Miles, Why Not Like Hotel Points

Wed Jun 21, 2006 3:51 am

The short reason is that airlines want to reward the people who pay the higher fares on a given route.

Who is the company more interested in:

The person who spends $2,700 to fly LAX-LHR in business class (flying on a discounted business class ticket)

or

The person who spends $450 to fly LAX-SFO in coach (flying on a full fare flexible ticket)?

That's typically why you see bonuses on fare classes, rather than fare paid. Flying in a high fare class implies that the person spent near the maximum possible in that market.

Steve
 
naritaflyer
Posts: 259
Joined: Sat Apr 22, 2006 12:17 am

RE: Airline Miles, Why Not Like Hotel Points

Wed Jun 21, 2006 4:04 am

Your plan is a good one but I'm sure airlines can tweek the ratio. If not 4 miles per dollar then it could be a different number. This way you don't need to keep track of miles flown. The more you pay the more you accumulate.

However, this would need to be combined with a broadly-based loyalty program, not just frequent flyer program. For instance if a leisure traveller spending $500 every six months visiting grandparents he would not accumulate sufficient miles to earn a free trip. Under this plan, the raison d'etre of the program is undermined. But if this leisure traveller could also accumulate miles at gas stations, credit cards, grocery stores and other places, then it would work. People have to feel that a free reward is attainable to give their loyalty.

As to redeeming miles for gift certificates JAL does that altready. It's a great idea that other airlines could also adopt.
 
cy319
Posts: 368
Joined: Mon Apr 17, 2006 11:42 pm

RE: Airline Miles, Why Not Like Hotel Points

Wed Jun 21, 2006 7:26 am

if you have time, please complete my online survey for Frequent Flyer Programmes. it is for my MSc thesis.

this is the link: http://www.surveymonkey.com/s.asp?u=294172262187
wanna be travel buddies ,sex buddies .. or both ?

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