Ultimate frequent-flyer guide (Consumer Reports)

Discussion in 'General Discussion | Miles/Points' started by Newscience, May 10, 2015.  |  Print Topic

  1. Newscience

    Newscience Gold Member

    Messages:
    14,694
    Likes Received:
    45,079
    Status Points:
    16,475
    Ultimate frequent-flyer guide

    Consumer Reports reveals what the airlines won’t tell you so you can get the flight you want

    If you are interested in reading the Consumer Reports take on airline frequent flyer programs, you can get it in the latest month's issue (June 2015) of Consumer Reports, available on newstands now, or download a copy at www.consumerreports.org

    It's a thorough analysis on frequent flyer programs in the US, a different take on what you'd find written on many travel blogs, and well worth reading. Many types of analyses were conducted, including:

    - The top 25 routes flown in the US, by AA, DL, B6, WN and UA, the average cost and value of frequent flyer miles used for each route, and whether it is worth redeeming miles for that travel.

    - The rationale Consumer Reports used to decide how to choose your destination, choosing an airline program, and avoiding the "gotchas" in each program is explained in this article. The eye-opening takeways include advice to pile up miles faster by switching programs, trading credit cards, and to "never buy points".

    Here's a tip for those who have membership in their community's library: check to see if your library subscribes to Consumer Reports. If they don't, ask them to do so - since a community library subscription gives library members access to all articles in this magazine (and others subscribed to).

    Finally, note that this article and the "Top 25 Routes" article are 2 separate downloads from the Consumer Reports website.
     
    Last edited: May 10, 2015
  2. flightfishing

    flightfishing Active Member

    Messages:
    2
    Likes Received:
    3
    Status Points:
    60
    Last December they had a short write up on programs indicating that Delta was the way to go. I nearly lost it and started a letter writing campaign. I'm hoping they've come to their senses?
     
    anileze and Newscience like this.
  3. MSPeconomist
    Original Member

    MSPeconomist Gold Member

    Messages:
    58,563
    Likes Received:
    98,528
    Status Points:
    20,020
    If I'm deciding whether to redeem miles, I don't care about the average cost of the flight but what I would need to pay for my ticket.

    Besides, who cares only about domestic flights?
     
    anileze and Newscience like this.
  4. HaveMilesWillTravel
    Original Member

    HaveMilesWillTravel Gold Member

    Messages:
    12,504
    Likes Received:
    20,198
    Status Points:
    16,520
    Clearly not you and I, but the millions of US citizens who don't actually have passports (or if they do, don't travel internationally on a regular basis).
     
    anileze and Newscience like this.
  5. Newscience

    Newscience Gold Member

    Messages:
    14,694
    Likes Received:
    45,079
    Status Points:
    16,475
    Well, there is one long-haul destination that non-passport-carrying US citizens still want to travel to - Hawaii! This issue of Consumer Reports also has an article entitled: "Is Hawaii Your Frequent Flyer Award Dream"? This article provides award data for using frequent flyer miles to get to Hawaii on AA, AS, DL, HA and UA. This list contains the number of round trip award passengers to Hawaii on each airline, and the % of Hawaii trips booked for awards.

    If it isn't otherwise blocked, you can try this link:

    http://www.consumerreports.org/cro/news/2015/05/is-hawaii-your-frequent-flyer-award-dream/index.htm#
     
    Mikus33 likes this.
  6. MSPeconomist
    Original Member

    MSPeconomist Gold Member

    Messages:
    58,563
    Likes Received:
    98,528
    Status Points:
    20,020
    Thanks. It worked for me..
     
    Newscience likes this.
  7. noneemac

    noneemac Silver Member

    Messages:
    18
    Likes Received:
    23
    Status Points:
    130
    I see a lot of holes in the CR article. They don't adequately represent saver awards, premium-cabin awards, and value of award v revenue tickets for elite pax. Nor do they control for the desperation factor (e.g., needing to go to northern Michigan on short notice for a funeral vs. a leisure trip to Hawaii). The data on specific routes isn't really helpful, as every award request/desire is unique.

    Except, that is, for the IDIOTIC expenditure of miles to fly an award ticket SFO-LAX. What losers!
     
    Newscience likes this.
  8. Newscience

    Newscience Gold Member

    Messages:
    14,694
    Likes Received:
    45,079
    Status Points:
    16,475
    Agree - it's not perfect. But as it's exceedingly difficult to do such comparisons, it's a good first start. And I hope that CR now does this evaluation on a regular basis.
     
  9. mattsteg
    Original Member

    mattsteg Gold Member

    Messages:
    3,276
    Likes Received:
    5,543
    Status Points:
    4,170

Share This Page