highflyer44
Posts: 12
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Do Frequent Flyer Programmes Generate Loyalty?

Thu Jan 18, 2007 8:26 am

Dear friends,

Do you believe that airline loyalty can really be achieved through Frequent Flyer Programmes?

As part of my Honours Project I have developed a survey which will be printed and distributed in London as well as advertised online for the next 2 months.

I would really appreciate if you could take part. The questionnaire can be accessed from the link below:

http://www.onlineapproach.co.uk

The more responses, the more accurate the findings will be.

It would be great to have your opinion in the forum too!

Thank you!
 
iairallie
Posts: 2326
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RE: Do Frequent Flyer Programmes Generate Loyalty?

Thu Jan 18, 2007 8:30 am

Yes. When I make business travel arrangements loyalty programs are a factor I include along with price, convienience of schedule etc. when selecting a flight. Lets say I'm only a few flights from elite on Delta vs. a long way on United I may pick a slightly less convienent itenerary or pay slightly more to get one step closer to the next tier of status. Or once status is obtained I may pick the airline I have status on over another in the hope of obtaining an upgrade, lounge use or other perks.
Enough about flying lets talk about me!
 
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fxramper
Posts: 5837
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RE: Do Frequent Flyer Programmes Generate Loyalty?

Thu Jan 18, 2007 8:39 am

AA gets busted up a lot by FF, but I've been using them for a good ten years with AAdvantage, it's really more a convenience factor than anything for me now when I fly. My company does have a deal with AA.
 
bushpilot
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RE: Do Frequent Flyer Programmes Generate Loyalty?

Thu Jan 18, 2007 8:58 am

I will often book a more expensive flight on AS/KS for the frequent flyer mileage than on a competitor for that sole reason. Most anyone in Alaska will tell you there are cheaper flights to the lower 48 from AK on different carriers, but we stick to AS for that reason.
 
deltairlines
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RE: Do Frequent Flyer Programmes Generate Loyalty?

Thu Jan 18, 2007 9:14 am

Just submitted the survey based on my experiences with DL.
 
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northwestEWR
Posts: 1963
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RE: Do Frequent Flyer Programmes Generate Loyalty?

Thu Jan 18, 2007 9:20 am

I'd say they do. I'm a Worldperks member and I'm very loyal to Northwest, Midwest and Continental.
Northwest Airlines - Now You're Flying Smart
 
BMED
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RE: Do Frequent Flyer Programmes Generate Loyalty?

Thu Jan 18, 2007 9:20 am

Done based on bmi. I almost applied for the course your doing this year. How has it been? I wasn't too sure what the course content was.
Living the jetset life! No better way to be
 
highflyer44
Posts: 12
Joined: Thu Jan 18, 2007 8:09 am

RE: Do Frequent Flyer Programmes Generate Loyalty?

Thu Jan 18, 2007 9:37 am

Quoting DeltAirlines (Reply 4):

Thank you very much!
 
Tan Flyr
Posts: 1566
Joined: Sat Aug 19, 2000 11:07 pm

RE: Do Frequent Flyer Programmes Generate Loyalty?

Thu Jan 18, 2007 9:41 am

ok, I filled out the survey for the students in London.

Yes, my elite status has helped numerous times on AA over the 25 years I have been a member of AAvantage. I also activly use Mileage plus on UA and Flight fund on America West (us Air) also.
 
SJCRRPAX
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RE: Do Frequent Flyer Programmes Generate Loyalty?

Thu Jan 18, 2007 9:44 am

The "RR" in the screen name says it all. With a "Rapid Rewards Visa" and a few business flights the Rewards are piling up faster than I can use them. My only complaint is that it takes two rewards to go to Hawaii, and no international rewards. But if I need to go to Clevland or Boise I'm all set!
 
highflyer44
Posts: 12
Joined: Thu Jan 18, 2007 8:09 am

RE: Do Frequent Flyer Programmes Generate Loyalty?

Thu Jan 18, 2007 9:45 am

Quoting BMED (Reply 6):
Done based on bmi. I almost applied for the course your doing this year. How has it been? I wasn't too sure what the course content was.

Thanks for participating. I've had a fantastic experience so far, the course is very business oriented, it covers from operation aspects to every relevant part of the aviation business from airlines and airports.
 
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TVNWZ
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RE: Do Frequent Flyer Programmes Generate Loyalty?

Thu Jan 18, 2007 9:47 am

Absolutely. NW Platinum Elite. So, I fly them every chance I get. If not NW then Skyteam (DL,CO) As a last resort: YX since I get miles, but not for qualifying.
 
AirTranTUS
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RE: Do Frequent Flyer Programmes Generate Loyalty?

Thu Jan 18, 2007 9:47 am

Is it the FF program that generates loyalty or is it an airline's service? If a passenger has no loyalty, will they choose an airline for its FF program or will they fly different airlines until they find one where the service impresses them and they stick with it?

In answer to the question "Do Frequent Flyer Programmes Generate Loyalty?", my answer is no. I think a passenger chooses an airline because of its service and then joins the FF program. The desire to earn status and the service is what keeps a passenger.
I love ASO!
 
highflyer44
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RE: Do Frequent Flyer Programmes Generate Loyalty?

Thu Jan 18, 2007 9:54 am

Quoting AirTranTUS (Reply 12):
Is it the FF program that generates loyalty or is it an airline's service? If a passenger has no loyalty, will they choose an airline for its FF program or will they fly different airlines until they find one where the service impresses them and they stick with it?

In answer to the question "Do Frequent Flyer Programmes Generate Loyalty?", my answer is no. I think a passenger chooses an airline because of its service and then joins the FF program. The desire to earn status and the service is what keeps a passenger.

That's a good point! now, once you have joined a particular program does it psychologically encourage one to fly with that airline in order to get rewarded? once miles get accumulated does it not become more difficult to switch to an airline which offers a better service?
 
PlymSpotter
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RE: Do Frequent Flyer Programmes Generate Loyalty?

Thu Jan 18, 2007 10:15 am

Quoting AirTranTUS (Reply 12):
In answer to the question "Do Frequent Flyer Programmes Generate Loyalty?", my answer is no. I think a passenger chooses an airline because of its service and then joins the FF program. The desire to earn status and the service is what keeps a passenger

There is also the fact that most people will just go by the price of the ticket, regardless of which airline it is. I find the thing that most puts non aviation fans off flying a particular airline is having a connection in their schedule, normal people just don't like them it seems.

I filled it out for FlyingBlue, which is not a program I have been happy with recently; you can never get hold of them, and when they do dain to usher you a response it doesn't actually mean anything and is completely useless.

Dan Smile
...love is just a camouflage for what resembles rage again...
 
SJCRRPAX
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RE: Do Frequent Flyer Programmes Generate Loyalty?

Thu Jan 18, 2007 10:19 am

Quoting Highflyer44 (Reply 13):
That's a good point! now, once you have joined a particular program does it psychologically encourage one to fly with that airline in order to get rewarded? once miles get accumulated does it not become more difficult to switch to an airline which offers a better service?

Absolutely. For me AS and WN are about equal, but I seldom book AS anymore. It even becomes worse when the company pays for the ticket instead of the individual. Every company I have ever worked for I have seen people take "bogus" trips (as far away as Europe from US) select days for Biz travel that can only be booked with their airline, and other tricks to pile on the free miles. This I know is not a popular opinion I have, and is OT, but I think the miles should go to the person that pays for the ticket, not the flyer (the company should take the rewards and use them as they see fit)
 
PanAm747
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RE: Do Frequent Flyer Programmes Generate Loyalty?

Thu Jan 18, 2007 10:25 am

"You MUST get me on this flight!! I'm a Platinum Elite!!"

The bragging, the boasting, the FF miles - you BET it earns loyalty!!
Pan Am:The World's Most Experienced Airline - P(oor) S(ailor's) A(irline): San Diego's Hometown Airline-Catch Our Smile!
 
andrewuber
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RE: Do Frequent Flyer Programmes Generate Loyalty?

Thu Jan 18, 2007 10:26 am

I just took the survey, and yes, my travel decisions are often influenced by FF programs or lack thereof.

Drew  wave 
I'd rather shoot BAD_MOTIVE
 
scouse
Posts: 73
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RE: Do Frequent Flyer Programmes Generate Loyalty?

Thu Jan 18, 2007 10:51 am

Quoting SJCRRPAX (Reply 15):
but I think the miles should go to the person that pays for the ticket, not the flyer (the company should take the rewards and use them as they see fit)

My company does use the miles as they see fit, they give them back to me.
For my last trip they asked me in the morning to fly to Poland in the evening and stay for 3 weeks which I have no problem with but would most probably be turned down by your colleagues that invent trips to get miles, I could not imagine any of the people I work with doing that kind of trick.
One of the advantages for my company due to my elite status is that I can use first class check in (they only ever buy the cheapest economy fares) I can use the elite security lines and the worldclubs. I get preference on standby lists and extra baggage allowances can also save them money. Complimentary upgrades are a bonus on international flights.
2 years ago I flew 86000 miles on NWA but also on 15 other airlines so the miles are not everything as I normally have more miles than I can use. Elite status does mean a lot.
Love to fly
 
jcavinato
Posts: 392
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RE: Do Frequent Flyer Programmes Generate Loyalty?

Thu Jan 18, 2007 11:27 am

A FF program can also be a repellent. In my case Delta does not allocate any business class seats to anyone trans-Atlantic in the summer -- even their most premier customers.

Too, they use a cheap mileage computation. On a flight from AMS-ATL then change to PIT we flew over PIT on the first leg. When I got my statement, it only counted the origin-destination mileage (AMS-PIT circle route). The 700 or so miles to landing in ATL and the second flight back up to PIT didn't count. This, to me, is an ultimate of cheapness.

I can never understand the customer service rating and award companies. Several of them claim Delta has one of the best FF programs. Yeah, right. It was invented by Ebinezer Scrooge.
 
halls120
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RE: Do Frequent Flyer Programmes Generate Loyalty?

Thu Jan 18, 2007 11:56 am

Absolutely. Once I reached premier executive status on UA, miles accrued faster, and upgrades became easier. I've lost count of how many times I've been upgraded because coach was full, and they needed to move people into C class. I've had UA call me the night before a flight to advise me that the flight I selected was likely going to be delayed, and did I want to have them change the flight. While on a business trip to Europe, my SO had to return home before I did. UA didn't upgrade her, but they did giver her a E+ seat and blocked the seat next to her.
"Suppose you were an idiot. And suppose you were a member of Congress. But I repeat myself." Mark Twain, a Biography
 
PlanenutzTB
Posts: 220
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RE: Do Frequent Flyer Programmes Generate Loyalty?

Thu Jan 18, 2007 12:22 pm

Yes!

I go out of my way to always fly on Continental Airlines due to their FF program and great service. I responded to your survey.
I am extraordinarily patient, provided I get my own way in the end.
 
FighterPilot
Posts: 1306
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RE: Do Frequent Flyer Programmes Generate Loyalty?

Thu Jan 18, 2007 12:26 pm

There... I filled out your survey based on my experience of AC's Aeroplan. Hope it does you good.

Cal  airplane 
*Insert Sound Of GE90 Spooling Up Here*
 
Bongodog1964
Posts: 3072
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RE: Do Frequent Flyer Programmes Generate Loyalty?

Thu Jan 18, 2007 2:01 pm

As I don't fly enough at all, let alone with one airline, FF programmes are really a mystery to me; from my knowledge gleaned from here, and other places though, they seem from the airlines point to be a nightmare (of their own causing)

It appears that they compete against each other to offer lots of inducements in the way of FF miles, upgrades, access to lounges for economy passengers with the right card etc.

From their point of view I can see the justification that they need to offer an incentive to gain loyalty, upgrades don't really cost anything because the seat was vacant, giving access to a lounge only costs a few nibbles and a newspaper etc.

If however the only reason for having the facilities on this scale is to provide room for the upgrading the justification begins to look a little shaky.

Mostly for the flier its win win, as you gain something you haven't paid for (generally it seems that an employer has paid), and it removes them from cattle class.

This all works though against the normal business principle that the loyalty of one company to another is rewarded by lower prices.
 
AY104
Posts: 451
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RE: Do Frequent Flyer Programmes Generate Loyalty?

Thu Jan 18, 2007 3:35 pm

Yes, it creates loyalty, albeit on a very superficial level. People who have the most miles on a particular carrier, are of course trying to increase mileage. Often very little has to do with level of service, which is what loyalty should be based on. Unfortunately, this is a very different world and industry than 25 years ago, when loyalty was indeed based on service.
Cheers,
AY104
The only thing a customer should expect for his/her loyalty is good service
 
WestJetYQQ
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RE: Do Frequent Flyer Programmes Generate Loyalty?

Thu Jan 18, 2007 3:51 pm

Yes

On the other hand, many people are Already loyal to a certain Airline. They would just collect frequent flyer miles on that airline.

My 2 cents
Will You Try to Change Things? Use the Power that you have, the Power of a Million new Ideas.
 
LHRjc
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RE: Do Frequent Flyer Programmes Generate Loyalty?

Thu Jan 18, 2007 4:30 pm

Yes, it definitely keeps me loyal. But only to a certain extent. I am BA Silver and have been for several years. But I know that I'm never going to make Gold each year so once I'm Silver I start flying AF / KL and maintain Silver Flying Blue with them (although FB Silver isn't really worth too much compared with BA Silver).

I've completed your survey too. Good luck with it  

JC

Edit: spelling

[Edited 2007-01-18 08:30:31]
"Our 319's are very reliable. They get fixed very quickly."
 
jacobin777
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RE: Do Frequent Flyer Programmes Generate Loyalty?

Thu Jan 18, 2007 4:44 pm

Quoting Highflyer44 (Thread starter):
Dear friends,

Do you believe that airline loyalty can really be achieved through Frequent Flyer Programmes?

As part of my Honours Project I have developed a survey which will be printed and distributed in London as well as advertised online for the next 2 months.

I would really appreciate if you could take part. The questionnaire can be accessed from the link below:

http://www.onlineapproach.co.uk

The more responses, the more accurate the findings will be.

I answered your survey... Smile

I have an AA loyalty because it gets me seats which I otherwise wouldn't be able to get, and that to me is very important...also, AA is only one of two carriers (along with UA) which has flights to the city pair which I fly on the most...SJC/SFO-ORD...and SFO/LAX-LHR.....
"Up the Irons!"
 
baron95
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Joined: Thu May 25, 2006 10:19 am

RE: Do Frequent Flyer Programmes Generate Loyalty?

Thu Jan 18, 2007 4:59 pm

No FF Programs don't generate any loyalty. Airlines just have them because they enjoy the complexity and extra expense they represent.
Killer Fleet: E190, 737-900ER, 777-300ER
 
Birdwatching
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RE: Do Frequent Flyer Programmes Generate Loyalty?

Thu Jan 18, 2007 5:10 pm

OK, so I'm the first one to say no?

I fly around a lot, domestically and over the pond, but being the airline geek I am I'd never fly with the same airline over and over again, plus it's always a different airline that has the best offer / times.

So I am a member at 3 FF programs covering the vast majority of airlines, all of them with non-expiring mileage balances if there is account activity once every 3 to 4 years.

(I'm with Mileage Plus, AAdvantage and OnePass)

While this practice will certainly not earn any status to speak of, I still seem to go up on regularly earned miles quickly. I only joined Mileage Plus a year ago and I'm at 18K already. Got over 30K in my AAdvantage account after only two round trips with them, the rest coming from Corn Flakes box coupons and Opinion Place surveys (back when they still gave you 300 miles at a time)

So I'm not the typical customer I guess. But this has worked for me quite well.

Soren  santahat 
All the things you probably hate about travelling are warm reminders that I'm home
 
Analog
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RE: Do Frequent Flyer Programmes Generate Loyalty?

Thu Jan 18, 2007 5:40 pm

YES. I buy most of my own flights, so price is important. However, since most airlines typically charge almost the same $$$ for advance purchase fares, the cost of staying with one's preferred carrier is often minimal.

Some comments on the survey:

You seem to ignore the idea of status. This is often the primary benefit from a FF program.

Q4.: "Where do you live?" should probably be more specific (do I say the city, country, US state, or what)

Q12 Is a bit to "open", ask some more direct questions.
 
Toulouse
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RE: Do Frequent Flyer Programmes Generate Loyalty?

Thu Jan 18, 2007 10:44 pm

Just did your questionnaire. Good luck with the project!
Long live Aer Lingus!
 
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OA260
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RE: Do Frequent Flyer Programmes Generate Loyalty?

Thu Jan 18, 2007 10:49 pm

Yes I am Star Alliance Gold for the past 5 years now and I always book a Star carrier even if its slightly more expensive than a non Star carrier. If im short a few thousand miles for my Gold renewal I will take a day trip or weekend trip to make up the missing miles.
 
copenhagenboy
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RE: Do Frequent Flyer Programmes Generate Loyalty?

Fri Jan 19, 2007 4:58 am

I will say yes. I am an Eurobonus Silver SAS member, and if you are flying longhaul, let us say 2 or 3 times a year it makes sence. Well it is not the same as I will only fly SAS. But you can by searching heavilly, almost be able to find Economy tickets on the cheap side, that will give you 100% miles on their partners. I am flying mostly to Thailand and the US. But as an exampel I can give, when I go to BKK I will always try to find a ticket on Star over Oneworld or Skyteam. CPH-BKK I can choose SAS, LH, Austrian, Swiss, Thai or SQ (more?  Smile). I know SQ is very poor on given miles to their parners, but I will almost find a ticket on the other *members, that can mach the price and travel time on OW or Skyteam.
Another question is what you get back from your program, and I must say that the possibility to upgrade from Economy to Economy+ or Business on SAS longhaul flights using points, earned on their partners, makes me loyal to their program.
 
ANother
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RE: Do Frequent Flyer Programmes Generate Loyalty?

Fri Jan 19, 2007 5:08 am

Did the questionaire, but didn't add my e-mail address. It doesn't serve the purpose stated. While I trust your intentions I don't really believe that you are able to keep the information secret. Too many hackers out there.
 
kunta67
Posts: 38
Joined: Sat Jul 17, 2004 5:20 pm

RE: Do Frequent Flyer Programmes Generate Loyalty?

Fri Jan 19, 2007 5:11 am

I would definitely say yes. I only started travelling the past couple of years for business and last year I became a premier executive. Now when I travel for business from Portland I almost exclusively fly United or US Airways/America West because of the Star Alliance. Although Alaska/Horizon has many more non-stops from Portland I'd rather fly United because of the FF program and what my status is. For instance I have to fly to Fresno for business I'm connecting through SF rather than taking the non-stop on Alaska, mainly because of my loyalty to the Star Alliance.
 
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Aeroflot777
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RE: Do Frequent Flyer Programmes Generate Loyalty?

Fri Jan 19, 2007 6:32 am

My answer would be yes. I'm a SkyMiles and Aeroflot Bonus member. And I'm loyal to both DL and SU. I go out of my way to fly both carriers. In extreme cases, I'm forced to fly some other SkyTeam carrier, but you can't go wrong with that either.
 
highflyer44
Posts: 12
Joined: Thu Jan 18, 2007 8:09 am

RE: Do Frequent Flyer Programmes Generate Loyalty?

Fri Jan 19, 2007 7:11 am

Thank you all for your opinion, suggestions and for filling in the survey. This is just the beginning of what is becoming a very interesting project and your cooperation has been absolutely great so far!

It seems that FFP can definitely be a generator of repetitive flights, however, do you agree that it is very much tailored to the business sector?

In most times business travellers fly because they have to which means FFP are basically a very welcome bonus given the fact that those would have to fly anyway regardless of any loyalty programme. These therefore become the differential point between one airline and another where the one that rewards most is more likely to sell repetitive flights to regular customers.

Now, are FFPs as efficient on the leisure sector? Do you agree that FFPs can generate demand to a particular destination (in another words, would a passenger who has accumulated miles choose to spend them with a destination that he/she would not have chosen if not by the benefits of the FFP)?
 
mayhem
Posts: 153
Joined: Fri Feb 24, 2006 7:14 am

RE: Do Frequent Flyer Programmes Generate Loyalty?

Fri Jan 19, 2007 8:04 am

Quoting Highflyer44 (Reply 37):
It seems that FFP can definitely be a generator of repetitive flights, however, do you agree that it is very much tailored to the business sector?

As business flyers are the ones that tend to buy last minute tickets at any price, that's the sector they have to aim for. The budget of a company is a lot larger than that of an average family, so it's logical that airlines aim at business flyers.

Quoting Highflyer44 (Reply 37):
Now, are FFPs as efficient on the leisure sector? Do you agree that FFPs can generate demand to a particular destination (in another words, would a passenger who has accumulated miles choose to spend them with a destination that he/she would not have chosen if not by the benefits of the FFP)?

If you consider the average man in the street who goes on holidays on average no more than once or twice a year, ffp have much less power there. People who seldomly fly or travel will only go for a price vs quality ratio that fits their needs, and the only loyalty that comes up is loyalty because they've had good previous experiences, or because they get a direct advantage by going back.

If you're considering the business traveler and his family who is using the business travelers miles to go on holidays with the whole family, i think you can make them spend at a destination of which he hadn't thought of earliers. Definitely if this is an occasion where he would get a great value for miles...


Interesting survey, and i hope that we'll get to see the results one day!
 
Tango-Bravo
Posts: 2887
Joined: Sun Jun 17, 2001 1:04 am

RE: Do Frequent Flyer Programmes Generate Loyalty?

Sat Jan 20, 2007 3:47 am

Quoting Highflyer44 (Thread starter):
Do you believe that airline loyalty can really be achieved through Frequent Flyer Programmes?

To be entirely correct, the most accurate statement to describe the correlation between FF programs and airline loyalty would be to say that FF programs buy (rather than earn) customer "loyalty." Or, in a metaphorical sense, FF programs have been allowed by airline customers -- with full complicity from the U.S. legacy airlines -- to become very much like addcitive, mind-altering, memory-purging narcotics.

Which is why, if FF freeloaders emphatically inform the airline(s) with whom they are FF members, "I will never fly on your airline again" 100 different times, they will keep coming back to said airline 100 times. I would call that a (metaphorical) substance abuse issue rather than loyalty. If U.S. legacy airlines sense that FF perks and giveaways and largess are not having the desired effect in buying customer "loyalty," the airlines will unleash the other "punch" (of their 1-2 punch combination for buying "loyalty") which is cheap below-cost fares. Ultimately, customers are culpable for allowing themselves to be manipulated into allowing their "loyalty" to be bought rather than earned; nonetheless, airlines are more than willing to exploit the weaknesses of their customers.

[Edited 2007-01-19 19:57:43]
 
9MMAR
Posts: 1728
Joined: Sun Jul 23, 2006 7:18 pm

RE: Do Frequent Flyer Programmes Generate Loyalty?

Sun Jan 21, 2007 4:41 am

I would love to participate in this survey.

I am a member of MH's Enrich FFP. I fly them all the time and since they've partnered with several hotels and outlets, I stay at those hotels and shop at the outlets too, whenever required. I didn't mind spending more for their partner hotels as long as I got rewarded with the miles for staying in those establishment. For me it is better to spend some USD 150 for a hotel stay and get rewarded with 600 miles when staying at the partners' hotels rather than spending USD 90 for a stay at non partner hotels. All my credit cards points were also converted into the miles. Signing up for the airlines' credit card is definitely a wiser choice.

Answering your question,

Quoting Highflyer44 (Reply 37):
Do you agree that FFPs can generate demand to a particular destination (in another words, would a passenger who has accumulated miles choose to spend them with a destination that he/she would not have chosen if not by the benefits of the FFP)?

Yes, I did that recently. I was browsing the Enrich FFP newsletter at one of MH's office and then saw this amazing offer to Istanbul. I redeemed a return ticket to IST rightover and departed the next day. I wouldn't have been there if not because of the offer in the newsletter. Earlier, I was planning to redeem the miles to for a ticket to Sydney.
 
zkeoj
Posts: 972
Joined: Sun Feb 27, 2005 3:00 am

RE: Do Frequent Flyer Programmes Generate Loyalty?

Mon Jan 22, 2007 6:50 pm

In my case it is not so much *airline* loyalty, but *Alliance* loyalty. i have been UA Mielage Plus member for a few years now, have Star Alliance Gold Status, but none of the miles have been on UA - from here it is mostly NZ, LH, SQ - and sometimes TG...

Done your survey - good luck with it!  Smile

Cheers
micha

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