Frequent Flyer Miles, Thirty Years Later

Discussion in 'General Discussion | Travel' started by sobore, May 17, 2011.  |  Print Topic

  1. sobore
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    sobore Gold Member

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    http://www.smartertravel.com/travel-advice/frequent-flyer-miles-thirty-years-later.html?id=7761431

    I first became aware, painfully, of airline mileage programs in the early 1980s. At the time, I was a junior member of the North American marketing department of a Southeast Asian airline. And despite my employer's poll-verified service superiority and comparable fares, Pan Am was somehow winning more than its fair share of the lucrative business-traveler market. They were eating our eggrolls.
    The reason, I soon discovered, was WorldPass, Pan Am's loyalty program. It was doing exactly what it was designed to: give them a tie-breaker edge with repeat travelers.

    It was several years before the airline I worked for finally established a relationship with one of the dominant U.S. programs, allowing us to add frequent flyer miles to our selling proposition and level the playing field. But I'd learned first hand just how powerful loyalty programs could be.
     
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  2. jbcarioca
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    jbcarioca Gold Member

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    In 1981 and 1982 I was travelling twice per month from Tokyo to the US. I flew almost always on PanAm for WorldPass. In 1973 I was flying NYC-TYO more than once per month and I never once flew PanAm. The prices at the time were the same. Everyone I knew changed behavior instantly with the programs. Most of us sold the miles to brokers, mine was Izzy in Greenwich Village. My colleagues and I we were all flying ever week, often inter continent. Izzy would say waht he needed and we'd change airlines accordingly.

    Not too long later, in the later 1980's, the ticket sales were shut down.
     
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  3. Bonnie
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    Bonnie Silver Member

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    In the early eighties we were living in the Middle East. We usually booked rtw tickets to return home every 6 months. On one of our last trips in 1983, the PanAm ticket agent asked if we wanted to join this new frequent flyer (I don't even think that was the name they used back then) program. We thought it was just a gimmick that wouldn't last, so we said no thanks. How do you spell STUPID!?!?!:eek:
     
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