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Frequent Flyer Programs (FFP)
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A Frequent Flyer Program is a loyalty program for customers of airlines. Most airlines provide a FFP since the 1990s/2000s. The first program of an international airline was probably American Airlines with their AAdvantage program launched in May 1981. A FFP is about collecting miles to get a bonus such as free flights, reduced fares, upgrades, etc. Different tiers (most have three, called blue, silver and gold) elevate the status of each customers and grant more services, no or less mile expiration and more mile accumulation per activity. Miles are being earned by using services of the airlines or their partners (credit cards, hotels, car rental companies, telephone companies, etc.). Alliances issue memberships to all their customers for one program, some programs have optional accumulation schemes where you can choose one out of several program benefits. Large FFP offer their members to buy missing miles so they can use a free flight.
Once customers enroll or collect miles, they will get a FFP card issued or at least get a membership number assigned (in most cases, they'll get the card no matter what). Some airlines issue a card instantaneously after enrollment. FFP of large airlines also connect optional credit card functions to it which is always done in cooperation with banks (mostly limited to customers which are residents of the company's origin). Enrollment can be done in the internet or by letter. Some companies give a welcome bonus just for enrollment. Members may lose miles (except status miles) after a certain time.
Other branches such as the hospitality branch or railroad companies issue customer loyality cards, too. The airline industry is by far the most advanced and widespread regarding the FFPs.
- >>> Issuers
Tips and tricks
Before order any service or buy any product, check if there's an affiliation to a FFP. Make sure you're not missing expiring dates of large amounts of miles.
Collect or sell miles
One can buy miles, earn or sell miles in most programs.
- www.rewardsdb.com RewardsDB Buy Miles & Points by Andrew Cram
Convert or transfer miles
Large programs allow transferring miles to other programs or other members.
- msebulke.tripod.com/kundenkarten/id1.html Fluggesellschaften u. Allianzen der Fluggesellschaften (German)
(English unless stated otherwise)
- www.acruw.com "Earn your points & miles anywhere. Track them all here."
- www.flyerguide.com Choosing a Frequent Flyer Program FlyerGuide Wiki
- www.flyertalk.com Forum
- Frequent Flyer Network
- www.tsbot.de Private Page
- www.flightstats.com Frequent Flyer Promotions
- oneworld frequent flyer program comparison chart members.shaw.ca