Travel Data Daily Report: Airline management should pay full price for tickets
Should airline management be forced to pay full price for air travel so that they can understand what frequent travellers really want?
HONG KONG - April 16, 2019 - PRLog -- "You wouldn't go to a doctor who had not been to medical school, so why put trust in airline executives with no frequent flyer experience?"
That is the messaging in a new report by Travel Data Daily.
The insightful report highlights how airline executives are not necessarily frequent paying passengers. The same executives which determine how much your hard earned airline miles will be worth when it comes time to redeem for a free airline ticket.
Earlier this month, United Airlines MileagePlus loyalty program announced the airline would be removing mileage award charts. The change, effective from November 2019, means that loyalty members will no longer have transparency into how many airline miles are required for a free flight.
The move appears eerily similar to how Delta Airlines changed its SkyMiles program in 2014.
American Airlines is yet to make any announcements, but according to industry sources, the airline is likely to follow in United and Deltas footsteps.
The announcements come at a time when all three of the US legacy carriers have hugely profitable loyalty programs.
Delta and American Express renewed their long-standing agreement through 2029. The credit card can reward travellers with perks like free checked baggage, and complimentary access to the award-winning Delta Skyclub lounges. The lucrative agreement made Delta Airlines $3.4B in 2018.
Airlines have billions of dollars of revenue at stake locked up in their loyalty programs and credit cards. Airline Loyalty Expert, Mark Ross-Smith, who ran the American Airlines Oneworld partner airline - Malaysia Airlines Enrich loyalty program; highlights, "The vast majority of airline management travel on discounted staff tickets and have likely never purchased a first class ticket in their life. These are the same managers who will determine how much your airline miles will be worth in the future."
With travellers expected to take more than 75 million passengers to fly in the US in 2019, there are a lot of airline miles at stake in passengers loyalty accounts.
"Travellers expect that their airline miles will retain value and that the people running the airline loyalty programs have experience of being frequent flyers themselves. Isn't it ironic that the people who pay the least to fly [staff tickets] are the ones making the rules for those who pay the most to fly in business and first class," Ross-Smith added.
The full report is available at Travel Data Daily.
Travel Data Daily