On the surface, more inexpensive award tickets may sound like a good sign for air travelers. But with the supply of award miles shrinking and cheap seats only available on select routes, the news is just a silver lining on a much bigger, darker cloud.
The bad news is that an increasing percentage of airlines are also tying award seat prices to corresponding revenue tickets – so while more ultra-low-cost tickets are now available, those seats only correspond to the least expensive routes. Put another way, deal hunters keen on looking for the bargain basement award seat from the US to Europe or in First Class on a partner airline, may find this news troubling.
The other bad news, as Skift’s Brian Sumers detailed earlier this week, is that consumers are now earning fewer miles than ever thanks to new rules around revenue-based award mileage rates.
Even so, for those with a glut of miles or thrifty spending habits, the study suggests that most air carriers are at least offering a greater volume of cheaper award seats. The only exceptions? Delta, Korean, and Alaska.
— Grant Martin, Business of Loyalty Editor
Skift Stories and More Expert Insight
Another Top United Executive Departs as CFO Abruptly Resigns: United Airlines Chief Financial Officer Andrew Levy is leaving, the latest in a series of departures by high-level executives brought in by CEO Oscar Munoz over the past three years.
Hotels Experiment With Pop-Ups to Attract New Audiences: There are pop-up restaurants, pop-up shops, even pop-up museums. The phenomenon is so widespread that it only makes sense that it would hit the hotel industry.
The Business of Passenger-Proofing Seats and Every Other Square Inch Inside a Plane: Airline passengers abuse nearly everything on an airplane. Sometimes, they do it because they’re jet-lagged or drunk. Sometimes, they’re just absent-minded. And on occasion, manufacturers say, customers probably abuse interiors for sport. But the good news: Everything is tested to withstand harsh treatment from passengers.
Tech Workers Combine Business and Leisure Travel Most Often: Bleisure, despite its unfortunate name, seems to be having a moment. More workers are doing what they actually want to during, before, and after business trips, and the travel industry is playing catch up to adapt to shifting trends.
Hawaiian Airlines Promises It’s Ready for Whatever Southwest Plans: Hawaiian Airlines doesn’t know more about Southwest Airlines’ plans fly short-haul routes in Hawaii than the public, but the carrier is betting it has the right aircraft and route structure to withstand new competition, its chief financial officer said Tuesday at an investor event.
Marriott Integrates Facebook Messenger Into Its Tours and Activities Offering: When it comes to promoting its own inventory of thousands of travel experiences, Marriott appears to be taking a page out of Airbnb’s book.
Straighten Up and Fly Right, United to Flight Attendants on Sloppy Grooming: United Airlines wants some flight attendants to take their wardrobes and “personal grooming” more seriously, saying crew members who wear “skirt lengths that don’t conform to the standard,” wrinkled or stained shirts, or worn-out shoes may be hurting its brand, according to two new internal memos.
New EasyJet CEO Is Making a Big Push Into Vacations and Loyalty: EasyJet Plc wants to expand its holiday-tour unit and attract more business travelers, as the new chief executive moves the airline beyond the increasingly competitive discount model.
Air France-KLM Names Interim CEO as Labor Disruption Continues: Air France-KLM named finance chief Frederic Gagey as interim CEO to replace Jean-Marc Janaillac, who quit after failing to end a series of strikes that have roiled the airline’s French arm since February.
Skift Business of Loyalty Editor Grant Martin [[email protected]] curates the Skift Business of Loyalty newsletter. Skift emails the newsletter every Monday.
Have a confidential tip for Skift? Get in touch
Photo credit: Frequent flyers check-in their luggage at the Delta counter at Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport, in Atlanta. AP Photo/John Amis, File