Frequent flyer miles: Having the right frequent flyer loyalty programme matters
4th March 2014
As a leading corporate travel management company we often find that the savings potential of an effectively used frequent flyer programme is still underestimated by many companies, even though frequent flyer miles can save businesses up to 10% in airfares and bring numerous benefits to corporate travellers. Here are some benefits and practical tips helping companies find the right frequent flyer programme that meets the needs of your company and your business travellers.
The benefits of joining frequent flyer loyalty programmes in corporate travel
Joining loyalty programmes and accumulating frequent flyer miles is a smart choice for frequent business travellers, because typically these airline loyalty programmes are free to join provided your company does not already have negotiated corporate rates. However, if membership costs occur then they are usually minimal, and the frequency of travel rapidly attracts reward points. The frequent flyer miles earned from each business trip can be redeemed against tickets, lounge access and other upgrades. Members are also more likely to get upgraded than non-members. Having accrued many frequent flyer miles often turns into a vital factor for making one’s business travel experience enjoyable and stress free.
Airline frequent flyer loyalty schemes help better manage traveller behaviour and open up savings opportunities by returning the benefits of travel spend into the company, by allowing the business earn rewards points for employees travelling on business. By joining a loyalty programme your company can avoid some ancillary charges such as baggage fees. Certainly, if you are a large corporate with a professional travel management then you may have already achieved most of the savings opportunities related to loyalty programmes. Whereas smaller businesses typically would not have the bargaining power to cut travel spend elsewhere.
How you can find out which frequent flyer loyalty programme to join? In order to help you decide which schemes are really the best for your company, we have compiled a short list of important points you should consider:
- Does your company have a lot of domestic travellers who only fly short trips under 2,000 miles between secondary airports? Or has your company a lot of international corporate travellers who mainly book long-haul flights between primary airports?
- Does the airline serve the cities you travel to the most?
- Has the airline tie-ins to other airlines, to hotels and car rental companies you use?
- What is the rate at which credits are earned?
- What are the minimum credits you can earn per flight (e.g. you are only going 200 miles but the airline always credits at least 500)?
- How can you spend your airline loyalty points? Are you interested in free tickets for yourself, companion tickets, upgrades or all of them?
- How much credit do you need to take advantage of the rewards you are interested in?
- Are there any deadlines for using accumulated credits (e.g. in some frequent flyer programmes miles expire after a certain period of time)?
- But remember, because of variety of criteria, there will be never a programme that will fully fit each corporate travel programme. In the end, it all comes down to where you fly, what your company needs and what your travellers’ value.
Here to help you benefit from frequent flyer miles and choose the right programme for your company
Flightline Travel Management has over 20 years of experience in helping SMEs and large companies to travel smarter on business. Our corporate travel management specialists know the inside outs of how to make best use of frequent flyer miles corporate loyalty programmes and can help you choose the right fit for your corporate travel needs.
Are you already a member of one or more frequent flyer programmes? If so, are you making the most of your frequent flyer miles? What are your favourite loyalty programmes, and why?