Top Frequent-Flier Programs for 2018
Wall Street Journal
The annual IdeaWorks survey of award availability shows that while overall ability to find flights at basic “saver” levels was about the same as last year at 25 airlines, American Airlines significantly relaxed its grip on award seats, especially to Hawaii and Europe. American had availability on 80% of the possible trips IdeaWorks checked, up from about 50% last year. That moved American from the lowest award-seat availability among U.S. airlines to No. 3 behind Southwest and JetBlue . United made changes, too, and its availability was up more than 10 percentage points to 76% overall.
It’s Getting Easier to Redeem Frequent Flyer Miles: New Study
It can be challenging to compare the world’s frequent flyer programs because all have their own rules, and each prices awards differently. Nonetheless, analyst Jay Sorensen of IdeaWorksCompany tries each spring to answer a simple question: “How easy is redemption for the basic and most popular reward type offered by the world’s top airlines?”
Airlines making more seats available to frequent flyer programs as competition rises
“There is a recognition among the big airlines in the U.S. that there’s got to be a minimum amount of reward seats available, and you’re seeing them all kind of drift towards a band close to each other in the charts,” said Jay Sorensen, president of IdeaWorks, an airline consulting firm near Milwaukee, which conducts the annual survey
Why Airline Credit Cards Have an Enduring Appeal
New York Times
Mr. Sorensen, who runs the IdeaWorksCompany airline revenue consultancy, ran hundreds of simulations to come up with the following data for an award seat availability study he does with the rental site CarTrawler: The average value per mile redeemed for economy class travel ranges from 0.7 cents to 1.4 cents, depending on the airline. For long-distance business class seats, it ranges from 1.5 cents to 2.4 cents. So a 2 percent cash-back card would more often be a better value.
Airlines only beginning to tap into mobile growth potential
Few airlines are making the most of the bookings and ancillary potential of mobile platforms according to a report. Initiatives by those airlines at the lead show that mobile-first strategies can work exceptionally well. The IdeaWorks and CarTrawler report points to the rising trend of consumers preferring mobile interactions, with 3.5% more mobile phone accounts than there are people in the world.
By The Numbers: Airlines Get Charged Up
As seats get narrower, airlines are getting fatter off bag fees, meals and other extras. Airlines globally were projected to pull in a record $82 billion in ancillary revenue last year, up nearly fourfold from 2010. Passengers grumble, but such additional revenue is a boost to carrier profitability–and in turn gets invested in new planes, in-flight entertainment and airport waiting areas.
Airline Baggage Fees Go International
Over the past decade, ancillary revenue at the 10 airlines that collect the most in fees jumped from $2.1 billion to more than $28 billion by 2016, according to IdeaWorks Co. The top three U.S. carriers accounted for $16.3 billion of that amount. Bag fees “have proven to be big revenue generators, and they too will become status quo in the trans-Atlantic by end of 2019, and globally thereafter,” Jay Sorensen, president of IdeaWorks . . .
What Does Your Airfare Actually Buy?
New York Times
Revenue from fees and other payments is “growing every year because it works,” said Jay Sorensen, the president of IdeaWorksCompany, a consulting firm that focuses on the airline industry. According to a report his company released this fall, the airlines made more than $82 billion in ancillary revenue — fees from passengers and other payments from partners like credit card companies and hotels — in 2017. That is about $46 billion more than five years ago. The report, sponsored by CarTrawler, a company that provides car rental recommendations on many airlines’ websites, used data released by 66 airlines last year to extrapolate the likely ancillary revenue of 184 carriers worldwide.
Air Canada’s ‘ancillary’ fees for customers add up to big bucks
CBC News – Canada
Global airlines are expected to earn a record $82 billion US this year by charging customers extra for everything from seat assignment to baggage fees to travel commissions. And Air Canada is among the top ten airlines in the world when it comes to earning this so-called ancillary revenue, racking up nearly $1.18 billion US last year, according to reports from IdeaWorksCompany, a U.S. research company that tracks airline revenue.
Report projects 264 per cent rise in airline fee income since 2010
The CarTrawler Worldwide Estimate of Ancillary Revenue report from IdeaWorks Company, a consultancy on airline ancillary revenues, and CarTrawler, a provider of online car rental distribution systems, included income earned from a broad range of sources such as hotel booking commissions, the sale of frequent flyer miles to partners, and the provision of a la carte services like checked baggage, premium seating, and priority boarding.