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.
Top Frequent-Flier Programs for 2018
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
American and Turkish Airlines Show Dramatic Increase in Reward Seat Availability with Southwest Staying on Top
The 9th annual Reward Seat Availability Survey ─ sponsored by CarTrawler ─ also finds survey newcomers Norwegian and China Eastern ranked in the top 8 among 25 airlines. The CarTrawler Reward Seat Availability Survey answers the question, “How easy is redemption for the basic and most popular reward type offered by the world’s top airlines?” The 25 carriers in the survey remained almost the same as 2017, with China Eastern, Norwegian, and WestJet as newcomers for 2018.
Click here for 2018 Worldwide Reward Survey FAQs.
Click here for infographic summary (JPG file) of key findings.
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.
LCC a la Carte Goes Mobile: A Review of the Top 15 Low Cost Carriers
The latest report from IdeaWorksCompany reviews the mobile applications offered by the world’s largest LCCs as measured by passengers flown. Theoretically, the mobile applications evaluated should represent state-of-the-art examples of ancillary revenue excellence. After all, the LCC category should naturally excel in the art of ancillary revenue. This report is part of the CarTrawler Airline Intelligence Series for 2018.
Key Mobile App Features for Top 15 Low Cost Carriers: Assigned Seating, Trip Protection, and Pre-Pay Baggage
IdeaWorksCompany finds Norwegian, Pegasus, Ryanair, and Wizz Air provide great mobile retailing examples. The latest report from IdeaWorksCompany reviews the mobile applications offered by the world’s largest LCCs as measured by passengers flown. After all, the LCC category should naturally excel in the art of ancillary revenue.
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.
European Airlines Lead 2017 a la Carte Revenue Estimate at $19.4 Billion with Asian Carriers 2nd at $15.8 Billion
The CarTrawler Global Statistics of a la Carte Revenue provides regional details, comparisons to 2010 revenue numbers, and a first-ever baggage revenue estimate. A la carte activity is a significant component of ancillary revenue and consists of the amenities consumers can add to their air travel experience. These include fees paid for checked baggage, assigned seats, buy-on-board meals, early boarding, and onboard entertainment. Of these, the revenue from checked baggage looms large with $23.6 billion in estimated sales for 2017.