Frequent Fliers of the Future
Frequent Flier programs have been around for almost 40 years. Recently, many established programs changed the way points are accumulated. Fliers who learn the rules and play the games are the biggest winners in rewards. What changes do you think will happen to airline loyalty programs in the future? If you are a frequent traveler, what changes might you wish to see?
As someone who is a full time nomad and spend more miles in the air than on the ground there is one thing missing from the frequent flier programs. There used to be a program where you could pay monthly (almost like rent) and fly as much as you want. For someone like me who gets on a plane like I get in a Lyft (Uber), it would be nice not to pay astronomical rates for my flights. This could be something they offered in a different type of frequent flier program. They could have levels for folks so that someone is not over using their mileage but give them the flexibility to get flights at the last minute at a mileage level versus a cost. Change and cancel flights last minute without penalties or very small penalties.
Michael my friend! As a multi million miler I do get lots of privileges along the lines you mention. I’m often placed in preferred flights before I’ve even done anything, have special phone lines to call and an often given options via a live texting.
Most of my my wishes are more about equitable partner treatment. European airlines are particularly bad at reciprocation regarding first class, often giving you coach if you just looked at going first class via rewards. Really bad.
Another minor but annoying thing regards folks who fly less often and forget their FF ID. Systems should automatically identify you. Not hard.
A sad reality is that frequent flyers are statistically more likely to experience inconveniences associated with flight delays, cancellations and the like. It would make sense to me therefore, that these customers somehow be able to be able to either get relief faster or something like that...maybe, also free access to Crown Room during delay situations?
One size fits One. Currently, airlines provide a number of fixed benefits when you move up their tier system. As a result I often find myself in a queue quite long with my fellow 'lucky ones' and see the queue of the 'others' move equally fast. Sometimes even faster.
Perhaps we should move towards a system where e.g. 7 perks are identified (security fast lane, lounge access, priority boarding, luggage number/weight/size... etc.) and you can choose yourself which one you prefer as you move up the ladder.
With scanners abundant on airports and personalized digital boarding passes this should be quite easy to implement.