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Review of Airline Mileage Programs Reveals Winners and Losers in Loyalty

@jasonclampet

Skift Take

The study reinforces that airline loyalty is a game best played by the pros.

— Jason Clampet

The point experts at MileCards released a study last week that ranked the major airline loyalty programs, demonstrating that there are clear winners and losers in the mileage game.

“Not relying on a single mileage program is the best way to improve your award flight chances,” the authors wrote. “The easiest way to do that is to earn points you can transfer to multiple airline programs.”


The study was based on a survey of 1,600 frequent flyers and a series of searches across airline sites to redeem specific routes.

Key takeaways:

  • About 90% of rewards are booked online
  • Every major airline in the U.S. raised redemption prices
  • Cheapest day for most routes is Tuesday or Wednesday
  • Most expensive day for most routes is Sunday
  • Consumers’ choices to regions where they can redeem points to travel to are limited based on what alliance they use
  • Flights from partner airlines are often best discovered by phone, not online

The full report is at MileCards.com

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