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Answers (6)

The effect of a US airline making their FFP distance-based on domestic flights

The effect of a US airline making their FFP distance-based on domestic flights

  1. Hugh B

    What do you think that the effect of a US airline going distance-based for Domestic, Canada, Alaska, and Caribbean redemptions? It would cause a HUGE number of people to switch to them. It would be something like:
    Zone 1 (0-500): 5000/9500
    Zone 2 (501-1250): 7500/17500
    Zone 3 (1251-2000): 10000/25000
    Zone 4 (2001-2700) 12500/30000
    Zone 5 (2701+): 15000/35000
    It would be based on total distance i.e. DCA-DFW-ABQ would be 10k because it is 1761 miles, not 15K because of the segments and I know that NO ONE would do it but, (I think) it would attract a lot of loyalty

  2. David W

    Im not sure that separate redemption flights for different regions is a good idea. What’s the value proposition? Yes, consumers save miles for short flights but what about the airlines? I dont think there will be enough additional loyalty to justify this. Several airlines have distance based award charts. Their programs arent all better than the US ones nor do they create extra loyalty.

    If the US airlines end up doing this, it could mean other “enhancements” as well…which aren’t all positive.

  3. rickyw

    I think the distance based award chart works very well for non-US airlines that maintain one major hub. For instance, with British Airways, for the sake of argument (minus maybe a couple fifth freedom flights?), all travel can be based off of London’s location on a map.

    If you look at the domestic airlines, everyone maintains multiple hubs. Even Southwest and Spirit! Look at Delta. Logically, you could base everything off of mileage from Atlanta as that is their biggest hub. But, what about all those loyal Delta flyers based in Los Angeles, or Salt Lake City?

    Not sure if the airlines look at it this way, but I think having multiple major hubs makes it difficult to define that “point zero” on a map.

  4. Hugh B

    [QUOTE=”rickyw, post: 24030, member: 1436″]I think the distance based award chart works very well for non-US airlines that maintain one major hub. For instance, with British Airways, for the sake of argument (minus maybe a couple fifth freedom flights?), all travel can be based off of London’s location on a map.

    If you look at the domestic airlines, everyone maintains multiple hubs. Even Southwest and Spirit! Look at Delta. Logically, you could base everything off of mileage from Atlanta as that is their biggest hub. But, what about all those loyal Delta flyers based in Los Angeles, or Salt Lake City?

    Not sure if the airlines look at it this way, but I think having multiple major hubs makes it difficult to define that “point zero” on a map.[/QUOTE]
    It would be distance flown from point A to point B

  5. rickyw

    [QUOTE=”Hugh B, post: 24075, member: 2317″]It would be distance flown from point A to point B[/QUOTE]

    Right, the concept makes perfect sense. I just think for an airline to justify a distance based award chart, you need a central location to base the tiers off of. Every British Airways flight originates, terminates or connects through London. So, it is a logical center point from which you can build a chart.

    Take Delta for example, with their Los Angeles hub versus their Atlanta hub. Say you make the first tier of awards anything under 500 miles. Without even looking at a map, that distance probably includes exponentially more destinations that Delta serves out of ATL than LAX. So, an ATL based flyer could get substantially more value out of their miles based in Atlanta rather than one based in LA.

    By basing it off regions (i.e., US to Europe), domestic airlines can better manage the cost of their awards.

    Not sure if that thought process makes sense, just my two cents based nothing off actually insight into frequent flyer program management.

    Interesting question though!

  6. MarkS

    This makes no sense to me. As [USER=29]@David W[/USER] asks, what’s the value proposition? UA and AA already have short haul economy redemptions.

    I don’t understand how this creates loyalty either. There are billions of unused frequent flyer miles created by loyalty. Saving a few on a lower domestic route is going to increase loyalty? Call me skeptical.

    I see this eliminating possible routes. Your example DCA-DFW-ABQ, what if the only reward connection is DCA-LAX-ABQ but the airline doesn’t offer it because they’ve created new MPM’s for routes and this route goes outside of that band. Meaning your DCA-ABQ is 1761 but they put a 105% MPM or 1,850. Now forget about DCA-LAX-ABQ, even DCA-PHX-ABQ wouldn’t work.

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