Skywards has launched a new chapter in the story of its award-winning program — Skysurfers, a frequent flyer program for children aged two to 16.
In essence, the program offers kids an opportunity to earn miles on their own. This is a significant development for kids who may have previously only earned miles for their parent’s account through the Family Bonus Account program.
Under the Family Bonus Account program, a Skywards member could nominate up to eight family members. When one of those nominees flew on Emirates or SriLankan, they didn’t earn miles themselves; rather, 20 percent of the miles flown were credited to the head of the account.
Of course, all of those family members aren’t necessarily limited to that program … anyone could become a Skywards member and earn their own miles The point was that if family members simply didn’t fly often enough, a few thousand points scattered in individual accounts was less valuable than a few hundred combined in a single account.
Skysurfers allows kids to create their own accounts. This, by itself, is not new. What is new, however, are the extras that surround the program.
First and foremost, the Skysurfers program helps eliminate the problem mentioned above — Yes, children may not be high mileage earners, and as a result, might have just a few thousand miles wasting away without much chance of award redemption. But Skysurfers actually offers redemption opportunities beginning at just 5,000 miles — well within the range of a youngster who makes one or two flights a year.
There are a number of other add-ons as well — enrollees receive a membership card and luggage tags, and have access to the Skysurfers Web site, which does more than let children visit their account online. Members can create their own travel log pages, brush up on the history and trivia of featured destinations, take online travel quizzes, and check out the latest earning or redemption offers.
Kid-specific programs are not necessarily new, but have seen something of a resurgence lately. This summer, for example, Wyndham’s ByRequest program is scheduled to launch a children’s program.