This Month in History – May, 26 2006

This Month in History – May, 26 2006

June 1983 — Alaska Airlines launches Gold Coast Travel, its first frequent flyer program.

June 1986 — Sheraton launches its hotel guest program, Sheraton Club International.

June 1986 — Eastern and Continental become frequent flyer program partners.

June 1987 — The American AAdvantage program introduces its direct affinity credit card with Citibank, featuring both a MasterCard and Visa.

June 1987 — America West launches FlightFund, a frequent flyer program based not on earning miles flown, but on how much money the ticket cost; thus the name “FlightFund.”

June 1987 — Continental Airlines jumps into the frequent flyer game with its OnePass program.

June 18, 1987 — Southwest Airlines launches its first frequent flyer program, called Company Club.

June 1988 — Northwest WorldPerks and MCI launch the first telephone/frequent flyer program partnership, offering miles to members for every dollar spent on residential long distance service. Rumor has it that AT&T turned down the partnership first.

June 1991 — Citing the growing popularity of affinity credit cards, American Express launches Membership Miles.

June 1993 — Delta amends its policy and allows same-sex partners in select cities to the receive the same frequent flyer benefits as married couples. The policy applied to couples who lived in any of 13 cities that, at the time, had partnership ordinances allowing city workers to receive spousal benefits.

June 1994 — Varig announces the launch of its frequent flyer program, called Smiles.

June 1999 — American AAdvantage introduces five mortgage lenders from which to earn frequent flyer miles: California Federal Bank, Downey Savings and Loan Association, Great Western Bank, HomeSide lending and PHH Mortgage Services Corp. Those in the program earn one mile for every dollar of interest paid on a mortgage.

June 2005 — Delta introduces the SkyPoints credit card from American Express, allowing users to earn points which can be redeemed for either miles or discounts on paid fares.

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