Delta Air Lines came out on top in an analysis of the frequent traveler programs available to passengers on shuttle services in the busy commuting corridor of Boston, New York and Washington. The three programs surveyed were Delta SkyMiles, on The Delta Shuttle by Delta Air Lines; Dividend Miles, on the US Airways Shuttle by US Airways; and Guest Rewards, on Amtrak’s high-speed Acela trains. These carriers operate high-frequency service, with a minimum of hourly departures, between the three Northeast cities.
Each program was analyzed by consulting group IdeaWorks on the basis of seven categories representing key attributes for shuttle travelers, such as the number of paid shuttle trips required to earn a free ticket, the breadth of award travel options and the recognition given the most frequent travelers (elite status).
Within the categories, scores were assigned each frequent traveler program, with the best program receiving the maximum score. The maximum scores vary for each category to reflect the relative importance of the attributes. By design, a perfect score of 100 points would indicate a program that offers the best benefits in each of the seven categories.
The Delta SkyMiles program earned top honors with 79 points. Amtrak’s Guest Rewards placed second with a total of 72 points and the US Airways Dividend Miles program placed third with 66 points.