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Here it is: the most exciting latest news of Frequent Flyer Programs!

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Written by Ravindra Bhagwanani on . Posted in News

CX

Asia Miles will change the accrual and redemption structure in its Asia Miles program on June 22 – and, refreshing in these times, not everything will get worse! In general, one will receive more miles on Cathay Pacific and Cathay Dragon flights, where points will be credited on a regional basis. doesn’t follow the trend of moving to a revenue-based earning system. With regard to the award redemption levels, the general tendency can be recognised that award levels will become more expensive in Business and First Class on long-haul flights, but cheaper in Economy Class on short- and medium-haul routes. But in total, everything remains at a reasonable level: For example, a roundtrip award flight from Hong Kong to Paris costs 130,000 miles in Business Class (instead of the current 120,000 miles) – while it costs, for instance, at least 180,000 miles with Air France at Flying Blue following the recent changes in that program.

Written by Ravindra Bhagwanani on . Posted in News

QR

While a lot of perseverance slogans and “business as usual” phrases can be heard from Qatar Airways, the problems resulting from the blockade seem nevertheless to be much more serious. There can hardly be any other explanation for the massive devaluation of the Privilege Club. With only a few days of advance notice, not only were many award levels increased significantly, but in addition, mandatory booking fees of 25 USD per sector in Economy Class and 50 and 75 USD respectively in Business and First Class were introduced. This thus results in a copayment of 100 or 200 USD respectively in Economy or Business Class for a roundtrip connecting flight. The only small consolation is that the partner award table has not been touched. As such, a roundtrip award flight from Frankfurt to Hong Kong in Business Class costs now 251,000 miles with Qatar Airways – but “only” 170,000 with Cathay Pacific. Oh yes, the whole devaluation is called “program enhancements” by Qatar Airways, by the way. Apparently, the blockade in Qatar has not only limited sea and air connections, but also the vocabulary.

Written by Ravindra Bhagwanani on . Posted in News

AF

Since this month, new award structures are in place at Flying Blue, which makes life less transparent for members. As a new feature, all awards can be paid with the full mileage price or with a reduction of the mileage amount by 12.5 or 25% with a corresponding cash amount. How Flying Blue really wants to steer the behaviour can be recognised with the required co-payment: For award flights in Economy Class, a reduction by 1,000 miles can be compensated by a cash amount of about 10 EUR, which is acceptable in principle. In Business Class, saving 1,000 miles requires, however, already a payment of 15 EUR and in First Class 27.50 EUR. Indeed, with pricing like that, Cash & Miles awards are only acceptable in Economy Class. Apparently, Flying Blue has no real interest in members getting the idea in the first place to use awards in higher cabins…

Written by Ravindra Bhagwanani on . Posted in News

EK

While its FFP in general might not be the strongest product element of Emirates, its family program within Skywards was certainly not the strongest element of the program itself.  Family members were able to contribute only 20% of their regular miles to the account. (If you prefer a less diplomatic version of that statement: That offer was useless.) Now, that part of the program has been relaunched under the name “My family”. Up to eight family members can contribute to an account and set individual contribution rates of 0, 25, 50, 75 or 100% of their miles, with the balance going to their individual accounts. This rate can be changed ahead of each flight. All activities other than Emirates flights are, however, only credited to the individual accounts and hence exempted from any pooling opportunity. This is definitely a giant step forward, but it still lacks the ultimate flexibility as you find it, for instance, in the Executive Club of British Airways with completely flexible pooling rules.

Written by Ravindra Bhagwanani on . Posted in News

Wor-Loe

Admittedly, life is not always easy for smaller hotel loyalty programs. On one side, they fight against third party booking platforms – traditionally, loyalty programs in the hotel industry primarily serve to shift booking to own channels to avoid the huge commission payments – while on the other side, they fight against the giant hotel loyalty programs of the likes of Marriott/Starwood, Hilton, Intercontinental or Accor. And as many programs lack a clear vision of what to do, it is likely that other hotel groups will follow the example of Worldhotels and Loews Hotels, which have both announced to stop their respective programs PeakPoints (15 July) and YouFirst (06 December). Worldhotels has announced the launch of a new replacement program towards the end of the year. It is obvious that a program has no reason to exist if it only costs money to the operator and doesn’t deliver value to the operator or to the client. However, many smaller programs would probably find themselves in exactly such a situation if they engaged in a true critical assessment.