The 20th Annual Freddie Awards

The 20th Annual Freddie Awards

Welcome

Let me take you back to January 1989. InsideFlyer was a mere three years old at that time and already I was being besieged by readers asking me to tell them which frequent flyer programs were truly the best. And I did tell them. But I soon realized that I was examining the value of these programs through my own eyes — and perhaps I had different values than what other members might be looking for. The value of a program is different when you have 32,000 miles vs. when you have 320,000 miles. Value is different when you live in Dallas than it is when you live in Salem, Ore. And of course, value is much different when you use your miles to personally upgrade internationally than when you use them to give to family members. All these values, and all these programs, each delivering their own sense of value to members. So I started asking our readers which programs they considered the most valuable for them and started comparing the results. I was ecstatic that we had convinced 864 travelers to take the time to tell us which programs were the “unabashed personal and entirely official best of 1988.” I still remember the day I wrote that a Freddie was given to Delta Frequent Flyer for being the first program to offer triple mileage. Marriott (then “Honored Guest Awards”) won the very first Freddie for Best Newsletter among all programs, airline and hotel. Continental/Eastern won the first Freddie for Best Frequent Flyer Program. And another winner that year was Diners Club Club Rewards. Through the years, we’ve honored program executives like former AAdvantage President Bruce Chemel, and two years ago for the 25th anniversary of frequent flyer miles, we brought together the pioneers who were there when this whole thing started. This year, we celebrate the pioneers who first introduced modern hotel loyalty programs — Holiday Inn Priority Club (today, it’s called InterContinental Hotels Group Priority Club Rewards) and Marriott Honored Guest Awards (today, it’s Marriott Rewards). Congratulations go to both hotel loyalty programs for your 25 years of success.

And so here we are, 20 years later still asking the frequent traveler: who has the best frequent flyer program? After all these years, one thing has remained constant — members know best. This year, the Freddies are the consensus of more than 600,000 travelers and with the most generous sponsorship of companies such as Points.com, Awards For Mortgage And Real Estate, Priority Pass, Executive Travel SkyGuide from American Express, ICLP, Loylogic and InsideFlyer, I’m thrilled to have the honor of announcing this year’s winners.

Freddie Voting

The Freddie recipients are determined by members of frequent travel programs throughout the world. Members of the programs voted online for their favorites in nine categories from Jan. 15 to Feb. 29, 2008.

More than 625,000 people voted — that’s a 40.2 percent rise from last year. In our quest to truly determine the “best” and to level the playing field between programs with millions of members and those with hundreds of thousands, we adopted a Value Vote system. Voters were asked to rate their favorite programs from one to 10, with 10 being the highest value. It is also our policy this year that in order for any program to get a Freddie Award, that program must garner at least two percent of the total votes within a particular category.

To ensure accuracy, votes were subject to no less than six audits using a variety of technology (72 different types of reports were referenced). All ballots were checked for accuracy supporting our “one ballot, one traveler” mission.

You will notice that after the winners in each category, we have listed the Value Vote number, the average number between one and 10 given by the voters, and the total percentage of votes the program received in that particular category. We also list the total number of votes cast for the category. For example, 324,478 people voted for the Frequent Flyer Program of the Year in the Americas compared to 77,019 people who voted for Best Affinity Credit Card in Europe, Middle East, Africa. Our congratulations to all the programs listed here.

About the Freddie Awards

Introduced by InsideFlyer magazine publisher Randy Petersen in 1988, the Freddies allow members of frequent traveler programs to rank programs from their point of view. The awards have grown in stature and importance and are the most prestigious consumer-generated awards in the industry.

The Freddies were inspired by the late Sir Freddie Laker, who in 1978 was knighted by Queen Elizabeth ll for his contribution to commercial aviation and the British economy. Known for his pioneering marketing ideas within the travel industry, Laker founded Britain’s first all-jet air carrier, Laker Airways Limited. He also founded the “SKYTRAIN” service, which revolutionized the airline industry by offering no-reservation, low-cost air service. Mr. Laker passed away Feb. 9, 2006.

Program of the Year

This category gets the most attention. While some members might have limited experience with an elite program, award redemption or the program’s Web site, everyone knows which program offers them the best value overall. It’s the program they go out of their way to earn miles or points in and the one they think of as “their” program. The Program of the Year category most clearly measures a program’s ability to excel in all categories. Voters were asked to vote on the frequent traveler program that offers the best overall combination of service, bonuses, awards, benefits and opportunities.

Frequent Flyer Program :: Program of the Year
[Americas]

Alaska Airlines Mileage Plan
Freddie favorite, and now a four-time Program of the Year winner, Alaska Airlines is back on top. Alaska Mileage Plan could aptly be called the “little program that could” — they seem to always make the right choices and have consistently shown how to use partnerships to full advantage. With an impressive 9.099 value vote, Mileage Plan wows its members with substantial award choices, good bonus promotions, an easy-to-use Web site and some of the best customer care representatives in the industry.

Southwest Rapid Rewards has won this category two times in the past and consistently ranks high in this category. Its second-place finish is a true accomplishment when you look at their value vote at 9.072 — not much off Alaska’s winning value vote — and more than the 8.984 value vote Rapid Rewards received as the winner in this category in the 18th Annual Freddie Awards.

Of interest this year, is the fall of Frontier Airlines from first last year to sixth place and the impressive third and fourth place finishes for Continental and Delta — the only two “big six” airlines that garner enough praise from members to get them into the top five — quite an accomplishment when you have so many members to keep happy. Continental is no stranger to this category with its previous 10 wins. Special congratulations go to Delta with their ascent from thirteenth place two years ago, to seventh place last year, to fourth place this year.

Category votes 324,478

Value Percent
1 Alaska Airlines Mileage Plan 9.099 4.67 %
2 Southwest Airlines Rapid Rewards 9.072 14.26 %
3 Continental Airlines OnePass 9.025 7.70 %
4 Midwest Airlines Midwest Miles 8.819 3.84 %
5 Delta Air Lines SkyMiles 8.817 19.16 %
6 Frontier Airlines EarlyReturns 8.725 2.79 %
7 AirTran Airways A+ Rewards 8.712 2.39 %
8 Northwest Airlines WorldPerks 8.625 7.51 %
9 American Airlines AAdvantage 8.4626 14.83 %
10 United Airlines Mileage Plus 8.4622 7.88 %
11 US Airways Dividend 8.423 5.14 %
12 Air Canada Aeroplan 7.857 2.41 %

Frequent Flyer Program :: Program of the Year
[Europe, Middle East, Africa]

Etihad Guest
Newcomer Etihad Guest has knocked out the competition this year to claim Program of the Year. For the young program’s first chance at the Freddie Awards, it placed a respectable sixth place, and in only its second year, has garnered the ultimate Freddie in the EMEA region. Very impressive. Etihad Guest was ready from day one to offer their members a well-rounded, well thought out and flexible program. Members can start redeeming with their first earned mile because of the fully-flexible miles plus cash award option and as their mileage accounts grow, they are enticed with some of the best award choices in the industry. Special congratulations goes to Etihad for this most impressive win.

The number two program this year is Gulf Air Frequent flyer — up from number three last year. Gulf Air Frequent flyer and Lufthansa (and Partners) Miles & More traded places this year and last year’s second place Miles & More is now at number three. Last year’s winner, Qatar Airways Privilege Club slipped down to fourth.

SAS EuroBonus won Program of the Year for this part of the world on seven different occasions, but in recent years has seen a downward movement as the Middle East airlines made their way to the top. EuroBonus placed fourth last year and moved further down to 12th place this year.

Category votes 72,036

Value Percent
1 Etihad Airways Etihad Guest 9.332 3.81 %
2 Gulf Air Frequent flyer 9.037 3.37 %
3 Lufthansa (and Partners) Miles & More 8.856 16.40 %
4 Qatar Airways Privilege Club 8.785 4.78 %
5 Brussels Airlines Privilege 8.717 6.75 %
6 Turkish Airlines Miles&Smiles 8.712 14.63 %
7 El Al Israel Airlines Matmid Club 8.707 4.67 %
8 Delta Air Lines SkyMiles 8.694 2.52 %
9 Virgin Atlantic Airways flying club 8.691 3.10 %
10 TAP Portugal Victoria 8.562 3.88 %
11 Emirates Skywards 8.492 4.65 %
12 SAS EuroBonus 8.453 4.08 %
13 British Airways Executive Club 8.239 5.85 %
14 Air France/KLM Flying Blue 8.164 5.67 %

Frequent Flyer Program :: Program of the Year
[Japan, Pacific, Asia, Australia]

Jet Airways JetPrivilege
India’s Jet Airways JetPrivilege has won Program of the Year in this region for the second year in a row. A former Freddie Industry Impact Award winner, the program has won over its members with its innovative dynamic tier review system that offers five tier membership levels and a host of benefits and earning opportunities including a popular co-branded credit card, lounge access, additional baggage allowance and upgrades.

Australia’s Virgin Blue came in at second place, up from last year’s fourth place finish. Virgin Blue members appreciate the ease of award redemption among other benefits of this no-nonsense program. Qatar Airways is at third, up from last year’s sixth place — quite an accomplishment for a program based outside the Japan, Pacific, Asia, Australia region.

Category votes 35,455

Value Percent
1 Jet Airways JetPrivilege 8.918 25.72 %
2 Virgin Blue Velocity 8.851 2.95 %
3 Qatar Airways Privilege Club 8.722 2.36 %
4 Etihad Airways Etihad Guest 8.691 2.46 %
5 Emirates Skywards 8.546 3.26 %
6 Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer 8.456 8.71 %
7 Korean Air SKYPASS 8.448 10.63 %
8 Cathay Pacific Asia Miles 8.425 8.45 %
9 Northwest Airlines WorldPerks 8.403 2.35 %
10 Thai Airways Royal Orchid Plus 8.376 2.23 %
11 Qantas Airways Frequent Flyer 8.317 3.94 %
12 United Airlines Mileage Plus 8.292 2.99 %
13 ANA Mileage Club 8.134 2.29 %
14 JAL Mileage Bank 7.911 2.31%

Frequent Guest Program :: Program of the Year
[Americas]

Marriott Hotels Marriott Rewards
Marriott Rewards is back on top after a hiatus of eight years as the program edges out last year’s winner, IHG Priority Club Rewards by a mere .004 Value Vote. Now, that’s a photo finish! But Marriott Rewards is no stranger to this category with this ninth win as Program of the Year. Marriott Rewards members are some of the most loyal we’ve found. They appreciate the frequent bonus offers such as the popular MegaBonus promotions, hotel and air travel award packages and PointSaver hotel stays at up to 33 percent off. The Marriott Visa is also a favorite where cardholders receive elite Silver status and Premier cardholders earn a generous five points per dollar spent at Marriott hotels.

Coming in at number two is IHG Priority Club Rewards, the winner in this category for the past two years. Those two years were the only win in this category for Priority Club, but the program has consistently ranked well in this category. Coming in at number three is Starwood Preferred Guest. Starwood held the top position for six years in a row but in recent years has lost its exalted position. Recent changes with Hilton HHonors may put them back in position next year.

Category votes 324,479

Value Percent
1 Marriott Hotels Marriott Rewards 9.200 61.35 %
2 InterContinental Hotels Group Priority Club Rewards 9.196 5.12 %
3 Starwood Hotels Starwood Preferred Guest 8.971 8.02 %
4 Choice Hotels Choice Privileges 8.930 5.92 %
5 Hilton Hotels Hilton HHonors 8.749 10.85 %
6 Hyatt Hotels Gold Passport 8.701 2.12 %
7 Best Western Gold Croen International 8.441 2.26 %

Frequent Guest Program :: Program of the Year
[Europe, Middle East, Africa]

Starwood Hotels Starwood Preferred Guest
Starwood Preferred Guest comes in at number one again this year for the third time in this four-year-old category. Starwood continues to do what it takes to keep its worldwide membership base happy. Members like the choice of hotels throughout the world as well as worldwide promotions, the flexibility the program offers and its stellar hospitality.

Coming in at number two for the second year in a row is Marriott Rewards, a former winner in this category. Members of Marriott often point out that they appreciate the consistency the program and the hotel properties provide. InterContinental Priority Club Rewards comes in at third this year — up from last year’s fourth place finish.

Category votes 72,035

Value Percent
1 Starwood Hotels Starwood Preferred Guest 8.845 11.51 %
2 Marriott Hotels Marriott Rewards 8.641 39.19 %
3 InterContinental Hotels Group Priority Club Rewards 8.531 10.71 %
4 Radisson goldpointsplus 8.390 6.62 %
5 Hyatt Hotels Gold Passport 8.380 4.72 %
6 Hilton Hotels Hilton HHonors 8.312 13.80 %
7 Shangri-La Hotels Golden Circle 8.253 2.42 %
8 Accor Hotels 7.776 4.00 %
9 Best Western Hotels Gold Crown Club International 7.765 2.21 %

Frequent Guest Program :: Program of the Year
[Japan, Pacific, Asia, Australia]

Starwood Hotels Starwood Preferred Guest
No other hotel program has ever won in this category. Starwood Preferred Guest continues its reign in this region, helped along by its no blackout date policy on free night awards and the high level of service Preferred Guest customers receive. Preferred Guest members can earn free nights at 860 hotels and resorts in 95 countries. Marriott Rewards came in second for the third year in a row and Hyatt Gold Passport is third for the second consecutive year.

Category votes 35,458

Value Percent
1 Starwood Hotels Starwood Preferred Guest 8.661 12.61 %
2 Marriott Hotels Marriott Rewards 8.487 43.68 %
3 Hyatt Hotels Gold Passport 8.466 14.03 %
4 InterContinental Hotels Group Priority Club Rewards 8.301 8.51 %
5 Shangri-La Hotels Golden Circle 8.063 4.16%
6 Hilton Hotels Hilton HHonors 7.994 8.91 %
7 Accor Hotels Compliments from Accor Hotels 7.662 2.31 %

Best Award

Just about everyone remembers their first award. Nothing beats the thrill and delight of getting that free flight to your dream destination or a free stay where you can lay your head down at the end of the day in luxurious linens that someone has thoughtfully prepared for you. And while many frequent flyers say that they are only in it for the upgrades, or that the last thing they want to do after logging 200,000 flight miles a year is get on another plane, there’s still no substitute for the pleasure of earning an award. Whether it’s a free ticket to a tropical locale or extending your business trip and staying at a hotel you would normally never think of, awards please us all and are a link to every program’s success. Although all programs have standard award offers to satisfy their members, they also offer special awards to keep us engaged and interested. Freddie voters let us know which awards offer the best value and are the most rewarding for the number of miles or points required.

Frequent Flyer Program :: Best Award
[Americas]

Southwest Airlines Rapid Rewards
This is Southwest Airline’s third win in this category and Rapid Rewards is the clear winner this year with the program’s popular Fly 2, Get 1 Free flight offer. Southwest is known for its no-nonsense approach to awards and you can’t get much simpler than this — and what a value! Coming in at number two is Midwest Miles with their partner offer with Diners Club where Club Rewards members could get 50 percent more Midwest Miles when transferring their Diners Club points to Midwest Miles. Midwest’s best finish in this category to date was fourth in last year’s Freddies. Diners Club Rewards has shared many such promotions with their airline partners and earns their share of this recognition as well.

Frontier EarlyReturns, last year’s winner in this category, placed third this year with basically the same award promotion that they won the category with last year — members could claim a roundtrip award ticket for only 10,000 miles within the U.S. and 15,000 between the U.S. and Mexico.

Category votes 398,455

Value Percent
1 Southwest Rapid Rewards — Fly 2, Get 1 Free. Fly 4, Aloha Hawaii: With this promotion, members could fly two longhaul roundtrips and get an award. They could earn a maximum of two awards during the promotion, which is the number needed for a roundtrip award trip to Hawaii. 9.195 14.16%
2 Midwest Airlines Midwest Miles — Through the partnership with Diners Club, Midwest Miles members could earn a 50 percent bonus when transferring Club Rewards points into Midwest Miles. 8.973 3.68 %
3 Frontier EarlyReturns — Members could take advantage of discounted redemptions for Weekend Web Fare Sales. For example, roundtrip award tickets to Mexico for 15,000 miles or within the contiguous U.S. for 10,000 miles. 8.769 2.91 %
4 Alaska Airlines Mileage Plan — One-Way Awards: All award travel on Alaska and Horizon is now available one-way for half the price of a roundtrip ticket. Travel within the continental U.S. and Canada starts at 10,000 miles each way, and recurring award sales offer the opportunity for domestic travel at 7,500 miles and Mexico travel for 10,000 miles each way. 8.620 4.91 %
5 Continental OnePass — Aero Republica Colombia Award Sale: Members could redeem for discounted roundtrip awards within Colombia for 5,000 or 8,000 miles depending on the route (normally 15,000 miles). 8.474 6.39 %
6 Delta SkyMiles SkyMiles — Online Auction: Members could redeem their miles for unique once-in-a-lifetime experiences, charities, trips or products like a Mumbai Habitat Build on site in India; Tim McGraw and Faith Hill concert tickets with meet and greet and photos backstage; 14-night Cannes Film Festival Cruise; Yankees lunch and photo with Mariano Riviera plus game tickets, and many more. 8.430 19.05 %
7 AirTran Airways A+ Rewards — For 100 A+ credits, A+ Rewards will buy a member a roundtrip ticket on another airline to any destination in the world. 8.210 3.48 %
8 American AAdvantage — In celebration of the 20th anniversary of the Citi AAdvantage credit card, cardmembers were offered a 20 percent discount on the mileage required for award travel between the U.S. and the Caribbean, Mexico or Hawaii, or within the continental U.S. and Canada, when booked and ticketed between June 1-30, 2007 for travel between Aug. 22 and Nov. 16, 2007. 8.207 15.29 %
9 Northwest WorldPerks — Cash-and-Miles: By combining WorldPerks miles with cash, members received discounted awards and increased access to seats to popular destinations throughout the U.S. 48, or from the U.S. 48 to Canada, Europe and Asia. Promotions ran throughout 2007 and fares were as low as $89 (with 20,000 miles) for roundtrip travel. Awards began with as few as 10,000 miles. 8.185 8.43 %
10 United Mileage Plus — Merchandise Rewards: Members could treat themselves to brand-name merchandise, choosing everything from high-definition flat panel TVs and digital cameras, to Swiss watches and small kitchen appliances. The program featured a holiday product assortment starting at as low as 4,000 miles and was opened for the first time to all members, not just elite, during October and November. 8.009 8.47 %
11 US Airways Dividend Miles — Mix and Match Awards: Members could mix award travel — for example, customers could travel one way in a coach Saver seat then take their return leg in economy premium or first class. This gave them the flexibility to still travel on the date of their choice if a Saver seat wasn’t available — without having to give up extra miles for the outbound leg. 7.729 3.95 %
12 US Airways Dividend Miles — Members could claim off-peak awards up to 30 percent off for travel to Europe and the Caribbean. For example, 35,000 miles for coach roundtrip tickets to Europe and 25,000 miles for coach roundtrip tickets to the Caribbean. 7.619 3.56 %
13 Aeroplan — Aeroplan Music Store: Launched in September 2007, members can redeem 5,500 miles for 50 songs — individual tracks or entire albums are available to download in wma or mp3 format; a loyalty industry first. 7.381 2.18 %

Frequent Flyer Program:: Best Award
[Europe, Middle East, Africa]

Qatar Airways Privilege Club
This is the fourth year that this Freddie category has been awarded and this is the first time that Qatar Airways Privilege Club will take home the Freddie in this category — edging out the second place program by only a .003 difference in the Value Vote. The award offer that took them to the top was roundtrip coach awards at a 50 percent discount between Doha and nine Middle Eastern cities between Sept. 10 and Oct. 15, 2007.

It was a clean sweep at the top for airlines in the Middle East for this category with Gulf Air Frequent flyer and Eithad Guest coming in at second and third. Gulf Air members appreciated the biannual 50 percent discount on awards. Etihad Guest members were treated to a Birthday Bonanza Mega Raffle during the first birthday celebration of the program where members could redeem 100 miles for a raffle ticket to win a prize that included two business class tickets, a four-night stay at the Shangri-La Bangkok and 17 products from the Reward Shop, ranging from a video iPod to diamond jewelry to designer accessories and shopping vouchers.

Last year’s winner TAP Portugal Victoria, and all of the top 11 finishers dropped off the charts this year to make way for the newcomers at the top in this category.

Category votes 90,027

Value Percent
1 Qatar Airways Privilege Club — Privilege Club members could redeem roundtrip coach awards at a 50 percent discount between Doha and nine Middle East cities between Sept. 10 and Oct. 15, 2007. 8.934 6.92 %
2 Gulf Air Frequent flyer — Twice during the year, 50 percent off all Gulf Air award flights or award upgrades was offered, May 1-31 and Sept. 26-Oct. 10, 2007. For example, an economy class roundtrip from Bahrain to London, Paris or Frankfurt cost 24,000 miles instead of the normal 48,000 miles. 8.931 5.33 %
3 Etihad Guest — Birthday Bonanza Mega Raffle: Members could redeem 100 miles for a raffle ticket to win a prize that included two business class tickets, a four-night stay at the Shangri-La Bangkok and 17 products from the Reward Shop, ranging from a video iPod to diamond jewelry to designer accessories and shopping vouchers. 22,674 raffle tickets were issued and 2.2 million miles redeemed. 8.588 3.22 %
4 Royal Jordanian Royal Plus — Members could redeem miles for excess baggage; between 200 and 700 points per sector, depending on destination. 8.531 2.48 %
5 Brussels Airlines Privilege — Members could redeem miles for excess luggage and for a pet to travel in the cabin: within Europe for 300 or 500 miles depending on class of travel; to the Middle East for 1,000 miles or to West, East & Central Africa for 1,500 miles. 8.466 6.02 %
6 Lufthansa (and Partners) Miles & More — Miles & More members can donate miles to charities including Help Alliance, Living Lakes and SOS Children’s Villages; for example, 10,000 miles will pay the school fees for a year for a child in India or can help protect 2,500 square meters of the Pantanal in Brazil (the world’s largest wetland). 8.364 12.75 %
7 El Al Israel Airlines Matmid Club — Members could get up to a 300 point reduction on all economy bonus vouchers issued in the month of December for departures no later than March 31, 2008. 8.334 6.56 %
8 Lufthansa (and Partners) Miles & More — Participating in an auction on www.miles-and-more.com, members could bid on more than 100 available roundtrip tickets departing from all German airports to worldwide destinations, bundled into packages for up to four passengers — taxes and fees included. The starting bid was 7,500 miles for economy and business class. 8.167 14.09 %
9 TAP Portugal Victoria — Members could buy “part miles, part cash” packages that included a flight and hotel stay. For example, a roundtrip flight to Barcelona and three-night hotel stay for 192 euro plus 10,000 miles. This is an ongoing offer that changes according to the time of year and flight availability. 8.097 3.48 %
10 Emirates Skywards — Global Reduced Rewards, bigger than ever before: Members could save 50 percent off flight awards to over 45 destinations during Sept./Oct. Bookable online, and offered in all classes of travel, it gave members the opportunity to redeem return tickets from just 5,000 miles. 8.057 7.14 %
11 Brussels Airlines Privilege — Members could spend miles for a half case of wine: 25,000 for Spanish collection, 30,000 miles for Italian and 45,000 miles for French. Wines included the refreshing Pomino Bianco from Italy and the elegant Chateau Siran 2002 Margaux Cru Bourgeouis. 7.978 3.40 %
12 SAS EuroBonus — Members could fly roundtrip between Scandinavia and Beijing for only 15,000 points (normally 80,000 points) between June 1-30, 2007. And if they booked online, they got 500 bonus points. 7.960 6.94 %
13 Emirates Skywards — The Emirates High Street offers members an extraordinary shopping experience and a versatile award option. Featuring an extensive range of global luxury brands and everyday lifestyle accessories, members can shop from the comfort of their home, pay with Skywards miles, cash or cash plus miles, and have the items delivered directly to their doorstep in over 60 countries. 7.940 2.46 %
14 Air Berlin Top Bonus — Members could redeem a roundtrip ticket between Germany and New York for half off — 25,000 miles instead of 50,000 miles — including a feeder flight to/from Dusseldorf. Members could fly from Germany, Austria or Switzerland. 7.445 3.66 %
15 United Mileage Plus — Merchandise Rewards: Members could treat themselves to brand-name merchandise, choosing everything from high-definition flat panel TVs and digital cameras, to Swiss watches and small kitchen appliances. The program featured a holiday product assortment starting at as low as 4,000 miles and was opened for the first time to all members, not just elite, during October and November. 7.360 2.92 %

Frequent Flyer Program :: Best Award
[Japan, Pacific, Asia, Australia]

Jet Airways JetPrivilege

Two-time winner Emirates Skywards sees JetPrivilege overtake its position at the top in this category. JetPrivilege was in second place during the last two Freddie Awards and wins this year with its award sale between India and North America. Platinum and Gold members could get an award ticket at a 50 percent discount and Silver, Blue Plus or Blue members could get an award ticket at a 25 percent discount between Sept. 15 and Nov. 30, 2007.

Two airlines new to the top three in this category include Gulf Air Frequent flyer and Etihad Guest. These programs mirror their second- and third-place finish in the Europe, Middle East, Africa region with the same award offers.

Category votes 43,107

Value Percent
1 Jet Airways JetPrivilege — In celebration of new routes between India and the U.S. and Canada, members could redeem economy award tickets at a 50 percent discount if they were Platinum or Gold members and at a 25 percent discount if they were Silver, Blue Plus or Blue members between Sept. 15 and Nov. 30, 2007. 8.918 30.26 %
2 Gulf Air Frequent flyer — Twice during the year, 50 percent off all Gulf Air award flights or award upgrades was offered. May 1-31 and Sept. 26-Oct. 10, 2007. For example, an economy class roundtrip from Bahrain to London, Paris or Frankfurt cost 24,000 miles instead of the normal 48,000 miles. 8.447 2.60 %
3 Etihad Guest — Birthday Bonanza Mega Raffle: Members could redeem 100 miles for a raffle ticket to win a prize that included two business class tickets, a four-night stay at the Shangri-La Bangkok and 17 products from the Reward Shop, ranging from a video iPod to diamond jewelry to designer accessories and shopping vouchers. 22,674 raffle tickets were issued and 2.2 million miles redeemed. 8.353 2.37 %
4 Qatar Airways Privilege Club — Privilege Club members could redeem roundtrip coach awards at a 50 percent discount between Doha and nine Middle East cities between Sept. 10 and Oct. 15, 2007. 8.324 3.17 %
5 Korean Air SKYPASS — SKYPASS Family Plan allows you and your immediate family members, up to five, to pool miles and to redeem the combined miles for award travel. There is no minimum mile transfer and no transaction fee. 8.322 11.02 %
6 Virgin Blue Velocity — Seats for Points Sale: Sept. 11-20, 2007, tens of thousands of Virgin Blue award seats were on sale for flights taken between Oct. 16-Dec. 13, 2007. For example, Sydney-Gold Coast was 3,900 points (43% reduction); Launceston-Melbourne 1,900 points (72% reduction); Melbourne-Newcastle 1,900 points (77% reduction) and Sydney-Ballina 3,900 points (45% reduction). 8.228 4.63 %
7 Cathay Pacific Asia Miles — Asia Miles members could claim roundtrip economy class Dragonair flights for 25 percent fewer miles from Dec. 1, 2007 through March 16, 2008. 8.202 12.55 %
8 Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer — Introduced March 2007: Members saved 15 percent when redeeming miles for upgrade awards on Singapore Airlines flights booked online in eligible fare classes, this was in addition to the 15 percent they save by booking one-way or roundtrip redemption flights online. 8.195 11.58 %
9 Thai Airways Royal Orchid Plus — Gold status members could redeem award travel on THAI at 50 percent off standard mileage requirements in all classes of service and on all international routes commencing during the member’s birth month, and the months preceding and following, for a three month validity period. 8.063 3.56 %
10 Emirates Skywards — Members could save 10 percent when booking any Emirates award online throughout 2007. The offer was valid for all classes of travel on all routes, allowing members to save up to 36,000 miles in a single transaction. 8.026 2.86 %
11 Emirates Skywards — The Emirates High Street offers members an extraordinary shopping experience and a versatile award option. Featuring an extensive range of global luxury brands and everyday lifestyle accessories, members can shop from the comfort of their home, pay with Skywards miles, cash or cash plus miles, and have the items delivered directly to their doorstep in over 60 countries. 7.972 2.29 %
12 United Mileage Plus — Merchandise Rewards: Members could treat themselves to brand-name merchandise, choosing everything from high-definition flat panel TVs and digital cameras, to Swiss watches and small kitchen appliances. The program featured a holiday product assortment starting at as low as 4,000 miles and was opened for the first time to all members, not just elite, during October and November. 7.705 5.33 %
13 Continental OnePass — 30th Anniversary Continental Micronesia Award Sale: For travel between Oct. 1 and Nov. 30, 2007, members could redeem for discounted roundtrip awards on Continental Micronesia between Japan and anywhere in Asia, the Mid-Pacific or Australia for 15,000 miles in coach (instead of 25,000 miles) and 30,000 miles in business class (instead of 60,000 miles). 7.689 2.26 %
14 JAL Mileage Bank — JAL oneworld Campaign: To celebrate Japan Airlines’ entrance into the oneworld alliance as of April 1, 2007, members could enter to win a pair of Round-the-World tickets; 120 Round-the-World tickets were awarded. 7.373 4.43 %

Frequent Guest Program :: Best Award
[Americas]

Marriott Hotels Marriott Rewards
This is the ninth win for Marriott Rewards for Best Award but the program hasn’t won this category since the 13th Annual Freddie Awards. The offer that took them to the top this year was an award package where members could get seven nights at a hotel and 1:1 Marriott Rewards points to airline miles transfers (savings of up to 50 percent). Interestingly enough, this same award package took the program to fifth in last year’s Freddies — are members only now realizing the value of the offer? Marriott Rewards also finished at number three with their elite-member offer of 25 percent off gift cards. Two-time winner IHG Priority Club Rewards comes in at number two for the second year in a row with their excellent award offer of 5,000 miles for a free night’s stay, while four-time winner Hilton dropped to number six. We were a little surprised to see Starwood’s Cash + Points drop this year given that they actually enhanced the offer. This particular award has long been recognized for its value when used in the right type of redemption.

Category votes 398,450

Value Percent
1 Marriott Rewards — Travel Packages: Members could get seven free hotel nights and a 1:1 conversion to airline miles at a savings of up to 50 percent. 8.995 23.40 %
2 InterContinental Hotels Group Priority Club Rewards — Members were able to redeem points for Priority Club PointBreaks, reward nights at select InterContinental Hotels Group properties worldwide for only 5,000 points per night — a savings of at least 50 percent off regular redemption rates. 8.976 3.13 %
3 Marriott Rewards — Marriott Gift Cards: Elite members could redeem gift cards at a 25 percent discount. 8.955 6.82 %
4 Choice Privileges — In 2007, Choice Privileges enhanced its very popular and comprehensive gift cards by adding a Wal-Mart gift card. Members could redeem points for the Choice Hotels Gift Card and gift cards to over 350 national and local retailers, restaurants and entertainment providers. 8.686 5.88 %
5 Starwood Preferred Guest — Cash + Points: Members could experience a free night redemption faster and more often by combining a little cash and a few Starpoints for a free night. In 2007, Cash + Points was enhanced to include more hotel categories and also to appear as an option with general SPG.com search results vs. requiring a separate search. 8.583 8.60 %
6 Hilton HHonors — Experience Rewards: Members could redeem points for dozens of once-in-a-lifetime experiences including flying a fighter jet, renting a motorcycle, private cooking lessons, hang gliding, learning to surf or “test-driving” your dream job. 8.445 10.12 %
7 Marriott Rewards — PointSavers: Members could redeem for nights at a one category discount for a savings of up to 33 percent. 8.354 34.64 %
8 Best Western Gold Crown Club International — Best Western is the only mid-market hotel chain to offer a $25 Travel Card award redemption. In 2007, members could get the card at a discount, 5,500 points for Elite members and 5,750 points for other members, a savings of 750 (12 percent) and 500 points (8 percent) respectively. The $50 and $100 gift cards were also on sale at discounts up to 4,000 points. 8.100 2.93 %

Frequent Guest Program :: Best Award
[Europe, Middle East, Africa]

Marriott Hotels Marriott Rewards
This is the third year in a row that Marriott Rewards has taken home the Freddie for this category. The program won with this same award offer in the Americas region this year — travel award packages including seven free hotel nights and a savings of up to 50 percent with points to airline miles conversions. The program also placed third with its elite members only offer of 25 percent off the normal points needed to redeem for gift cards.

Coming in at number two is last year’s number three finisher and former winner in this category, Starwood Preferred Guest, with their Cash + Points free night award offer. In 2007, Cash + Points was enhanced to include more hotel categories and also to appear as an option with general SPG.com search results vs. requiring a separate search. While newly relaunched, goldpoints plus is still holding their own in this region. We found it interesting that Shangri-La Golden Circle made their first-ever appearance in the EMEA region for award consideration showing that the gem of Asia is becoming known elsewhere.

Category votes 90,027

Value Percent
1 Marriott Rewards — Travel Packages: Members could get seven free hotel nights and a 1:1 conversion to airline miles at a savings of up to 50 percent 8.694 24.40 %
2 Starwood Preferred Guest — Cash + Points: Members could experience a free night redemption faster and more often by combining a little cash and a few Starpoints for a free night. In 2007, Cash + Points was enhanced to include more hotel categories and also to appear as an option with general SPG.com search results vs. requiring a separate search. 8.507 12.44 %
3 Marriott Rewards — Marriott Gift Cards: Elite members could redeem gift cards at a 25 percent discount. 8.293 3.02 %
4 InterContinental Hotels Group Priority Club Rewards — Members were able to redeem points for Priority Club PointBreaks, reward nights at select InterContinental Hotels Group properties worldwide for only 5,000 points per night — a savings of at least 50 percent off regular redemption rates. 8.247 5.95 %
5 Radisson goldpoints plus — Summer Promotion: Members could get 50 percent off the normal amount of Gold Points required for award stays in EMEA. 7.917 6.99 %
6 Marriott Rewards — PointSavers: Members could redeem for nights at a one category discount for a savings of up to 33 percent. 7.911 16.35 %
7 Hyatt Gold Passport — Hyatt Gold Passport Exclusives — an online auction program allowing members to use Hyatt Gold Passport points to bid on a collection of unique experiences. 7.894 2.07 %
8 InterContinental Hotels Group Priority Club Rewards — Members were able to redeem points for the Any Hotel, Anywhere Reward for 50 percent off. The Any Hotel, Anywhere Reward is a prepaid American Express lodging card that can be used at over 500,000 hotels worldwide — even competitor hotels! 7.824 5.93 %
9 Hilton HHonors — Experience Rewards: Members could redeem points for a wide range of thrilling experiences in Europe. Examples include a chocolate indulgence experience in Belgium, wine tasting in France, F1 race car driving in Germany or ballooning over the Spanish Pyrenees. 7.801 13.67 %
10 Hyatt Gold Passport — Members earned a 5,000-mile bonus when converting Hyatt Gold Passport points to airline miles with over 30 travel partners. 50,000 Hyatt Gold Passport points equaled 20,000 miles, plus a 5,000-mile bonus, for a total of 25,000 miles. 7.798 3.37 %
11 Shangri-La Hotels Golden Circle — For every four nights members stayed at qualifying rates between June 15-Aug. 31, 2007, they received one free night! 7.745 3.00 %
12 Choice Privileges — In 2007, Choice Privileges enhanced its very popular and comprehensive gift cards by adding a Wal-Mart gift card. Members could redeem points for the Choice Hotels Gift Card and gift cards to over 350 national and local retailers, restaurants and entertainment providers. 7.425 2.80 %

Frequent Guest Program :: Best Award
[Japan, Pacific, Asia, Australia]

Marriott Rewards
Marriott Rewards once again finds itself at the top position with its seven free nights and 1:1 points to miles conversion travel award package with a clean sweep in all geographical ballots for Best Award. Starwood Preferred Guest is at number two with the same award that garnered the program number two in the Europe, Middle East, Africa region this year. Hyatt Gold Passport takes the number three spot with its Gold Passport Exclusives online auction program allowing members to use Hyatt Gold Passport points to bid on a collection of unique experiences. This is the best finish Hyatt has seen in this category.

Category votes 43,109

Value Percent
1 Marriott Rewards — Travel Packages: Members could get seven free hotel nights and a 1:1 conversion to airline miles at a savings of up to 50 percent. 8.522 18.72 %
2 Starwood Preferred Guest — Cash + Points: Members could experience a free night redemption faster and more often by combining a little cash and a few Starpoints for a free night. In 2007, Cash + Points was enhanced to include more hotel categories and also to appear as an option with general SPG.com search results vs. requiring a separate search. 8.454 13.16 %
3 Hyatt Hotels Gold Passport — Hyatt Gold Passport Exclusives — an online auction program allowing members to use Hyatt Gold Passport points to bid on a collection of unique experiences. 8.210 6.30 %
4 Marriott Rewards — Marriott Gift Cards: Elite members could redeem gift cards at a 25 percent discount. 8.010 3.70 %
5 InterContinental Hotels Group Priority Club Rewards — Members were able to redeem points for Priority Club PointBreaks, reward nights at select InterContinental Hotels Group properties worldwide for only 5,000 points per night — a savings of at least 50 percent off regular redemption rates. 7.990 8.09 %
6 Marriott Rewards — PointSavers: Members could redeem for nights at a one category discount for a savings of up to 33 percent. 7.989 26.06 %
7 Hyatt Hotels Gold Passport — Members earned a 5,000-mile bonus when converting Hyatt Gold Passport points to airline miles with over 30 travel partners. 50,000 Hyatt Gold Passport points equaled 20,000 miles, plus a 5,000-mile bonus, for a total of 25,000 miles. 7.979 8.33 %
8 Shangri-La Hotels Golden Circle — For every four nights members stayed at qualifying rates between June 15-Aug. 31, 2007, they received one free night! 7.833 4.74 %
9 Hilton HHonors — Unique VIP China Tour Rewards: Members could redeem points for once-in-a-lifetime China tour experiences, including special access to sites of the Terracotta Warriors not open to the public and unforgettable treks along the Great Wall, while enjoying a luxurious three-day hotel stay. Tour city options included Beijing, Shanghai or Xi’an. 7.686 8.12 %
10 Choice Privileges — In 2007, Choice Privileges enhanced its very popular and comprehensive gift cards by adding a Wal-Mart gift card. Members could redeem points for the Choice Hotels Gift Card and gift cards to over 350 national and local retailers, restaurants and entertainment providers. 7.370 2.78 %

Frequent Flyer Program :: Best Bonus Promotion
[Americas]

Delta Air Lines SkyMiles
We have a feeling Delta is going to feel very good about this win. SkyMiles has a repeat triumph in this category but the last time the program won was in 1994 — more than a decade ago. Even the name of the program was different for their first win — the program was called Delta Frequent Flyer. The bonus offer that took them to the top this year, all the way from number nine last year, is the innovative threshold partner promotion where members could earn up to 25,000 bonus miles by earning miles with participating SkyMiles partners. For every five unique partner transactions members earned 5,000 bonus miles. Last year’s winner, US Airways Dividend Miles, also won with a partner promotion. But this year, Dividend Miles fell from the pinnacle to 10th place.

For the second year in a row, former eight-time winner Southwest Rapid Rewards has fallen from the top five. Northwest WorldPerks, although not the winner in this category, came very close with just .048 separating the top two finishers. The program should feel very good about their accomplishment of reaching number two from number 12 last year. The program’s Elite ExtraPerks program provides Gold and Platinum Elite members a choice of awards including system-wide upgrades, additional bonus miles, airport lounge memberships or 50 percent off PerkPass Awards. Continental OnePass, also extremely close to the winner with its value vote of only 0.045 less, has every right to feel victorious as well with their third place finish compared to last year’s virtual no-show in this category. The bonus promotion that very nearly took them to the top was a partner promotion. Members could earn a whopping 9,999 bonus miles for every five-day Budget car rental completed within the promotional period and there was no limit to the number of bonuses that could be earned. A special congratulations goes to all three of the top finishers in this category.

Category votes 353,623

Value Percent
1 Delta SkyMiles — Members could earn up to 25,000 bonus miles for participating with SkyMiles partners. For every five unique partner transactions, they received 5,000 bonus miles — all the way up to 25,000 bonus miles. 8.909 22.26 %
2 Northwest WorldPerks — Elite ExtraPerks: Provided Gold and Platinum Elite members a choice of Northwest and other travel rewards including confirmed system-wide upgrades, additional WorldPerks bonus miles, WorldClubs memberships or 50 percent off PerkPass awards. 8.557 8.49 %
3 Continental OnePass — Members could earn 9,999 bonus miles for every five-day Budget rental completed within the contiguous 48 states between Dec. 1, 2007 and Jan. 31, 2008. There was no limit to the number of bonuses that could be earned and booking simply had to be made at least 24 hours in advance via continental.com using the Continental discount code. 8.554 6.99 %
4 Midwest Airlines Midwest Miles — Members earned an additional 1,000 miles each way when flying between Milwaukee and Baltimore-Washington, Atlanta, Raleigh-Durham, Orlando and Tampa from May 8 to Nov. 30, 2007. 8.469 3.64 %
5 Alaska Airlines Mileage Plan — Members earned 1,000 bonus miles plus two miles per dollar spent for every ticket purchased at alaskaair.com with the Alaska Airlines Visa Signature or Platinum credit cards. 8.222 4.69 %
6 Southwest Airlines Rapid Rewards — Members who obtained a Chase Southwest Airlines credit card received 16 credits (enough for a free roundtrip award ticket) after their first purchase with the card. 8.201 12.31 %
7 Frontier Airlines EarlyReturns — EarlyReturns members who purchased the 2006/2007 “Rocky Mountain SuperPass” (good at Copper Mountain or Winter Park in Colorado) and skied 15+ times received 5,000 EarlyReturns bonus miles. 8.036 2.27 %
8 American AAdvantage — 20th Anniversary Citi AAdvantage Credit Card: Members could sign up for the card and receive up to 40,000 miles; existing cardmembers could bid on an online auction for items such as Lifetime AAdvantage Gold and Platinum status, Lifetime Admirals Club Membership, cruise packages and more. And a sweepstakes offered 20 times the AA miles for one month or one year. 8.009 15.04 %
9 United Mileage Plus — Fly 3 Earn up to 25,000 Bonus Miles: Members who flew qualifying United, United Express or Ted roundtrips ticketed and traveled between Nov. 10, 2006 and Feb. 28, 2007 earned 5,000 bonus miles for one roundtrip; 10,000 bonus miles for two roundtrips and 25,000 bonus miles for three roundtrips. 7.787 10.40 %
10 US Airways Dividend Miles — US Airways and MasterCard teamed up to offer members who purchased a ticket to Europe with a MasterCard a 10 percent discount off the base fare in coach plus 10,000 bonus miles, or they could fly Envoy class and get a 20 percent discount and 20,000 bonus miles. The promotions ran Sept. 2-Nov. 14, 2007 and Nov. 27, 2007-March 15, 2008. 7.378 3.34 %
11 US Airways Dividend Miles — Club VIP Offer: Members who enrolled in the US Airways Club for the first time could earn 2,500 elite qualifying miles bringing them that much closer to preferred status. 7.113 2.33 %

Frequent Flyer Program :: Best Bonus Promotion
[Europe, Middle East, Africa]

El Al Israel Airlines Matmid Club
This is the first win ever for Israel’s El Al Matmid Club. Congratulations! The bonus promotion that brought them to the top was 20 percent more Matmid points when transferring from the program’s affinity credit card points to Matmid points during the months of May and September for Israeli credit cards and during the months of April and November for foreign credit cards.

Brussels Airlines Privilege is in second place with the program’s bonus offers for up to two consecutive whole months following a member’s birthday month — up to 10,000 extra miles for business class flights between Europe and East/West/Central Africa. And at third place is Qatar Airways Privilege Club’s innovative bonus where members could choose between bonus Qpoints, double Qmiles or up to four complimentary one-visit lounge passes in Doha when they flew the new New York or Washington, D.C. routes.

Last year’s top three, Emirates Skywards, Lufthansa (and Partners) Miles & More and SAS EuroBonus dropped between eighth and 14th.

Category votes 78,736

Value Percent
1 El Al Israel Airlines Matmid Club — Members could get 20 percent more Matmid points when transferring from the program’s affinity credit cards points to Matmid points during the months of May and September for Israeli credit cards and during the months of April and November for foreign credit cards. 8.799 6.63 %
2 Brussels Airlines Privilege — Birthday promotion: earn 500 extra miles for b.light economy or 2,500 extra miles for b.flex economy+ flights within Europe; 5,000 extra miles for economy class or 10,000 extra miles for business class flights between Europe and East/West/Central Africa, up to two consecutive whole months following your birthday month. 8.374 8.06 %
3 Qatar Airways Privilege Club — To celebrate the launch of service to New York and Washington, D.C., Privilege Club members could select their own choice of reward for traveling on the new services. Members could choose between bonus Qpoints, double Qmiles or up to four complimentary one-visit lounge passes in Doha when they flew the new routes between June 26 and Sept. 30, 2007. 8.351 7.35 %
4 Etihad Guest — Million Miles Promotion: For six weeks until mid-November 2007, members who were new applicants for the HSBC Etihad Guest credit card were automatically entered into a draw to win one million Etihad Guest miles — that’s enough miles to earn free holidays for a lifetime! One winner was picked for each of the six weeks of the promotion. 8.227 5.02 %
5 Gulf Air Frequent flyer — Members who traveled with Gulf Air between Nov. 1-Dec. 5, 2007, went into a weekly draw to win one million miles every week for the five weeks of the promotion. One million miles = 18 first class return tickets from Bahrain to the Middle East or 10 business class return tickets from Europe to the Gulf. 8.143 3.44 %
6 Gulf Air Frequent flyer — Every month an email was sent to those members who joined the program three months previously and who had already obtained 500 loyalty points — half the amount required to reach the Silver membership level. If they achieved the total required for Silver in the following three months, they got 2,000 bonus miles. 8.125 2.38 %
7 Brussels Airlines Privilege — Twenty-five members who test drove and bought a new Saab before Dec. 31, 2007 collected 40,000 bonus miles; and if you were not one of the winners, you could still collect 2,000 bonus miles for a test drive plus 18,000 bonus miles when you bought or leased a Saab. 7.965 2.61 %
8 Emirates Skywards — Gold elite members were offered up to a 100 percent award discount, with a guaranteed minimum 25 percent, depending on the tier miles they earned by the end of 2007. Members could use the discount on any flight or upgrade award of their choice. As an added bonus this year, members finishing above 100,000 tier miles were offered the discount on not one, but two, upgrade awards. 7.951 5.96 %
9 Delta SkyMiles — Members who reached specific Medallion Qualification Mile (MQM) thresholds could choose their bonus. For example, at 125,000 MQMs, you could choose 25,000 bonus miles, 10,000 MQMs or an iPod nano. At 150,000 MQMs, you could choose 25,000 bonus miles, an annual Crown Room Club membership or the ability to gift Gold Medallion status. 7.828 5.66 %
10 Lufthansa (and Partners) Miles & More — Members of Miles & More were invited by an interactive mailing to take part in a special promotion forecasting their flight intentions by setting flag tags on an interactive map. As they met travel targets such as 50,000 miles, they earned 18,000 miles, up to a total 68,000 miles earned by participating in the promotion. 7.802 14.04 %
11 Lufthansa (and Partners) Miles & More — Members received an individual offer by letter or email that reflected their flight habits and gave them up to 102,000 bonus miles when they took a defined number of roundtrip flights in the booking classes defined in the letter/email. 7.768 13.63 %
12 Emirates Skywards — Members were able to earn up to 120,000 miles with purchase of a mobile phone from partner Axiom, allowing them enough miles for an immediate first class award ticket from Dubai to Europe. 7.698 3.60 %
13 Virgin Atlantic Airways flying club — Miles More Friends: flying club members who send emails via the VAA Web site to friends who then enroll into flying club and take their first flight will earn miles based on the class of roundtrip travel their friend flies: 2,000 miles for economy, 5,000 miles for premium economy and 10,000 miles for Upper Class. Your friend will also receive up to 3,000 bonus miles with their first flight. 7.611 6.66 %
14 SAS EuroBonus — Members who traveled on SAS or Wideroe and Blue1 operated flights over the entire network, earned 15,000 bonus points after 15 one-way flights in business class or economy extra between April 1 and Dec. 31, 2007. No registration required for promotion and no limit to the bonus points. 7.580 6.38 %
15 Thai Airways Royal Orchid Plus — Members residing outside Thailand were able to earn up to 35% more miles when flying the THAI network via Bangkok between April 15 and Oct. 15, 2007. If you connected through Bangkok for an onward international THAI flight within five days, the entire travel itinerary earned bonus miles according to the class of service flown. 7.385 2.19 %

Frequent Flyer Program :: Best Bonus Promotion
[Japan, Pacific, Asia, Australia]

Jet Airways JetPrivilege
JetPrivilege wins for a second time in this category, this time with their offer of triple bonus miles on all Jet Airways domestic and international flights from Jan. 1 through June 30, 2007. That’s a very generous bonus with a long time in which to take advantage of the offer and their members did not forget this when it came time to cast their Freddie ballots. Coming in at a very respectable number two is Kingfisher Airlines King Club, a fairly new FFP that launched in February 2006. From Nov. 1, 2007 to Jan. 31, 2008, members of other frequent flyer programs were given equivalent tier status and 22,000 bonus King Miles for 20 Kingfisher First flights they took and an extra 7,000 King Miles for an additional 20 flights on Kingfisher Class flights.

Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer racked up enough votes to place them at number three with their bonus offer for cardholders of the American Express KF Gold credit card. As in the Europe, Middle East, Africa region in this category, there was a shake-up and the top three finishers last year are not seen this year.

Category votes 38,780

Value Percent
1 Jet Airways JetPrivilege — Members could earn triple bonus miles on all Jet Airways domestic and international flights from Jan. 1 through June 30, 2007. 8.706 31.63 %
2 Kingfisher Airlines King Club — From Nov. 1, 2007 to Jan. 31, 2008 members of other frequent flyer programs were given equivalent tier status and 22,000 bonus King Miles for 20 Kingfisher First flights they take and an extra 7,000 King Miles for an additional 20 flights on Kingfisher Class flights. 8.186 2.10 %
3 Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer — Members in Singapore who were cardholders of the American Express KF Gold credit card earned 50 percent more miles when they charged S$5,000 or more to their card in 2007, and if they spent over S$10,000 between Aug. 16-Dec. 31, 2007, they received a bonus of another 50 percent more miles, up to a maximum of 5,000 miles. 8.184 14.11 %
4 Qatar Airways Privilege Club — To celebrate the launch of service to New York and Washington, D.C., Privilege Club members could select their own choice of reward for traveling on the new services. Members could choose between bonus Qpoints, double Qmiles or up to four complimentary one-visit lounge passes in Doha when they flew the new routes between June 26 and Sept. 30, 2007. 8.004 3.51 %
5 Virgin Blue Velocity — Members who transferred either 100,000 American Express Membership Rewards or Diners Club Club Rewards points or 200,000 Westpac Altitude Reward points to their Velocity account received a free annual membership of Virgin Blue’s The Lounge — just for transferring their points. They could then redeem those Velocity points as they wished. 7.796 4.56 %
6 Emirates Skywards — Members could earn up to 150 percent extra bonus miles when they purchased their flight ticket online at emirates.com. This bonus was on top of any class and tier bonus they also earned. There was no restriction on the number of bonus miles members could earn, with every purchase earning them the bonus. 7.711 4.41 %
7 Korean Air SKYPASS — SKYPASS Visa Card’s 5th Anniversary Sweepstakes: Four members won 50,000 bonus miles and one lucky member won two Korean Air roundtrip business class tickets and $10,000. 7.706 12.98 %
8 Emirates Skywards — Gold elite members were offered up to a 100 percent award discount, with a guaranteed minimum 25 percent, depending on the tier miles they earned by the end of 2007. Members could use the discount on any flight or upgrade award of their choice. As an added bonus this year, members finishing above 100,000 tier miles were offered the discount on not one, but two, upgrade awards. 7.698 3.49 %
9 Northwest Airlines — Elite ExtraPerks: Provided Gold and Platinum Elite members a choice of Northwest and other travel rewards including confirmed system-wide upgrades, additional WorldPerks bonus miles, nwa.com/asia e-certificates or 50 percent off PerkPass awards. 7.591 5.78 %
10 Delta SkyMiles — SkyMiles International Acquisition & Activation Promotion: Members who enrolled in the SkyMiles program received 1,000 bonus miles plus 5,000 bonus miles for their first roundtrip in coach or 10,000 bonus miles for their first roundtrip taken in business class anywhere in the world. 7.526 4.81 %
11 Thai Airways Royal Orchid Plus — Members residing outside Thailand were able to earn up to 35 percent more miles when flying the THAI network via Bangkok between April 15 and Oct. 15, 2007. If you connected through Bangkok for an onward international THAI flight within five days, the entire travel itinerary earned bonus miles according to the class of service flown. 7.455 4.76%

Frequent Guest Program :: Best Bonus Promotion
[Americas]

InterContinental Hotels Group Priority Club Rewards
IHG Priority Club Rewards is no stranger to the top of this category — this is their fifth consecutive win. This year they won with their offer of triple points or triple miles on every stay worldwide, starting with a second stay.

The usual suspects follow closely — Marriott, a six-time winner in this category — placed second with their popular MegaBonus promotion where members could earn up to 35,000 bonus points for stays at over 2,700 properties during the promotional period. Choice Privileges fell from second to third with their stay two times, earn a free night promotion.

Category votes 353,621

Value Percent
1 InterContinental Hotels Group Priority Club Rewards — Members earned triple points or triple miles on every stay worldwide, starting with the second stay. 8.952 2.78 %
2 Marriott Rewards — MegaBonus: Members earned up to 35,000 bonus points for stays at over 2,700 properties. 8.832 38.06 %
3 Choice Privileges — Stay 2 Times, Earn a Free Night: Members who made two separate qualifying stays during the three-month promotion period earned enough points for a free night. There was no limit on the number of nights guests could earn and no blackout dates. 8.756 7.79 %
4 Marriott Rewards — Summer Breeze: Members earned 5/10/20,000 bonus points for stays at 2/3/4 different Marriott hotel brands. 8.744 15.45 %
5 Starwood Preferred Guest — Members earned triple Starpoints on all stays across all Starwood hotel brands. 8.645 9.70 %
6 Hyatt Hotels Gold Passport — Faster Free Nights: Members earned one free night for every two stays paid for with a MasterCard. 8.451 2.83 %
7 Hilton HHonors — Quadruple Miles: Members could earn quadruple Delta SkyMiles for every stay at a participating Hilton family hotel worldwide between Dec. 1, 2007-Feb. 29, 2008. 8.444 10.31 %
8 Marriott Rewards — Meeting Maker: Members earned 25,000 bonus points for holding a meeting and paying with their American Express card. 8.201 6.63 %
9 Best Western Gold Crown Club International — Winter Windfall Online Game: One lucky winner won one million Gold Crown Club International points and four second-prize winners received a $1,000 prize package — and got to give an identical prize package to a friend. The contest also awarded a $100 Best Western gift card every day of the promotion that ran Nov. 19, 2007-Jan. 4, 2008. 8.195 2.84% %

Frequent Guest Program :: Best Bonus Promotion
[Europe, Middle East, Africa]

Marriott Hotels Marriott Rewards
Marriott Rewards returns to the top in this category for a second year in a row — winning again with its MegaBonus where members could earn up to 35,000 bonus points. Starwood Preferred Guest received enough votes for its bonus promotion to secure second place for the second year in a row. A former winner in this category, Starwood Preferred Guest members appreciated the offer of triple Starpoints on all stays across all Starwood hotel brands. Coming in at number three is IHG Priority Club Rewards, last year’s number four finisher. What interested us is seeing how well that Marriott’s Meeting Maker promotion did. While a rich bonus, it gathered enough votes to qualify indicating a broad reach among voters.

Category votes 78,736

Value Percent
1 Marriott Rewards — MegaBonus: Members earned up to 35,000 bonus points for stays at over 2,700 properties. 8.478 22.72 %
2 Starwood Preferred Guest — Members earned triple Starpoints on all stays across all Starwood hotel brands. 8.172 13.70 %
3 InterContinental Hotels Group Priority Club Rewards — Quadruple (4x) points were rewarded to Priority Club members on every stay worldwide, starting with the second stay when booked through an InterContinental Hotel Group’s brand site. 8.163 6.53% %
4 Marriott Rewards — Summer Breeze: Members earned 5/10/20,000 bonus points for stays at 2/3/4 different Marriott hotel brands. 8.162 14.60% %
5 Marriott Rewards — Meeting Maker: Members earned 25,000 bonus points for holding a meeting and paying with their American Express card. 8.015 3.97 %
6 Radisson goldpoints plus — 5 for 5 Promotion: Members could earn 5,000 bonus points with every fifth stay at any of the Carlson Family Hotels worldwide. Any five nights between Oct. 28, 2007-Jan. 31, 2008 qualified — they didn’t have to be consecutive night stays and no registration was required. 7.895 7.18 %
7 InterContinental Hotels Group Priority Club Rewards — Members earned triple points or triple miles on every stay worldwide, starting with the second stay. 7.826 6.00 %
8 Hyatt Hotels Gold Passport — Faster Free Nights: Members earned one free night for every two stays paid for with a MasterCard. 7.819 6.02 %
9 Hilton HHonors — “The Winning Formula” British Grand Prix Experience: Members could win a pair of Grand Stand tickets to the British Grand Prix after one stay at any Hilton or Conrad hotel in the U.K. or Ireland. After two stays, members were eligible to win the Grand Prize All Access VIP Paddock Club Package: two nights’ stay at Hilton Coventry, two VIP passes including private tour of the pit and more. 7.706 11.98 %
10 Shangri-La Hotels Golden Circle — For every four nights members stayed at qualifying rates between June 15-Aug. 31, 2007, they received one free night! 7.644 3.18 %
11 Choice Privileges — Stay 2 Times, Earn a Free Night: Members who made two separate qualifying stays during the three-month promotion period earned enough points for a free night. There was no limit on the number of nights guests could earn and no blackout dates. 7.437 4.10%

Frequent Guest Program :: Best Bonus Promotion
[Japan, Pacific, Asia, Australia]

Hyatt Hotels Gold Passport
Members appreciate seeing favorite bonus offers returning year after year — in this case, Hyatt’s recurring Faster Free Nights promotion received enough points to give Hyatt a Freddie Award and to unseat two-time winner Starwood Preferred Guest. IHG Priority Club Rewards is at number two with their quadruple bonus points promotion and Marriott Rewards rounds out the top three. Seems Hyatt may want to consider doing more bonuses in this region, last year they had three in the top six, this year only a single bonus was eligible.

Category votes 38,782

Value Percent
1 Hyatt Hotels Gold Passport — Faster Free Nights: Members earned one free night for every two stays paid for with a MasterCard. 8.425 14.24 %
2 InterContinental Hotels Group Priority Club Rewards — Quadruple (4x) points were rewarded to Priority Club members on every stay worldwide, starting with the second stay when booked through an InterContinental Hotel Group’s brand site. 8.158 4.83 %
3 Marriott Rewards — MegaBonus: Members earned up to 35,000 bonus points for stays at over 2,700 properties. 8.069 28.84 %
4 Marriott Rewards — Summer Breeze: Members earned 5/10/20,000 bonus points for stays at 2/3/4 different Marriott hotel brands. 8.060 10.43 %
5 Starwood Preferred Guest — Members earned triple Starpoints on all stays across all Starwood hotel brands. 8.054 13.21 %
6 Marriott Rewards — Meeting Maker: Members earned 25,000 bonus points for holding a meeting and paying with their American Express card. 7.972 4.44 %
7 InterContinental Hotels Group Priority Club Rewards — Members earned triple points or triple miles on every stay worldwide, starting with the second stay. 7.875 4.68 %
8 Shangri-La Hotels Golden Circle — For every four nights members stayed at qualifying rates between June 15-Aug. 31, 2007, they received one free night! 7.636 4.49 %
9 Hilton HHonors — “Hilton for Free” offer: Pay for three nights at any of 129 participating Hilton hotels and receive one additional night free, pay for five nights and receive two additional nights free, pay for seven nights and get three additional nights free. Offered between May 1-Sept. 30, 2007. 7.493 9.68 %
10 Choice Privileges — Stay 2 Times, Earn a Free Night: Members who made two separate qualifying stays during the three-month promotion period earned enough points for a free night. There was no limit on the number of nights guests could earn and no blackout dates. 7.385 3.38 %

Best Affinity Credit Card

Choosing your frequent flyer program might be easy, but choosing the credit card that offers you the best value and opportunities for earning miles or points takes a bit more effort. Other than flying or staying at a hotel, this is the most prevalent way to earn miles and points. With an affinity credit card, each purchase brings members one step closer to an award, without having to go any further than their local grocery store or online shopping mall. Voters were asked to vote on the affinity credit card offering the best benefits and opportunities to earn bonus miles or points.

Travel Awards Program :: Best Affinity Credit Card
[Americas]

Starwood Preferred Guest American Express
For the second year in a row, Starwood Preferred Guest American Express takes home the Freddie for Best Affinity Credit Card. The card wins with its favorable conversions to most frequent flyer miles, fee-free card the first year and the no-capacity controls award redemption. Diners reigned supreme in this category for nine consecutive years, but has fallen off the charts in the last two Freddie Awards.

The top three credit cards mirror the top three last year with American Express Membership Rewards, a five-time winner, coming in at number two with its behemoth award program and the three-time winner Marriott Rewards Visa, finishing in the number three spot.

Category votes 345,133

Value Percent
1 Starwood Preferred Guest 8.986 3.16 %
2 American Express Membership Rewards 8.943 8.57 %
3 Marriott Rewards Visa 8.738 19.43 %
4 Choice Privileges Visa 8.706 2.04 %
5 Delta SkyMiles American Express 8.593 11.44 %
6 Alaska Airlines Mileage Plan Visa 8.201 3.48 %
7 Southwest Rapid Rewards Visa 8.057 5.18 %
8 American AAdvantage MasterCard/Visa 8.056 7.60 %
9 Midwest Airlines MasterCard 8.006 2.22 %
10 Northwest WorldPerks Visa 7.980 2.84 %
11 Continental OnePass MasterCard 7.945 2.05 %
12 United Mileage Plus Visa/MasterCard 7.944 3.78 %
13 US Airways Dividend Miles Visa/MasterCard 7.812 2.69 %

Travel Awards Program :: Best Affinity Credit Card
[Europe, Middle East, Africa]

Lufthansa (and Partners) Miles & More Visa
Miles & More takes home its second consecutive Freddie in this category. The card is popular with members for not only the extra mileage earning possibilities, but also because it offers a convenient way to keep your miles from expiring. TAP Portugal Victoria’s Visa is number two, up from number eight last year and the Brussels Airlines American Express makes its debut near the top at number three. New to the charts this year is Turkish Airlines and their Shop&Miles Visa. With the recent addition to the Star Alliance, it looks like great things are coming to this airline and their frequent flyer program.

Category votes 77,019

Value Percent
1 Lufthansa Miles & More Visa/MasterCard 9.336 14.10 %
2 TAP Portugal Victoria Visa 8.629 3.72 %
3 Brussels Airlines American Express 8.364 4.72 %
4 American Express Membership Rewards 8.293 8.11 %
5 Turkish Airlines Shop&Miles Visa 8.292 18.12 %
6 Gulf Air Visa/MasterCard 8.237 2.39 %
7 Marriott Rewards Visa 8.164 7.16 %
8 Etihad Guest MasterCard 8.143 3.04 %
9 British Airways American Express 7.956 2.56 %
10 Air France/KLM Flying Blue American Express 7.886 3.77 %
11 Emirates Visa/MasterCard 7.839 2.38 %
12 Diners Club/Club Rewards 7.802 2.12 %
13 SAS EuroBonus MasterCard 7.647 2.04 %

Travel Awards Program :: Best Affinity Credit Card
[Japan, Pacific, Asia, Australia]

Jet Airways JetPrivilege Citibank Card
Last year’s second place winner in this category comes in at number one this year — the JetPrivilege Citibank credit card. Card members can earn double JPMiles when using the card to purchase Jet Airways tickets, receive complimentary airport lounge access, flight upgrades and more, depending on the type of card you hold. Last year’s winner, Thai Airways Royal Orchid Plus American Express, is not to be seen on the Freddie list this year. Former Freddie winner in this category, American Express Membership Rewards, comes in at number three for the second year in a row, while another co-branded American Express card, this time with Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer, comes in second.

Category votes 37,900

Value Percent
1 Jet Airways Citibank Credit Card 8.936 23.74 %
2 Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer American Express 8.393 3.66 %
3 American Express Membership Rewards 8.048 12.78 %
4 Cathay Pacific Visa 8.023 5.47 %
5 Virgin Blue Velocity American Express/Visa 8.018 2.06 %
6 Korean Air SKYPASS Business Visa 7.996 3.07 %
7 Korean Air SKYPASS Visa 7.936 9.84 %
8 United Mileage Plus Visa/MasterCard 7.753 2.32 %
9 ANA Visa/MasterCard 7.735 2.78 %
10 JAL Mileage Bank JALCARD 7.730 3.16 %
11 Qantas ANZ Frequent Flyer Visa (Australia) 7.466 2.23 %

Best Member Communications

Communication is key, in relationships, and in frequent travel programs. Programs that believe in the power of communication have members who are loyal and active. The way in which programs communicate to members sets the tone for the travel experience and a well-written email can move the member to action. The statements sent to members, e-newsletters, targeted offer communications and printed newsletters all contribute toward correspondence between the programs and their members. The powers that be in frequent travel programs have also been known to visit and chat with their members in online communities and to start their own communities. Voters were asked to vote on the program that communicates most effectively with its members through such outlets as newsletters, mileage statements, membership guides, direct mail, email or welcome kits.

Frequent Flyer Program :: Best Member Communications
[Americas]

Southwest Airlines Rapid Rewards
This is Southwest’s first win in this category. The program has flirted with the top spot in this category for several years, coming in at number two since 2003 until the program slipped to number three in votes last year behind Alaska Mileage Plan and Frontier EarlyReturns. We suspect that Rapid Rewards members like Southwest’s Ding! on their desktop alerting them to fare sales as well as the overall open communication the program extends to their members. Members we heard from also said they appreciated that Rapid Rewards didn’t send too many emails compared to some programs and the emails they do send include relevant offers that members might actually have an interest in. Alaska Mileage Plan, last year’s winner, comes in at number two. This year sees AirTran A+ Rewards at a respectable number three spot — the program’s best finish to date in this category. You’ll notice like we did that AirTran’s partner, Frontier, were neck and neck. Is it because each piece of communication mentions the other? If so, a good partnership and maybe why members love their communications. Things don’t seem to be going well with US Airways, dropping from last years fifth place finish to number 11 this year.

Category votes 337,687

Value Percent
1 Southwest Airlines Rapid Rewards 8.868 12.03 %
2 Alaska Airlines Mileage Plan 8.438 4.41 %
3 AirTran Airways A+ Rewards 8.303 2.17 %
4 Frontier Airlines EarlyReturns 8.216 2.32 %
5 Delta Air Lines SkyMiles 8.166 19.40 %
6 Midwest Airlines Midwest Miles 8.068 3.90 %
7 Continental Airlines OnePass 8.039 7.16 %
8 Northwest Airlines WorldPerks 7.877 7.83 %
9 American Airlines AAdvantage 7.872 16.08 %
10 United Airlines Mileage Plus 7.625 8.41 %
11 US Airways Dividend Miles 7.549 5.70 %
12 Aeroplan 7.279 2.67 %

Frequent Flyer Program :: Best Member Communications
[Europe, Middle East, Africa]

Gulf Air Frequent flyer
This is the first win in this category for Gulf Air Frequent flyer after coming in at number three last year. Frequent flyer members are pleased with the communication they get from Gulf Air such as the quarterly newsletter and emails and feel valued as customers. Qatar Airways Privilege Club, last year’s winner, comes in at number two this year while last year’s number two, Etihad Guest, comes in at third. Last year American AAdvantage, US Airways Dividend Miles and Delta SkyMiles members in this region propelled those programs to respectable finishes. This year, only Delta SkyMiles remains at number eight. As well, South African Airways Voyager did not garner enough votes to qualify as they did last year.

Category votes 75,484

Value Percent
1 Gulf Air Frequent flyer 8.868 3.29 %
2 Qatar Airways Privilege Club 8.438 4.70 %
3 Etihad Airways Etihad Guest 8.303 3.72 %
4 Brussels Airlines Privilege 8.301 6.70 %
5 TAP Portugal Victoria 8.299 4.06 %
6 Turkish Airlines Miles&Smiles 8.292 15.00 %
7 EL AL Israel Airlines Matmid Club 8.291 4.47 %
8 Delta Air Lines SkyMiles 8.286 2.52 %
9 Lufthansa (and Partners) Miles & More 8.203 15.93 %
10 Emirates Skywards 8.144 3.73 %
11 Virgin Atlantic Airways flying club 8.115 3.00 %
12 Air France/KLM Flying Blue 7.835 5.75 %
13 SAS EuroBonus 7.788 4.27 %
14 British Airways Executive Club 7.784 6.29 %

Frequent Flyer Program :: Best Member Communications
[Japan, Pacific, Asia, Australia]

Korean Air SKYPASS
This is a first Freddie win for Korean Air SKYPASS in any category moving up from its second place finish last year, which means they have been a serious contender for some time. Jet Airways JetPrivilege is number two, up from number four last year and newcomer Kingfisher Airlines King Club comes in just behind fellow Indian airline, Jet Airways, at number three. But let’s not overlook the efforts of Virgin Blue and the powerhouse that Etihad, Qatar and Cathay pose falling right behind in order. It’s no secret that the U.S.-based programs from Northwest and United have long been leaders in this region and they still get enough votes to qualify. Last year qualifiers Air China, Thai Airways, Air India and Malaysia did not make the cut-off this year, perhaps because of the change requiring two-percent of the overall vote to be represented in the final listing. Among those losing altitude were Lufthansa and ANA.

Category votes 37,224

Value Percent
1 Korean Air SKYPASS 8.663 10.37 %
2 Jet Airways JetPrivilege 8.472 24.78 %
3 Kingfisher Airlines King Club 8.470 2.26 %
4 Virgin Blue Velocity 8.456 2.95 %
5 Etihad Airways Etihad Guest 8.386 2.52 %
6 Qatar Airways Privilege Club 8.372 2.39 %
7 Cathay Pacific Asia Miles 8.059 8.11 %
8 Northwest Airlines WorldPerks 8.050 2.40 %
9 Lufthansa (and Partners) Miles & More 8.015 2.44 %
10 Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer 8.013 7.80 %
11 Emirates Skywards 7.957 2.85 %
12 Qantas Airways Frequent Flyer 7.889 4.52 %
13 ANA Mileage Club 7.742 2.43 %
14 United Airlines Mileage Plus 7.626 2.79 %
15 JAL Mileage Bank 7.542 2.33%

Frequent Guest Program :: Best Member Communications
[Americas]

Marriott Hotels Marriott Rewards
Marriott Rewards rides to the top in this category for the 10th time, ending IHG Priority Club Rewards’ four-year reign. Marriott makes member communication a priority and you don’t have to look any further than the Freddie Awards for an example of the strength of the program’s communication with members — when the program sent an email communication to their members to ask them to vote in the Freddies, we were seeing record numbers of voters — sometimes up to 1,000 votes per second (yes, per second, not per minute). We can’t verify for a fact that it was the Marriott email that kept our servers busy, but we suspect that it certainly played a major part.

Priority Club Rewards comes in second this year and Choice Hotels Choice Privileges is third, down from second last year after moving up from its fourth place finish the year before. But we have to acknowledge improvement and that is Best Western Gold Crown Club moving up past Hilton and Hyatt’s program. While TripRewards and Wyndham ByRequest are undergoing a merger of sorts, neither of them qualified to appear on this list.

Category votes 337,685

Value Percent
1 Marriott Hotels Marriott Rewards 8.829 61.51 %
2 InterContinental Hotels Group Priority Club Rewards 8.692 4.73 %
3 Choice Hotels Choice Privileges 8.540 5.94 %
4 Starwood Hotels Starwood Preferred Guest 8.270 7.48 %
5 Best Western Hotels Gold Crown Club International 8.072 2.44 %
6 Hilton Hotels Hilton HHonors 8.038 10.51 %
7 Hyatt Hotels Gold Passport 8.015 2.36 %

Frequent Guest Program :: Best Member Communications
[Europe, Middle East, Africa]

Marriott Hotels Marriott Rewards
Marriott Rewards is a first-time winner in this category that is now entering its fourth year — no program has yet to repeat a win, including last year’s winner, Radisson goldpoints plus. Moving up one spot from last year is Starwood Preferred Guest at number two. Also moving up one spot is IHG Priority Club Rewards at number three. The Radisson goldpoints plus program went through some changes/consolidation last year and we suspect that may be why they dropped from the top and allowed the rest to move up one spot. The emergence of Shangri-La Golden Circle outside of Asia, and the continued presence of the recently relaunched goldpoints plus program, make this category quite the race. But Marriott Rewards was the definite winner here as members made a clear statement of the program’s ability to communicate with over 38 percent of the votes cast going to Marriott.

Category votes 75,482

Value Percent
1 Marriott Hotels Marriott Rewards 8.661 38.67 %
2 Starwood Hotels Starwood Preferred Guest 8.223 10.72%
3 InterContinental Hotels Group Priority Club Rewards 8.179 10.23 %
4 Hyatt Hotels Gold Passport 8.083 4.65 %
5 Radisson goldpoints plus 8.008 6.63 %
6 Hilton Hotels Hilton HHonors 7.907 13.89 %
7 Shangri-La Hotels Golden Circle 7.904 2.33 %
8 Accor Hotels Compliments from Accor Hotels 7.427 5.31 %
9 Best Western Hotels Gold Crown Club International 7.361 2.81 %

Frequent Guest Program :: Best Member Communications
[Japan, Pacific, Asia, Australia]

Marriott Hotels Marriott Rewards
Marriott Rewards is a repeat Freddie winner in this category after having won the Freddie for this area of the world last year. Membership in Marriott Rewards in the Asia/Pacific region continues to grow and Marriott is doing well keeping in touch with the new members. Hyatt Gold Passport moves up from last year’s third place finish to second and Starwood Preferred Guest traded places with Hyatt to come in third this year. With the new two-percent category vote requirement, Choice, TripRewards, Best Western and goldpoints plus did not qualify for listing.

Category votes 37,225

Value Percent
1 Marriott Hotels Marriott Rewards 8.541 43.16 %
2 Hyatt Hotels Gold Passport 8.202 14.04 %
3 Starwood Hotels Starwood Preferred Guest 8.044 12.33%
4 InterContinental Hotels Group Priority Club Rewards 8.024 7.91 %
5 Shangri-La Hotels Golden Circle 7.792 4.29 %
6 Hilton Hotels Hilton HHonors 7.636 9.26 %
7 Accor Hotels Compliments from Accor Hotels 7.566 3.14 %

Best Web Site

Web sites have become a major component of frequent travel programs. Gone are the days when the Web site was simply a companion to the phone and membership guides. Today, members expect all aspects of the program to be presented online, from enrollment, to mileage/points statements and award redemption; preferably presented in their native language. Busy travelers expect the program Web sites to be one-stop-shops for all aspects of the program with just a few clicks. Voters were asked to vote on the Web site with the best online program information.

Frequent Flyer Program :: Best Web Site
[Americas]

Alaska Airlines Mileage Plan
This is the fifth win for Alaska Airlines Mileage Plan in this category. The Mileage Plan Web site wins with good, clean design, ease of use and improving functionality such as the ability to redeem some airline partner awards online and to see if award seats are available at a glance — functions that many programs are lacking. Former winner in this category with an extremely close-to-winning finish at only 0.002 separating it from winner Mileage Plan is Southwest. The Rapid Rewards Web site is number two this year for the second year in a row. The Web site gets the thumbs up from many Rapid Rewards members for its ease of use. Midwest has moved a step up in this category from its fourth place finish last year while Frontier has taken a downward slide from third. Among other changes in the rankings is Delta’s move above Continental OnePass while US Airways moved from seventh to 12th. Smaller program AirTran A+ Rewards moved slightly higher from last year’s number nine ranking to number seven this year.

Category votes 332,981

Value Percent
1 Alaska Airlines Mileage Plan 8.786 9.93 %
2 Southwest Airlines Rapid Rewards 8.628 12.23 %
3 Midwest Airlines Midwest Miles 8.714 3.62 %
4 Delta Air Lines SkyMiles 8.572 18.53 %
5 Frontier Airlines EarlyReturns 8.497 2.35 %
6 Continental Airlines OnePass 8.489 7.56%
7 AirTran Airways A+ Rewards 8.402 2.51 %
8 Northwest Airlines WorldPerks 8.330 7.41 %
9 American Airlines AAdvantage 8.318 15.09 %
10 JetBlue TrueBlue 8.317 2.21 %
11 United Airlines Mileage Plus 8.090 7.59 %
12 US Airways Dividend Miles 7.958 5.18 %
13 Aeroplan 7.523 2.31 %

Frequent Flyer Program :: Best Web Site
[Europe, Middle East, Africa]

Etihad Airways Etihad Guest
This is the second Freddie Award win for Etihad Guest in this category. The Web site features a “slider” tool that allows members to design their own cash plus miles awards (you can redeem an award with as little as one mile), as well as a Reward of the Day and a great many of the features frequent flyers expect from an award-winning Web site. Coming in at second place for the second year in a row is Qatar Airways Privilege Club. And to mirror last year’s top three, Gulf Air Frequent flyer comes in at number three. While South African Airways Voyager did not requalify with enough votes to be listed, it is interesting to note that Delta SkyMiles is the only U.S.-based program to finish in the rankings owing likely to their continued trans-Atlantic growth of routes and membership. They finish at number four, the same as their Web site ranking in the Americas.

Category votes 74,341

Value Percent
1 Etihad Airways Etihad Guest 8.802 1.15 %
2 Qatar Airways Privilege Club 8.759 3.81 %
3 Gulf Air Frequent flyer 8.473 1.84 %
4 Delta Air Lines SkyMiles 8.503 2.57 %
5 Brussels Airlines Privilege 8.395 6.47 %
6 Lufthansa (and Partners) Miles & More 8.358 15.37 %
7 Turkish Airlines Miles&Smiles 8.294 14.81 %
8 EL AL Israel Airlines Matmid Club 8.279 4.30 %
9 TAP Portugal Victoria 8.272 3.75 %
10 Virgin Atlantic Airways flying club 8.235 3.21%
11 Emirates Skywards 8.223 4.49 %
12 SAS EuroBonus 7.981 3.69 %
13 British Airways Executive Club 7.957 7.74 %
14 Air France/KLM Flying Blue 7.828 5.78%

Frequent Flyer Program :: Best Web Site
[Japan, Pacific, Asia, Australia]

Jet Airways JetPrivilege
Jet Airways JetPrivilege takes the Freddie from two-time winner Qatar Airways Privilege Club in this category. JetPrivilege members can access their mileage account online and see promotions and offers at a glance. Cathay Pacific Asia Miles comes in at number two, up from number seven last year while Etihad Guest, the winner in this category for the Europe, Middle East, Africa ballot comes in at number three. Kingfisher King Club, new to the listings this year with enough votes to qualify enters the ranking’s at number six. Favorite Thai Airways Royal Orchid Plus slips off the listings with not enough votes to qualify as does both American AAdvantage and Delta SkyMiles.

Category votes 36,666

Value Percent
1 Jet Airways JetPrivilege 8.650 23.72%
2 Cathay Pacific Asia Miles 8.484 8.28 %
3 Etihad Airways Etihad Guest 8.461 2.29 %
4 Virgin Blue Velocity 8.361 2.94 %
5 Qatar Airways Privilege Club 8.355 2.22 %
6 Kingfisher Airlines King Club 8.297 2.46 %
7 Korean Air SKYPASS 8.276 10.39 %
8 Northwest Airlines WorldPerks 8.252 2.35 %
9 Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer 8.247 9.57 %
10 Lufthansa (and Partners) Miles & More 8.205 2.17 %
11 Emirates Skywards 8.136 3.39 %
12 Qantas Airways Frequent Flyer 8.055 4.56 %
13 United Airlines Mileage Plus 7.918 2.69 %
14 ANA Mileage Club 7.722 2.56 %
15 JAL Mileage Bank 2.22% 7.525 2.22 %

Frequent Guest Program :: Best Web Site
[Americas]

InterContinental Hotels Group Priority Club Rewards
The IHG Priority Club Rewards Web site wins its fourth Freddie in this category for the fourth year in a row. Last year’s number two Web site came in at third, Choice Hotels Choice Privileges. Priority Club Rewards offers its Web site in nine different languages and members can bid in a popular online award auction. When describing the Web site, members use words such as “reliable” and “user-friendly” and like its easy navigation and point redemption capabilities. A former winner in this category, Marriott Rewards, comes in at number two. TripRewards did not garner enough votes to qualify this year.

Category votes 332,984

Value Percent
1 InterContinental Hotels Group Priority Club Rewards 8.928 4.85 %
2 Marriott Hotels Marriott Rewards 8.861 61.00 %
3 Choice Hotels Choice Privileges 8.694 5.88 %
4 Starwood Hotels Starwood Preferred Guest 8.433 17.60 %
5 Hilton Hotels Hilton HHonors 8.246 10.93 %
6 Best Western Hotels Gold Crown Club International 8.176 2.43 %
7 Hyatt Hotels Gold Passport 8.130 2.33 %

Frequent Guest Program :: Best Web Site
[Europe, Middle East, Africa]

Starwood Preferred Guest
Starwood Preferred Guest is a second-time winner in this category, taking first place from two-time winner Marriott Rewards. The Starwood Web site can be accessed in English, French, Spanish, German, Japanese, Chinese and Italian and has one of the most user-friendly ways to access hotel promotions that we’ve seen. Most impressive was their jump in their Value Vote from 8.039 last year to 8.629 this year. Marriott Rewards comes in at number two with IHG Priority Club Rewards moving up to number three from four last year. Goldpoints plus moved down the ranking slightly although they improved their Value Vote from 7.930 last year to 7.969 this year. Sol Melia and Golden Tulip did not return to the rankings this year because they did not have enough votes to qualify.

Category votes 74,341

Value Percent
1 Starwood Hotels Starwood Preferred Guest 8.629 11.05 %
2 Marriott Hotels Marriott Rewards 8.276 38.23 %
3 InterContinental Hotels Group Priority Club Rewards 8.239 10.25 %
4 Hyatt Hotels Gold Passport 8.044 4.89 %
5 Radisson goldpoints plus 7.969 6.54 %
6 Hilton Hotels Hilton HHonors 7.962 13.73 %
7 Shangri-La Hotels Golden Circle 7.928 2.42 %
8 Accor Hotels Compliments from Accor Hotels 7.553 5.23 %
9 Best Western Hotels Gold Crown Club International 7.543 2.66 %

Frequent Guest Program :: Best Web Site
[Japan, Pacific, Asia, Australia]

Marriott Hotels Marriott Rewards
Marriott Rewards wins for the second year in a row for its ability to reach out to members in Asia/Pacific. Dedicated Web sites are available for members residing in Australia, China, Japan, New Zealand and South Korea. Coming in at second place again this year is last year’s number two Web site, Starwood Preferred Guest. Former winner, Hyatt Gold Passport is in the number three position for the second year in a row, while Priority Club Rewards is similar in holding the number four spot for the second straight year. Dropping off from last year without enough votes to qualify were Choice Privileges, TripRewards, Best Western Gold Crown Club and goldpoints plus.

Category votes 36,668

Value Percent
1 Marriott Hotels Marriott Rewards 8.518 43.15 %
2 Starwood Hotels Starwood Preferred Guest 8.208 12.34 %
3 Hyatt Hotels Gold Passport 8.096 14.01 %
4 InterContinental Hotels Group Priority Club Rewards 8.031 8.18 %
5 Shangri-La Hotels Golden Circle 7.891 4.23%
6 Hilton Hotels Hilton HHonors 7.558 9.32%
7 Accor Hotels Compliments from Accor Hotels 7.460 2.88 %

Best Elite-Level Program
It’s been said that the best way to judge a country is to look at how it treats the least of its citizens. It can be argued that the best way to judge a frequent travel program is to look at the way it treats its topmost customers. Elite members are the most valued customers from a revenue point of view, and retaining them can be a program’s highest priority. With so many ways in which members can earn miles and points, elite programs are constantly evolving to do their best to keep the elite members happy — and these exalted members can be rather particular about the benefits they desire most. Voters were asked to vote on the elite-level program that offers the best combination of benefits and bonuses for elite members.

Frequent Flyer Program :: Best Elite-Level Program
[Americas]

Alaska Airlines Mileage Plan
Alaska Airlines Mileage Plan wins for the third year in a row. Elite-level members appreciate the upgrades, waived fees, priority treatment at the airport and the variety of partners they can fly to earn elite status. Northwest WorldPerks shot up to second place from its eight-place finish last year and everyone there should be proud of their accomplishment. Their elite program has been spared some of the more unpopular changes that some other elite programs have been subject to in recent years and it’s showing in the Freddie votes.

Continental Airlines OnePass used to own this category but has fallen from grace with their members. Frontier Airlines EarlyReturns is third, up from a fourth-place finish last year. British Airways Executive Club did not garner enough votes to qualify and while AirTran moved up, US Airways moved down.

Category votes 329,288

Value Percent
1 Alaska Airlines Mileage Plan 8.997 4.50 %
2 Northwest Airlines WorldPerks 8.847 8.44 %
3 Frontier Airlines EarlyReturns 8.694 2.23 %
4 Southwest Airlines Rapid Rewards 8.650 9.26 %
5 Delta Air Lines SkyMiles 8.635 20.22 %
6 Continental Airlines OnePass 8.616 9.09 %
7 Midwest Airlines Midwest Miles 8.607 3.06 %
8 AirTran Airways A+ Rewards 8.338 2.03 %
9 American Airlines AAdvantage 8.293 14.91 %
10 US Airways Dividend Miles 8.290 5.75 %
11 United Airlines Mileage Plus 7.685 9.21 %
12 Aeroplan 7.681 2.51 %

Frequent Flyer Program :: Best Elite-Level Program
[Europe, Middle East, Africa]

Qatar Airways Privilege Club
Privilege Club wins for the second time in this category. Elite members in Privilege Club at the higher levels have unlimited lounge access along with other benefits such as being able to share their good fortune as an elite member with family members who can earn miles based on their elite level. Etihad Guest moved up from fifth to second place while Gulf Air Frequent flyer moved down from number two last year to number three this year. At first glance, we notice that Lufthansa moved from number three last year to number nine this year. At second glance, we note that they actually improved their Value Vote to 8.415 from 8.394 last year, proving that while they improved their value this year, other programs improved and received higher Value Votes. That same situation is true for Emirates Skywards, SAS EuroBonus, Flying Blue and British Airways Executive Club. Two new programs to enter the rankings this year are Turkish Airlines and El Al, both landing near the middle.

Category votes 73,422

Value Percent
1 Qatar Airways Privilege Club 9.260 4.96 %
2 Etihad Airways Etihad Guest 8.902 3.73 %
3 Gulf Air Frequent flyer 8.653 3.33 %
4 Turkish Airlines Miles&Smiles 8.651 15.56 %
5 EL AL Israel Airlines Matmid Club 8.502 4.47 %
6 Delta Air Lines SkyMiles 8.500 2.46 %
7 Brussels Airlines Privilege 8.499 6.01 %
8 Virgin Atlantic Airways flying club 8.438 3.03 %
9 Lufthansa (and Partners) Miles & More 8.415 15.06 %
10 TAP Portugal Victoria 8.317 3.67 %
11 Emirates Skywards 8.293 4.93 %
12 SAS EuroBonus 8.135 3.58 %
13 Air France/KLM Flying Blue 8.124 6.14 %
14 British Airways Executive Club 8.079 6.30 %

Frequent Flyer Program :: Best Elite-Level Program
[Japan, Pacific, Asia, Australia]

Jet Airways JetPrivilege
JetPrivilege will take home its sixth Freddie so far this year and its first ever in this category. Elite members get upgrades, additional baggage allowance and free airport lounge visits among other perks. Former winner Qatar Airways Privilege Club came in at second while Cathay Pacific Asia Miles came in at third. Continuing to make a splash is another India-based frequent flyer program, Kingfisher Airlines King Club, which earned the `New Airline of the Year 2005` award, in Asia Pacific and Middle East, from the Centre for Asia Pacific Aviation. They landed at number four this year. There seems to be a leveling off of overall satisfaction with elite-level programs in this region with the highest Value Vote falling below last year’s highest and the lowest being much lower than last year’s lowest.

Category votes 36,187

Value Percent
1 Jet Airways JetPrivilege 8.698 24.61 %
2 Qatar Airways Privilege Club 8.554 2.37 %
3 Cathay Pacific Asia Miles 8.512 7.73 %
4 Kingfisher Airlines King Club 8.340 2.11 %
5 Etihad Airways Etihad Guest 8.335 2.38 %
6 Thai Airways Royal Orchid Plus 8.319 2.25 %
7 Korean Air SKYPASS 8.298 10.89 %
8 Virgin Blue Velocity 8.292 2.17 %
9 Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer 8.288 8.55 %
10 Northwest Airlines WorldPerks 8.249 2.70 %
11 Emirates Skywards 8.222 3.60 %
12 Lufthansa (and Partners)Miles & More 8.189 2.13 %
13 Qantas Airways Frequent Flyer 7.783 3.97 %
14 United Airlines Mileage Plus 7.696 3.23 %
15 ANA Mileage Club 7.689 2.36 %
16 JAL Mileage Bank 7.681 2.21%

Frequent Guest Program :: Best Elite-Level Program
[Americas]

InterContinental Hotels Group Priority Club
IHG Priority Club Rewards wins this category for the first time. The program came close to winning for their elite-level program when they came in second in the 17th and 15th Annual Freddie Awards. Priority Club Gold Elite is earned after staying 15-49 nights or earning 20,000 points (including points earned with bonus promotions) and comes with 10 percent bonus base points and a dedicated customer service line. Platinum Elite is earned with staying 50 or more nights or earning 60,000 points and comes with complimentary room upgrades, 72-hour-in-advance guaranteed room availability, 50 percent bonus base points and a dedicated customer Platinum service line.

Marriott Rewards won the last two years and for the first six Freddies in this category, but came in at number two this year, followed by Starwood Preferred Guest at number three. Starwood came in at number two last year and is a six-time winner in this category.

Category votes 329,287

Value Percent
1 InterContinental Hotels Group Priority Club Rewards 9.028 4.96 %
2 Marriott Hotels Marriott Rewards 8.982 59.62 %
3 Starwood Hotels Starwood Preferred Guest 8.744 8.27 %
4 Choice Hotels Choice Privileges 8.684 5.47 %
5 Hilton Hotels Hilton HHonors 8.506 12.05 %
6 Hyatt Hotels Gold Passport 8.365 2.55 %
7 Best Western Hotels Gold Crown Club International 8.179 2.17 %

Frequent Guest Program :: Best Elite-Level Program
[Europe, Middle East, Africa]

Starwood Hotels Starwood Preferred Guest
Starwood Preferred Guest takes the Freddie home for the second year in a row in this category. SPG elite-level members benefit from elite bonus points, personalized concierge service, room and floor upgrades and 4pm late checkout. Marriott Rewards is number two with IHG Priority Club Rewards coming in third in a flip-flop with goldpoints plus which improved immensely to a ValueVote of 8.699 from last year’s 8.014.

Category votes 73,421

Value Percent
1 Starwood Hotels Starwood Preferred Guest 9.028 11.43 %
2 Marriott Hotels Marriott Rewards 8.982 37.81 %
3 InterContinental Hotels Group Priority Club Rewards 8.744 10.53 %
4 Radisson goldpoints plus 8.699 6.44 %
5 Hilton Hotels Hilton HHonors 8.429 14.60 %
6 Hyatt Hotels Gold Passport 8.317 5.02 %
7 Shangri-La Hotels Golden Circle 8.142 2.54 %
8 Accor Hotels Compliments from Accor Hotels 8.128 4.14 %
9 Best Western Hotels Gold Crown Club International 8.119 2.38 %

Frequent Guest Program :: Best Elite-Level Program
[Japan, Pacific, Asia, Australia]

Starwood Hotels Starwood Preferred Guest
The top two in this category mirror the top two for the Europe, Middle East, Africa region with Starwood Preferred Guest continuing its dominance for Best Elite-Level Program outside the Americas. Elite bonus points and a lower minimum threshold when converting points to frequent flyer miles are two of the perks that come with a Preferred Guest elite membership. Last year’s number two and three programs finished the same this year with Marriott Rewards second followed by former winner in this category, Hyatt Gold Passport.

Category votes 36,187

Value Percent
1 Starwood Hotels Starwood Preferred Guest 8.552 12.41%
2 Marriott Hotels Marriott Rewards 8.315 42.24 %
3 Hyatt Hotels Gold Passport 8.308 14.54 %
4 InterContinental Hotels Group Priority Club Rewards 8.107 8.20 %
5 Shangri-La Hotels Golden Circle 7.893 4.54 %
6 Hilton Hotels Hilton HHonors 7.811 9.72 %
7 Accor Hotels Compliments from Accor Hotels 7.633 2.30 %

Best Award Redemption

If award redemption is easy, you have a very happy program member. If it’s difficult, call out the National Guard, you might need some help. If there’s one thing that irks frequent travelers the most, it’s the unavailability of awards — and the hassles of redeeming them. We’ve learned that it’s not just about making seats and rooms available, it’s also about the process. Does the program make it easy to change your itinerary if your travel plans change? Does it require members to jump through hoops to get an award? What fees are involved for last-minute award redemptions or when you have to call the service center to claim the award? We never said that award redemption would be easy, but some programs make it easier than others. Voters were asked to vote on the program that makes award redemption the most “flyer friendly” — can you get the award you want when you want it?

Frequent Flyer Program :: Best Award Redemption
[Americas]

Southwest Airlines Rapid Rewards
This award category was introduced in 1998 and no other frequent flyer program has ever won — Rapid Rewards tops this all-important category for a 10th consecutive year. Over and over, we’ve heard from members that they like the simplicity and ease of getting a free ticket. When a member earns 16 credits (eight roundtrips), a free flight is waiting for them in their account.

Alaska Airlines comes in at number two for the second year in a row. Mileage Plan regularly makes an appearance at number two or three but can’t quite get the momentum up to conquer Southwest. Continental OnePass made an impressive move from number five last year to number three this year — not bad for a program with over 35 million members searching for award seats. And Midwest Miles retains their hold on the number four spot. Whatever Delta SkyMiles is doing seems to be working as they moved up from number nine last year to number five this year. But here’s a small fact: the category average moved slightly lower to 8.39 vs. 8.42 last year. It is interesting to note that the category average was 8.39 in 2004 as well.

Category votes 327,059

Value Percent
1 Southwest Airlines Rapid Rewards 9.035 16.17 %
2 Alaska Airlines Mileage Plan 8.998 4.71 %
3 Continental Airlines OnePass 8.820 7.36 %
4 Midwest Airlines Midwest Miles 8.487 3.58 %
5 Delta Air Lines SkyMiles 8.460 18.36 %
6 American Airlines AAdvantage 8.379 14.68 %
7 Frontier Airlines EarlyReturns 8.320 2.71 %
8 AirTran Airways A+ Rewards 8.234 2.52 %
9 Northwest Airlines WorldPerks 8.233 7.10 %
10 United Airlines Mileage Plus 8.192 7.91 %
11 US Airways Dividend Miles 8.100 5.37 %
12 Aeroplan 7.455 2.39 %

Frequent Flyer Program :: Best Award Redemption
[Europe, Middle East, Africa]

Etihad Guest
It looks like Etihad Guest members are starting to find out what it’s like to redeem awards in the program and are pleased by their experiences. Etihad Guest takes the Freddie home in this category for the first time by offering the most flexible award redemptions in the industry. Last year’s winner, Qatar Airways Privilege Club, dropped to number three with former winner Gulf Air Frequent flyer staying in second place. While Emirates dropped to the number five spot, it’s ValueVote among members increased from 8.338.

Category votes 72,766

Value Percent
1 Etihad Airways Etihad Guest 9.190 3.66 %
2 Gulf Air Frequent flyer 8.826 3.34 %
3 Qatar Airways Privilege Club 8.662 4.59 %
4 Brussels Airlines Privilege 8.441 6.91 %
5 Emirates Skywards 8.435 4.47 %
6 Turkish Airlines Miles&Smiles 8.427 15.02 %
7 EL AL Israel Airlines Matmid Club 8.426 4.73 %
8 Delta Air Lines SkyMiles 8.343 2.62 %
9 TAP Portugal Victoria 8.339 3.83 %
10 Lufthansa (and Partners) Miles & More 8.314 15.03 %
11 Virgin Atlantic Airways flying club 8.245 2.85 %
12 Air France/KLM Flying Blue 7.954 5.58 %
13 SAS EuroBonus 7.948 3.94 %
14 United Airlines Mileage Plus 7.696 3.23 %
15 British Airways Executive Club 7.922 5.89 %

Frequent Flyer Program :: Best Award Redemption
[Japan, Pacific, Asia, Australia]

Virgin Blue Velocity
Virgin Blue Velocity wins its third consecutive Freddie in this category. As the program’s Web site reads, “You can use your Velocity Points to redeem on any flight operated by Virgin Blue, Pacific Blue or Polynesian Blue — any seat, any time. After all, points are pointless if you can’t go where you want, when you want.” Nipping at Virgin Blue’s heels in the number two spot is Jet Airways JetPrivilege, up from fourth place last year, and from second to third is Qatar Airways Privilege Club. Among those programs not garnering enough voted to qualify this year were Flying Blue, Air China Companion. Air India Flying Returns, Delta SkyMiles and American AAdvantage.

Category votes 35,849

Value Percent
1 Virgin Blue Velocity 8.756 3.31 %
2 Jet Airways JetPrivilege 8.737 25.20 %
3 Qatar Airways Privilege Club 8.599 2.22 %
4 Etihad Airways Etihad Guest 8.564 2.16 %
5 Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer 8.469 8.09 %
6 Emirates Skywards 8.420 3.17%
7 Korean Air SKYPASS 8.356 10.70 %
8 Thai Airways Royal Orchid Plus 8.317 2.40 %
9 Cathay Pacific Asia Miles 8.235 7.73 %
10 Lufthansa (and Partners) Miles & More 8.208 2.05 %
11 Northwest Airlines WorldPerks 8.204 2.59 %
12 United Airlines Mileage Plus 8.169 3.45 %
13 Qantas Airways Frequent Flyer 7.892 3.79 %
14 ANA Mileage Club 7.834 2.26 %
15 JAL Mileage Bank 7.710 2.23 %

Frequent Guest Program :: Best Award Redemption
[Americas]

InterContinental Hotesl Group Priority Club
With a .037 margin, IHG Priority Club Rewards has ended Starwood Preferred Guest’s winning streak in this category. Starwood has won this category for every year except the first year it was introduced — for nine consecutive years. Priority Club has been following close behind Starwood for a few years now but this is the first time the Value Vote has brought it to the top. Priority Club members are offered the flexibility of points that don’t expire and they can even redeem stays for any hotel, anywhere — including rival hotels with the American Express branded pre-paid lodging card redemption option. Marriott once again came in at number three — a spot that the program has found itself in quite often in this category.

Category votes 327,055

Value Percent
1 InterContinental Hotels Group Priority Club Rewards 9.091 5.30 %
2 Starwood Hotels Starwood Preferred Guest 9.054 8.00 %
3 Marriott Hotels Marriott Rewards 8.910 60.70 %
4 Choice Hotels Choice Privileges 8.902 6.15 %
5 Hilton Hotels Hilton HHonors 8.573 10.88 %
6 Hyatt Hotels Gold Passport 8.484 2.16 %
7 Best Western Hotels Gold Crown Club International 8.216 2.32 %

Frequent Guest Program :: Best Award Redemption
[Europe, Middle East, Africa]

Starwood Hotels Starwood Preferred Guest
Starwood Preferred Guest continues its dominance of the Award Redemption category with this year’s win in Europe, Middle East, Africa — Starwood is the sole winner of this category since the awards inception in the 17th Annual Freddie Awards. Marriott Rewards is second and IHG Priority Club Rewards moved up from fourth last year to third this year. While Choice Privileges and TripRewards moved off the listing this year by not having enough votes to qualify, goldpoints plus and Compliments from Accor Hotels made impressive entries with goldpoints plus finishing in the fourth spot.

Category votes 72,765

Value Percent
1 Starwood Hotels Starwood Preferred Guest 8.667 11.28 %
2 Marriott Hotels Marriott Rewards 8.465 38.60 %
3 InterContinental Hotels Group Priority Club Rewards 8.388 10.87 %
4 Radisson goldpoints plus 8.097 6.70 %
5 Hilton Hotels Hilton HHonors 8.092 13.73 %
6 Hyatt Hotels Gold Passport 8.079 4.63%
7 Shangri-La Hotels Golden Circle 7.905 2.25 %
8 Accor Hotels Compliments from Accor Hotels 7.637 4.22 %
9 Best Western Hotels Gold Crown Club International 7.468 2.60 %

Frequent Guest Program :: Best Award Redemption
[Japan, Pacific, Asia, Australia]

Starwood Hotels Starwood Preferred Guest
Starwood Preferred Guest wins again in this category, followed by Marriott Rewards in second and Hyatt Gold Passport in third, mirroring the top three last year. Starwood has dominated this category with the program’s no blackout dates or availability restrictions on free award nights. We did notice that the top four programs in this category dropped in ValueVote from the prior year — not a good sign. The good news is that everyone else actually increased in their ValueVote ranking by members.

Category votes 35,850

Value Percent
1 Starwood Hotels Starwood Preferred Guest 8.541 12.68 %
2 Marriott Hotels Marriott Rewards 8.382 43.15%
3 Hyatt Hotels Gold Passport 8.325 13.89 %
4 InterContinental Hotels Group Priority Club Rewards 8.201 8.50 %
5 Shangri-La Hotels Golden Circle 7.884 3.97 %
6 Hilton Hotels Hilton HHonors 7.812 9.15 %
7 Radisson goldpoints plus 7.541 2.08 %
8 Accor Hotels Compliments from Accor Hotels 7.491 2.39 %

Best Customer Service
All the bonus offers and free flights or nights won’t keep program members happy in the long run if customer service isn’t there to assist you when you need them. From service centers with knowledgeable and friendly representatives to quickly answered emails, customer service is an important component to every frequent travel program, and some would argue, the most important. We asked our voters to vote on the program with the best customer service.

Frequent Flyer Program :: Best Customer Service
[Americas]

Midwest Airlines Midwest Miles
Midwest Miles comes in first for the third consecutive year after taking the win from Southwest Airlines Rapid Rewards after that program’s four consecutive wins (Rapid Rewards has had five wins total). Midwest Airlines has always placed a high priority on customer service and members of Midwest Miles have been very verbal about how much they appreciate Midwest Miles going that “extra mile” to ensure their experience is favorable — and with an impressive 9.417 Value Vote, this is indeed a testament to how well the program is doing.

The Freddie Program of the Year winner this year, Alaska Airlines Mileage Plan, is number two this year with Southwest Airlines Rapid Rewards coming in at number three. It’s interesting to note that Frontier EarlyReturns, last year’s program of the year also finished second in this category last year. This year, Frontier placed sixth in the Program of the Year category and fourth in this category.

Category votes 325,721

Value Percent
1 Midwest Airlines Midwest Miles 9.417 4.42 %
2 Alaska Airlines Mileage Plan 9.063 4.69 %
3 Southwest Airlines Rapid Rewards 8.972 15.43 %
4 Frontier Airlines EarlyReturns 8.944 2.86 %
5 Delta Air Lines SkyMiles 8.763 17.99 %
6 JetBlue TrueBlue 8.740 2.60 %
7 AirTran Airways A+ Rewards 8.716 2.57 %
8 Continental Airlines OnePass 8.711 7.85 %
9 American Airlines AAdvantage 8.552 13.56 %
10 Northwest Airlines WorldPerks 8.463 6.33 %
11 United Airlines Mileage Plus 8.304 6.62 %
12 US Airways Dividend Miles 8.230 4.60 %
13 Aeroplan 7.585 2.08 %

Frequent Flyer Program :: Best Customer Service
[Europe, Middle East, Africa]

Etihad Guest
First time winner in this category, Etihad Guest, easily wins with a .402 margin (quite a big margin in the Freddies) over last year’s winner, Qatar Airways Privilege Club. Coming in at number three, from its second place last year, is Gulf Air Frequent flyer. Once again, Middle East airlines dominate. Etihad Guest members have been very complimentary on the high level of customer service they’ve received from the airline. By now we’ve all become accustomed to seeing the airline programs out of the Middle East come out on top in this ballot, but notice that the highest-ranked European program is Brussels Airlines Privilege at number seven. That may seem out of place until we look closer and see that the winner of this category in 2004 was Virgin Atlantic flying club with a Value Vote of 8.49. This year Virgin Atlantic scored well enough from their members with a Value Vote of 8.55, which is an improvement over the last four years. Customer servcie is as good as it has ever been from most programs in this region, but the newer programs are winning because they are simply raising their standards, not because the other programs are lowering theirs.

Category votes 72,376

Value Percent
1 Etihad Airways Etihad Guest 9.336 3.80 %
2 Qatar Airways Privilege Club 8.934 2.37 %
3 Gulf Air Frequent flyer 8.789 3.11 %
4 Turkish Airlines Miles&Smiles 8.736 14.57 %
5 EL AL Israel Airlines Matmid Club 8.734 4.56 %
6 Delta Air Lines SkyMiles 8.634 2.45 %
7 Brussels Airlines Privilege 8.624 6.44 %
8 Virgin Atlantic Airways flying club 8.552 3.38 %
9 Lufthansa (and Partners) Miles & More 8.490 15.27 %
10 Emirates Skywards 8.473 5.32 %
11 TAP Portugal Victoria 8.327 3.68 %
12 SAS EuroBonus 8.208 3.68 %
13 British Airways Executive Club 8.149 6.32 %
14 Air France/KLM Flying Blue 7.991 5.17 %

Frequent Flyer Program :: Best Customer Service
[Japan, Pacific, Asia, Australia]

Jet Airways JetPrivilege
JetPrivilege wins this year after placing a close second to winner Qatar Airways Privilege Club last year. This is the second Freddie for JetPrivilege in this category and the seventh Freddie win for the FFP this year — the most Freddie Awards of any frequent flyer program. Members report that they appreciate the quick response from customer service and how much they truly enjoy flying Jet Airways. Korean Air SKYPASS is number two, up from number three, followed by newcomer Kingfisher Airlines King Club. Virgin Blue Velocity is holding tight to that number four spot, the same as last year. Outside of Korean SKYPASS, the highest rank by a true specific Asian airline program is Singapore KrisFlyer at number seven. Even their ValueVore slipped slightly this year. One interesting note: Thai Airways which has done very well over the years in this category actually continues to do well with their ValueVote, scoring 8.44 this year agaisnt a number two finish in 2004 with a ValueVote of 8.47. Hardly any difference in their customer servcie value over the years, just increasing value from six of the programs ranked above them that were not even in the category in 2004.

Category votes 35,631

Value Percent
1 Jet Airways JetPrivilege 9.003 24.30 %
2 Korean Air SKYPASS 8.916 10.46 %
3 Kingfisher Airlines King Club 8.854 3.18 %
4 Virgin Blue Velocity 8.733 2.67 %
5 Etihad Airways Etihad Guest 8.637 2.34 %
6 Qatar Airways Privilege Club 8.608 2.24 %
7 Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer 8.506 11.56 %
8 Emirates Skywards 8.499 3.51 %
9 Thai Airways Royal Orchid Plus 8.438 2.42 %
10 Cathay Pacific Asia Miles 8.272 8.04 %
11 Qantas Airways Frequent Flyer 8.203 3.59 %
12 ANA Mileage Club 8.054 2.66 %
13 JAL Mileage Bank 7.901 2.47 %

Frequent Guest Program :: Best Customer Service
[Americas]

Marriott Hotels Marriott Rewards
Marriott Rewards takes home the Freddie for the 11th time and the third consecutive year in this category. Clearly, Marriott is able to offer their members a responsive customer service experience and their members have responded by voting for Marriott. With this win, Marriott has won an impressive 10 Freddie Awards this year.

IHG Priority Club Rewards is number two in this category for the third year in a row, and Starwood Preferred Guest is number three for the second year in a row. Starwood won the Freddie in this category six times in the past and continues to dominate outside of the Americas. Choice, Hilton and Hyatt remain poised for that leap into the top three and all of them are capable.

Category votes 325,717

Value Percent
1 Marriott Hotels Marriott Rewards 9.171 60.55 %
2 InterContinental Hotels Group Priority Club Rewards 9.074 4.80 %
3 Starwood Hotels Starwood Preferred Guest 8.923 7.93 %
4 Choice Hotels Choice Privileges 8.818 5.64 %
5 Hilton Hotels Hilton HHonors 8.688 10.97 %
6 Hyatt Hotels Gold Passport 8.623 2.48 %
7 Best Western Hotels Gold Crown Club International 8.433 2.32 %

Frequent Guest Program :: Best Customer Service
[Europe, Middle East, Africa]

Starwood Hotels Starwood Preferred Guest
Starwood Preferred Guest edged out Marriott Rewards to win this category last year with an extremely close Value Vote (a .002 difference), but this year Starwood wins again with a wider margin. Shangri-La Hotels Golden Circle moved up from fifth place to third. We’re still quite impressed to see the improved placement of Shangri-La outside of their perennial powerful presence in the Asian market. Choice, Golden Tulip and Sol Melia dropped off the ranking’s this year only because they did not garner enough votes to qualify.

Category votes 72,377

Value Percent
1 Starwood Hotels Starwood Preferred Guest 8.764 11.04 %
2 Marriott Hotels Marriott Rewards 8.507 38.63 %
3 Shangri-La Hotels Golden Circle 8.385 2.74 %
4 InterContinental Hotels Group Priority Club Rewards 8.293 10.38 %
5 Radisson goldpoints plus 8.221 6.93 %
6 Hilton Hotels Hilton HHonors 8.217 13.73 %
7 Hyatt Hotels Gold Passport 8.215 5.10 %
8 Best Western Hotels Gold Crown Club International 7.736 2.39 %
9 Accor Hotels Compliments from Accor Hotels 7.730 4.07 %

Frequent Guest Program :: Best Customer Service
[Japan, Pacific, Asia, Australia]

Starwood Hotels Starwood Preferred Guest
Here’s an interesting observation: all five of this years finishers were exactly in the same place as last years ranking’s with honors going again to Starwood Preferred Guest. This is the third Freddie for Starwood Preferred Guest in this category. Not qualifying this year with enough votes were Best Western Gold Crown Club, Choice Privileges and TripRewards.

Category votes 35,633

Value Percent
1 Starwood Hotels Starwood Preferred Guest 8.665 12.46 %
2 Marriott Hotels Marriott Rewards 8.410 42.70 %
3 Hyatt Hotels Gold Passport 8.363 14.25 %
4 InterContinental Hotels Group Priority Club Rewards 8.194 8.09 %
5 Shangri-La Hotels Golden Circle 8.114 5.26 %
6 Hilton Hotels Hilton HHonors 7.891 9.08 %
7 Radisson goldpoints plus 7.713 2.00 %
8 Accor Hotels Compliments from Accor Hotels 7.622 2.30%

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