Sep 15

September 15, 2017

Frequent flier programs generate profits for airlines and frustration for travelers
Los Angeles Times
Jay Sorensen, president of IdeaWorks Co., a consultant on boosting airline revenue, called frequent flier programs a “tremendous cash cow” for the airlines.  In a recent report, Sorensen estimated that the nation’s top four airlines — American, United, Delta and Southwest — generated a combined $9.5 billion in revenue last year from frequent flier programs.  “The programs have a huge impact on the bottom line for airlines,” he said. “They simply can’t do without them.”

Jun 12

June 12, 2017

How Much Are Frequent Flier Miles Really Worth?
New York Times
Merriam-Webster defines a mile as a unit of measurement equal to 5,280 feet. But in the increasingly byzantine world of frequent flier mileage reward programs, the term has little or no connection to physical distance. In 2015, United and Delta joined Southwest, Jet Blue and other airlines that award miles based upon ticket price and class, rather than distance traveled. American Airlines followed suit in August 2016.

May 18

May 18, 2017

Airlines Are Making It Harder to Book Frequent Flier Seats
Conde Nast Traveler
In its eighth annual Reward Seat Availability Survey, Ideaworks found that “76.6 percent of reward queries provided access to a saver-style reward seat; this dropped to 72.4 percent for 2017.” In simpler terms, it was slightly easier to find a flight using frequent flier miles last year than it is this year. The survey looked at both domestic and international frequent flier programs, and found the top airline, in terms of reward seat availability, was Southwest, with reward seats available 100 percent of the time.

May 17

May 17, 2017

The Best (and Worst) Frequent-Flier Programs for Free Seats for 2017
Wall Street Journal
An annual survey of availability of the type of frequent-flier ticket most travelers use shows a drop to 72% this year from 77% in 2016. Many foreign airlines known for superior service and seating have gotten more tightfisted with award seats. Availability on U.S. airlines actually improved, according to consulting firm IdeaWorks, and overall U.S. airlines offered better award availability than the rest of the world, even though American is among the skimpiest of all airlines.

Apr 14

April 14, 2017

Are all frequent-flier programs the same? We asked a rewards expert
Dallas Morning News
For decades, airline frequent-flier programs were based on a simple premise — the farther you flew, the more rewards you earned. But those days have largely come to an end, at least in the United States. American Airlines last year became the latest major carrier to change their frequent flier program to be based on the price of the ticket rather than the distance flown, mirroring steps taken by United, Delta and Southwest. Frequent-flier expert Jay Sorensen chronicled these changes in a recent report, comparing the different ways airlines around the world reward their most loyal customers.

Feb 22

February 22, 2017

Best Practices in Capturing Airline Ancillary Revenues on Mobile
WIT Web in Travel
Here are the best methods used by the top 25 airlines to capture ancillary revenues on mobile, according to a report from IdeaWorksCompany. The latest report, “Ancillary Revenue Goes Mobile: The Best Methods Used by the Top 25 Airlines” from IdeaWorksCompany, researched the in-path booking capabilities of the mobile applications offered by the world’s largest 25 airlines.