For Frequent Fliers, a Ranking of the Stingiest Airlines

Discussion in 'General Discussion | Travel' started by sobore, May 26, 2011.  |  Print Topic

  1. sobore
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    sobore Gold Member

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    http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052702303654804576345254232316730.html

    Travelers may find it just a teeny-tiny bit easier to redeem miles this year compared with last year, according to a new study of 24 different frequent-flier programs world-wide.

    Best among U.S. carriers: Southwest Airlines Co., which had award seats available for 99.3% of the queries made, and jetBlue Airways, which offered seats 79.3% of the time. Southwest and jetBlue both use points instead of miles, and IdeaWorks Co., the consulting firm that conducted the study, searched for award seats available at 25,000 points, the equivalent to standard awards at other airlines.
    Worst among U.S. carriers: US Airways Group Inc. and Delta Air Lines Inc., which didn't have seats available in about three out of every four requests. Still, both carriers showed large improvement over the past year, more than doubling their availability rates.
    Of 6,720 requests for award trips at standard mileage levels, typically 25,000 miles for a domestic ticket on U.S. airlines, 68.6% turned up with available seats, according to IdeaWorks. That's up slightly from 66.1% last year. The fact that availability increased at all is surprising: Airlines are eager to sell seats rather than trade them for miles due to high fuel costs.
    That said, it is expected to be especially tough to exchange miles for seats this summer because airlines are already heavily booked.
     
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  2. milchap
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    milchap Gold Member

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    I see AC ranked decently. 7/24
     
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  3. miloki
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    miloki Silver Member

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    I've been very happy with what I've been able to book through AC for this summer.
     
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  4. gleff
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    gleff Co-founder

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    As I explained elsewhere, the methodology of the 'study' is seriously flawed.

    * Almost exclusively domestic coach
    * If one seat on one flight is available, regardless of time of day, that's success
    * Online availability only, US Airways scores badly but then they don't show partners. How can it make sense to show substantially different availability ofr US Airways and United/Continental and Turkish?
    * Comparing different routes for each carrier
    * Searcihng primarily in March for summer travel, when different carriers release seats at different times (some release early, some release late)

    And some of the results are hardly credible, 99.3% success for Southwest? And who decided to include GOL (but not fellow Brazilian carrier TAM?) and claim 100% success?

    This study is useless for anyone interesting in premium cabin international awards, using miles on partners, anyone willing to even call an airline rather than just book online.

    It has some very limited insight (given the specific bookings of March for summer, and comparison of different routes, and not considering flight times) for those who want to book only domestic coach online on the actual airline of the miles you've got.
     
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