It depends on what you're looking for. Do you want lots of free flights? Lots of international destinations? Or just upgrades? Simplicity?
If you want simplicity and lots of free flights, then WN
is clearly your choice. Fly 8 round-trips, get one free. No capacity controls or anything like that. WN
used to have a promotion where if you booked your trips online, you got double credit, but I think they've stopped this. I've also heard that if you book with your WN
credit card you get double credit as well, but I'm not sure here. In any event, you can fly 8 round-trips on WN
's shortest route (which I think is AUS
), and redeem your voucher for any WN
flight, whether it's HOU
, anything. The drawbacks are that WN
doesn't fly to as many destinations as other carriers, has no international service, and of course there are no upgrade possibilities. In addition, your flight credit all has to be earned within a 12-month period. They focus on the truly "frequent" flyer.
Of course, if you want upgrades, international flights, etc., the majors will be better for you. I am currently Gold on AAdvantage, and the perks are pretty good. I only wish you could use your upgrades on trans-atlantic and trans-pacific flights. In any event, AA
is good about rewarding its most frequent flyers. Platinum and Executive Platinum have great perks, including unlimited upgrades for Executive Platinum. Of course, that can soak up a lot of the upgrades that would normally be used for lower-tier flyers like myself, but that's part of the game.
I am currently a member of FF
programs at AA
, and US, and I am more devoted to AA
than any other. I love WN
as well, but being from Dallas, I am limited as to what I can use them for. From my perspective, then, AA
has the best program.