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?

Loyalty Programs
Frequent Flyer Programs
Dawn Houghton
35 months ago

7 answers


It woudl be great if FF programs could identify active fliers and give them TSA privleges (if they qualify) at no charge.

Mary Wirtz Cooper
35 months ago
United does this for 1K or higher fliers (and their spouses). Actually, they pay for Global Entry which includes TSA pre-ck. - Dawn 34 months ago

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.

urvi bhandari
34 months ago
I think you are on to something. Would be great for business fliers and I can see early retirees having an interest for a couple of years as well. - Dawn 31 months ago
Thanks Dawn! Appreciate your further ideas on the target market :) - urvi 31 months ago

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.

Adam Malofsky, PhD
31 months ago
You are bringing to mind that classic Seinfeld episode where In Jerry is in 1st Class and Elaine is stuck in steerage! - Michael 31 months ago
Ha HA! good one - Dr. David E. 19 months ago

At flydubai our OPEN rewards programme is value based and not flown miles. I beleive this wiill bring a shfit in the age old frequent flyer programs. Value based programs are simplied and ease of earn/burn at min of $1

Mohammed Ahteshamuddin
35 months ago
More services available and linked to your frequent flyer account (e.g. rent a car or other transportation services, book a room at the hotel, etc.). I am not sure that airlines credit card and the opportunity to buy miles are really beneficial. For example if you really travel a lot there is no need to buy miles. - Paolo 35 months ago
Most already done - Dr. David E. 19 months ago

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?

Michael Fruhling
31 months ago

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.

Bart Groenewoud
31 months ago
Complicated? - Dr. David E. 19 months ago
No, easy! - Bart 19 months ago
Then, why not already accomplished? - Dr. David E. 19 months ago
Ease of implementation is not the best criterion to decide on implementing something. Perhaps the airlines have good reasons to disagree with me. Or they haven't heard the idea... yet. - Bart 19 months ago
Maybe too expensive and not so eay OR just don't care - Dr. David E. 19 months ago
Airline business is good now; so no need! - Dr. David E. 19 months ago
NOT unusual - times are good so why bother! - Dr. David E. 19 months ago
I think you're on to something... :-) - Bart 19 months ago
Manyy thanks - Dr. David E. 19 months ago

Another thing I would like to see is Frequent Flier miles NOT have an expiration date. Such as - due to a medical issue or a job chance you can't or don't travel for a year, you lose some to all or your flier miles.

David Barckhoff-Sag-Aftra/Producer, Director
31 months ago
Agree - Dr. David E. 19 months ago

Have some input?