Airline Frequent Flyer Programs


With the exception of most discount airlines, airline frequent flyer programs are offered by all international and domestic airlines. They provide a number of benefits for yourself and your family depending on which program you join. You will find that increasingly the discount airlines who are affiliated to mainstream airlines also will offer their respective frequent flyer program benefits at a fee.

Airline Frequent Flyer Programs provide you an opportunity to build a profile. This will allow you to put on their file your meal preferences, seat preferences, contact details to name a few. The airlines use these profiles to ensure the correct meal is on board when you fly, that you get the seat preference you want and that they can contact you in case of delays or cancellations. They also use this profile to email you special promotional offers and prices.

Depending on the airline, they provide you with loyalty points which will allow you to book “free” flights for personal use, upgrade and in some cases purchase goods and other services using points via their online store.

Usually you can use your points to book flights for family members. This usually extends to extended family (like parents, grandparents, aunts and uncles and even inlaws). There will be a limitation to who is regarded as “family” which will be outlined on the website. Some airlines have a system of nominees whereby you can nominate up to a certain number of nominees at any given time and book for them only. While the number of people this will extend to will be less than the “family” option on other airlines, it means you can nominate anyone (relative or not).

Some programs also allow you to transfer points to other family members. This means transferring the points to that family member’s account for them to use as they chose. You can also buy top up points and transfer points to other programs (eg hotel loyalty programs).

Some airlines also have “Box Offices” which allow you to buy tickets for shows at various destinations globally. This means for eg, you can book a show in London prior to departing to ensure available tickets and good seating. These will be seats that you pay for (credit card). The airline “box office” will ensure you get a seat which may be otherwise difficult due to availability. The airlines will purchase these seats well in advance so you are likely to get better seats than if you go directly to the theatre box office on arrival. This is also a good way to ensure entertainment while you are away is organized ahead of time.

Some airlines have status credit systems also. These allow you special privileges depending on which level you are. As you accumulate points, you also accumulate status credits which remain in place for 12 months and provide many benefits. They may allow you free entry to airline lounges, priority baggage labeling, “Fast Lane” queues for check in, etc. These are often accumulated for “Lifetime” status for those who are loyal to one airline. When you achieve lifetime status you enjoy the benefits awarded that status level for a lifetime even if you stop travelling so much. Some benefits awarded include bonus points when you fly, priority seating, priority boarding, lounge access, etc.

For Airline websites and to know which Airline belongs to which Airline alliance program, click through to useful websites page.

Hot Tip:

The airlines have good websites which you will have detailed access to when you join the frequent flyer program. They keep track of your loyalty points and advance flight reservations. Your profile is in your account and can be changed whenever you need to change it. You have the ability to book flights and holidays, find destination information and more. Take a look at your favourite Airline’s website.

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