For Immediate Release
Monday, March 14, 2016
For information contact:
Steve Glenn, Phone: 402.458.9849
Airline frequent flyer programs reach tipping point as majority say they are hard if not impossible to use
A new survey of travelers authored by Executive Travel last week asked, “How would you rate the ability to redeem your airline frequent flyer miles for free tickets?” Of those 725 business travelers surveyed only 9% said that redeeming miles was extremely easy (2%) or easy (7%) while 57% said that redeeming airline miles was extremely difficult (43%) or impossible (14%).
Steve Glenn, CEO of Executive Travel commented, “For decades the airlines have used their frequent flyer programs to reward their best customers with miles that they could use for free trips. This recent survey appears to show that the miles are now so difficult to use that they have reached a tipping point and may now be a bigger frustration than incentive for customers. For the majority of customers today earning miles on an airline’s frequent flyer program have little to no value.”
Glenn observed, “The airlines today appear to be putting all their focus on the top 20 percent of their customers and are rewarding those customers with status that allows for dozens of perks in addition to the miles that they earn. All the major airlines have also moved from earning miles based on the miles flown to a system that awards miles paid on the amount paid for the ticket. This basically makes it so that a person that flies once or twice a year on vacation probably earns so few miles that they, in effect, are worthless.”
“I think the airlines have killed the goose that lays the golden egg”, according to Glenn. “The incentive industry for decades has acknowledged that frequent flyer programs built by the airlines have been one of the most successful ways to build customer loyalty in history. Unfortunately, making the redemption of frequent flyer miles extremely difficult has taken what is supposed to be an incentive and turned it into something that discourages the airlines best customers.“
Information about Executive Travel:
Executive Travel, founded in 1986, is one of the largest and fastest growing travel management companies in the U.S. The company has been a pioneer in online travel reservations and implementing the virtual workplace.. Inc. magazine ranked Executive Travel as the fastest growing Travel Management Company in its 33nd annual Inc. 500|5000, an exclusive ranking of the nation’s fastest-growing private companies. Executive Travel has been on the prestigious list for three consecutive years.
Executive Travel specializes in helping companies implement comprehensive travel management programs that lower the total cost of corporate travel. Using state of the art technology combined with aggressive management systems Executive Travel has been able to enjoy strong growth throughout its 30 year history.
Executive Travel is an affiliate of BCD Travel. BCD Travel operates in more than 90 countries and is the world’s third-largest travel management company. Combining global strength with local service, BCD Travel offers an integrated technology infrastructure that provides intelligent analysis of travel data, allowing corporations to maximize the return on their travel investment.