Delta is not the only major airline to end online booking bonuses. Northwest ended its booking bonus several years ago. Other airlines continue to offer the bonus: Continental, United and US Airways offer 500 miles per ticket booked online and American offers 250 miles for coach tickets and 500 miles per business and first class ticket. ATA offers up to 1,000 bonus points for online booking — basically offering double points for roundtrip travel — one of the most generous online bonuses around. Alaska Airlines is currently offering 1,000 miles for the first time you book an award ticket on their Web site but does not offer a revenue flight booking bonus. AirTran, Frontier, Midwest and Southwest do not offer online booking bonuses.
Hotel programs also offer online booking bonuses to lure customers to their sites such as the current IHG Priority Club Rewards promotion through Dec. 15, 2007, where members will earn a quadruple bonus, instead of the promotion’s triple bonus they’re offering, if members book their stays online.
It’s interesting to note that USA Today recently named online booking as the number one pivotal change over the past 25 years that has transformed the way we travel. The newspaper is looking back over the past 25 years during its 25th anniversary and states, “…PC Travel’s nationwide debut in 1994 helped jump-start the growth of online booking sites such as Travelocity, Expedia, Orbitz and dozens of others — including Priceline and its revolutionary ‘name your own price’ concept. This year, Internet sales will represent more than half of all travel bookings.” Mileage offers via the airlines’ Web sites were introduced to woo customers making flight reservations on these types of sites back to the airlines and to save the airlines money by not having to staff as many telephone reservation agents.