The 2014 Mile Satisfaction Survey conducted by MileCards.com, measuring customers’ perceptions of the largest airline loyalty programs, reported that 53 percent of frequent travelers are generally satisfied with their carriers’ loyalty program.
Southwest Rapid Rewards came in at the top with 62 percent of members reporting an “overall satisfaction” with the program. Rapid Rewards also came on top of the “easy to get award” question at 64 percent.
United MileagePlus followed Southwest in the “overall satisfaction” question at 55 percent. US Airways was deemed the program in which it is “impossible to get award” with 17 percent agreeing to that statement. US Airways also came in last in the overall satisfaction question with 43 percent.
Interesting findings included that 45 percent of those surveyed said that they earn more miles from credit card and ground-based promotions than from flying and 59 percent hold a mile earning credit card. Distrust of airline loyalty programs was reported by 23 percent of frequent flyers, who cited sudden rule changes, hidden fees and a failure of the mile programs to deliver on promises.
The survey was conducted in December 2013 among 1,600 members of U.S. frequent flyer programs who report they are currently collecting miles for an award flight.
Visit http://www.insideflyer.com/link/?11061 to read the full report.
Bottom line: Satisfaction with a frequent flyer program seems to mirror those programs with the most domestic “Saver” flight awards available, for example, Southwest Airlines and United Airlines. US Airways had the lowest satisfaction as well as the lowest award availability.